Excellent Article from Inhabitat.com, Ice Architecture: 6 Incredible Buildings Made From Ice and Snow

Rakks is located just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. During this record breaking winter filled with ice and snow, we haven’t lost our thirst for interesting architecture. When we saw this article on Inhabitat.com from 2010, we had to share what we consider inspiring structures made from ice and snow.

Unique examples include the Hotel De Glace located in Quebec City where guests got cozy in architecturally unique ice rooms and IceHotel in Sweden. In the IceHotel, an electric blue lighting scheme was achieved by cutting grooves into the ice, inserting energy efficient EL wire and then icing the wire to keep it in place. The “Legacy Of The River” suite, was part of a campaign to launch a new line of illuminated furniture and products.

Creative architecture never goes out of style. Read more about Hotel De Glace and other cool places on inhabitat.com.

March 11th, 2015 | Comments Off on Excellent Article from Inhabitat.com, Ice Architecture: 6 Incredible Buildings Made From Ice and Snow

A Creative Oasis for A Writer in New Haven, Connecticut

Andrei Harwell, Architect

The client for this small project is a non-fiction writer, who in relocating from New York City to New Haven had purchased a house with a tiny, one-car, detached garage in the back yard.  The writer needed a quiet, sunny place to work without interruption, and commissioned me to design a conversion of the building to a writer’s studio.

In a building of this size, I wanted to make every new element count. To connect the interior of the studio with the yard, I opened up the corner of the building with a large window and wide, modern, sliding glass doors that could provide lots of natural light and ventilation. A new cedar canopy and porch announce the entry into the studio, mediating between inside and outside by sheltering the door from rain so it can be left open even during a storm.

I was really interested in showcasing the writer’s personal library and wonderful mementos collected during his career and travels, to create personality, intimacy and warmth in the space. The shelving system I developed using the Rakks pole and bracket system provided a contemporary, streamlined “frame” within which all this could be presented. The upper shelves are simple painted pine boards, but to contrast with the machine made aluminum of the Rakks system, a cantilevered, projecting, natural walnut shelf at waist-height provides layout space for reference material or pages of works in progress to be arranged and reviewed. I carefully positioned the shelves in the space and lit them to be visible through the sliding glass doors at night, when the building acts like a lantern, signifying the building’s function from the outside.

To contrast with the modern windows and canopy, the exterior is finished in traditional clapboard, typical of the neighborhood, but painted a saturated, jewel-like purple. Inside, a variable-width walnut feature wall behind the writer’s desk is an homage to the paneled studies of the past, and simple clear Douglas fir is used to trim the windows and as a base.

February 12th, 2015 | Comments Off on A Creative Oasis for A Writer in New Haven, Connecticut

Rakks Gets Into the Game in Minnesota

Board games and puzzles are fun. They have been around forever. They provide a welcome relief from a computer screen and an opportunity to bring families and friends closer together.

If you agree and happen to live in Minnesota, you’re in luck. One of the best game stores in the state is at the Mall of America in Bloomington.

Founded in 1979, Games by James is not only the best but also one of the oldest game stores in the state. When the store was being renovated, owner Glenn McKee realized the primary challenge in redesigning the window and selling floor was to maximize the visibility of selling floor, particularly the front window facing the mall.

He enlisted the help of interior designer Cindy Douthett Nagel, CID of Krech, O’Brien Mueller & Associates an architectural, structural engineering and interior design firm located in Inner Grove Heights, Minnesota. The team was looking for a product to achieve Glenn’s objective. While searching for the right product, they discovered Rakks. “The Rakks shelving system was the perfect solution for our challenge of creating an open front window display while maximizing interior shelf space,” said Glenn.

The Rakks design team recommended using PD6 poles to span the nearly 10-foot high storefront window that supports adjustable shelves on both sides. A series of 4”, 6” and 8” aluminum extruded shelves supported by Rakks Style Brackets completes the system that faces the mall. Inside the store, 18″ deep shelves on Rakks Style brackets allow for maximum visibility of the merchandise on the sales floor.

With the help of Rakks, the designers created a welcoming environment that attracts customers and encourages them to interact with the games and puzzles.

At Games by James, you will find an extensive and diverse selection of family board games and puzzles – something for everyone. So if you happen to be in the area, check it out and don’t miss the opportunity to see Rakks in action.

January 9th, 2015 | Comments Off on Rakks Gets Into the Game in Minnesota

Happy New Year

Happy 2015 from Rakks!

Wishing everyone a happy  new year from Rakks! May 2015 be even better than 2014!

January 1st, 2015 | Comments Off on Happy New Year

Meet Dan Borelli, Director of Exhibitions at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Dan Borelli is the Director of Exhibitions at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) – and a fan of Rakks. Dan holds a Master’s in Design Studies from the GSD with a concentration in Art, Design, and the Public Domain and a BFA in Printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design.

Dan’s GSD career began in 2000 and in 2009, he was promoted to the position of Director. He has managed well over a hundred exhibits on a variety of scales with themes that range from history and architecture to urban design, landscape architecture and contemporary art. Dan’s direction, experience and vision contributed to the success of many of the GSD’s memorable exhibitions including the “Dispatches from the GSD: 075 Years of Design” exhibition in 2011. Rakks was honored to play a supporting role in “Dispatches from the GSD: 075 Years of Design” by supplying customized counter support brackets and stands designed to support the exhibit’s display boxes and tables. Dan has collaborated with Rakks on the following exhibits, which is by no means an exhaustive list as Dan has held on to the Rakks products and continues to use them on a variety of applications throughout the GSD exhibitions program.

Grounded Visionaries: Pedagogy and Practice, 2014

Cartographic Grounds: Projecting the Landscape Imaginary, 2013

Dispatches from the GSD: 075 Years of Design, 2011

Utopia Across Scales: Highlights from the Kenzo Tange Archive, 2009

The exhibition space for the GSD is in Gund Hall. Gund Hall was designed by Australian architect John Andrews, a graduate of GSD. The ground floor entry’s open lobby occupies approximately 4,500 sq.ft.. Exhibits by leading designers, planners and artists from around the world are rotated through the space 5 times during the year.

In 2010 and as part of his Master studies at Harvard, Dan started an art-based research inquiry into the Nyanza Superfund Site in Ashland Massachusetts and its subsequent social histories. In seeking to make these buried narratives public, he is juxtaposing the stories of human impact with the EPA¹s findings on remediation and orchestrating a large-scale lighting project that visualizes the below-grade contaminants of environmental degradation. In July 2014, this project, “Illuminating Futures” was awarded an ArtPlace America Grant.

We thank Dan for his help in the preparation of this blog post.

December 5th, 2014 | Comments Off on Meet Dan Borelli, Director of Exhibitions at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design

A Heavenly Outcome With Rakks Brackets

Guy Campbell, the owner of Shelf Shop Guy Inc., is an exclusive distributor of Rakks brackets and shelving hardware systems, who also designs, sells and installs a broad range of shelving, storage and cabinetry throughout New York and the tri-state area.

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