Tag Archives: Architecture

Futuristic view of London’s skyline

What will London look like in 20 years?

With 200 high-rise towers planned for London over the next 20 years to meet the city’s growing population, London‘s skyline is undergoing rapid changes.

Futuristic view of London’s skyline

A new exhibition examining this transformation has been announced for April by New London Architecture, London’s Centre for the Built Environment.

London’s Growing… Up! will explore the transformation of the cityscape since the introduction of skyscrapers in the 1950s through a series of images, models and construction videos, using iconic structures such as the Barbican and Centre Point as reference points for setting new precedents.

Famous buildings such as the Gherkin and The Shard will also be examined for the impact they have had in the city, and visitors will be able to see what London will look like in 10 years’ time as the capital’s developers focus on growing upwards rather than outwards.

The interactive exhibition will let visitors decide which buildings should and shouldn’t be allowed in the city, fast-forward and rewind the capital’s skyline and even import landmarks from other cities around the world. The results will be captured and posted on to the NLA’s Twitter feed.

London’s Growing… Up! is a free exhibition which will run April 3 – 12.

The Saint Martins Lofts, London

The Saint Martins Lofts is a new development in the former Central Saint Martins Art School building on Charing Cross Road in London WC2.

The Saint Martins Lofts

The redevelopment of the iconic building into the residential project The Saint Martins Lofts, comprising 13 high-end apartments, will be kicked off by Marc Péridis, 19 Greek Street Director and Saint Martins alumnus.

Péridis will oversee the interior styling for one of the apartments to showcase the reincarnation of the building. It will be available to view from May.

The Saint Martins Lofts Balcony

“I remember with such intensity the time spent at Central Saint Martins as a design student,” said Péridis. “We want to bring that energy and emotion in the apartment at The Saint Martins Lofts, celebrating not only the heritage of this very special building, but also London’s ability to continuously reinvent itself, breathing new life into objects, buildings and entire urban areas.”

The designer’s show flat will feature unique design pieces from Nina Tolstrup of Studio Mama, 3D pioneer Dirk Vander Kooij, Chilean gt2P and Australians Super-cyclers, among others.

The Saint Martins Lofts London

Originally opened as The Saint Martins School of Art in 1939, the Charing Cross building will be transformed into the luxurious residence by award-winning architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. The loft-style apartments will include duplex properties with original Crittall windows and lateral apartments with terraces, while interiors throughout will be chosen by Darling Associates.

Crescent house Wallace Cunningham

The Crescent House by Wallace Cunningham

The Crescent House, an $11.75 million beachfront stunner designed by architect Wallace Cunningham, is on the market for the first time.

Crescent house Wallace Cunningham

The 7,500-square-foot home is situated on 100 feet of ocean frontage in Encinitas, a seaside village of San Diego County.

Made of concrete, steel and glass, the 6,500-square-foot home has four bedrooms, and four full and two half bathrooms.

Crescent house

When visitors enter the home, the first thing they see is an infinity pool shaped like a crescent moon—hence the home’s name. The pool wraps around a circular terrace, which is accessed by a curved ramp.

The home’s design was inspired by the moon and the views from the home’s perch on a sandstone bluff some 80 feet above the ocean.

Crescent house living room

Much of the ocean-facing side of the house is floor-to-ceiling glass intended to maximize light and water views.

The home also has terraces off the living room, office and master bedroom. There is an elevator, a two-car garage and a gym.

Crescent house bedroom

Frank Lloyd Wright house

Frank Lloyd Wright’s house to travel 2000 kilometres

A 1950s family house in New Jersey, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright but endangered by flooding, is moving 1,200 miles (nearly 2,000 kilometers) to start a new life in Arkansas.

Frank Lloyd Wright house

The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, opened in 2011 by the Walton family of Walmart fame, has acquired the Bachman Wilson House that was built 60 years ago in Millstone village.

The museum didn’t say how much it paid for the 2,000 square foot residence that reflected Wright’s signature Usonian design philosophy, but its sellers had reportedly put it on the market for $1.5 million — moving costs included.

Bachman Wilson House

Wright, who died in 1959 at the age of 91, had been asked to design the low-slung house when he was engaged in creating one of his best-known buildings, the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

But it had sustained flooding from a nearby river so often over the years that its architect-owners put it up for sale in 2012 on condition that the buyer preserve it, contents intact, at a new and drier location.

Bachman Wilson House Frank Lloyd

Crystal Bridges said it would reassemble the house on its 120 acre (nearly 50 hectare) grounds, where visitors will be able to tour it from 2015.

The Shard

Shard Developer Plans Residential Tower in London

The developers behind The Shard in London are planning to build a 27-storey, luxury residential tower next to the iconic skyscraper. It will house 150 high-end apartments.

The Shard

The new apartment building will be designed by Shard architect Renzo Piano. It will include a total of 160,000 square feet of residential space and will also feature retail space.

The latest planned addition to the capital’s increasingly high-reaching skyline, the new building is set to be located just west of the Shard and south of the Place, on London’s Fielden House site.

The Shard skyscraper was awarded the title of 2013 Best Tall Building Europe by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat this week.

Jean Prouve 8x8 house

One-room prefab house on sale at Design Miami for $2.5m

A one-room house designed by French architect Jean Prouvé has gone on sale for $2.5 million after being displayed in public for the first time at Design Miami. The ‘8X8 Maison Demontable’ was designed in 1945 as part of the post-war boom in affordable, mass-produced housing.

Jean Prouve 8x8 house

Now only two of the original 8 x 8 meter constructions are thought to remain in existence: this one and the one used by Prouvé as his office, which is now officially a historical monument in Nancy, France.

8x8 house

The house is being sold by the Galerie Patrick Seguin in Paris and offers are currently being considered.

Jean Prouvé was a 20th century architect known for his innovative work with metal. He produced prefabricated houses, building components and facades and furniture for the home, office and school.

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren to restore Parisian art school

Ecole des Beaux Arts

American fashion designer Ralph Lauren is set to come to the rescue of the famous art school, the École des Beaux-Arts, with a multi-million dollar gift to help restore the site in Paris’s Latin Quarter.

Acccording to WWD, funds have been set aside for major updates to the school’s main auditorium, which features a 90-foot (27-meter) mural by French painter Paul Delaroche, as well as modernizing the website with updated e-learning and online content.

The designer, who usually presents his collections during the Mercedes-Benz fashion week in NYC, is also rumored to be preparing a runway show for October 8. The gala show and dinner, set to take place just after the Paris S/S 2014 presentations, would mark Lauren’s first ever European show.

Back in 1998 Lauren gave $13 million to the Smithsonian Institution to preserve the famous ‘star-spangled banner’, the now 200-year-old flag which inspired the US national anthem.

Los Angeles Airport Gets Swanky New Terminal

When the Los Angeles International Airport opens its newly renovated terminal in August, passengers will travel through one of the most technologically advanced and splashiest airports in North America.

During a recent preview of the Tom Bradley International Terminal, 10,000 Angelenos got a taste of the $1.9 billion overhaul which includes interactive multimedia experiences splashed on giant LCD screens, monumental art installations, fine dining restaurants helmed by local celebrity chefs like Michael Voltaggio and Suzanne Goin, and strips of luxury retail shops inspired by Rodeo Drive.

The new terminal was designed by Fentress Architects, the same firm behind the multi award-winning Incheon International Airport in South Korea.

Tom Bradley International Terminal

Greeting inbound passengers arriving at LAX will be a giant 80-foot tall Welcome Wall created to ‘refresh’ tired passengers’ senses with visual displays of flowing cloudscapes and the LA shoreline.

In the Great Hall, a Story Board measuring 120 feet (37 meters) will feature a variety of ‘ambient narratives’ including visuals that take passengers on virtual tours through destination cities, panoramic images of Los Angeles and evocative still images of nature.

Multimedia experience LAX

The centerpiece of the terminal, meanwhile, will be the 72-foot (22-meter) tall digital Time Tower, an interactive motion-sensitive structure that reacts to passenger movements. Though designed to tell time as a world clock, it’s also meant to “reveal time” as part of the travel experience.

The newly renovated terminal will also offer passengers substantially more dining and retail options than its previous incarnation.

Bon Voyage Wall

With 31 dining outlets — three times more than before — the new terminal will provide a mix of local and global flavors including gourmet sandwich creations by LA celebrity Michael Voltaggio (winner of US reality TV series “Top Chef”) and and James Beard Award winner Suzanne Goin.

High flyers can also sip on bubbly and nibble on caviar at a new champagne bar.

And in a nod to one of the most famous shopping strips in the US, Rodeo Drive, the new terminal is also billed as a premier retail destination, with 36 outlets including LA brands like Fred Segal and Kitson.

Time Tower LAX

twister tower

Dubai inaugurates world’s tallest ‘twisted’ tower

cayan tower dubai

Dubai has inaugurated the world’s tallest twisted tower built at a cost of $272 million, setting yet another record for skyscrapers and other engineering marvels.

The 310-metre, 75-storey residential Cayan Tower is twisted at 90 degrees from top to bottom and was inaugurated earlier this week in Dubai Marina — a man-made canal overlooking the Gulf.

Developer Cayan Real Estate Investment and Development Company said 80 percent of its residential units have already been sold. Construction began in 2006, but was delayed due to major technical problems and the 2009 economic downturn in Dubai triggered by the global financial crisis.

The tower was designed by Chicago-based Skidmore Owings and Merrill, the masterminds behind Burj Khalifa, which is the world’s tallest tower and also in Dubai.

Dubai twisted tower

penthouse Residences W Hollywood

W Hollywood penthouse on market for $45 million

penthouse Residences W Hollywood

The 15th-floor penthouse at the Residences at W Hollywood in Los Angeles is on the market for $45 million.

The 25,000 sq. ft. penthouse has four bedrooms, eight bathrooms and 340-degree views of the Hollywood Hills, downtown Los Angeles, Century City and the ocean.

It includes a ballroom that can fit 250 people, a wine room and wine vault, a screening room with LCD projection, a solarium, a gallery and a pub-style tap room.

The nearly 4,000-square-foot master suite has a fireplace, entry foyer and oversize walk-in closet and dressing room designed to look like a Ralph Lauren store, says Richard Robertson III, the apartment’s architect.

The unit also includes a fitness center with an attached beauty parlor, a library, 17 valet parking spaces and a reception area with separate women’s and men’s powder rooms.

Mr. Robertson says he designed the space, which is still raw, to emulate the golden era of Hollywood with a streamlined Art Deco look.

The owner can work with Mr. Robertson and interior designer Sue Firestone to customize the penthouse or bring in his or her own designer.

Sixty percent of the 143 units in the W Hollywood residences, which range in price from $800,000 to $3 million, are sold as of early May.

Via WSJ PropgoLuxury

penthouse W Hollywood

Hermès Pavilion at BaselWorld 2013

hermes pavilion baselworld 2013

La Montre Hermès joined forces with architect Toyo Ito to create its BaselWorld 2013 pavilion located in the heart of the venue.

Its design is a testament to Hermès’ values: craftsmanship, a commitment to work carried out by hand and to the noble elegance of natural materials, and an appreciation of precision and innovation.

Toyo Ito has imagined a two-storey box measuring 34 metres long and 19 metres wide, with a total area of 1,040 sq.m. Its steel framework is clad with 624 wooden strips, some straight, some curved.

hermes pavilion baselworld 2013

These interlocking slats form an outer mesh, and this façade covers a second inner structure made of wood, glass and metal. Between these two “skins”, 167 plants form a corridor of greenery.

The design is organic, brought to life with movement akin to the swell of the sea. It appears to tremble in the wind. Its skin of wooden slats, hanging like a skirt, moves with broad and dynamic undulations.

With its entrance positioned in the corner, the pavilion appears to cut through the waves like the bow of a ship. As they enter, visitors will sense the serenity of the atrium. A staircase in wood and metal takes visitors up to the mezzanine. Naturally dyed fabrics, so evocative of the world of Hermès, line the spaces like the bark of a tree, giving them a sense of warmth and intimacy.

hermes baselworld 2013

Finally, glass cases dotted around the edge of the room and within display Hermès latest watch-making creations. Blossoming like metallic flowers, they take their place in the perpetual creative cycle.

Hermès booth at Baselworld 2013 is located at Hall 1.1, Booth B55 – Source: Cosmone.com.

hermes baselworld pavilion lounge

venice grand canal

Benetton launches megastore on Venice’s Grand Canal

Fondaco dei Tedeschi

Venice has given permission for one of its most famous buildings on the Grand Canal to be converted into a Benetton ‘megastore’ amid fierce protest from conservationists. The Fondaco dei Tedeschi, a 13th century palazzo, was bought by the international clothing retailer for 53 million euros in 2008.

Despite promising to spend millions to restore the crumbling facade, the company faced strong opposition from heritage campaigners who claimed it would damage Italy’s ‘historical identity’.

According to the Dailymail, thousands of tourists stop every day to take photos of its magnificent facade, once painted by 18th century landscape artist Canaletto.

Benetton have enlisted the services of Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas to turn it into a shopping centre and public area inside the building’s 10,000 square metres of floor space.

fondaco dei tedeschi venezia


The 10 most beautifully designed new restaurants


Restaurants spanning Doha, Paris, Berlin and Vietnam have made Architectural Digest’s top 10 list of the most beautifully designed new eateries in the world.


Chosen for “going beyond the ordinary,” the magazine shines the spotlight on recently opened dining destinations such as The Troll Wall in Romsdal, Norway, which does an architecturally admirable job of competing against its stunning backdrop, a location set against the highest vertical rock face in Europe.


At the foot of the towering slate grey Norwegian mountain, a pyramid-like structure of dramatically angled glass walls rises out of the ground – angled so as not to impede any sight lines to the sky.


Other restaurants that got an AD nod include the Astor Grill at St.Regis Doha, a steak and seafood restaurant where guests are greeted with a striking 5-meter tall, curved, silver sculptural art piece that wraps around the entrance wall.


Philippe Starck-designed restaurant Ma Cocotte, located in the biggest and most famous flea market at the edge of Paris the Marché aux Puces Saint-Ouen, was also singled out for its eclectic interior, furnished with vintage and modern finds from the surrounding minefield of antiques.

ma cocotte restaurant

And French chef Michel Roux’s Vietnam outpost La Maison 1888 at the International Danang Sun Peninsula Resort also made the list for its stunning, contemporary take on French Colonial architecture.


Guests take their seats on opulent Louis XVI-style chairs, and dine on classic French dishes in a clean, black and white setting with leafy green plants which never let diners forget they’re in tropical Asia.


Other addresses which made the top 10 list include NoMad and Atera in New York; 5-Cinco, Berlin; Brasserie Zédel in London; Volkshaus Basel in Basel, Switzerland; and French Blue in St. Helena, CA.

NoMad Hotel Bar

kingdom tower

Saudis Set to Build Kingdom Tower

kingdom tower

The record for the world’s tallest tower is set to be broken yet again… The new skyscraper will measure one kilometre high and will be located in Saudi Arabia.

Mace, the firm behind London’s now famous Shard, will build the skyscraper in a joint venture with construction company EC Harris in Jeddah.

Plans for the tower, known as the Kingdom Tower, were announced 18 months ago, but Mace, the builders of the Shard and construction company EC Harris were only named as the firms behind the tower’s construction on February 21.

The tower will reach a height of 1,000 meters, nearly 3 times the height of the Shard and would overtake the Burj Khalifa in Dubai as the world’s tallest skyscraper.

The Kingdom Tower will be the centerpiece of the $20bn Kingdom City urban re-development project taking place in the north of Jeddah by the Red Sea.

According to Mace, the Kingdom Tower will serve as “a mixed-use building featuring a five-star luxury Four Seasons hotel, Four Seasons serviced apartments, first class office space, luxury condominiums and an observatory that will be higher than the world’s current highest observation deck.”

Construction will take five years and is expected to begin by the middle of this year.

highest towers

3D Printed House

Dutch architect to build house with 3D printer

3D Printed House Amsterdam

A Dutch architect has designed a house “with no beginning or end” to be built using the world’s largest 3D printer, harnessing technology that may one day be used to print houses on the moon.

Janjaap Ruijssenaars, 39, of Universe Architecture in Amsterdam, wants to print a Mobius strip-shaped building with around 1,100 square metres (12,000 square feet) of floor space using the massive D-Shape printer.

The printer, designed by Italian Enrico Dini, can print up to almost a six-metre-by-six-metre square (20-foot-by-20-foot), using a computer to add layers 5-10 mm (a quarter to half an inch) thick.

Ruijssenaars says the building could serve as a home or a museum and would have parts usually made from concrete printed using broken up rocks and an emulsion binding, while steel and glass would provide the facade.

“It’s our ambition to have the first printed house, this printer has made art or objects for sea defences, but this is the first time to build something that can be lived in,” he told AFP.

Ruijssenaars said the plan was not initially to print the building but the hi-tech medium turned out to be the most appropriate.

“We started to ask the question if a building can be like the landscape, in order to make a building that would not harm the landscape, or at least learn from the landscape,” he said.

“We analysed that the essence of landscape is that it has no beginning or ending, so it’s continuous, not only the fact the world is round but also water goes into land, valleys into mountains, it’s always continuous.”

The Mobius-strip shaped result bears a striking resemblance to the art of another Dutchman, 20th-century designer and illustrator M C Escher.

“In this design he’s definitely been an inspiration, I would say he’s the king of Mobius strips in drawing,” Ruijssenaars said.

When trying to make a small model of the building, Ruijssenaars realised that whatever material you use, from paper to lead, “you have to make a strip and then bend it in order to make this Mobius strip.”

“But with a 3D printer, even a small model, we could make the whole structure from bottom to top without anyone seeing where it is beginning or ending,” he said.

Working with Dutch mathematician and artist Rinus Roelofs and Dini in Italy, “we put the whole thing in the computer,” the architect said.

A Brazilian national park has expressed interest in the building, which would cost around four million euros ($5.3 million) to construct, the architect said, or it could be built as a private home in the United States.

The project would take around 18 months to build and the printer “might be active for half a year,” Ruijssenaars said.

“The challenge is demonstrating that it’s possible to print real buildings in 3D and affirm that there is a new way to manufacture buildings,” Dini, 50, said by telephone from Italy.

Dini, who gave up his well-paid job in robotics designing prototypes for the footwear industry to build his monster printer, said that 3D printing of buildings remains a hybrid process with other building techniques for reinforcement.

“And it’s about being competitive with other construction techniques,” he said.

One advantage of using printing is that you can easily build-in empty spaces for plumbing and electrics — and that you can use rocks found in situ at the construction site, which could be almost anywhere.

“The great thing about the printer is that you can take it somewhere and then print with the ground you find on location,” Ruijssenaars said.

“So you could take the printer to the moon, assemble it there and print with moon material.”


Dubai: land of the tallest, largest and the mosts

burj khalifa photo

News that the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, the tallest hotel in the world, will be opening the doors to its dining rooms for guests next month is a reminder of Dubai’s many architectural and engineering wonders.

Check out some of the city’s world record holders, including the largest indoor ski resort, the tallest building and the largest shopping mall in the world.
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