Pimar Wins Award for Restoration of Ancient Italian Walls

For those looking to travel to Italy this summer, make sure to visit the town of Lecce in the country’s southern Apulia region. Filled with gorgeous cathedrals and historical sites, the city has an “oOld-w World” feel to it — especially now that the Parco delle Mure Urbiche, the city’s ancient walls, have now been restored.

The Italian limestone manufacturing company Pimar recently won first-place for its restoration of Parco delle Mure Urbiche in the city of Lecce during the City Brand & Tourism Landscape Symposium on June 20, 2019.

In the restoration of the ancient city walls located in Lecce, Pimar collaborated with architect Patrizia Erroi from the Historic Center Office of the city of Lecce. Both aimed to enhance the value of an archaeological area in a harmonious relationship with the landscape, while making it fully accessible to the public.

The international design recognition is promoted by the National Board of Architects, Planners, Landscape Architects and Conservation Architect and International Magazine PAYSAGE TOPSCAPE, in collaboration with the Milan Triennial, which hosted the inauguration ceremony its Hall of Honour.

Within the framework of the rehabilitation of urban space, Pimar stood out for being a “well thought-out requalification project focusing on the restoration of the historic city walls, which unveiled an unprecedented scenery in Lecce.”

The restoration of the Mura Urbiche made exclusive use of Pimar natural stone. Thanks to the restoration works, the walls are now perceived — together with the moat and the rock outcropping unearthed by the archaeological dig — as a single stone landscape having intrinsic figurative and formal qualities. The restoration work performed on the 16th century fortress also brought to light a Roman road, dating to between the 2nd and the 3rd century BC, which continued to be used until the 16th century.

The detailed and laborious process granted Pimar the first-place award at the symposium. With this recognition, the association reasserted its commitment to the promotion and development of landscape architecture on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the first course of studies in Landscape Architecture.

For decades, the flying car has been an expectation of the future. Now the Switchblade is turning this vision into a reality. The Italian-inspired, three-wheeled, carbon-fiber flying car is a high-performance vehicle both on the ground and in the air.

By Alyssa Gautieri

Sam Bousfield, the founder and creator of the Switchblade, equivocates the dynamic vehicle with a time machine. “When you have the capability to fly and drive in the same vehicle at any point on your trip, it opens up all kinds of avenues and places that you could go,” he says. “You can get somewhere so much faster and save tremendous amounts of time.”

 

Bousfield, who first came up with the idea for the Switchblade in 2007, wanted to make flying more useful and to transform flight into an everyday, trouble-free activity. “[The Switchblade] reduces all the worry
involved with travel,” he says. “It makes everything much easier. There are two systems and you can use one or the other, whichever is the best for where you’re going when you’re going.”

 

The Switchblade is named after its retractable wings, which swing out from beneath the vehicle like the blade of a pocket knife. Designed with convenience in mind, this automated transition from automobile to aircraft takes only 45 seconds.

 

Samson Motors of Central Oregon, creators of the Switchblade, designed and redesigned the vehicle to ensure a balance between luxurious aesthetics and function. “We have raised the form, the art of the Switchblade, as high as we could in quality but not past the point where it interferes with the function,” Bousfield says of the decade-long process.

Photos courtesy of Samson Motors, Inc.

While many vertical take-off and landing attempts require new infrastructure, the Switchblade combines the use of current road and airport systems. “The system that we are using is very freeing and enabling,” Bousfield says. “I see [the Switchblade] as a transforming element in society because it allows such greater freedom in personal and business travel.”

 

The dynamic vehicle can travel through the air at over 200 miles per hour because of its aerodynamic shape. On the ground, the vehicle is capable of significant speed as well. “We will have fun investigating just how fast that is,” Bousfield says of the vehicle’s potential speed. “We have already exceeded 100 miles per hour with our full size, full weight ground prototype.”

 

Designed with speed in mind, a ground prototype out-performed a Jaguar XK8 in head-to-head acceleration testing. The Switchblade, which is expected to make its first public flight in the spring, also has the power-to-weight ratio of a 2017 Corvette.

 

Bousfield believes the Switchblade will change the way in which people travel. “Flying should become something not to be feared,” he says. “I hope that more and more people begin to visualize themselves being able to fly. I do see that in the future, more people will.”

 

Samson Motors hopes to begin deliveries of the Switchblade by the end of 2018. The base model will sell for $140,000, while custom-designed versions will begin at $500,000. 

 

It’s no secret that Italy — home to many admired artists, designers and architects — has produced a range of beautiful artistry. So it’s no surprise that today’s Italian-crafted furniture continues to bring unique elements to any home, from bathroom to kitchen to outdoor living areas.

By Alyssa Gautieri

Machinne Volanti

Designed by Italian artist Piero Fornasetti, these hand-painted tile designs feature bright and whimsical patterns like balloons, planes and ships. Inspired by the frescoes that Fornasetti painted as a young man in his bedroom, Hastings Tile & Bath’s Machinne Volanti is reflective of Italian artistry. “We work very hard to find artisans and manufacturers whose products are unique — and unlike anything else you would find here in North America,” said Kevin Mashia, the director of tile products for Hastings Tile & Bath. “We certainly feel that the Fornasetti collection of tiles is the perfect embodiment of our continued mission.”

Photo courtesy of Hastings Tile & Bath

Gloss Black Appliances

ILVE is embracing the re-emerging kitchen design trend — black appliances and finishes — with its new Gloss Black color option available in the Majestic Collection of ranges and hoods. Known for its handcrafted Italian appliances, ILVE’s Gloss Black finish continues to bring luxury to life. “The Gloss Black finish is so rich, it adds a layer of elegance, drama and sophistication to the kitchen,” said Melissa Haber, director of sales and marketing for EuroChef USA. With more than 220 colors, three trim options and four leg options, this collection is truly customizable.

Photo courtesy of ILVE Appliances

Hexa Stools

Twentieth presents Lebello’s Italian-crafted Hexa Stools, which are available in a range of hexagonal shapes and colors, as well as three sizes and two heights. While they bring life to outdoor areas, these stools also use a knit-tech fabric and Breath-Air foam to provide extraordinary outdoor softness and elasticity. Twentieth’s Founder and Director Stefan Lawrence called the sophistication of the fabric an “incredible advantage.” “The stools may look ordinary from a distance, but the uniqueness lies in its knit-tech fabric,” agreed Lars Dahmann, Lebello’s founder and brand manager. “I find the product very striking. It’s a harmonious balance of innovative materials with a simple design approach.”

Photo courtesy of Lebello

This story originally appeared in Unique Homes Summer 2017. 

Click here to see the digital version.

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