Archives for category: ARCHITECTURE

 

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On the shores of the Songhua river sits the newest project from MAD. A 79,000 sq/m petalled building housing a massive theatre and a more intimate performance space. The curvaceous lines mimick the marsh landscape but cut in stunning white aluminium and glistening glass.

 

 

via MAD’s sinuous Harbin Opera House completes in China.

Coming on the heels of tiny living, this charming, little home comes to us from that centre of funlandia, Portland. A luxurious jewel box of a caravan, this 12 square metre space includes ALL the amenities one will need to ‘live it rough’. Voice activated door locks, smartphone operated climate controls and high-end fixtures like stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops and bamboo floors certainly take things up a notch. At least for a getaway, it certainly is a home-away-from-home. All starting at $56,000 US.

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Created by the late, great swindler James Whitaker Wright (9 February 1846 – 26 January 1904), this underwater ballroom was part of his estate at Lea Park, Surrey, England. One of the great Victorian magnates, he tragically died swallowing cyanide, whisky and a last cigar at his trial for fraudulently floating stocks and bonds. An incredible space that evokes as much mystery today as it must have back in the day when he hid from the authorities…
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Taking height to the absolute limit, Seoul is proceeding with the 450m infinity tower, the world’s first “invisible” tower. Designed by GDS architects, it will feature various cutting edge Korean technology such as 18 weatherproof optical cameras that will generate an invisible viewpoint for pedestrians and an elaborate LED System for flashing away birds or appearing to passing planes as it will be situated near the Incheon airport. Emissions of low frequency will also do the same job. The facade will be made of 28m triangular structures.it will feature open air sections to relieve wind resistance and other treats include photovoltaic cells, a wind turbine and geothermal energy. Not bad!GDSinfinity-1

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This poetic structure is in the bustling Hiroshima centre and is the work of Hiroshi Nakamura, a disciple of Kengo Kuma. It has a 92 sq.ft. optical glass brick wall supported by steel frames that acts as an acoustic barrier and backdrop for internal drama. There is a garden pond with glass bottom that over looks the entry, allowing fluid light into the downtairs area. An entire wall is hung with a sputter coated metal curtain. Pure poetry.
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This micro dwelling,The Bunkie, caught my eye. Yes, it’s small but charming with 2 beds that unfold from the wall AND ceiling (see pic). By BLDG Workshop/608 Design of Ontario, Canada. A little place to get away…at least at the foot of the garden.
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Cadaval & Solà-Morales was founded in New York City in 2003 and moved to both Barcelona & Mexico City in 2005. The studio operates like a laboratory to create intelligent design solutions at many different scales. The studio has won numerous awards including the prestigious Bauwelt Prize (Munich 2009), the Young Architects Prize from the Catalan Institute of Architects (Barcelona 2008), the Design Vanguard Award (New York 2008) a Mention of Honour for Young Architects from the IX Spanish Architecture Biennale (Madrid 2007), The Silver Medal of the XI Mexican Architecture Biennale (Mexico 2010) and the Prize of the Ibero American Architecture Biennale (Cadiz 2012).
With echoes of Norman Foster’s 1968 house, this x-shaped concrete house with a rooftop pavilion hangs over the edge of a hillside in Barcelona, Spain, maximizing natural daylighting on the interior as well as the view. X House is a two-story home with four glassed-in triangular recesses that create its distinctive shape.
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From the Netherlands, Leigh, Kappelhof, Seckel, van den Dobbelsteen Architects (or www.lksvdd.nl for short) have renovated a little 1928 church in Haarlo with a whimsical and clean approach that is quintessentially Dutch.
Gutting the structure, they have placed a tub on the mezzanine, a staircase using the original flooring and a host of other charming treats like a roof lawn and faux grazing sheep. I admit, I have a weakness for high gables, steeples and gothic arch windows…
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Why settle for one building when you can have a dozen seemingly piled on structures that entertain as well as take advantage of differing views and interesting inner spaces? The following are a round up of contemporary examples from some rather distinguished architectural firms.
Dutch studio MVRDV’s proposal for a 400-metre skyscraper in Jakarta.

VitraHaus by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron.
Tokyou Apartment by Sou Fujimoto Architects.

Shelter of Nostalgia by Worapong Manupipatpong (Polehouse)
Zaandam-hotel-by-Wilfried-van-WindenPhotographs are by Roel Backaert.

The 89 m2 Insta House, designed by MAZIAR BEHROOZ ARCHITECTS, is available in the U.S. and comes with sliding windows, electrical fixtures and all wall, ceiling and floor finishes. The basic is US$99,800, including delivery and the upgraded Insta House is created from four recycled shipping containers (two on top of two) to create a high-ceiling, low cost home ready on site in 7 days! It is the winner of the AIA PECONIC DESIGN AWARD.
The Insta_House* recycles four 40′ by 8′ shipping containers (two on top of two) to create a comfortable, high-ceiling, low cost alternative to conventional construction. The units are retrofitted in a factory-setting. delivered to locations within the continental US and erected in a week.
Insta_House is the only pre-fab of its kind in the market: recycled material, high-ceiling, low-cost. It can provide multiple uses including art studio, living space, work-shop and relief housing.
Source: http://www.mbarchitecture.com/instahouse/


This Jules Verne fantasy is to be found in Fiji and contains 25 amazing suites. One enters from a lift. This along with a bar, gym, spa, meeting room, chapel, lounge and more…a lot more for a very hefty, 30,000$ for a week for 2! There are, naturally, home versions. Well, if you have to ask, it’s too $$$. See POSEIDON




Set in the lovely city of London, this micro space is used for a video artist containing an interior and exterior projection screens and darkroom. It has a mezzanine floor with triangular skylights for a very lofty ambience. All photos by Michael Franke.

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German architectural studio Slawik has designed a prefab home that fits into the size of a standard shipping container. It is made in wood as to be warmer, easily and cheaply repaired as opposed to metal.
With a small base footprint of just 7 m2 (75 ft2), the HomeBox differs from traditional container homes by being upright rather than horizontal. The base measures approximately 2.9 m by 2.4 m (9.5 ft by 7.9 ft) and thus the home is a standard international dimension ready to transport round the world for one of may purposes. The public (dining+kitchen) are on the ground floor, bedroom on second and lounge with view on third. Another addition can be attached on top as well! Lane homes, anyone?
The HomeBoxes will soon be available for purchase with a starting price of approximately €25,000 (US$32,500).
http://www.slawik.net/



Although I am an advocate for starkly modern, never-done-before architecture, I still have a soft spot for the comfort and cosiness of stone houses as a place to get away from the world. Here is a sample of such dream house of Bob and Kate Horgan of Maine. The commissioned the Knickerbocker Group who did an excellent job of retaining period features. The property includes a main house with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and a bunkhouse with 1 bedrooms and 1 bath with the main structure covering a surface of 1,570 square feet.



Milan’s architectural firm, Santambrogiomilano, has come up with a new line aptly named, Simplicity. It is a collaboration between founder Carlo Santambrogio and designer Ennio Arosio that features iconic furniture pieces, beds, sofas and bookcases, all encased within an amazing concept home complet with architectural elements such as staircases and kitchens, all executed in ‘extraclear’ glass. As the briefing states:
‘SIMPLICITY is realized in extraclear glass by Saint Gobain, tempered and stratified, named Diamant for its
characteristics of extreme purity and brilliancy. It is interpreted in a unique way with the use of important
thicknesses (30 mm) and treated with special technical procedures to guarantee total security.’
Amazing result for the ultimate exhibitionist.




In an ongoing analysis of tiny, simple and functional homes/spaces, we begin with this beach hut from New Zealand. Crosson Clarke Carnachan Architects is an Auckland based architectural practice and has won numerous architectural awards locally and internationally. They have designed a monolith of weathered planks that opens to reveal a 2 storey interior, complete with porch. At 40 sq m (431 sq ft) in size, the “Hut on Sleds” sleeps up to five (having a children’s room with triple-stacked bunk beds). The roof terrace harvests rainwater, feeds it into tanks and then to faucets/showers. A wood-burning stove keeps the chilly nights cozy. Nice. see: CROSSON CLARKE CARNACHAN Photography by Jackie Meiring



OK, I know it’s been covered already but the sheer beauty of the concept and execution merits another posting. The mirror cube at the Treehotel in Harads, Sweden is a 4x4x4 of reflective glass with a pale plywood interior that is simple and cozy. With incredible views, it has a futuristic yet harmonious monolithic quality hovering amongst the trees…book at TREEHOTEL


Nestled in the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh, architects Vo Trong Nghia Co., Ltd have created another in the series of vertical gardens, this time as a private house. This lithe white tower is imbued with complete privacy and yet feels like it is immersed in nature, a fine combination for urban living. See other equally fine projects at: Vo Trong Nghia





Although it has opened to mixed reviews, there is no question the skyline in London has changed dramatically with the new 310m high Shard building by starchitect, Renzo Piano. Western Europe’s tallest building, it is a vertiginous vision of gleaming glass with the inclusion of the UK’s first Shangri-La hotel alongside residences, office space and the top floors designated for public viewing. A dynamic addition to the centrepiece of futurist architecture that is the city center. See TheShard.com