Friday, December 31, 2010

New Shape of the Luxury Shop Le Printemps

Parisian shop

Parisian shop «Printemps», the most unique place where are offered for buyers only the most exclusive and prestigious marks of the goods of a luxury class, carries out grandiose updating of all premises which will cost more than 100 million dollars. End of works is planned in 2010.

The Best Luxury Shop in the World

Paolo de Cesare, the president and the chief executive of shopping centre says, that they wish to make the best shop in the World.

Shop in Paris

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Highest Building in Thailand

Skyscraper in Bangkok

Building of skyscraper MahaNakhon can become the most arrogant project of modern architecture in Thailand.

Architectural Pixels of the Cult Builder

The 77-storeyed tower has been designed by company OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture), earlier working over the project of cult skyscraper CCTV in Beijing. Naturally here again has not done without creative experiments: the skyscraper will be twisted by open terraces, so called — «architectural pixels».

Bangkok, Thailand

Modern architecture in Thailand

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Penthouse In London is Sold For $220 Million

London, Great Britain

The magnificent penthouse with six bedrooms in the London Housing Estate the One Hyde Park has been sold for the record sum of 220 million dollars that automatically gives them the status of the most expensive private apartment in the world.

Apartments for oligarchical persons

New owners will have access to the 24-hour service in apartments of hotel Mandarin Oriental: SPA, platforms for squash, wine tastings and protection of security guards which are the former members of SAS, elite division of the British armies.

Elite Penthouse

Hyde Park, London

Magnificent Penthouse

London Housing Estate

Luxury Penthouse

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Glass facade

This is a series for August 2010 which documents my on-the-ground -- and on-the-webs -- research for my guidebook to contemporary NYC architecture (to be released next year by W. W. Norton).

Sperone Westwater Gallery

The Sperone Westwater Gallery, designed Foster + Partners, is nearing completion about a block north of the New Museum. This piece continues the transformation of the Bowery, from Cooper Union down to Chinatown. In the ten or eleven years since I stayed at a hostel on the Bowery the street has seen numerous new buildings as well as restaurants and shops, displacing the old flophouses and mainstays like CBGB's.

Sperone Westwater Gallery

I always liked to think of the Bowery as un-gentrifiable, a zone immune to the changes in neighborhing SoHo, NoHo, the Lower East Side, and the East Village. Of course I was wrong, but a nine-story building with a bright red elevator on its facade is probably the last thing I would have expected from the alternative scenario.

Sperone Westwater Gallery

Norman Foster's design is the antithesis of the New Museum, which made the Bowery cool for institutions with money to spend on buildings by name-brand architects. SANAA's stacked and shifted white boxes respond to the zoning envelope without making that legal device explicit; Foster's design rises to the maximum street wall and then sets back once. Done.

Sperone Westwater Gallery

Granted, the 20-foot-wide lot doesn't give much room for play, so Foster focuses on the skins. Facing the Bowery on the first five floors is an all-glass wall with laminations that allow light and views, but the latter are indistinct, yet not so much that the elevator's workings aren't apparent. One effect of the glass, which lies somewhere between transparent and translucent, is the band of light visible in these photos. It must be an unwritten code that new buildings must have a surface that blinds passersby!

Sperone Westwater Gallery

The side walls, facing north and south, are blanketed with black corrugated metal, the panels mimicking -- but oddly not following exactly, in size or spacing -- the glass on the front. The rear facade is similar to the top of the front, with a zipper of clear glass running vertically between what looked to be solid panels (not translucent like the front). Foster's design certainly has a strong presence on the Bowery, but its industrial elegance will pack more of a wallop at night when the glass box is illuminated and the red box glows.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Finnish Cathedral

Here are a couple photos of St Henry's Ecumenical Art Chapel in Turku, Finland by Sanaksenaho Architects, 2005. Photographs are by peter and seija.

St Henriks Chapel in Turku

St Henriks Chapel in Turku

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Creative gardening

Tiered landscaping in the courtyard of the 8 House in Southern Ørestad, Copenhagen, Denmark by Bjarke Ingels Group (2010)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Still Action Exhibition

For the exhibition Still Action -- on view at the School of the Art Institute's Sullivan Galleries in Chicago until October 2nd -- Brandon Pass designed, built, and installed (the last two with Nick Bastis) a kinetic wall installation for artists Elissa Papendick and Libby O'Bryan to "challenge and broaden the curatorial process as an artistic practice."

Inspired by anthropologist C. Nadia Seremetakis's concept "still-act" ("moments when a subject interrupts historical flow and practices historical interrogation"), on each Friday the gallery hosts different artists "who instigate aesthetic experiences that leave viewers with a heightened sense of awareness."

As can be seen in the image at top, the wall installation is more of a work surface than an armature for artistic expression, fitting with Papendick and O'Bryan's focus on curating for their residency. Some relatively mundane activities take place when the wall is opened as a desk (meetings, coordination, etc.), but all of the curatorial elements are then tucked away when the wall is closed.

These drawings illustrate how pieces hinge in plan and section, not just projecting from the wall but protruding through to modify both sides of the wall simultaneously. For example, the desk surface extends through the wall to become a small stand for a microphone and coffee or tea; curating and interviewing happen on either side but are interdependent on the same movable elements.

Function in the realm of the exhibition and the artists' tasks aside, I prefer the image of the wall in the closed position. Over time it probably won't have the unadorned appearance of above, but the combination of panels, reveals, and hardware give it the appearance of a cabinet of curiosities, or something like Ben Nicholson's Teloman Cupboard. One may not envision a simple desk and other accoutrements when open, instead letting the mind wander to whatever slender artifacts may lie behind the plywood. Regardless it's a small but dynamic and influential element within its surroundings that addresses the needs of the curators and over time the other artists as well.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ryōan-ji – Japan

Ryōan-ji – Japan

Ryoan-ji Temple - Ryoan-ji Temple in Kyoto is famous for its Zen garden. Ryoan-ji Temple is considered to be one of the most notable examples of the "dry-landscape" style. Some say Ryoan-ji Temple garden is the quintessence of Zen art, and perhaps the single greatest masterpiece of Japanese culture. This Japanese temple is surrounded by low walls, an austere arrangement of fifteen rocks sits on a bed of white gravel. No one knows who laid out this simple garden, or precisely when, but it is today as it was yesterday, and tomorrow it will be as it is today. Behind the simple temple that overlooks the rock garden is a stone washbasin called Tsukubai said to have been contributed by Tokugawa Mitsukuni in the 17th century. It bears a simple but profound four-character inscription: "I learn only to be contented".

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden – EUA

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is one of Minnesota's crown jewels and its centerpiece, the Spoonbridge and Cherry, has become a Minnesota icon. Claes Oldenburg best known for his ingenious, oversized renditions of ordinary objects, and Coosje van Bruggen, his wife and collaborator, had already created a number of large-scale public sculptures, including the Batcolumn in Chicago, when they were asked to design a fountain-sculpture for the planned Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. The spoon had appeared as a motif in a number of Oldenburg's drawings and plans over the years, inspired by a novelty item (a spoon resting on a glob of fake chocolate) he had acquired in 1962. Eventually the utensil emerged--in humorously gigantic scale--as the theme of the Minneapolis project. Van Bruggen contributed the cherry as a playful reference to the Garden's formal geometry, which reminded her of Versailles and the exaggerated dining etiquette Louis XIV imposed there.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shalimar Garden – Pakistan

The Shalimar Garden is a Persian garden and it was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in Lahore, modern day Pakistan. Construction began in 1641 A.D. (1051 A.H.) and was completed the following year. The project management was carried out under the superintendence of Khalilullah Khan, a noble of Shah Jahan's court, in cooperation with Ali Mardan Khan and Mulla Alaul Maulk Tuni. The Shalimar Garden is laid out in the form of an oblong parallelogram, surrounded by a high brick wall, which is famous for its intricate fretwork. The gardens measure 658 meters north to south and 258 meters east to west. In 1981, Shalimar Gardens was included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the Lahore Fort, under the UNESCO Convention concerning the protection of the world's cultural and natural heritage sites in 1972.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Yuyuan Garden – China

Yuyuan Garden is believed to be built in the Ming Dynasty more than 400 years ago. Built in traditional Chinese style with numerous rock and tree garden areas, ponds, dragon-lined walls and numerous doorways and zigzagging bridges separating the various garden areas and pavilions.In the past over 400 years, Yuyuan was restored and reopened several times. Because of the downfall of the Pan's family after Pan Yunduan's death, Yuyuan was slowly out of use and was once in a mess. Although later the garden was renovated by the local rich people, several civil wars in the mid-19th century caused huge damage. In 1956, after Shanghai's liberation, the city government rebuilt the garden and recovered its elegance and beauty. Yuyuan Garden was at last reopened to the public in 1961.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Butchart Gardens – Canada

Butchart Gardens is one of the most famous gardens in the world which is counted among the best of the best. It's no less than a heaven out there at Butchart Gardens located in British Columbia. The breathtaking views will keep you stunned for some time when you first visit the Butchart Gardens. Spread over an area of 50 acres, the Butchart Gardens is placed near Victoria on Vancouver Island. There's never a dull season at Butchart Gardens, which keeps itself vibrating all throughout the year from the summers to the chilly winters.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Jardim Botânico de Curitiba – Brazil

Also known as the "Jardim Botânico Fanchette Rischbieter", the Botanical Garden of Curitiba is a garden located in the city of Curitiba, the capital of the state of Paraná, and the biggest city in southern Brazil. It is the major tourist attraction of the city, and it houses part of the campus of the Federal University of Paraná. Opened in 1991, Curitiba's trademark botanical garden was created in the style of French gardens. Once at the portal of entry, extensive gardens in the French style in the midst of fountains may be seen, as well as waterfalls and lakes, and the main greenhouse of 458 square meters, which shelters in its interior, copies of characteristic plants from tropical regions. It rolls out its carpet of flowers to the visitor's right at the entrance. This garden occupies 240.000 m² in area. The principal greenhouse, in an art nouveau style with a modern metallic structure, resembles the mid-19th century Crystal Palace in London. The Botanic Museum, which provides a national reference collection of native flora, attracts researchers from all over the world. It includes many botanic species from the moist Atlantic Forests of eastern Brazil.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Versailles – France

Probably the world's most famous garden, it was built for Louis XIV and designed by André Le Nôtre. The laying out of the gardens required enormous work. Vast amounts of earth had to be shifted to lay out the flower beds, the Orangerie, the fountains and the Canal, where previously only woods, grasslands and marshes were. The earth was transported in wheelbarrows, the trees were conveyed by cart from all the provinces of France and thousands of men, sometimes whole regiments, took part in this vast enterprise.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Suan Nong Nooch – Thailand

This incredible park is situated in Pattaya, Thailand. It is popular among tourists because of stunningly beautiful landscapes and marvellous views. Everything there seems to be from a fairy-tale. It is full of Thai style houses, villas, banquet halls, restaurants and swimming pools.
A vast 600 acres area was bought by Mr. Pisit and Mrs. Nongnooch in 1954, this land was predicted to be a fruit plantation, but, Mrs. Nongnooch made a trip abroad and came back with a firm decision to create there a tropical garden of ornamental plants and flowers.

In 1980 it was opened to the public and got an official name “Suan Nong Nooch”. Suan – means “garden”, since it is a place where everybody concerned can get acquainted with Thai Culture and Cultural Shows. More than 2,000 visitors go there everyday. This garden always looks as it does today. Also, it is a conservation place for many plants and palms.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Keukenhof Gardens – The Neatherlands

An unprecedented wealth of spectacular floral displays planted in endless varieties, alternated with beautiful works of art. Keukenhof is unique, world famous and has been one of the most popular destinations in the Netherlands. The garden is home to 7 million tulips, which includes special hybrids that have been or are being developed. In fact, Keukenhof's pride and joy is the truly awe-inspiring Russian black tulip Baba Yaga.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Garden of Cosmic Speculation – Scotland

Open to the public only one day a year, the Garden of Cosmic Speculation takes science and maths as its inspiration. Quite simply, there isn't another garden like it in the world. The garden was set up by Charles Jencks, together with his late wife Maggie Keswick and is located at Portrack House near Dumfries. That's in Scotland, by the way! It was set up in 1989 without the usual ideas people have when they create a garden. Horticultural displays very much take second place in this garden. Instead, it is designed with ideas in mind – and to provoke thought (or at least speculation) about the very nature of things.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A tribute to rednecks

Now for something a little different. In order to appreciate the artistic qualities of architecture, one must also familiarize them self with the absolute nadir of society, redneck culture, if only to contrast and compare what is hilariously compromised to that which is awesome in its uncompromising nature:

Redneck Carnival Ride.

Redneck Flat screen TV.

Redneck Swimming Pool: yeah, filling up the El Camino to stay cool.

Redneck Harley.

Redneck Garden.

Redneck Bass Boat.

Redneck Car Window Defroster.

Redneck Car Lock.

Redneck Horseshoes.

Redneck Birthday Cake.

Redneck Hot tub.

Redneck Riding Mower.

Redneck Mailbox.

Redneck Senior Scooter.

Redneck Water Pump.

Please do not attempt any of these dumb ideas unless you are already in a less than sober state.