Echoes from the Past: James Wright’s Estate

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. AnContinue reading “Echoes from the Past: James Wright’s Estate”

The Sky’s the Limit: Seoul’s Infinity Tower

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 orContinue reading “The Sky’s the Limit: Seoul’s Infinity Tower”

Hiroshi Nakamura: Architectural Haiku

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 overContinue reading “Hiroshi Nakamura: Architectural Haiku”

Ma Petite Maison: BLDG Workshop/608 Design

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.

X Marks the Spot: Cadaval + Sola-Morales

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 theContinue reading “X Marks the Spot: Cadaval + Sola-Morales”

Lofty Ideals: Church Redesign

From the Netherlands, Leigh, Kappelhof, Seckel, van den Dobbelsteen Architects (or http://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 charmingContinue reading “Lofty Ideals: Church Redesign”

Miles and Miles of Piles: Stacked Structures

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. VitraHausContinue reading “Miles and Miles of Piles: Stacked Structures”

Insta-House: Just Add Dirt

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 aContinue reading “Insta-House: Just Add Dirt”

The Poseidon Adventure: Underwater Resort

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 toContinue reading “The Poseidon Adventure: Underwater Resort”

Home Sweet Homebox: Studio Slawik

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 byContinue reading “Home Sweet Homebox: Studio Slawik”

Cozy Retreat: Maine Coast

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 didContinue reading “Cozy Retreat: Maine Coast”

I Can See Clearly Now: SantambrogioMilano

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’Continue reading “I Can See Clearly Now: SantambrogioMilano”

The Beach Hut: CCC Architects NZ

In an ongoing analysis of tiny, simple and functional homes/spaces, we bgin 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, completeContinue reading “The Beach Hut: CCC Architects NZ”

Mirror, Mirror: Treehotel, Sweden

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 qualityContinue reading “Mirror, Mirror: Treehotel, Sweden”

The Urban Oasis: Ha House

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 4-storeys, 20m deep and imbued with complete privacy and yet feels like it is immersed in nature, a fine combinationContinue reading “The Urban Oasis: Ha House”

The Sharp End: The Shard London

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 andContinue reading “The Sharp End: The Shard London”