The Hudson Company + architect Amee Allsop
This year, The Hudson Company has been closely following the inspiring work of New York based, Australian-bred architect Amee Allsop.
As you can see from the photos above, Amee has a distinct approach to architecture which she describes as 'an amalgamation of the city and the sea' - a theme she has developed as her career has taken her from the South Pacific coastline to New York City. With design experience in these two juxtaposed contexts, Amee is continually inspired by the contrast of wide open landscape and dense verticality.
With each architectural endeavor, Amee's design process considers space, proportion, light and materiality whilst working closely with the client and building site. For Amee, quality materials and craftsmanship are both of central importance so that her designed spaces do not feel 'disposable' but, rather, timeless and inspiring. In the spirit of Australian living, Amee's work elevate the simple and beautiful essentials of living - such as a bathtub in an open bedroom - and embodies a minimal lifestyle, rich in tactual details.
This summer we asked Amee to create a custom mood board for us and then share some insights into her creative process as well. Here are our 5 Questions with Amee Allsop...
5 QUESTIONS WITH ARCHITECT AMEE ALLSOP
Tell us about the items included in your mood board, what's their origin story? And, is there one item that's a favorite?
The origin of these materials is, for the most part, a mystery to me. And I think that is really what makes them so beautiful to me. Mostly, they are found objects: a lump of concrete right off the street, a sample of metal work from a SOHO workshop, some shelled walnuts from the corner store, a few elegant bits from the art supply shop, and then there's this gorgeous handmade copper spoon (which I've always been so curious about).
But my favorite object has to be the photo of my son’s squishy bum. The photo was taken when he was newborn and it sits on my desk and reminds me that everything I do is not for me, it’s for the future.
How do you use mood boards in your professional work?
Honestly, I don’t always use mood boards when I'm designing because materiality tends to evolve over the course of a project. But there is always a need for a starting point, and so, in putting together a mood board for The Hudson Company, it all started with the wood flooring sample.
In my work, I tend to use contrasting materials in a way that makes them feel like they belong together: raw steel with smooth marble, copper and linen, walnut and oak. I feel like it's a way to use tension to create harmony. For this mood board concept, I was drawn to the character of this Select Harvest White Oak [Capella Finish] and how it was perfectly imperfect.
There are so many places to go for inspiration these days: books, blogs, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc. What sources do you typically or consistently turn to?
That's true, these days, there are almost too many places to go for inspiration. So, the challenge becomes about reduction. When it comes to things that inspire me on a regular basis, I’m often surprised and challenged by tailored clothes and personal style, by the arts and also by traveling.
I recently travelled to Scandinavia and was inspired by the street lamps, signage, and grate drains in the streets there - they stood out to me because they were so different to what we have here in NYC. It those little things that you don’t see photos of on the internet everyday that tend to catch my eye and challenge me to think in a new way.
When it comes to design, how do you feel your Australian background has influenced you?
Growing up in Australia gave me a love for the sea and the indoor/outdoor lifestyle; since it is such a young country it is not bound by many archetypes. It was there that I learned to find beauty primarily in functional forms, rather than in decoration. And yet, this is really contrasted with the New York City aesthetic and its history of industrial ornamentation, which is also so inspiring. I suppose I’m still on an ever-evolving journey of finding the harmony between 'The City and The Sea.'
Why did you chose this particular Hudson Company flooring as the background for mood board?
When I visited The Hudson Company Showroom in Brooklyn, this particular flooring was just begging to be touched. When I first noticed it, I didn't know anything about the Select Harvest White Oak [Capella Finish] but it looked to me like it was from some really old tree that had had a good, long life and now was given a new life as a carefully crafted and functional object.
You can learn more about Amee work on her website and you can follow her creative journey on Instagram. All Amee Allsop Studio photos provided by Amee herself. All mood board photos by Gentl and Hyers.
Learn more about Select Harvest White Oak [Capella Finish] here.