Icon’s July 2014 issue brings you designs made in lava by Formafantasma, a building in a disused zinc mine by Peter Zumthor, Bjarke Ingels’ subterranean museum and much more. Read a full list of contents below. Scroll down to see the contents and click through to read the articles online
For our July issue, I travelled to a disused zinc mine in a remote ravine in Norway, where the Pritzker-winning architect Peter Zumthor is building a museum. In the 19th century, “drillers” dug deep tunnels there with the help of explosives, while “barrowmen” removed the ore and waste to the mine entrance.
Teenage boys, known as “sorters”, would then break the rock into small pieces to be carried down the mountain. It was dangerous work and there were several fatal accidents, making Zumthor think of his constellation of buildings as a memorial of sorts.
On our cover we feature the work of Formafantasma, created from material collected from Mount Etna (pictured below), which erupted when the design duo visited last November. They describe the volcano as “a mine without miners” and transformed the excreta produced into sculptural vessels, which mix volcanic rock with glass, fashioned from pulverised lava by master glassblowers in Venice using ancient techniques.
We also visited Bjarke Ingels’ new subterranean museum in Denmark, in a dry dock near the castle immortalised in Hamlet, as well as Onkalo in Finland, where colossal excavations are taking place. There the country’s nuclear waste will be stored in special canisters, buried in sealed vaults kilometres underground.
At the time of going to press, there was an explosion in a coalmine in western Turkey, reminding us that people still work in terrible subterranean conditions not dissimilar to the 19th century. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made this analogy, which some thought insensitive, by citing in his government’s defence various mining accidents in Victorian Britain. Stories emerged of unsafe conditions, negligence and exploitation, which resulted in widespread protest and a national strike. 301 workers were estimated dead, and more were still trapped.
IN THIS ISSUE
Milan Furniture Fair round-up with Natalie Du Pasquier, Martino Gamper, Kvadrat and Maarten Baas; Sam Jacob on the sofa in sitcoms, Duque Motta in Chile, Allianz Headquarters by Wiel Arets, Icelandic designer Thorrun Arnadottir
Anatomy of the Bradley Timepiece
Sketchbook: Casamania’s Chariot table by GamFratesi
And 28 pages of the latest kitchen and bathroom design