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August 24, 2012


The material’s many forms explored in a beautiful monograph from Phaidon

Concrete-1.jpg Concrete-2.jpg

From the Pantheon to the Hoover Dam, concrete has literally shaped the civilized world as we know it. Although once referred to as “the cheapest (and ugliest) thing in the building world” by Frank Lloyd Wright, concrete’s adaptive properties have propelled it to the forefront of many design movements from brutalism to modernism, being used in some of the most monumental structures the modern world has known. Giving the simple building material the proper recognition, Phaidon has announced “Concrete,” set to release 3 September 2012.


The 240-page monograph celebrates the material in 175 structures including Wright’s iconic Fallingwater residence, Oscar Neimeyer’s extraterrestrial-inspired Niterói Contemporary Art Museum and other inspiring works by the likes of Zaha Hadid, Le Corbusier and Arne Jacobsen

Concrete-Japan.jpg Concrete-Japan-2.jpg

Following an introduction by architectural and design authority Leonard Koren, “Concrete” continues to touch upon eight themes; form, texture, juxtaposition, landscape, light, mass, presence and scale. The division of the monograph follows these themes with stunning imagery and short descriptions, including each structure’s designer and place and date of construction. While the categories divide, a visual narrative joins the works by way freedom of imagination—nothing ascribes to what one may be call typical.


Often labeled as cold and sterile, the most basic of manmade building materials is here shown in a multitude of environments both welcoming and imposing. From the formidable fortresses of Cold War-era Eastern Europe to fluid structures in South America, the uniquely adaptive material tends to take on the emotion of its surroundings. In either design direction however, the result becomes beautifully intriguing.


Set to be published 3 September, “Concrete” is available now for preorder directly from Phaidon andAmazon for $50.


Bridge Transformed into Giant LEGO Bricks by German Street Artist MEGX

July 16, 2012 1 Comment

Bridge Transformed into Giant LEGO Bricks by German Street Artist MEGX

A plain old overpass was designed to look like giant LEGO bricks by MEGX, a street artist whose graffiti is really quite beautiful. The 250-square-meter bridge in Germany went from bland concrete into one of the coolest things we’ve ever seen. Think it’s photoshopped? It’s not…

Bridge Transformed into Giant LEGO Bricks by German Street Artist MEGX
Photo by MEGX

The Wuppertal, Germany bridge was a blank canvas before MEGX began painting it last year to give it the illusion of stacked, colorful LEGO building blocks. This wasn’t some overnight graffiti bomb — authorities and sponsors helped MEGX create the giant mural over the course of four weeks. Totally legit.

Bridge Transformed into Giant LEGO Bricks by German Street Artist MEGX
Photo by Lukas Pauer

Bridge Transformed into Giant LEGO Bricks by German Street Artist MEGX
Photo by Lukas Pauer

Bridge Transformed into Giant LEGO Bricks by German Street Artist MEGX
Photo by Rolf Dellenbusch


Bridge Transformed into Giant LEGO Bricks by German Street Artist MEGX
Photo by Rolf Dellenbusch

Top photo by Rolf Dellenbusch.

Dubai Water Discus hotel will allow guests to sleep underwater

May 9, 2012


It seems the construction boom in bustling Dubai is far from over – already home to several world record-holding projects, including the tallest building (for just a little while longer), the largest shopping mall and biggest man-made island, plans are now afoot to construct what will likely be the world’s largest underwater luxury hotel, the Water Discus. Several years ago, we reported on another such ambitious project,Hydropolis, which sadly never got past the blueprint stage. If Polish company Deep Ocean Technology’s (DOT) plans come to fruition, however, guests could one day find themselves asleep beneath the waters of the Persian Gulf.

Istambul Airport Lounge

April 1, 2012

Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge by Autoban Airport Lounge Arcades Shaping An Intricate Design

The Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge has recently been opened at the Ataturk Airport International Departures in Istanbul – a feast for the eyes. Featuring intricate shells built inside the airport hall, the modern airport lounge was designed by Autoban. Daily, 2000 people can walk through the 300 square meter CIP Lounge.  Designed ” to transmit the “Contemporary Turkey Experience” to Turkish Airlines passengers “.
Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge by Autoban 2 Airport Lounge Arcades Shaping An Intricate Design

Arcades and round skylights – some adorned with huge lights – create a stunning effect: “The main structure, established by making use of the traditional architectural arcade system, consists of a combination of global forms. These plain spheres create interior combinations by dividing the place into sections, allowing transitions between them.” The shells have different functions – restaurant, tea garden, library, movie theater or rest rooms – and provide a sense of continuation moving through the spaces. Details like the intricate pattern shells and light-pierced black channels hiding electrical systems and mechanic features in the merging points of shells make the whole design display a fresh, bold and welcoming design.

Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge by Autoban 3 Airport Lounge Arcades Shaping An Intricate DesignTurkish Airlines CIP Lounge by Autoban 4 Airport Lounge Arcades Shaping An Intricate DesignTurkish Airlines CIP Lounge by Autoban 5 Airport Lounge Arcades Shaping An Intricate DesignTurkish Airlines CIP Lounge by Autoban 6 Airport Lounge Arcades Shaping An Intricate DesignTurkish Airlines CIP Lounge by Autoban 7 Airport Lounge Arcades Shaping An Intricate DesignTurkish Airlines CIP Lounge by Autoban 8 Airport Lounge Arcades Shaping An Intricate DesignTurkish Airlines CIP Lounge by Autoban 9 Airport Lounge Arcades Shaping An Intricate Design

Chivalrous Chocolate Pricing: The Anthon Berg Generous Store Accepts Good Deeds as Payment

March 21, 2012

Generosity is one of the basic elements in human happiness. However, research shows that just 1 in 10 people experience generosity from others. We would like to help change that trend, by doing something more than just giving chocolate.

For one day only, Anthon Berg opened “The Generous Store”. It was the world’s first chocolate shop where you couldn’t pay with cash or card, but the promise of a generous deed to a friend or loved one. If you did not make it to the shop, visit where the generosity continues.

The music to this film is from the energetic Danish trio of girls Nelson Cam. For further information and the original song, visit

Visit Anthon Berg at or

LEGO offices

March 5, 2012

Conceived and designed by the architects of Rosan Bosch and Rune Fjord, this office is the ideal concept for LEGO employees asto discover new business development in Billund, Denmark.

The University of Applied Arts in Vienna Architecture contest

March 5, 2012

Austrian architect Wolfgang Tschapeller has won a contest to reform the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, with proposals that include climbing the facade, stairs and giant balloons.

LEGO Sydney Opera House

February 27, 2012

Danish architect Jorn Utson’s world renowned design of the Sydney Opera House will be the next model in the LEGO architectural series to be released. The Opera House is just one of about 12 famous buildings to be scaled smaller to be a part of the series. Other building kits in the series include work by influential architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, and Mies van der Rohe.  The Opera House serves not only as a monumental construct for Australia but internationally as well. The unique design has brought spectators from all corners of the world to revel in its beauty.

STARBUCKS by Kengo Kuma

February 20, 2012

Continuing his fascination with the most rudimentary of building materials – the Kapla-like wooden block – Kengo Kuma has completed what is probably the world’s most idiosyncratic Starbucks Coffee in Tokyo.

The architect explains that location determined his unusual approach, which is reminiscent of traditional carpentry. The Starbucks is situated on the street that leads to Dazaifu Tenmagu, a shrine dedicated to a Japanese deity. Kuma says he did not want the cafe to appear detached from its setting.

Kuma used 6cm square blocks, which he suspend while giving them a functional role as part of the ceiling support. The blocks intersect obliquely, suggesting branches in a forest. The architect wanted to suggest that Starbucks is nestling in a tree.

The best reason for using wooden blocks, Kuma adds, is that they are recyclable. ‘You can dismantle the building and reassemble it somewhere else,’ he says.

Photos courtesy Kengo Kuma.

via @tonymiranda_

The Bike Shelf by Knife & Saw

February 16, 2012

“I always imagined I would be an architect when I was younger because I was nerdy enough to enjoy the math and science portion of school while also being really interested in art,” says Chris Brighamof Knife & Saw. But when college came around, one decision led to another, and after graduating with a fine arts degree, Brigham found himself staring into the screen as a graphic designer for “one of the many doomed dot-coms of the time.”

After hopping from one start-up to the next (one of them being Google), Brigham couldn’t suppress his architectural streak any longer. No, he did not return to the throes of design school. Instead, he turned his garage into a wood shop. “With that,” says Brigham, “Knife & Saw was born.” Brigham’s intuitive reverse engineering and affinity for minimalist design led him to build the Bike Shelf. Weighing in at 15 pounds, built out of solid black walnut or white ash, and starting at $299, the Bike Shelf is the slimmest and by far the most affordable of the bike-rack-bookshelf hybrids we’ve surveyed. With a Bike Shelf affixed to your wall, you can keep your bike indoors by slipping it into the level slot and plop your helmet, keys, or your collection of rare books right on top. Order yours here.

MOLESKINE : Inspiration and Process in Architecture

January 20, 2012

published Moleskine Inspiration In Architecture And Process(Inspiration and Process in Architecture), a new series of illustratedmonographs devoted to key figures in contemporary architecture.In this new collection includes Zaha Hadid, Giancarlo De Carlo,Bolles + Wilson and Alberto Kalach, whose stories are told byunpublished notes and drawings. The collection focuses on styleand craftsmanship of the creative process, that first step consistsof sketches and drawings. Each volume has a different perspective on the world of design. It includes sketches, doodles, watercolors and personal notes for each of the designers.

Inspired by the classic style of the printer Giambattista Bodoni, the new series has a new cloth, hard cover and paper back color to match the band. They remain the hallmarks of Moleskinenotebooks, rounded corners, elastic closure and inside pocket.The pictures inside are printed on glossy paper.

Rietveld landscape/ atelier de lyon: bunker 599

January 19, 2012

‘bunker 599’ by dutch firms atelier de lyon and rietveld landscape is a project
which lays bare two secrets of the new dutch waterline (NDW), a military line
of defence in use from 1815 until 1940 protecting the cities of muiden, utrecht,
vreeswijk and gorinchem by means of intentional flooding.

a seemingly indestructible bunker with monumental status is sliced open.
the design thereby opens up the minuscule interior of one of ndw’s 700
bunkers, the insides of which are normally cut off from view completely.
in addition, a long wooden boardwalk cuts through the extremely heavy
construction. it leads visitors to a flooded area and to the footpaths of
the adjacent natural reserve. the pier and the piles supporting it remind
them that the water surrounding them is not caused by e.g. the removal
of sand but rather is a shallow water plain characteristic of the inundations
in times of war.

the sliced up bunker forms a publicly accessible attraction for visitors of
the NDW. it is moreover visible from the a2 highway and can thus also be
seen by tens of thousand of passers-by each day. the project is part of
the overall strategy of rietveld landscape / atelier de lyon to make this
unique part of dutch history accessible and tangible for a wide variety of

client: DLG (the dutch service for land and water management)
designers: rietveld landscape/atelier de lyon

Grace Santorini Hotel

January 16, 2012

photo ©Erieta Attali

Name of project: Grace Santorini Hotel
Project address: Imerovigli, Santorini 84700, Greece
Architects:  Divercity & mplusm
Principal Architects: Divercity – Nikolas Travasaros //  Mplusm – Memos Filippidis / Marita Nikoloutsou
Dates of design: 2007-2008
Dates of construction: 2008- 2009
Total plot area: 1,033.72 m2
Total building area: 621.23 m2
Client: Grace Hotels Group
Interior Designers: Divercity & mplusm
space consultant: Sophia Vantaraki
Photographers: ©Erieta Attali & ©Serge Detalle

photo © Serge Detalle

Breathtaking, picturesque, stunning… all words that are commonly used when describing the Greek Island of Santorini.   Known as the “honeymoon” island, visitors come from all over the world for the legendary sunsets and steep cliffs that lead down to seemingly untouched beaches.

photo ©Erieta Attali

The deep blue water of the Aegean and white architecture set the stage for the Santorini Grace, a luxury boutique hotel carved into one of the island’s many majestic cliffs. Housed in the traditional and unassuming architecture of the Cyclades Islands, the Santorini Grace looks identical to its surrounding neighbors on the outside with its  traditional yposkafa buildings (concrete white, cave-like, with rounded edges and dome shaped roofs). The interiors are carved out of the same single slab of whitewashed concrete providing curved alcoves, benches, storage, bed platforms, and tables, eliminating the need for most furniture –but that wouldn’t be much fun, would it?  Curved modern chairs, hourglass-shaped side tables, and flat screen televisions are some of the chic finishing touches found throughout the guest rooms.

photo ©Erieta Attali

It is true, the modest exterior of the Santorini Grace is a nod to the traditions of the Cyclades, while the interior can be best summed up in one word: posh.  Not posh in the traditional sense of the word (there are no opulent chandeliers or ritzy sculptures, no marble floors or gold trimming), but rich by nature, privileged by its organic surrounding environment.  The elegance of the whitewashed walls is intoxicating.  Lush seating areas and two infinity pools are bathed in the luxurious afternoon light that reflects off the Aegean.  Pick any lounge chair and you have the best seat in the house.

photo ©Erieta Attali

photo ©Erieta Attali

photo ©Erieta Attali

There are 20 rooms total at the Santorini Grace and all face the same direction for optimal views.  Some have private plunge pools, some are honeymoon suites with his and hers sinks in the bathroom.  The hotel is sprawled out over several different levels playing on the “cave” aesthetic. While there are nooks and alcoves for privacy, there is a general communal vibe amongst everyone lounging by the pool, or the bars, or in the restaurant. Low key opulence is the tie that bonds here.

photo ©Erieta Attali

photo ©Erieta Attali

photo ©Erieta Attali

Only recently opened in 2009, The Santorini Grace has already been given many accolades and awards: Shortlisted in theRestaurant & Bar Design Awards 2011, Included in Tatler Travel Guide‘s 101 Best Hotels in the World, 2011, Shortlisted for The European Hotel Design Awards, 2010, Selected for Conde Nast Traveller’s Hot List of the World’s Best New Hotels, 2009, and at the World Travel Awards, it won Greece’s Leading Boutique of 2009.

photo © Serge Detalle

photo ©Erieta Attali

photo ©Erieta Attali

London Fieldworks

January 14, 2012

Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven by London Fieldworks

Super Kingdom // Image Courtesy of London Fieldworks

Rural and remote locations with profuse green spaces, which work as refuges in a highly populated city like London are hosting some magical artistic installations. Spontaneous City In The Tree Of Heaven is one of these sculptural installations commissioned by Up Projects and created by London based artistic duo Jo Joelson and Bruce Gilchrist, known as London Fieldworks.

Super Kingdom // Mussolini // Image Courtesy of London Fieldworks

Super Kingdom // Stalin // Image Courtesy of London Fieldworks

Several Hundred bespoke bird boxes are carefully placed on two Ailanthus Altissima trees, also known as the tree of heaven and “aim to provide both a sculptural work to be enjoyed by the public and an architecture that would be accessible to the birds,” the artists explain.   Spanning from Duncan Terrace Gardens in the East side of London to Cremorne Gardens in the westSpontaneous City expanded on themes from an earlier London Fieldworks project “Super Kingdom” a series of animal show homes modeled on the imperious architecture of despots’ palaces (MussoliniStalin and Ceauşescu) and commissioned by Stour Valley Arts for King’s Wood in Kent the artists explain. “However the urban location of the Spontaneous City project drew on the local architecture surrounding the parks and the ecology and biodiversity of the area that offered great potential as a contemporary narrative,” they say.

Super Kingdom // Ceauşescu // Image Courtesy of London Fieldworks

Spontaneous City // Duncan Terrace Gardens //  Image Courtesy of London Fieldworks

Georgian townhouse architecture is evident in Duncan Terrace Gardens in Islington and “as an exception to this, towards the south end of the gardens on Colebrook Row is a block of 60’s social housing flats, an enclave of modernity in stark contrast to the traditional architecture of the townhouse,“ they say. According to the artists, this provided a tension both architecturally and demographically. “This tension reminded us of the gated communities and fortified developments butted up against to shanty and slum housing that we saw in the cities of Bangalore, India and Sao Paul in Brazil.

Spontaneous City // Duncan Terrace Gardens //  Image Courtesy of London Fieldworks

The presence of an Ailanthus Altissima or tree of heaven, in the centre of the narrow garden sandwiched between Duncan Terrace and Colebrook Row further heightened the local context as they both stress. They later found another tree of heaven in the Oremorne Gardens and used the species as a way of linking both locations. Jo Joelson and Bruce Gilchrist also explain that the name of the tree within the project’s title could have some kind of utopian pretensions. “But as an added layer of biodiversity speak, there’s irony in the title of “Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven“.”

Functioning as an allegory of population crash and dwindling biodiversity Spontaneous City, “could also be interpreted as a metaphor for voidance,” the duo explain.

Spontaneous City // Cremorne Gardens //  Image Courtesy of London Fieldworks

The Ailanthus altissima is a deciduous tree native to both northeast and central China and Taiwan, and is a tree species of much botanical interest in London, and elsewhere in England generally. Essentially, there is concern that this ornamental turn invasive species is poised to dramatically increase in numbers. It’s one of the fastest growing trees around, it’s allelopathic (meaning it produces a biochemical that inhibits the growth of other plants within its vicinity), and its seed production capabilities are prodigious”.

Spontaneous City // Cremorne Gardens //  Image Courtesy of London Fieldworks

London Fieldworks is a collaborative partnership between artists Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson. Bruce studied at Canterbury School of Art and Jo at Croydon College of Art.  London Fieldworks practice is typically inter-disciplinary, collaborative and socially engaged, working across installation, sculpture, architecture, film and animation. Projects have explored the authenticity of mediated experience and experience of place; the creation of alternative narratives drawn from the histories of place, society and culture; and the poetic applications of technology. These ideas are seminal to the artists’ notion of ecology as a complex inter-working of social, natural, and technological worlds. Imaginatively sited projects in urban and rural settings have been inspired by research undertaken in remote sites in Brazil, North East Greenland, Northern Norway, Scottish Highlands and the USA.


in China built a 30-story green building in 15 days

January 9, 2012

The Chinese sustainable building company, Broad Group, has yet attempted another impossible feat, building a 30-story tall hotel prototype in 360 hours, after building a 15-story building in a week earlier in 2011.

You may ask why in a hurry, and is it safe? The statistics in the video can put you in good faith. Prefabricated modular buildings has many advantages over conventional buildings.

Higher precision in fabrication (+/- 0.2mm).
More coordinated on-site construction management.
Shorter construction time span.
Lower construction waste.
Also many other health and energy features are included in Broad Sustainable Buildings (BSB)

The building was built over last Christmas time and finished before New Years Eve of 2012.

Le Louvre @ Abu Dhabi by Ateliers Jean Nouvel

January 5, 2012

Ateliers Jean Nouvel

Project Information
Located on Saadiyat Island, off the coast of Abu Dhabi, the new Louvre will provide an inspiring, high-quality space for stunning works of art from around the world, many on loan from the Louvre in Paris. Buro Happold has been selected as multi-disciplinary engineer on this venture, which is one of the most innovative, exciting and challenging museum projects to be built in recent times.


Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel to look as though it floats on water, the complex takes its inspiration from a traditional Arabian city. Standing on piles founded on bedrock 18m deep, its imposing form will be topped by a 180m diameter cupola supported on five perimeter pillars. The canopy is designed as a mesh to allow dappled sunlight to pass through into the space below, creating localised areas of shade, with an ambient temperature in which visitors can explore external exhibitions.

Most works will be contained in a strictly controlled indoor climate, alongside workshops, an education centre, restaurant and café facilities.

A variety of passive energy systems are also being investigated, including natural cooling to the buildings and the optimisation of water use; the building will be designed to meet with the spirit of the American LEED green building rating system, conserving natural resources. The iconic ‘desert Louvre’ has also been designed to withstand Abu Dhabi’s extreme climate, which includes airborne dust, sand, salinity, humidity and the occasional sandstorm.

As part of the Cultural District of Saadiyat Island, itself part of a 30 year development plan, the Louvre will be linked to the mainland by two new major bridges. It is also one of four landmark buildings planned for the district; the others are the Sheikh Zayed National Museum, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and a performing arts centre.

Sited on a built archipelago in the tidal zone of the Arabian Gulf, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will be uniquely placed to become a global cultural destination when it opens in 2012.

Treehotel: a hotel with rooms in the trees in a forest in Harads, Northern Sweden

January 5, 2012

A lofty new hotel concept is set to open in a remote village in northern Sweden, which aims to elevate the simple treehouse into a world-class destination for design-conscious travellers. Treehotel, located in Harads about 60 km south of the Arctic Circle, will consist of four rooms when it opens on July 17th: the Cabin, the Blue Cone, the Nest and the Mirrorcube. Two additional structures are scheduled to open in October – the UFO and A Room With a View

The Hyatt Capital Gate @ Abu Dhabi

January 4, 2012

Yesterday opened its doors more sophisticated hotel in Abu Dhabiand the world tilted (18 °), which earned him his place in theGuinness Records. Its 189 rooms five-star are ready to welcomediscerning guests from U.S. $ 809 night.

via @MarlonCamacho