Wednesday, June 3, 2015


Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig

Tom Kundig principal and owner of the Seattle-based firm Olson Kundig is designing Outpost Basel, an arquitectural pavilion created for the Collector’s Lounge at Design Miami. Basel Switzerland is an artistic fair that will take place from June 16 - 21, 2015. 
Outpost Basel is bringing together a diversity of geographic material and cultural elements of different parts of the world like, Japan, America, Romania, Austria to bring into existence a design space made from everyday materials.

The arquitectural firm “Olson Kundig” is founded by arquitects Jim Olson and Tom Kundig. The firm is based on the ideas that, building can serve “as a bridge between nature, culture and people, and that inspiring surroundings have a positive effect on people’s lives.

Kundig plays with the idea of being an outsider, bringing a collection of highly contrasting influences and functions, which he unifies to make a harmonious and inspirational space.  An idea of yin-yang will run throughout, shown through the interplay of shaded and well-lit areas, dark and light materials, as well as space for refuge and for being seen. The result will be an enjoyable retreat in which to reflect on the design fair, meet friends or just relax.

From the entrance of the exhibition, Outpost Basel will appear to be a simple dark cube at the west point of the hall, playing a subtle role within the vast Messe Halle. But as visitors walk closer, they will see the textures and complexity of the structural design.  Guests are going to be welcomed by hosts, who will roll open an iron-wheeled ‘X’ door, to reveal a vibrant inner sanctum of lounge and restaurant areas.

Kundig works with “commodity materials to create this high-design space from re-purposed structural elements, in a continuation of his love of ‘hot-rodding’ ”. Like wood formwork and bricks bountifully supplied by innovative Austrian company “Schweighofer”.

There is going to be two distinct adjoining volumes, one semi-open space and one a taller solid box made of wood bricks, together form Outpost. A tribute to the 10th Anniversary of Design Miami/ Basel in the form of a repeated X- shaped pattern will surround the exterior of Outpost Basel.
Sketch by Tom Kundig, Outpost Basel 

Kundig said: “It’s a great honor to make this space for Design Miami/, and to work in Basel, Switzerland. We each carry many influences with us—both my parents are Swiss, although I am American. With Outpost, I wanted to explore this idea through bringing different elements together in Basel. I like to mix old techniques and robust materials with innovative methods of making, so there will be crafted ironwork from Seattle, and amazing wood from Austrian firm Schweighofer.”

The design of Outpost Basel is bold yet grounded. Interiors are intricate and bold. The ingenious use of space in the Collectors Lounge allows Outpost to be the protagonist of a variety of different activities.  Including the Design Talks, a series of panel and one-on-one discussions with the leading lights of the design world.

A bar is going to be serving fine champagne (Perrier-Jou√ęt) and the presence of a restaurant where guests can regroup and refuel before continuing their exploration of the exhibition.  Collectors will be able to work, talk and relax in Outpost Basel, experiencing a microcosm of the Olson Kundig world, and the distinctive design approach of Tom Kundig himself.

This #CertifiedCOOL event is going to benefit Miami in many ways! A fusion of different creativity and ideation is what Miami needs. The city is growing up to be a multi-cultural portal to the world of the arts and technology.

By: Mckenna Martinez

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