HTSI editor’s letter: home is where the car park is
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Where do you park your car? Mine is currently on the street, not quite outside the window, quietly accruing a patina of bird poo and autumn leaves. As with most people who live in the city, my car’s resting state is rarely glamorous – mostly I’m just grateful to squeeze into any available space. This week’s property issue, however, takes a very different attitude as Mark C O’Flaherty talks to the carchitects who have turned the humble garage into a focal point in the home. The results are slightly bonkers but nonetheless spectacular. I marvel at people who regard their vehicles so reverentially they have decided to park their favourite wheels next to their kitchen, or mount them on spiral slopes.
But even the most quotidian of items must be for someone the subject of a lifetime’s work. Take Christian A Petersen, for example, proud descendant of a seven-generation business in Denmark and who calls himself the “Armani of brickmaking”. Bricks have been Petersen’s abiding passion even before he entered the family firm as a young school leaver. Petersen Tegl is today one of the few remaining brickmakers on a fjord that once sustained a thriving industry, and his artisanal offering has contributed to some of the most architecturally exciting projects of the modern age. He gives Michael Booth a tour around the factory to show us why his products are among the world’s most “beautiful”, and, perhaps more importantly, what makes his bricks so hygge.
The word hygge might not conjure thoughts of bricks for many people. But speak of cabins, and the word seems very apt. In another of our property stories, Ruth Bloomfield has looked at the latest trends in mountain living and discovered that the Heidi cabins of popular mythology are today more likely to recall Bond lair-style concrete blocks. She looks at the most exciting new architectural projects and reviews our new appetite for life among the peaks.
As for our cover, it’s always fascinating to spend any time with Bernard Arnault. I was granted an hour’s audience while visiting Paris in July. But what always strikes me in our conversations is his beady focus, his voracious schedule and ambition, and his no-nonsense clarity of thought. He wanted to build the best hotel in Paris, and with the Cheval Blanc he might have done just that. He offers HTSI a very exclusive tour around the building first conceived in the Roaring Twenties, along with an assurance that the good times will shortly roll again.
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