A rainbow in the metro…

A rainbow in the metro...

Rainbow Metro station in Montreal



World’s first mobile research center opens in Antarctica

The world’s first mobile research facility, designed by British firm Hugh Broughton Architects, has officially opened on the floating Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica.
Eight years in the making, the design arose from a competition held by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) which was won by Hugh Broughton Architects. Together with with AECOM and construction firm Galliford Try, they had to re-think the concept of a building to overcome the unique set of challenges they faced.
The new Halley VI is built with hydraulically elevated, ski-based modules allowing it to rise above the meters of annual snowfall, and be periodically rearranged or relocated inland as the ice-shelf moves.
Seven interlinking blue modules comprise the laboratories, offices, energy plants and bedrooms, while a central two-storey red module provides a social space.
The station will be home to up to 52 crew members in summer and just 16 in the three winter months of total darkness, when temperatures drop as low as -56C.
The grueling construction process had to be carried out during four Antarctic summers – each year they had only nine weeks, meaning the construction teams worked round the clock in the freezing conditions. The Brunt Ice Shelf is a region important for studying the Earth’s magnetic field and the near-space atmosphere; it was data from Halley V that led to the 1985 BAS discovery of the ozone hole.
From: http://www.archdaily.com/330453/the-worlds-first-relocatable-research-center-opens-in-antarctica/


Spiderman and Batman as window washers!

Spiderman and Batman as window washers!

Window washers at a children’s hospital in Pittsburgh…an original idea! 🙂


Museum der Kulturen by Herzog & de Meuron

The Museum der Kulturen Basel dates back to the middle of the nineteenth century. Replacing the Augustinian monastery on the Münsterhügel the classicist building by architect Melchior Berri opened in 1849.

The “Universal Museum”, as it was then called, was the city’s first museum building. An extension by architects Vischer & Söhne was added in 1917.

Consisting of irregular folds clad in blackish green ceramic tiles, the roof resonates with the medieval roofscape in which it is embedded while functioning at the same time as a clear sign of renewal in the heart of the neighborhood.

The hexagonal tiles, some of them three-dimensional, refract the light even when the skies are overcast, creating an effect much like that of the finely structured brick tiles on the roofs of the old town. The steel framework of the folded roof allows for a column-free gallery underneath.

Part of the courtyard has been lowered and an expansive, gently inclined staircase leads down to the Museum entrance. Hanging plants and climbing vines lend the courtyard a distinctive atmosphere and, in concert with the roof, they give the Museum a new identity.

The weighty, introverted impression of the building is reinforced by the facades, many of whose windows have been closed off, and by the spiral-shaped construction for the hanging vegetation mounted under the eaves of the cantilevered roof above the new gallery. This is countered, however, by the foundation, which is slit open the entire length of the building and welcomes visitors to come in. These architectural interventions together with the vegetation divide the long, angular and uniform Vischer building of 1917 into distinct sections.

Designed to house both the sciences and the arts, the Museum der Kulturen, with holdings of some 300,000 objects, now holds one of the most important ethnographic collections in Europe thanks largely to continuing gifts and bequests.

Colors at the Taj Mahal…

Colors at the Taj Mahal...


Sant Francesc Convent…a very modern renovation!

Catalan architect David Closes has recently renovated the Sant Francesc Church, located in the Catalan town of Santpedor, Spain. The church is all that remains of a Franciscan convent that spent over 150 years in ruin and this architect has converted it into an auditorium and multifunctional cultural space. The intervention has consolidated the church without deleting the process of deterioration and collapse that the building had suffered. The project has maintained the dimensions of the church interior space and the intervention has just consolidated the old fabric distinguishing clearly the new elements executed of the original ones. The renovation allows to read historical wounds and the building’s most important spatial values without giving up the use of contemporary language in the new elements introduced in the intervention.

The lighting of the interior has been specifically designed to guarantee maximum luminosity in every area of the nave, but without altering spaces and dimensions. The new volumes inserted have been located partially outside of the church with the aim of preserving the inner space unity of the nave. In addition, the new stairs and ramps provide an unwonted circular route across the building with amazing and different views. In the future, a final phase will complete the project by placing a historical archive on the upper floors of the south side of the church.

Oliver Oettli – “Powder Winds”

In this series of shots by the Swiss photographer Oliver Oettli, named “Powder Winds”, the models portrayed with fabulous dresses are accompanied in their gestures by clouds of colored dust raised by the wind. I really like this original dreamlike atmosphere!

The Indigenous Beetle :)

It’s called the Vochol, a cross between the word ‘vocho’, slang in Mexico for the popular Beetle, and the word ‘Huichol’, the isolated indigenous natives of west central Mexico who spent seven months making it. This beautiful 1990 Volkswagen Beetle was hand decorated by two Huichol families using more than 2 million glass beads and bee’s wax to cover every inch of the car’s exterior and the dashboard. The finished artwork represents various landscapes of Mexico, religious messages and other symbols. The proud creation, an expression of cross culture in Mexico, is now traveling the world.


A Unique, High-Flying Home in London…

The 1867 London Water Tower house is one of the tallest and most impressive old water towers that have been converted into homes; developer Leigh Osborne transformed the 145-year-old structure into what he describes as “one of the most lavish and eccentric residences in the city”. Osborne and his partner Graham Voce spent less than a year and £2 million renovating and converting the Gothic water tower into a unique home.

It was the tallest water tower in all of London when it was completed in 1967, but the tower fell into disuse in the 20th century, and it became home to thousands of pigeons. Converting a structure that was built to hold water into one that’s suitable for human activities is not a simple work.

Workers had to remove a great deal of brick to create enough room for living spaces, and Osborne and Voce also added a modern kitchen, a living room and a home gym. A new elevator was added, which links up with the original twisting staircase, and Osborne converted to top of the tower, which previously held 750,000 gallons of water, into a living room with 360-degree views of London. Incredibly, the entire build-out only took eight months.

I find it an incredible and impressive luxury home…fantastic for its location! 😉

A perforated beauty salon in Osaka.

Yasunari Tsukada Design was commissioned to design Ajax, a newly opened hair salon in Kyobashi, an old downtown area of Osaka.

It is located in a multi-tenant building, a pleasant site with a lot of windows and the owner’s requirements were for “a styling space that brings sunlight into the interior while also hiding the exterior landscape from view.”
To accommodate the owner’s request, a white, perforated box made of iron plates and aluminum was inserted into the existing framework of the building  with three types of round holes in different sizes!

In this way the sunlight still fills the interior and the outside is obscured from the clientele’s view. These holes can also be used to install lighting fixtures or plug in hair dryers, giving them additional functions.

Areas devoted to other uses than hairstyling (such as the shampooing, rinsing, and waiting area) were painted black in order to create a contrast with the light; in fact the focus is on the white room where the stylists work!

As the sun sets, the interior of the hair salon suddenly begins to radiate light through the holes in the panels, just like a sort of lampshade. By limiting the number of windows on the perforated surface of this box, Yasunari Tsukada Design was able to create a calm, tranquil space that accentuates the feeling of illumination and the passage of time! I relly like it!



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