E Floor

Jan 09 - 2020

Sustainable materials and products – masses of them out there apparently, but how do we properly assess exactly how sustainable anything is? There are various schemes, labels and means of accreditation, great variation between and within countries, huge scope for monetising the sustainability industry and the larger the organisation the more obscure the details.

One way of negotiating this minefield is to seek out smaller businesses who produce one or only a few things. For example Foresso who have a single product, a timber terrazzo sheet material made from timber and plaster waste and 0% VOC resin cast onto an 18mm birch plywood substrate. Locally sourced, using 85% recycled material and aiming for 100% asap by developing a resin-free binder, the finished product is inherently durable and can be returned and ground down to start again at the end of its use.

Perhaps because this is a relatively small business, or maybe because they are highly skilled and totally committed, Foresso have clear sight over their whole operation and make all decisions based on environmental consideration.

A beautiful material, with clearly described sustainable credentials.


Foresso timber terrazzo

Dalston kitchen flooring

Azure Mono / British Oak in a pale blue binder

Ivory Duo / British Walnut and Cedar of Lebanon



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Foresso kitchen floor Foresso Ivory Foresso Azure

Quiet & Brave

Sep 07 - 2018

A peaceful few days by the sea near Girona in a hotel hiding a green ethos behind its high-design walls – the first hotel in Europe to receive LEED certification. With the benefit of a perfect centre-bay site, surrounded by pines, the original 1907 building and new additions are connected and wrapped by dry-planting and vegetable gardens. What you see is an age-old sympathetic fabric of plaster, stone, corten, cement tile and natural fibres, behind which are the less visible but vital systems to allow tourism to co-exist with environmental respect: water management and recycling, herbs and veg grown organically on site or close by, kitchen waste composting, PVC and formaldehyde-free materials, natural ventilation and solar panels. A thoroughly local experience, and an example of how to design well in and for all senses.

If visiting don't miss Mar d'Empuries Beach Bar practically in the sea, drinks & music, treading lightly.

Spotted: Marset Jaima lamps.


Hostal Spa Empuries

L'Escala, Costa Brava

Design Francesco Ranocchi

In collaboration with Eco Intelligent Growth

LEED Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

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H Empuries 2 H Empuries 7 H Empuries 5 H Empuries 9 H Empuries 4 H Empuries 3

Surface pattern

Mar 10 - 2015

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Twentytwelve 04

Aug 20 - 2012

Last Olympic post, two more images from the park which was due to close for 18 months after the games, however there now seems to be a plan to keep it accessible for a while at least.

Olympic Park electricity sub-station by Nord, Scottish architects, working with industrial and material heritage to produce this useful building in knitted black brick; quietly spectacular, the UK’s largest ever wildflower meadows at the park by Professors Nigel Dunnett and James Hitchmough at the University of Sheffield who are on a mission to show us the relevance of another, natural, heritage and its environmnetal importance.

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Nord flowers 1

Light matter

Mar 20 - 2012

Copper, wood and brass lamps by Alvaro Catalán de Ocón are so reminiscent of candles it’s no surprise to find that’s where they come from and that they are called Candil. Gorgeous and ingenious, they use the components’ conductivity instead of a lampholder so that the simple act of placing the bulb into the copper bowl and removing it is the switch. We like candle light but no longer rely on it, the tungsten bulb with its filament and warmth that is integral to this product may not be here for much longer, so what next? I see how sensible LED is but I don’t love it, yet.

Candil comes in three versions: Milan for Sottsass and the Memphis Group, Kyoto in memory of a trip to Japan, and Madrid, home-city of the project and the designer, all from Viaduct.

Gerhard Richter Candle 1982, oil on canvas

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candil1 Gerhard Richter candle