Posts Tagged ‘Villa Noailles’

Exhibitions | The State of the Art of the Skatepark

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Magny-les-Hameaux, Île-de-France
Photo Stéphane Ruchaud, 2016

Rue Léon Cladel, Paris
Agence Constructo & Raphaël Zarka, 2012
Photo Stéphane Ruchaud, 2016

Toulouse, Midi-Pyrénées
Photo Maxime Delvaux, 2016

Courbevoie, Paris
Photo Stéphane Ruchaud, 2016

Baumes-les-Dames, Franche-Comté
Photo Cyrilles Weiner, 2016

Bois-le-Roi, Île-de-France
Photo Stéphane Ruchaud, 2016

Architecture Exhibition
Villa Noailles
Hyères | France
21 February > 20 March 2016

Oddly contoured, possessed of an eerie, otherworldly atmosphere, had they been around in the early 20th century, Edward Hopper might have been inspired to paint empty skateparks. Perhaps it was an oversight on his part  – maybe the subject wasn’t sophisticated enough to appeal to his taste – that JG Ballard never constructed a dystopian epic with skateboarding culture as its hub.

Rooted in Los Angeles in the 1950s when surfers, looking for something to surf when the ocean waves were too flat, hit on the idea of taking to the streets on strips of plywood with roller skate wheels attached, skateboarding, having developed into a global youth leisure pursuit –  its sister sport, snowboarding was first included in the winter Olympics in Japan, in 1998 – has been recommended for inclusion at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Early skateboarders called their invention ’sidewalk surfing’, but with lumber purloined from construction sites they also constructed skateboarding ramps in their backyards/gardens. These, together with the curving surfaces of drained swimming pools were the forerunners of today’s skateparks. Skateboarding, therefore, was about the emancipation and creative re-use of existing space, so perhaps the very idea of trying to construct a state-of-the-art skateboard park is a contradiction in terms and British architect Guy Hollaway’s (2015) plans for the world’s first multi-storey arena in Folkstone, based on the premise put forward by the developer that ‘it might stop people leaving because there’s nothing to do there’, probably run contrary to the renegade/make-do/spontaneous ethos of skateboarding aficionados.

One section of the forthcoming exhibition Landskating at Villa Noailles focuses on a photographic commission – from which the images above are extracted – of thirty or so skateparks in France, and another explores the architecture of nine international skateparks. However, the object of the show is to examine the effect of the global proliferation of skateparks on youth culture, urban regeneration and town planning.

All photographs courtesy the Villa Noailles © the photographers

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The Blog is about art, architecture, books, design and gardens, and anything else that currently interests us that we think might interest you.

The Blog’s publishers insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees that may, under any circumstances whatsoever, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier

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Exhibition | The Architecture of Fashion

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Tour LVMH, Manhattan, New York,
by Atelier Christian de Portzamparc, 1995 > 1999

Photo © Atelier Christian de Portzamparc

Six architects for fashion
Villa Noailles
Hyères | France
22 February > 22 March 2015

Mobile Art by Zaha Hadid Architects for Chanel 2008
Top, in Hong Kong, above, in New York
Photos © François Lacour

The Mobile Art Chanel Contemporary Art Container – to give it its full title – Karl Lagerfeld and Zaha Hadid’s touring pavilion, was conceived in 2007 when the design magazine Wallpaper* got the unlikely couple together for a photo shoot. Making its first appearance in Hong Kong in March 2008, the travelling pavilion, showcasing the work of twenty leading international artists, each inspired by Chanel’s quilted 2.55 bag, visited Tokyo and New York before it was given a permanent home in 2011 at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris – designed, incidentally, by another famous architect, Jean Nouvel.

Beneath the heading, ‘Chanel, Hugo Boss, Rick Owens: Fashion’s Latest Muse Is Architecture’, in summer 2014, writer Nick Remsen explained on the website, ‘There’s a certain modishness – and beauty – in the urban blueprint, its pylons and crosswalks and anterooms rife for creative repurposing. I wasn’t particularly surprised, then, to see Karl Lagerfeld close his Emirati resort 2015 show via looks embellished with motifs of the world’s tallest building, the local Burj Khalifa [830m to tip].’ Soon afterwards, Lagerfeld showed Chanel’s fall 2014 couture collection, citing building materials, including concrete, as a inspiration, ‘Le Corbusier goes to Versailles!’ he told Vogue’s Hamish Bowles.

Remarkable and unique as it was, and remains, Mobile Art was not the first instance of a relationship between architecture and fashion, a phenomenon which dates as far back as the first decades of the 20th century – if not further – when opinionated, pioneering, Viennese functionalist architect, Adolf Loos (1870 > 1933), asserted that the naked woman is unattractive to man, and told the world that women dress and ornament themselves to appeal to man’s sickly sensuality. Fervent anti-ornamentalist, Loos, in his book Why a man should be well-dressed, didn’t confine his critical interest in fashion to women. The list of built works attributed to him includes an office building, several villas and houses, a café, a bar, and between 1910 and 1913 he designed the men’s haberdashery Kníže’s second floor, and later its shop front. Oddly, illustrating his story with amusing images of badly-dressed architects and their buildings, Hadley Freeman explained on The Guardian website, in 2008, that architects as a group ‘are just as style-conscious as fashion designers.’ On the other hand, in an interview on the Dezeen site last year, world-renowned Australian industrial designer Marc Newson, who has dabbled in architecture – Azzedine Alaia Boutique, Paris, 2006 – Qantas First Class Lounge, Sydney, 2007 – said, ‘Most industrial designers don’t have a clue about fashion… There’s never very successful crossovers, creatively.’ Putting the problem down to the ‘terrible snobbery’ between the two industries, Newson summed up by saying that the fashion industry was faster, more efficient and more in tune with contemporary culture than design and architecture.

Kris Van Assche Boutique, Paris, by Ciguë, 2013
Photo © Maris Mezulis

In London, Casablanca-born Joseph Ettedgui, who, with his family, established the Joseph brand and retail chain in 1972, achieved success through his ability to spot up-and-coming talent, working with many young designers and architects before they became famous. In the early years, well before the brand was sold and went global, Kenzo Takada, Margaret Howell, Katharine Hamnett, John Galliano and Azzedine Alaïa produced collections of clothes for Joseph, while Norman Foster, Eva Jiricná and Andrée Putman designed the company’s shops and restaurants.

Between 1993 and 1995, British architect John Pawson built the Calvin Klein Collections Store in New York, followed closely by the flagship Jigsaw Store in London. As Archie Juinio observed on the website, ‘Since the ‘90s important changes have taking place in the business strategies for fashion: big groups have bought prestigious fashion houses, while flagship stores have acquired an essential importance in marketing strategies. In this scenario, the architect is called upon and assumes a key role: he or she has to translate their ideas into tangible forms, underlining the brand’s values.’

Before she dedicated herself to the pursuit of stricter, modernist design and architectural ideals – which owed much to Loos and his many followers across Europe – Eileen Gray had designed the art deco front of her Paris furniture and home accessories shop, Jean Desert, in 1922, where wealthy avant-garde patrons Elsa Schiaparelli, and Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles, keen to experience a different kind of living, would congregate. The Noailles would commission architect Robert Mallet-Stephens to design their modernist Villa Noailles in Hyères, the venue for the forthcoming Archimode: Six architects for fashion exhibition, which includes, among others, Zaha Hadid’s Mobile Art for Chanel, Prada Transformer by Rem Koolhaas OMA in Séoul, and the Tour LVMH building by Christian de Portzamparc in New York. It also features work by less well-known contemporary architects, Diplomates, who designed the Boutique Damir Doma, as well as Ciguë’s Boutique Isabel Marant and Boutique Kris Van Assche.

Photos courtesy Villa Noailles

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The Blog is about art, architecture, books, design and gardens, and anything else that currently interests us which we think might interest you.

The publishers of The Blog insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees which may, under any circumstances whatsoever, fall due must be borne by the source supplier

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Architecture | Future Spaces

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Merisiers School Group | Mantes-la-Ville | France
‘What identity should be given
to the
to reveal the identities that compose it?’
Architect: Vincent Parreira

Stories of Spaces for the Future
Villa Noailles | Montée Noailles | Hyères | France
16th February > 23rd March 2014

Architecture, design and education go hand in hand. My elder brother, who began his education in a single-sex, red brick Victorian building, took me to start mine in the adjacent, brand new, single-storey, detached, mixed-sex infants block, with brand new light-coloured wooden furniture and floor-to-ceiling windows that looked out on a playing field surrounded by tall trees. On sunny days, my class and I would enjoy lessons sitting outside on the grass in a semi-circle around the teacher. When my family re-located to another provincial, northern city, I was taught in a simple, pre-fabricated wooden hut, which wasn’t new but for me infinitely preferable, to the main – again – old red brick block my brother was put into, in which the windows were so high it was impossible to look out. While in winter the older children had to suffer clunking and rattling radiators that – when they were working – only heated the person sitting beside them, we had a large wood-burning stove that gave out heat so efficiently that none of us were ever cold. I looked forward to going to school there, I learned a lot and had a lot of fun. All the same, next door, down a grass-covered hill, set at an angle, with playing fields all around sat a completely new modern infants’ school that was affiliated to another religious denomination. I would climb up and hang on the metal grill fencing that surrounded it – meant to keep us out in my mind, rather than them in – watching the comings and goings with envy in my young boy eyes.

When I progressed to senior school, the school had just been built. It was modern, clean, warm in winter, cool in summer, with wide corridors, and large well-lit classrooms that had big windows, with unblemished beech wood desks, and large, innovative blackboards that, rather than standing on easels, like those I was used to, were on rollers and set into the wall. I liked the atmosphere. I felt comfortable there. Pupils of the school tended to do well.

My elder brother went to another senior school then into a trade. Like many of my peers, I elected to go into further education – this meant, however, spending a foundation year in a miserable, converted Victorian red brick school, every room of which the beery fumes from a nearby brewery permeated. Then I struck lucky once more, becoming one of the first year students in a brand new, purpose-built building on a new university campus. Afterwards, going to London to do a master’s degree at The Royal College of Art, I found myself in scruffy graphics department studios, alongside the equally, or perhaps more scruffy fine art and printmaking studios, housed in a rear red-brick annexe of the Victoria & Albert Museum. Luckily for me, however, the course was so loosely structured that I was able to spend much of my time in the inspiringly modern Darwin building on Kensington Gore, with its leafy quadrangle, light and airy library, open-plan refectory and the cool Art Bar, where students and staff from every department interacted and intermingled.

Maria Grazia Cutuli Primary School | Herat | Afghanistan
‘It came out of the blind cruelty of war but offers a vision of peace’
Architects: 2A+P/A, IaN+, maO/emmeazero

Fuji Preschool | Tokyo | Japan
‘A place for observation, experimentation, where they [the children]
acquire confidence in their abilities and manage their daily life
Architects: Tezuka Architects

Makoko Floating School | Lagos | Nigeria
‘A reflection on how to respond to the living conditions
in this territory of 100,000 inhabitants who live on the water’

Architects: Kunlé Adeyami Nlé Architects

Stories of Spaces for the Future, a new exhibition at the Villa Noailles, explores the concept that designing schools equates to ‘founding tomorrow’. It looks at how, by encouraging children to discover, experiment and imagine, each one can be offered the possibility of constructing themselves. Taking as its premise that education was first established as a uniform and carefully calibrated system that took place in standardised buildings, it describes how in recent decades it has changed to allow each child to be himself, to lead him into the outside world in order to encounter and interact with others.

The organisers have selected four teams of architects from France, Japan, Africa and Afghanistan, all of whom have been involved in creating innovative schools, and examines their work under the headings: Schools of desire, Schools of enchantment, Schools of openness, Schools of the possible, in terms of the benefits that can be gained from re-imagined educational environments.

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The Blog is about art, architecture, books, design and gardens, and anything else that currently interests us which we think might interest you

The publishers of The Blog insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees which may, under any circumstances, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier

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Design | Marcel Breuer: Defying Gravity at Villa Noailles

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Marcel Breuer… Sun & Shadow Exhibition
Design Parade 8 Festival
Villa Noailles & Tour des Templiers
Hyères, France
Festival: 5th – 7th July, 2013

Exhibitions at the Villa: 5th July – 29th September, 2013
Exhibitions at Tour des Templers: 6th July – 29th September, 2013

Book: Marcel Breuer à la villa Noailles
Directed by Stéphane Boudin-Lestienne & Alexandre Mare
Available July, 2013

Conference: Villa Noailles gardens, 7th July, 2013

Each summer, as part of the international Design Parade festival and the permanent exhibition Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles, A life as Patrons, the Villa Noailles, focuses its attention on a theme or an artist connected with the famous couple and their modernist villa, designed and built for them by Robert Mallet Stevens between 1923 and 1927. This year, in Design Parade 8 it’s key modernist figure Marcel Breuer’s turn.

Although well known amongst designers and architects, the organisers argue that Breuer (1902-1981) remains strangely unheard of amongst the general public, and that his architecture in particular is overlooked. Their aim, via the forthcoming events at Hyéres, near Toulon on France’s Mediterranean coast, is to raise more general awareness of Breuer’s achievements.

‘Breuer defied gravity, searching for a balance between the stable and the vertiginous, between the functional and the symbolic, between emptiness and fullness, write curators Stéphane Boudin-Lestienne & Alexandre Mare, citing the striking slate tile covered ecumenical chapel in the ski resort of Flaine (1974) and its nearby hotel Le Flaine (1969), which partly overhangs a cliff, as emblematic of the boldness that was a feature of Marcel Breuer’s career.

Only 18 years old when he arrived at the Bauhaus in Weimar, Breuer’s phenomenal talent quickly raised him, in a few years, from student to Bauhaus teacher. The Africa chair (1921), a kind of giant throne, incorporating decorative sculptures, and upholstery from the Bauhaus weaving workshop, was his first finished design. His later experiments in wood owed much to the De Stijl movement, particularly to Gerrit Rietveld’s work. His first real breakthrough occurred in 1925, when, inspired by his Adler bicycle frame, he began designing chairs in tubular steel. At first, he marketed these through Standard Möbel, the company he set up, but licensing agreements with furniture manufacturers such as Thonet, soon followed. Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles were amongst the first to acquire several of Breuer’s radical B3 (decades later named Wassily by Italian manufacturer Gavina) chairs, which they installed at the Villa and in Marie-Laure’s boudoir in their Paris home.

Breuer first ventured into architecture in 1923, with his design for a small apartment block, and in 1925 he devised a single family dwelling in metal – das Kleinmetallhaus. Prefabricated from standardised industrial components, the window and door panels could be hung on a modular frame, allowing the house to be constructed in just three weeks. In 1927, he built prefabricated metal terraced houses for the young masters of the Bauhaus – by now relocated to Dessau and housed in the iconic building designed by Walter Gropius for which Breuer provided folding, tubular steel theatre seating, dining tables and stools for the canteen – including himself, Josef Albers, Hannes Meyer, Herbert Bayer, Otto Meyer-Ottens and Joost Schmidt. The Harnischmacher House (destroyed in WWII), which Breuer was commissioned to design for a rich, private client in Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1932, shows influences from Le Corbusier, whom he had met in Paris some years before.

By 1932 Breuer was creating furniture from aluminum which was to win international competition in Paris. Invited by Gropius, who was already there, he emigrated to London in 1935, becoming involved with him at the Isokon Furniture Company, for which Breuer produced a number of designs in plywood. He continued to experiment with plywood construction after moving to the United States in 1937, where he and Gropius – who had gone there before him – formed a joint studio. However, during the 1940s the two fell out.

Breuer was teaching at Harvard and had built a house for himself in Lincoln, Massachusetts, in 1939. In between designing several private homes, and two further ones for himself, he was set to embark on an epic architectural journey that would see him building an abbey, a convent, and auditoriums for various universities. In the Netherlands, he built a large department store in Rotterdam and the American Embassy at the Hague. He was chosen to design the UNESCO headquarters in Paris (with Pier Luigi Nervi and Bernard Zehrfuss, inaugurated 1958), and in 1960, designed the IBM Research Center in la Gaude, France. He went on to create New York’s Whitney Museum (inaugurated 1966, with Hamilton Smith) and, before his retirement in 1977, he had built the aforementioned ski resort, set up Marcel Breuer Associates in Paris, been involved in numerous important projects, buildings, administrative complexes, large company headquarters, universities, banks, dams, as well as urban housing (ZUP de Bayonne).

Shortly after Breuer’s death in 1981, Furnitures and Interiors, a retrospective exhibition opened at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Robert Gatje and Marion Jossa, who joined Breuer’s New York-based studio in 1953 and 1963 respectively, will be present at the Villa Noailles conference.

Images from top
Zinc plated steel and wood lounge chair
Made by Embru, distributed by Wohnbedarf, 1932
Galerie Mandalian-Paillard
Photo Lothaire Hucki, Villa Noailles

IBM La Gaude, Building 1, 1962
Frontage and supports
Photo Guillemaut, property of MBA

Five B10 tables, Nickel plated steel. Black laminated wood top
Made by Thonet, circa 1927
Galerie Mandalian-Paillard
Photo Stéphane Briolant

Ecumenical chapel, 1974, Flaine ski resort
Photo Guillemaut, property of MBA

Lounge chair
Made by Isokon, 1936
Marc Hotermans and Galerie Mandalian-Paillard collections
Photo Lothaire Hucki, Villa Noailles

Marcel Breuer in his third house,
New Canaan, Connecticut, circa 1975
Photo Knoll International

B3 / Wassily armchair
Nickel plated metal, Eisengarn fabric
Made by Thonet, 1931-32
Galerie Mandalian-Paillard
B9 table (variation)
Made by Standard-Möbel, circa 1927
Marc Hotermans collection
Photo Lothaire Hucki, Villa Noailles

B3 ‘Wassily’ armchair and B9 nested tables
in the vicomte’s outdoor bedroom at Villa Noailles
Photo Thérèse Bonney, published in Art & Décoration, August 1928
Villa Noailles collection

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The Blog is about art, architecture, gardens, books, design and anything else that currently interests us which we think might interest you

The publishers of The Blog insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees which may, under any circumstances, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier

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Architecture | 9 X 9 | Villa Noailles

Friday, February 10th, 2012

9 Architects / 9 Proposals for Living
Villa Noailles, Hyères, France
19th February – 25th March, 2012

The slick photography and artistic impressions – like those above – that appears in architectural magazines or online, commissioned by the architects with a view to amazing us all  – often with due cause – is as close as the public are ever usually allowed to get to architect-designed, one-off homes. The idea behind this Villa Noailles show is to try to provide visitors with a revealing peep behind the scenes. And the exhibition setting is perfect; designed in 1923 and inhabited from 1925, the Villa Noailles was one of the very first modernist homes constructed in France. Now a cultural centre, the original villa, built for Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles by the architect Robert Mallet-Stevens, who first came to prominence as a film set designer, exhibits the founding tenets of the rationalist movement: practicality, absence of decorative features, flat roofs, terraces, light, hygiene, while also managing to resemble an ocean liner perched on top of Montée Noailles, a steep-sided rocky outcrop above Hyères, not far from Toulón in the south of France.

Museum director Jean-Pierre Blanc and associate curator, architect and writer Florence Sarano, the duo responsible for last year’s Iwan Baan: 2010 Around the World – The Diary of a Year of Architecture at Villa Noailles, chose 9 buildings in Europe designed by 9 different architects, or architectural practices, and minutely examined each. Their aim was to explore the universe of the architect, to look closely at, in each case, the trains of thought, the processes of creativity and the architect/client relationships that led to the realisation of the unique final building, then to put it all on show. Visitors will see sketches, plans, photographs, models, texts and 9 films, through which they can weave and navigate their own way, comparing and contrasting each case scenario.

See also Dada’s Cubist Garden featuring photographs taken at the Villa Noailles

Typography and montage above by Pedro Silmon

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Look out for The Blog’s posts on art, architecture, gardens, books, design and anything else that interests me and I think might interest you

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Dada’s Cubist Garden

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Hyères 2011. 26th International Festival of Fashion & Photography
Festival ends today. Exhibitions continue to 29th May,
(NB Villa Noailles closed from Tuesday 3rd to Thursday May 5th included)
Villa Noailles, Hyères, Var, France.

Erwin Blumenfeld, Powder box,
study for an advertisement, circa 1944
© The Estate of Erwin Blumenfeld

Daniel Sannwald, 032c, 2010

The journey had taken almost two hours. I had driven there on a whim from Nice, where I was staying, but the Villa Noailles was closed to visitors that day. Despite all my best efforts, I was unable to blag my way in. I would have liked to have seen the shows. It was totally my fault and, let’s be honest, unprofessional of me not to have contacted the Villa’s press people beforehand. I should at least have checked the opening times. I had gone there, however – it was outside the area of my itenerary – not specifically to see the exhibitions. Having arrived I had wanted to look around the early modernist house, built by architect Robert Mallet-Stevens for art patrons Arthur Anne Marie Charles, Vicomte de Noailles and his wife, Marie-Laure Bischoffsheim, between 1923 and 1925. But the real reason behind my visit was to see the triangular cubist garden designed by Turkish-born Gabriel Guevrekian, its Turkish designer who had worked with Joseph Hoffman in Vienna and was later to work with Le Corbusier

A selection of images by pioneer of creative photography between the wars, Erwin Blumenfeld’s work forms part of the this year’s festival exhibitions at the villa. Born in Berlin, Blumenfeld was a participator in the Dadaist movement and was to become an ardent denouncer of the Nazis. After having begun working for French Vogue in 1940, he was imprisoned in several concentration camps before escaping to the US in 1941, where his collaboration with Harper’s Bazaar – where Alexei Brodovitch was art director – which had started in 1939, continued until 1944. He subsequently worked for US Vogue and was, at the time, reputed to be the most highly-paid photographer in the world. Fashion Photography: Erwin Blumenfeld was published in January 2011 by Phaidon.

A more contemporary contributer, also born in Germany – in 1979 – and producing experimental fashion and beauty photography, Daniel Sannwald’s work is sometimes hauntingly surrealistic and at other times, vividly expressionistic. Sannwald works with numerous numerous magazines, amongst them: Dazed & Confused, i-D, L’Officiel Paris,Vogue Hommes Japan, and V magazine. He has photographed projects for Louis Vuitton, Nike, Loewe, Adidas, Replay, and Shiseido. His book, Pluto and Charon was published in February 2011 by LuDIoN Editions.

… I had struggled to get the car to climb the steep hill to the villa, perched high above medieval Hyères, and was pleased that my journey had not been wasted. Neither the garden – though a little scruffy – nor the exterior of the villa – rather unsympathetically extended – disappoint. My pictures, below, appeared in Germany’s prestigious architecture and living magazine Architektur & Wohnen; some of these also formed part of a major feature, illustrated exclusively with my photographs of the gardens of the Cote d’Azure, which appeared in the UK edition of Condé Nast Traveller.

Have you visited the Villa Noailles?
What did you think of it?

Please leave a comment

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