Monday, October 22, 2012

Ultra-Sleek Hollywood Hills Home

Just when you thought you had seen the sleekest house (like the one featured in Eugene's post about the Santa Barbara pavilion), here comes an amazing one perched on top of Hollywood Hills. It's truly a design to kill for...

All Along the Watchtower

If Marty McFly traveled back from the future and brought back tons of dough, I'm pretty sure he would purchase this triplex penthouse apartment in New York. Overlooking the the Brooklyn Bridge and New York Harbor, the "Clocktower" apartment is on the market for a cool $25 million, more than double the highest price known to have been paid for a home in Brooklyn.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Abandoned Tunnels Underground Wonders

Travel guides mostly do not mention these under ground wonders, creepy tunnels and massive underground systems. Some of these tunnels are only recently opened to public. Some are still impossible to enter and very hard to explore. But this is where the “spirit of adventure” comes in, as multitudes of amateur photographers descend into the unknown to bring back evidence of things unseen.

1. Abandoned Salte Mine in Romania

Turda Salt mine is an old closed salt mine in Cluj Country Romania.
The closed mine has long tunnels, and a deep natural cave. The excavations dug a huge artificial cave, in which you could fit three 10-story blocks. Marius says: “you can play football inside of them; and you enter there by bus”.

Creative bus shelter bus stop designs

Creative bus shelter/bus stop designs from around the world. Making bus wait a fun and making bus wait bearable.

First photo is of beautiful bus stop design from Estonia.

Unusual Jewelry Designs By Margaux Lange

These days you can buy jewelry in all shapes and colors, but what about wearing Barbie’s body parts as earrings, necklace, etc.? Designer Margaux Lange has made a collection of accessories that contains pieces of the plastic princess, everything from breasts to hands. The designer says

Monday, October 15, 2012

Achilles Heel? The Well

The well was like that one weak spot on the Death Star; it was an ultimate source of vulnerability. Sure there were dozens of ways to pour sand and molten substances on oncoming aggressors, and the structural soundness of the castle ensured impenetrability, but if the well wasn’t properly-secured, or if it ran dry, the rest was very useless. Invaders could very well poison the water supply, if left unattended, and virtually guarantee defeat.

Eating Was the Primary Means of Entertainment

The castle was a very boring place. Essentially, all anyone did was stick around making sure nobody touched their stuff. Outdoors, recreational activities included hunting and a whole bunch of combat training. Manly things indeed. Indoors however, it was much more bleak. Chess was one of the few games that did exist in the day, but the number one way to cure boredom was to eat (which people still do to this day). There’d be great feasts full of food and drink (lots of booze), jesters and minstrels. Nowadays, we have T.V. dinners and six-packs. And you don’t need to be of high social standing to enjoy those (and you usually aren’t).

Castles Used to Be Completely Uncomfortable

When you think of a castle, you usually think of lavish amenities and grand-scale poshness, but who cares how big the barn is, when its still slathered in mud and smells like horse manure. Similarly, castles were often poorly lit (the sun came through tiny slits for windows); they were damp; and they had poor air circulation (think of all they body heat circling around the place). After all castles were build primarily for defense; creature comforts were on the back-burner. Eventually however, castles came to be outfitted with pretty rugs and artful stained-glass windows as somebody had the bright idea to make these things livable, and to have the interior be a reflection of wealth as well as the exterior.

There Are 1500 Castle Sites in England

This is according to the Castellarium Anglicanum which is supposed to be the ultimate authority on castles in England and Wales. Note the intentional use of the term “site,” as many of these castles are ruined to the point of invisibility, while over 800 have some remnants, and more than 300 are still standing and structurally intact to a large degree. Also note, there is some debate as to what constitutes a “castle,” as some structures claim to be castles even as they are definitively not so.

Stairs Always Turned Clockwise

Castles were always built with a spiraling staircase that turned clockwise. This was a purposeful design element that served an incredibly practical purpose; the idea was incoming siegers would ascend the stairs, but be given a huge disadvantage in the way of their sword arm, as most people are right-handed. On the other hand, castle occupants descending the stairs would be given the advantage of a staircase designed with their sword-arms in mind. Damned they were though, if they were attacked by an entirely left-handed infantry.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

They Were Built Strictly for Defense

Just looking at all the apparatus and features of a castle gives you a pretty good idea of its purpose: moats, turrets, ramparts, murder holes, gun and arrow loops, etc. Every single one of these design elements was meant to keep enemies out and down. A few that stand out: murder holes were holes in the ceiling through which scalding liquids would be poured on the enemy. Gun and arrow loops were slits out of which arrows could be fired from with little detection. It seemed foolish in any context to even approach a castle without a written invitation

Windsor Castle is the Oldest Still-Occupied European Castle

At about 900 years old, Windsor is still occupied by Queen Elizabeth II (one of the many facilities she calls home). Originally, it was a wooden motte-and-bailey-type castle built by William I as the first in a series of nine castles. Later it was renovated with stones and was given a few additions by way of some outer walls and a round tower by a generous Henry II. Sounds similar to the way every elected U.S. President has added a new feature to the White House (most recently with President Obama’s basketball court). Whatever you can do to call it home…

The First Castles Were Wooden

When the Normans (who came from Normandy, France) came to England almost a thousand years ago, they built wooden motte-and-bailey-styled castles, which were essentially castles built on a mount, whereby low-level residents and enemies at naturally lower altitudes had to hike up sharp inclines to reach the castle itself. While this was a clever way of putting the earth to good use, the walls which enveloped the castle, as well as the castle itself, were made of wood, which could easily be burnt down.

The most uncomfortable features of the castle

This is perhaps one of the most uncomfortable features of the castle, as if the castle weren’t uncomfortable enough; there were no toilets, but rather little constructions called “garderobes,” a hole through which users would aim their waste products, which would ultimate go through shoots which wound up in the surrounding moats. Adding to the wretchedness, these “bathrooms” were often cold and breezy, hardly conducive to progress. Another gross detail: the “garderobe” was called such as residents would keep their clothing inside, as the odor would repel insects (and any human with a sense of smell, most likely).

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Luxurious Outdoor Furniture Designs

There is nothing more beautiful than looking out the back windows of your home and seeing your very own chunk of paradise. Often we pay very close attention to the aesthetics but forget about

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Incredible Transparent Sculpture Of Lexus LFA By Sou Fujimoto

Here is a collection of some incredible photos of Lexus LFA ful size sculpture made by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto. This sculpture is constructed from transparent acrylic boards that have been sanded and polished. The most impressive thing about sculpture is that  its looks so cool as

Most Amazing Sculptures In Spain

Spain is a fabulous country and fantastic tourist destination. You will no doubt find the ideal destination to meet your needs when you go to Spain. Traveling through Spain you see numerous monuments. As you continue traveling you’ll find museums, as well as stunning architecture. Here is collection of some incredible sculpture art around the Spain.

Sculpture In Sitges City

Most Beautiful Churches Around The World

  So let’s take a look at some awesome churches which are absolutely incredible architecture work.

Beautiful Church In Shoreline Connecticut, USA

A Church In Reykjavík, Iceland 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Most Astonishing Staircases

If you love to travel through the world, we sure after having a looking at stunning photographs staircases like Spiral Staircase at Garvan Institute in Sydney, Australia, Spiral Staircase at the Vatican Museum in Italy and Staircase at Lello Bookshop in Portugal you would absolutely like to have your steps on these amazing stairs during your visit of these countries. Lets take a look at ten world’s most amazing Staircases

Vertigo Staircase at the QVB Building in Australia

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Residence Antilia, India

construction has begun on residence antilia despite opposition from those who see it as an ‘excessive’ design in a city where more than 65% of the population live in slums. politics aside and after you recover from the initial shock of seeing a skyscraper that resembles an ikea cd rack, the building actually looks like it may succeed as a stunning, unique, green piece of architecture.

Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Burj Dubai is the tallest man-made structure in the world. The Burj Dubai had its name officially changed to Burj Khalifa during its grand opening in honor of the president of the U.A.E. H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan. The condensation water collected from the A/C system equals to 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools per year and in turn, used for landscaping. Over 330,000 cubic meters of concrete and 31,400 metric tonnes of steel rebar was used at the completion of the tower. The tower is situated on a man-made lake which is designed to wrap around the tower and to provide dramatic views of it.

Gazprom Headquarters, Russia

This gigantic, 300m tall glass flame of a building will house the Gazprom Headquarters in St. Petersburg , dwarfing all structures in its vicinity, it will apparently change color up to 10 times per day depending on the position of the sun. The building has already been nicknamed ‘corn on the cob’ by unhappy locals.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Penang Global City Centre, Malaysia

Asymptote’s design for the PGCC complex is centered on the idea of creating a new and powerful image for the city of Penang and the new initatives associated with the development of the Northern Corridor of Malaysia. The design achieves its elegance and stature through the simultaneous embrace of natural landscapes and contemporary urbanism. The PGCC will become a vital new precinct that complements and enhances the unique characteristics that typify Penang as a remarkable island metropolis. The design of the iconic towers in particular draws inspiration from not only the lushness and drama of the surrounding mountains and seascapes, but also from the rich and diverse cultural heritage that makes up the Malaysian nation and Penang in particular.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Russia Tower, Russia

The Russia Tower is an unfinished supertall skyscraper, the construction of which is cancelled, in the Moscow International Business Centre of Moscow, Russia. Construction began in September, 2007, and was planned to be completed in 2012. The total area of the structure would cover 520,000 m2  (5,600,000 sq ft), of which 38% (approximately 200,000 m2 (2,200,000 sq ft)) would be located underground. The tower would contain 118 floors, 101 elevators, and underground parking to accommodate 3,680 cars. Commercial retail shops would be located at the base of the building. The maximum capacity of the building was projected to be around 30,000.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Songjiang Hotel, Shanghai

Atkins has won an international competition to design a five-star resort hotel set within a beautiful water-filled quarry in the Songjiang district close to Shanghai in China. Its stunning concept designs inspired by the natural water and landscape features of the quarry captured the imagination of judges to quash competition from two other international firms.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Regatta Hotel, Jakarta

Taking on a nautical theme, the developers say the 10 smaller towers represent sailing boats whilst the larger building is ‘The Lighthouse’. It’s the lighthouse that steals the show for us, possibly the most incredible looking structure we’ve seen for a long time. If it ends up looking anything close to these pictures we’ll be impressed.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

CCTV Headquarters, China

The CCTV Headquarters is a skyscraper  in the Beijing Central Business District. The building is the headquarters of China Central Television. Groundbreaking took place on September 22, 2004 and the building’s facade was completed in Jun 2008. Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren of OMA were the architects in charge for the building, while Arup provided the complex engineering design. It stands at 234 meters (768 ft) tall and has 54 floors.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Chicago Spire, USA

Chicago spire will become America’s tallest building by the end of 2010. It has been designed by the well-known Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The 150-floor building is being developed by Garrett Kelleher of Shelbourne Development Group Inc and is expected to be completed in 2010. Access to the tower will be from Lower Lake Shore Drive to reduce the impact on traffic in the neighborhood – the tower is expected to add one car a minute to the local traffic pattern. Within three months of the building announcement, 800 people had contacted the developer wanting to buy apartments in the building.

Aqua Tower USA

Aqua is an 82-story mixed-use residential skyscraper under construction in the Lakeshore East development in downtown Chicago. The name “Aqua” is in keeping with the nautical theme most of the buildings in the Lakeshore East development have: The Tides, The Shoreham, The Regatta, etc. It is currently topped-out at 819 ft (250 m), and will include six levels of parking below ground. The building’s eight-story, 140,000 sq ft (13,000 m2) base will be topped by a 82,550 sq ft (7,669 m2) terrace with gardens, gazebos, pools, hot tubs, a walking/running track and fire pit. Each floor will cover approximately 16,000 sq ft (1,500 m2). Of course construction technologies are advancing extremely fast. Lets see top ten  strange and unique structures of the world which have either been approved or are in the final stages of approval. some have already been partially constructed.

The Winchester Mystery House – San Jose, Calif

Work on this home began in 1884 and lasted through 1922, when owner and designer Sarah Winchester, heiress of the Winchester rifle company, died. At one point, the property sprawled over 161 acres, but has since been reduced to just 4 acres. Winchester was never a huge fan of blueprints. Instead, she preferred an on-the-fly design strategy, sketching rooms and architectural oddities whenever inspiration struck. Notable features include 40 bedrooms, three elevators, 47 fireplaces, 17 chimneys and 467 doorways. The house originally had seven levels, but an earthquake in 1906 collapsed three of them. Tourists now flock to the house to see its many quirks, including a staircase that leads straight to the ceiling.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

222 House – Pembrokeshire, Wales

This house, located within a national park on the southwestern coast of Wales, is sunk into the ground so the landscape remains nearly uninterrupted by its presence. It was completed in 1994 by design firm Future Systems. With turf-covered roofing and siding, the 222 House fits seamlessly into the surrounding field. “This is exemplary sustainable design, where you are integrating the home into the site and minimizing the visual impact,” architect Peter Koliopoulos says. The bathroom and kitchen are prefabricated pods that were lifted into the site during construction. An added benefit of the design concept is the geothermal insulation, which shields the home from wind and cuts energy consumption.

Free Spirit Sphere – Qualicum Beach, British Columbia

This hanging room is the brainchild of Tom and Rosy Chudleigh, a Canadian couple who build these spherical living spaces for customers around the world. The Chudleighs have two spheres hanging on their property: the Eve model, which has a diameter of 9 feet, and the Eryn model, which has a diameter of 10.5 feet. The spheres can be ordered fully loaded, equipped with plumbing, electricity and insulation. An average sphere weighs around 1,100 pounds, and it takes a crew of three about a day to install. The Chudleighs say that the structures gently rock in the wind, a nice thought — depending on just how windy it is.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chameleon House – Northport, Mich

Anderson Architecture completed this home in 2006 atop a hill overlooking a cherry orchard and Lake Michigan. The striking structure took less than eight weeks to build thanks to the use of prefabricated materials. The steel frame of this house is wrapped in corrugated, translucent acrylic slats, allowing it to take on and reflect the changing colors of the landscape, like a chameleon blending into its habitat. Because it sits on a steep hill, the entrance of the home leads to the third floor, letting residents descend to the bedrooms or walk up to the living area.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Lake Palace – Udaipur, India

This relic of architectural days past dates back to 1746, when Maharana Jagat Singh II commissioned it. Nowadays, it is a high-end hotel, outfitted with modern amenities and luxury suites. The ornate palace sits on a 4-acre slab of land in the middle of Lake Pichola. Its exterior is made from white marble, which architect Peter Koliopoulos says isn’t exactly compatible with the natural surroundings. “You always want to develop design concepts that leverage, reinforce and highlight the natural features of the area. The scale and form of this building, though, are pretty obtuse,” he says. “Incorporating the marble just extends the oddity of the design approach.”

Marathon Coach Custom Motorhome

Marathon Coach is to motor homes what Bentley is to automobiles: pure luxury. A brand-new, fully loaded model can go for as much as $2.2 million, though used models can be picked up for less than $200,000. A custom order takes about 180 days to build. For starters, each Marathon Coach has a minimum of five high-definition TVs, ranging from 7 to 50 inches in size. A 515-horsepower engine powers this house on wheels, and the stainless-steel chassis is covered under a 1.5 million-mile warranty. Other wild options include pullout barbecues, electric fireplaces, a second bathroom and a wine chiller. The major drawback is that the vehicle gets only about seven miles to eight mpg.

Amory Lovins’ House – Old Snowmass, Colo

Amory Lovins, co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute and a Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award winner, is no stranger to eco-friendly initiatives, and this combined home and work space is a testament to his ingenuity. The residential section of the building costs a measly $5 per month to power, thanks to the structure’s passive solar design, 16-inch-thick walls and krypton-filled windows. Lovins doesn’t rely on a boiler or furnace to heat the space; instead, two wood-burning stoves take care of the job. But most impressive, perhaps, is the greenhouse, which has churned out nearly 30 crops of bananas, as well as guavas, pineapples and other tropical fruit rarely associated with the Rocky Mountains.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Crooked House of Windsor – Windsor, England

Construction of this house dates back to 1592, but it didn’t acquire its trademark slant until 1718, when the structure was rebuilt using unseasoned green oak. Sure it’s slanted, but what really makes the house stand out is that its basement had a secret passage to Windsor Castle, one of the official residences of the U.K.’s royal family. The passage was allegedly used for trysts between King Charles and a mistress, as well as for running supplies to the castle’s kitchen. The passageway has since been sealed off. Through the centuries, the crooked house has been home to various businesses, including a brewery and jewelry shop. It is now a restaurant.

Klein Bottle House – Mornington Peninsula, Australia

This beach house, which was designed by the firm McBride Charles Ryan, was named the world’s best home at the 2009 World Architecture Festival awards. A Klein Bottle is a complex mathematical concept that involves folding a cylinder into itself in order to create an unusual, spiraling form. This notion was the driving force behind the Klein Bottle House, which appears to bring the interior out to the exterior and vice versa. A steel frame was layered with cement and sheet metal, while the architects created a courtyard at the center of the house to allow wind to pass through easily.

Bubble Castle – Theoule, France

Designer Antti Lovag long rebelled against traditional structures, and the Bubble Castle is a perfect example of his radical approach to rethinking the built environment. The bulbous compound sits on the southwestern coast of France. There are no sharp angles or straight lines in this unusual design. Lovag unified the home with its natural surrounding by bringing outdoor elements inside, including palm trees and a waterfall. “This home is incorporating these outdoor rock croppings in a way that links them to the overall bubble concept,” architect Peter Koliopoulos says. The house has already been deemed a historic monument by France’s Ministry of Culture, despite the fact that it’s not even 50 years old.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Mushroom House – Cincinnati

This was the home and studio of Terry Brown, an architect who died in 2008. Brown, who was a professor at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, built the home between 1992 and 2006, bringing in students, on occasion, to contribute to the project. Undulating woodwork, bizarre shapes and an array of materials come together to form a cohesive, albeit zany, structure. “This isn’t something you draw up and say, ‘Go build it,’” architect Peter Koliopoulos says. “When you’re doing something this custom, you’re fabricating and designing simultaneously in the field.” The fantastical design doesn’t stop at the front door. The interior is adorned with angular cabinets and multicolored rock walls. “This is highly personal and artistic … it’s just a different way of living and thinking,” he says.

Sliding House – Suffolk, England

This traditional farmhouse was created by London-based dRRM Architects with one major mechanical surprise. The 20-ton outer shell of this home can be retracted in six minutes, revealing a second, mostly glass, inner shell. Power comes from four 12-volt batteries that run a motor that pulls small wheels, built into the timber shell, along an old set of railroad tracks. This feature gives the owners control over how the house interacts with the surrounding environment, allowing them to make adjustments as seasonal temperatures and light cycles change.

Subterra Castle – Central Kansas

Ed Pedin purchased this defunct missile silo in 1983, but it took about a decade of renovations to make it a livable home. Pumping out more than 8 feet of rainwater that accumulated while the site was inactive was one of many makeover challenges. Not many homeowners can say their house once stored a four-megaton nuclear warhead. What was once the launch control station, Pedin says, is now a cozy living space. Transforming a nuclear launch pad into a residential castle has lots of benefits, such as an 11,000-square-foot garage and a 1,700-foot-long airstrip, which came in particularly useful when Pedin was experimenting with do-it-yourself ultralight aircraft. Since the completion of Subterra Castle, Pedin has become a mogul of sorts, creating 20th Century Castles LLC, a real-estate firm specializing in converting missile silos.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Steel House – Lubbock, Texas

Artist and architect Robert Bruno has been at work on his steel home since 1974. Bruno has said that he wants the shape of the structure to be somewhere between animal and machine. Most homes have an initial skeleton that is built upon throughout the construction process, but Bruno has approached this home like a sculpture, building it on the fly and making constant modifications. Architect Peter Koliopoulos points out that the four legs and cantilevered design minimize the structure’s impact by not disrupting the earth as much as a typical home design would have. Estimated weight of the structure is 110 tons.

Montesilo – Woodland, Utah

Gigaplex Architects created this unusual and award-winning weekend home in 2006. This house was created by joining two corrugated grain silos, the largest of which has a diameter of 27 feet. “This is an approach that is akin to sustainability,” architect Peter Koliopoulos says. “This silo home is a lot of fun and is a neat way to look at an existing product in a creative way.” With a modest size of 1,800 square feet, the designers saved space by placing the beds in cubbyholes that are cut into walls, each equipped with its own mini entertainment systems.

The Nautilus – Mexico City

This seashell-shaped home was completed in 2006. The stone steps running along the shrubs lead to the front door, which blends into the mosaic façade. Architect Javier Sensonian practices what he calls “bio-architecture,” a style that has led him to design buildings shaped like snakes, whales and several other creatures. The Nautilus was created to imitate the cephalopod’s shell, and its cavernous interior is filled with vegetation and small trees. “It’s not common that you would see a home of this design ascetic,” architect Peter Koliopoulos says. “However, it’s very enlightening and something that we can all learn from.”

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Everingham Rotating House – Taree, Australia

This octagonal house can rotate a full 360 degrees with the touch of a few buttons. A rotating drive consisting of 32 outrigger wheels and powered by two 500-watt electric motors is used to spin the house on demand, a process that can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. Geothermal heating keeps the house at a steady 71.6 degrees, and the electrical wiring and plumbing are centralized so that they don’t interfere with the house’s ability to move. The entire cost of the project was on par with the cost of a nonrotating house of comparable size.

Leaf House – Angra dos Reis, Brazil

The roof of this architectural masterpiece looks like a giant flower with six petals, each of which covers a different section of the home. A curved swimming pool works its way through the house before culminating as a small pond stocked with fish and vegetation in the backyard. Architect firm Mareines + Patalano designed the interior of this house to be free of hallways, providing ample space for the beach winds to blow through. “The idea of hallways stems from production homebuilding, which has so dominated our

Stunning Architecture Photography

A collection of beautiful examples of architectural photography that will absolutely make you amazed. Just scroll down to see some incredible scenic views of the most beautiful structures around the world.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Maxxi, The National Museum of 21st Century Art – Rome, Italy

After 11 years of design and construction, curators at Rome’s new 130 million euro (about $175 million) contemporary art museum may now be wondering what art they’ll install—and how they’ll hang it—in Zaha Hadid’s long, tubular gallery spaces, which overlap each other as they zoom around an old army barracks site like a frenzied highway project gone awry. Early viewers can’t seem to get enough of Hadid’s gravity-defying, frozen-motion theatricality, even as pundits declare the end of the era of architectural spectacle.

Goldman Sachs headquarters – New York, U.S.

Ground was broken on the new headquarters for Goldman Sachs back in November 2005, well before the bank became a focal point for those indignant at Wall Street excesses in the post credit-crisis era. Heavily subsidized by tax breaks, the $2.5 billion building, in downtown Manhattan, rises 43 stories and was designed by Harry Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners to house six trading floors and 2.1 million square feet of office space. As its 9,000 inhabitants finish moving in, speculation is rife about just how posh Goldman’s trappings are, but the company is not drawing attention to swank these days.