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Architecture

Actress Courtney Cox Malibu Residence | Celebrity Houses

 

According to Elle Décor, Courteney Cox wanted to be an architect before becoming an actress. She mainly chose this location in Malibu, California due to its privacy especially that her previous home, which she loved so much, was located at the same level of a public pool.

With this house she decided she wanted to go for a design totally different from the previous residence, she wanted it to look like a modern barn. Notice the open spaces, the bright ambience, the use of modern materials and others that are so natural that they take the house to a more timeless feel.

Cox hired architect Michael Kovac for the job alongside Trip Haenisch for the interior design.

“There was a good balance between Michael and Trip,” says Cox. “Michael is definitely more modern; Trip tried to make the house look like it had been here forever.” The result, she says, is “very simple, with bronzed-steel trim, white walls, and wood floors. Nothing too cluttered and not a lot of fancy details.”

 

 

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Bringing Nature Inside: Loft 24-7 São Paulo| Residential Design

This is a beautiful attempt at creating outdoor moods indoor. In this 250 sq. m loft, São Paulo-based architect Fernanda Marques was able to come up with an earthy and very natural ambiance within the residence’s interior, by using logs, limestone, rough stone, and the likes. Very simple, the use of the right materials and the right combination gave this loft the exquisite look.

 

For more information on the designer, you can check her website, hope you can read Portuguese though.


Allure By Capriani At Yas Hotel Abu Dhabi | Night Club Design

This beautiful and well designed night club is located at the Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi, which I posted about in detail before. The resort already has breathtaking architecture, this venue is the first nightclub by the legendary Capriani and designed by  Orbit Design Studio (Bangkok, London and Singapore). Orbit have made use of all design attributes of the luxurious hotel and transferred them to the interior of this lavish nightclub.

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Minimal Sustainable Design in Australia | Residential Design

 

This project is an example of how a minimal and modern space design can be achieved to respect sustainability and eco standards. Crone Partners are the architects who designed this house located in Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.

Embracing the challenge of a relatively tight inner suburban location, and restrictive building envelope, the designers worked closely with the client to rationalize their “wish list” into a concise and deliverable brief. Little was lost in this process and even less in the translation to a finished home for the builder / client and their young family.

The house’s finely detailed bold rectilinear form is set back from the street amidst a carpet of natural ground cover. Entrance down the side of the house is made via a subtle path formed from old railway sleepers embedded into the ground. Whilst sitting comfortably in its street context proportionally, and with setbacks respectful of its neighboring properties, the view from the street confirms immediately that this house is quite different to those around it. The project is realized through a series of simple intersecting and overlapping rectangular forms. Each “box” represents a distinct portion of the overall program. A sleeping / study zone, a living zone, a garage / workshop, and cantilevered above all of this, a parents retreat, complete with its own living area and secluded outdoor terrace.

 

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Foster & Partners Design 3Beirut: Their First Project in Lebanon

As much as I’m thrilled with the idea that one of the world’s top architecture firms are designing a project in Beirut, Lebanon, I’m a bit disappointed its another residential and shopping project locals can’t afford. But let’s look at the bright side, finally we’ll have a Foster + Partners signed project .

From Foster + Partner’s website:

3Beirut – the first project designed by Foster + Partners to break ground in Lebanon – is revealed today. Responding directly to the site and culture of Beirut, the scheme will create a sustainable residential and retail development of international quality. The development will also strengthen Beirut’s role as a center for tourism, commerce, retail and entertainment while providing new green spaces at ground level for the city to enjoy.

Located in the Beirut Central District, the scheme forms a part of the prestigious Sector B of the Solidere masterplan and is designed to enhance this area as a thriving and celebrated part of the city. Particular consideration has been given to the public realm and the creation of an attractive environment accessible to pedestrians. Established around direct pedestrian routes across the site, its design will connect the historic city center to the harbor at the Mediterranean. The podium level and surrounding external spaces will provide a cluster of shops, cafes, restaurants, a gymnasium, an art gallery and public gardens.
The glazed north side of the towers will provide spectacular views of the harbor, while the south facing side steps down in height, integrating the towers into the urban grain. 3Beirut will be the first towers in the city to have green roofs, creating a unique residential development.
Foster + Partners’ vision for the interiors is to create apartments that are based on elegant and functional layouts, allowing the occupants to inhabit them in a number of different ways, while also enhancing the appeal of this distinctive location. The interiors will be signified by calm, uncluttered space and the passive environmental strategy will maximize natural light and ventilation.
Luke Fox, a senior partner and design director at Foster + Partners, remarked:
“I am delighted that our first project in Lebanon is under construction. 3Beirut will be a significant addition to the city and I look forward to it contributing to the emerging success of Beirut as an international destination.”

[ Foster + Partners ]


The Park Hotel Hyderabad by SOM | Hotel Design

Skidmore Owings & Merrill designed the new flagship hotel for The Park Hotel Group: The Park Hotel Hyderabad. The project is 531,550-square-feet, with 270 rooms hotel with a modern, sustainable design yet respecting the local craft traditions.

The hotel is  well serviced with spas and restaurants, with space designs including materials reflecting Indian materials and crafts combined with the latest technologies to provide the best services for their clientele.

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The Alphabet Building | Architecture

This is a new project scheduled to be completed by 2012. This office building has its windows in the form of carved out alphabets. The project is designed by  Dutch architects MVRDV. Their description and details are listed below.

 

 

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Villa in Bryanston South Africa | Residential Design

This 4000 m2 property is located in Bryanston, South Africa , the beautiful villa is  designed by Nico Van Der Meulen. The splendor lies in its magnificent scale yet light impression, the transparency and horizontal span of its structure helps with that. This has to be one of the most residential villas with open spaces and amazing views surrounding it from every angle.

Upon entering through the gatehouse you look down the sloping driveway with several large cantilevers protruding from the building, some in rust, other areas clad with unfilled travertine, and an atrium behind a mentis grating screen.

Next to the front door a large reflective koi pond flows over a retaining wall next to the drive way, with an illuminated glass staircase behind a two story curtain wall in the background.  The lift shaft forms a strong vertical element finished in rust behind the pond. All of this is framed by a cantilevered concrete beam. The staircase behind the koi pond is a double glass construction, with lights between the two layers of glass. Above the lower garage a huge cantilevered structure hangs out, suspended by beams built into its roof.

The house was designed around three massive trees, one at the tennis court, and the other two on the east side of the house. The view from the hall towards the east is into one of these trees, framed by a large sliding window in the kitchen.

 

The kitchen, breakfast room and family room leads seamlessly through  wall to wall frameless sliding doors onto the patio, with the dining room situated behind the family room, sharing a fireplace with the family room.  When the doors are open, the family room, breakfast room, open and covered patio and kitchen becomes one large area. Parts of the dining room floor is glass, with a view down into the koi pond, and two huge lights from M Square are suspended over the dining room table.

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Luxury Villa in South Africa | Residential Design

Designed by South African firm Design Partnership, this beautiful villa is located in Johannesburg, South Africa.I am particularly interested in the interior of this project, the colors, furnishing and beautiful spaces. The staircase as you will see is a sculpture in its own. Its obvious grey tones are the trend now, after being exclusive to showrooms and shops, people are choosing grey as the main color for their residences.

 

 

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BIG to Design Mosque & Islamic Center in Albania

These breathtaking images are of a mosque, cultural center, and museum to be built in Tirana, Albania. The competition was won by Danish architects Bjarke Ingels Group in collaboration with Martha Schwartz Landscape, Buro Happold , Speirs & Major, Lutzenberger & Lutzenberger, and Global Cultural Asset Management.

I know it feels a bit ironic that a Danish firm wins the competition especially with some Muslims  boycotting them for the 2009 incident.

This specific area in Albania has been going through a restoration phase where all three major faiths that co-exist are getting new buildings, an idea I personally believe is wonderful. The images of this mosque give the impression of holiness just at the sight, the details, the fluidity of the buildings, the translucent nature of the buildings are just amazing.

The mosque will accommodate 1000 worshipers for daily prayers, with the ability to open up to the courtyards and plaza and accommodate up to 10,000 people on special ceremonies and holidays.

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Leaning Tower of Pisa Now 50cm Straighter

 

The Leaning Tower of Pisa was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 1987, serious efforts to stabilize the monument were taken. The tower was originally constructed over a period of 199 years (1173-1372) and since then was tilting 1mm for every year. The project of restoring the Pisa Tower has been ongoing for the past 20 years, and now it is open to the public scaffolding-free.

The project cost around €27m  and has lessened the tilt by 50cm, making it straighter, yet still with its famous lean. It now stands at 56meters tall at its highest point.

WAN


Former Renault Factory Now a Green Roofed School

At a time when children are confined to a world of video games, indoor activities, and less resources for a natural environment, this amazing project comes up to make it up for the lucky students who will be attending this school. I don’t ever remember having gardens in our school, but our childhood was full of outdoor activities familiarizing us with the nature around us.

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Saudi to Build Tower Twice as High as Burj Khalifa

Why would anyone get the impression that all we need in the Middle East is higher towers? In a region whose tomorrow is at stake every second of  today, there are more constructive ways to use the money, creativity, and energy we have. Toppling Burj Khalifa as the highest tower in the world after only 18 months of its opening is not a good enough reason.

Architecture does not fall under “ the bigger, the better” category, architecture is about meeting human comfort in terms of design and function, its about the beauty of volumes and how they serve their role in the best way possible. It was never about requiring half a day to reach your destination going up the elevator, or standing out in an environment that is so incoherent from the actual structure.

Another thing that would make you wonder, why would they choose a name indicating the type of regime at such a critical political period “ Kingdom Tower” ?

The video at the bottom of the post is a more graphic approach of how odd it will look in its surrounding.

So far the press release for the project has not been officially out, but information on the project has been circulating a few sites:

“Kingdom Tower” will be one mile high. It will contain almost 12 million cubic feet of space. It will be part of a larger urban development built to house about 80,000 people, at a cost of almost 30 billion dollars.

In terms of scale, it is estimated that a lift journey to the uppermost level of this 275-floor structure will take 12 minutes, with the Burj Khalifa’s 828m shrinking in the wake of the Kingdom Tower’s 1,609m height. Similarly, the highly celebrated Kingkey Tower in Shenzhen is only destined to reach 441m, while Guangzhou’s Canton Tower stands at 610m high. Should this lofty new building been seen through to realisation, it will overshadow every other ‘tall’ tower in the world and push the boundaries of architectural design in a way many never thought possible.

 

Kingdom City| Jeddah

Source: Singularity Hub and Wan


Open Box House : An Architectural Marvel by A-Cero

 

Architectural icon after the other, A-Cero never refrain from keeping us in awe with the amazing sculptural designs they present. I am really impressed recently with Spanish designers and their works.

The design impact of this Open Box House, as they named it, can not be missed, the open spaces, the minimal use of colors yet strong volumes are what characterized it.  The residence is located on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain and the design is inspired by Spanish sculptor Jorge Oteiza.

The interior spaces are overlapping and overlooking each other. A large mirrored partition serves as a background for a long fireplace, a glass bridge hangs over the living area and is adjacent to a large bookcase.

Natural light is plenty, tiles used are large grey ceramic tiles, furniture used is mainly from Fendi Casa. In the photo above you can see the Elisa chairs by Fendi Casa and the Canova console in black lacquer finish. The sofa is called Domino, also by Fendi Casa.

 

 

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Oporto Vodafone Office Building Portugal |Architecture

Photo credits: Paulo Lima

The Oporto Vodafone Office Building project in Porto, Portugal, is not a new project. Completed in 2009, this Building  has recently been awarded first prize in design blog Arch Daily’s 2010 Building of the Year Awards. The boldness in its façade design can not be missed, the fluidity and irregularity makes it a memorable building.

Photo credits: Paulo Lima

Four years after the conclusion of Vodafone Lisbon headquarter, Vodafone decided to build in Porto, a new building, which allows concentrate in only one place, their workers. In  July of 2006, Vodafone launched a competition, inviting fifty Portuguese architects’ teams, being the proposal submitted by Barbosa & Guimarães the winning one.

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Nadim Ghazale Villa in Lebanon| Residential Design

This project in particular has sentimental value to me. The Ghazale Residence is three-story villa which is a collaborative work between architect Gilbert Zarka and myself, Sahar Ghazale.

Located in Chtoura, in the beautiful Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, this residence stands out in terms of design. It is the only such architecture in the area, as opposed to the traditional designs surrounding it.

 

On the exterior facades, we used Basalt stone in both white and grey, and Béton brut (architectural concrete). You will notice several volumetric elements such as concrete pergolas, a 13m high chimney and high glass structures allowing as much light as possible into the house. One of the main features of the garden is the shallow pool with fountains and teak wood pergolas.

 

 

In more than one area there are double height voids and skylights. Even the basement enjoys natural sunlight through a garden continuing from the exterior to the interior. The main entrance boasts a long runway of stamped concrete in two different grey tones with contracting white sea stones flanking from both sides leading to  a 3meter high solid walnut main  door.

 

 

The owner is a person who loves his garden and cherishes every single plant, thus requested numerous water features and a beautiful olive tree he raised on a separate hill. Palm trees which are usually synonymous with humid and hot areas such as the gulf, composed a large portion of the plantation in the garden of this villa, something which is unusual for this specific location.

 

 

The interior design is a continuation of the exterior. The basalt stone continues to the inside on numerous walls. A red wall supports the main staircase. Apart from that all finishes are in neutral tones indicating luxury and simplicity. Wood used on the ground level is Palisander which contrasts beautifully with the dark tinted walnut doors. All doors were in the form of panels reaching ceiling height.

Most of the furniture used was from Roche Bobois, which is the owner’s favorite brand. Ceiling design is very simple. Lighting is mainly in the form of indirect lighting, halogen spotlights highlighted certain areas for warmer color effect. In future posts I will be introducing more interior photos of the different rooms on the upper floors.

For further information you can contact me directly on my contact page or email.


Barbie’s Latest Career is Architecture

 

There’s a new doll coming to the Barbie I Can Be… line this Fall 2011. It’s the Barbie I Can Be…Architect. The Barbie I Can Be line is truly showing girls that they can be anything they want to. From a vet or a movie star to a news anchor or an architect. In the 50 years of her career, this is the first time Barbie is an architect.

Girls can imagine designing their very own Dream House with Barbie® I Can Be…™ Architect.  Ready to tackle the daily responsibilities of a real architect in or out of the office, Barbie® I Can Be…™ Architect includes a hard hat and a set of blue prints. Wearing an architecturally inspired dress showcasing a city skyline, Barbie® doll’s outfit is symmetrically stylish with bold colors and clean lines.  In designing this doll, Barbie®  partnered with the American Institute of Architects to keep Barbie®  I Can Be… ™ Architect  doll  authentic to the career.

 

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El Ateneo Grand Splendid, A Book Lover’s Dream

Named by The Guardian in its 2008 list of the World’s ten best bookshops, El Ateneo in Buenos Aires captured the awe of tourists and book lovers alike because of its grandiose architecture.

Built in 1919 by an Italian architect in the eclectic style, the theater entertained Buenos Aires for a decade with top-tier tango concerts, before it was converted into a popular cinema. In 2000, the building was leased by a publishing house and found new life as a bookstore. The amphitheater’s former 1,050-person seating area now contains El Ateneo’s 120,000 book titles. The beautiful central dome retains the original Romantic-style frescos by Italian, Nazareno Orlandi celebrating the end of the First World War.

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New UAE Parliament Building Complex | Architecture

Ehrlich Architects have won first prize in the international design competition for the Federal National Council’s ‘New Parliament Building Complex’ in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The entry beat out a number of internationally recognized firms including Foster + Partners, Massimiliano Fuksas architects, and Zaha Hadid Architects.

The New Parliament embodies the unique identity of the United Arab Emirates:  a modern society moving boldly into the future while retaining a strong connection to its history and traditions. “The New Parliament Building Complex will balance Islamic Heritage with U.A.E.’s global contemporary aspirations, where modernity and tradition are in harmonious balance,” explains Ehrlich Architects’ Design Principal, Steven Ehrlich, FAIA, RIBA. “The architecture for the FNC’s new home will communicate its increasingly vital role in the lives of all United Arab Emirates citizens.”

The winning entry for the new Parliament building melds familiar Arabic design language with contemporary form and the latest technological advances, creating meaning, maximum functionality and environmental sustainability. The design is anchored by a striking 100-meter-diameter dome structure, a soaring “flower-of-the-desert” which will create a shaded micro-environment while casting Islamic patterns of dappled light onto the white marble Assembly Hall.

The flanking Parliamentary buildings that house the majority of the offices, meeting halls, and visitors’ program, abstract the colors and textures of desert sand; the exterior expression of these structures is indebted to local historic buildings. In total, the complex will be a proud landmark for public gatherings as well as a model for conservation of the region’s precious resources.The site of the new Parliament conveys its significance as a public institution. It is located on Abu Dhabi Corniche, one of the grand processional boulevards in the country’s capital, where important civic events and celebrations take place. Facing the Arabian Gulf, the body of water shared by six of the seven Emirates, the new FNC complex will establish a governmental face at the seafront. Its dome will be visible for miles across the water and will glow dramatically at night.

Source: designboom & Ehrlich Architects

Project info via designboom

Client: Federal National Council, United Arab Emirates
Design team: Steven Ehrlich, Patricia Rhee, Noah Marble, Guelsah Kuecuek, Laura Hudson, Jackie Park, Won Jin Park, Yimon Lim, Zhong Huang, Jules Hartzell, Ann-Christine Pineiro (graphic design)
Local architect: Godwin Austen Johnson
GAJ design team: Jason Burnside, Brain Johnson, Isabel Pintado, Branka Saric, Christina Morgan, Tzumei Steward, Cormac Lynch, Iain Stewart, Angelita Alves, Aandrew barley, Alberto Bolonos, Simon chambers, Pallavi Dean, Bharani Dharan, Graeme Fisher, Ian Jorolan, Hallam Lowmass, Mehrnaz Mohamadloo, Shounak Patne, Jacinda Raniolo, Vic Raymond Tanedo, Vinodh Vellapan, Jason Ward
Landscape architect: Valleycrest Design Group, Michael Braden
Structural engineer: Gifford
MEP engineer: Scott Wilson Group
Quantity survey: Baker Wilkins & Smith
Renderings: Biolinia
Model: The Model Shop


Villa Kian in Iran | Minimalist Residence Design

Those who know me as a designer know how much I appreciate traditional design, yet the style I am passionate about is the minimal modern. To see such a structure in Iran, a country known for and rich in culture and history is magnificent!

Villa Kiani is located in Mohammad Shahr region, near Karaj city, Iran. The 500sq.m residence has a 4000 sq.m garden and was designed by Makan Rahmanian and Kamran Heirati. The volumes of this villa along with the beautiful planes of the garden complement the high ceilings and high glass facades. Everything is minimal, yet luxurious through the use of the finishes and the sleek architectural lines.

 

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Salvador Dali Museum Opens on 11.1.11 11:11

“ Each morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasure – that of being Salvador Dali.” Salvador Dali

On a date that would have been perfect for the famous artist Salvador Dali, a museum holding his name and works opens in St. Petersburg, Florida. HOK, along with Beck Group, has designed a new museum with an architecture greatly inspired by the great surrealist, “combines elements of the classical and the fantastical,” according to the director of the museum. The design speaks to the essence of Dalí while incorporating functional elements to combat Florida’s tough weather.

The new $36 million, 66,450-square-foot museum Dali Museum houses more of the artist’s works than any other museum outside Spain, including a permanent collection of 96 oil paintings (including the 8 masterworks), 125 drawings and watercolors, 2,500 prints and photographs, 250 objets d’art, and a 5,000 book library.

While the concrete protects the art, this “treasure box” is broken and disrupted by the organic, triangulated glass “Enigma.”    The glass is seen as “contrast between the rational world of the conscious and the more intuitive, surprising natural world” – a recurring theme of Dalí’s work.

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Eiffel Tower A French Beauty | Icons

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Life has a beautiful slide show of the Eiffel tower’s history and what it has passed through since it was being constructed. An Icon so strong it has become the symbol of an an entire country. I will leave you enjoy the images and their description. You can check the original slide show here.


Casa Son Vida by Marcel Wanders | Residential Design

World renowned designer and a personal favorite,  Marcel Wanders, and award-winning Los Angeles, Switzerland and Hong Kong-based tecARCHITECTURE collaborated on the Casa Son Vida luxury villa on the Island of Mallorca. Located approximately 15 minutes outside of Palma de Mallorca in an exclusive community called Son Vida. The 8,500 square foot luxury residence acts to  redefine luxury architecture as it is typified by the traditional Mediterranean and Tuscan styles otherwise found on the island.

 

 

The  structure is a bold, curvaceous shape that completely evades conventional definition of modern villas. The idea is that the two pieces co-exist as separate entities, meeting abruptly and then quite literally turning away from each other. Their interaction suggests a chance encounter and speaks to the deliberate and bold juxtaposition of the two elements.

 

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Reimagining the Public Pool | Les Bains des Docks

The $29 million Les Bains des Docks aquatic center, reimagines the concept of a public pool. The overall design was inspired by the Roman thermal baths as people can go to congregate in most of the various pools year round. Located in Le Havre, France, it is the brain child of designer Jean Nouvel. On the exterior, the boxy precast-concrete shell, painted gun-metal gray, echoes the scale and simple massing of surrounding warehouses. Only the playful composition of rectangular apertures hints at an interior transcending the ordinary or functional.

 

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