Saturday, 27 August 2011

Georgian Revival

Behind the house, an infinity pool adjoins the terrace, which connects the house with a matching covered porch on the left. © Charles E. Anthony Architects

Nestled atop a 140-foot cliff overlooking a graceful bend in the Severn River, a classic Georgian Revival home peaks out from behind stands of trees. This stately brick structure was modeled after the James River Plantations and enjoys the privacy of 23 picturesque acres—and a history that is truly unique. 
The limestone-clad rotunda, punctuated by terak pillars from India, connects the old and new parts of the house.
© Erik Kvalsvik

Up until recently, it was also a mess. Years of neglect interspersed with makeshift renovations had left it a shadow of its former imposing self. Built in 1922 (by an arms dealer who ostensibly concealed illegal weapons in a hidden basement passageway), the property changed hands several times before the Catholic Church purchased it in the 1940s and converted it into St. Conrad Friary, which at its peak housed more than 60 Capuchin monks. Thirty years later, the monks’ numbers had dwindled and the house—then complete with a medieval-style chapel and a boxy five-story dormitory—was sold. Over the next 30 years it remained largely empty, an intimidatingly massive and dilapidated structure that caused prospective buyers to run the other way.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Albert France-Lanord Architects

Pionen, White Mountain
Pionen, White Mountain
The project takes place in a former anti-atomic shelter. An amazing location down under the granite rocks of the Vita Berg Park in Stockholm. The client is an internet provider and the rock shelter will host server halls and offices. The starting point of the project was to consider the rock as a living organism.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Original design chair - MT1 by Ron Arad

Monobloc armchair in rotational moulding polyethylene in sand white colour outside and orange colour inside. Indoor and outdoor use. W. 73,5 D. 74 H. 83; seat H. 42

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Nymphenburg's Flying Tableware

Nymphenburg's Flying Tableware

Artist Carsten Höller has created a stunning collectible tableware line for porcelain manufacturer Nymphenburg.

Artist Carsten Höller’s Flying Tableware collection for porcelain giant Nymphenburg explores two vastly different motifs: the 1928 Flying City concept by Russian architect Georgy Krutikov, and the Benham disc, a 19th century top painted with a black and white pattern that, when spun, transforms into arcs of colour. Both avant-garde themes are near and dear to Höller and have shown up in his past art work. The Nymphenburg series sees them united for the first time, with the manufacturer’s 1932 LOTOS tableware line by Wolfgang von Wersin acting as their new canvas.

Nymphenburg's Flying Tableware
The collection, which marks the first in a new series of artist editions (future collaborators include artist Tobias Rehberger and multidisciplinary designer Joep van Lieshout), is available in a limited edition of 25 signed sets. They're comprised of dinner, service and side plates, a teacup and saucer as well as a table centrifuge for rotating the Benham disc plates.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Asensio_Mah at Jardins de Métis

Asensio_Mah at Jardins de Métis
Created in collaboration with students from Harvard's Graduate School of Design, this living wall's unusual shape lends itself to equally unusual uses.

Framing the entranceway to Quebec’s Jardins de Métis, Surface Deep is an installation that gives new meaning to the term garden wall.
The concept is the work of a group of students from the landscape design and architecture programs at Harvard GSD, led by lecturers Leire Asensio Villoria and David Syn Chee Mah of Asensio_Mah.  Like a traditional garden wall, Surface Deep defines entry to the gardens. But it accomplishes this using 22 sections that are oriented into the shape of a twisting ribbon, allowing it to embrace not only the functions of a wall, but also of cover and terrain.
The surface of the wall is riddled with irregular openings that provide shelter to several types of moss, making the wall a living addition to the garden. The helical form is sensitive to the fact that different species of moss thrive under different conditions; the twisting shape exposes some varieties to sunlight, while other areas are kept in the shade.
The wall's 22 components were fabricated off-site in Cambridge, M.A., and assembled in the gardens over a two-week period. The modular components' sides are fabricated of one-inch plywood anchored to custom steel plates shaped using robot-operated water-jet cutters, while the skin that holds in the moss beds in place is made from CNC-routed recyclable plastic.
Surface Deep is part of the International Garden Festival, a series of contemporary and experimental gardens erected each year by leading figures in garden and landscape design. Surface Deep and the other gardens making up this year’s festival will be on display until October 2.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Tea House or Tree House

Photo by Kenta Mabuchi -

Tea ceremonies have evolved a great deal since they first got their start in the ninth century, and as the ceremonies have grown and shifted in purpose, so have the tea houses that hold them.
Initially tea was seen as a medicine used to cultivate the mind, body and spirit; tea was seen as good for monks because it helped them to stay awake for long periods of meditation. For this reason, the military class sponsored the construction of large zen temples for monks to drink tea in. As tea began to grow in popularity beyond the temple, tea ceremonies became a source of entertainment for members of the upper class who could afford to gamble, read poetry and attend tea parties in extravagant pavilions.

Photo by Tom Bennett -
It was not until Shukō that modern ideas behind tea ceremonies began to take root. In an attempt to escape from the material strains of daily life, Shukō removed tea parties from the formal setting and instead held the ceremonies in simple grass-thatched huts, like the Tai-an Teahouse. His goal in doing this was to transcend the complex distractions of the world and find enlightenment in everyday life.

Photo by Yasuyuki Hirata -
 Today, Shukō’s ideas of simplicity in tea ceremonies remain. Instead of signifying the search for enlightenment, however, the simplicity of modern teahouses is meant to emphasize the importance of breaking down boundaries that exist among people, objects and ideas. Architects strive to maintain the simplistic beauty of traditional tea houses, while also pushing modern interpretations of what a tea house can be.

Photo by Björn Lundquist -

Taking the idea of tea houses designed to mesh with their natural environment to a whole new level, Terunobu Fujimori created the Takasugi-an, which translates to “a tea house [built] too high.” He built the compact teahouse to appear as though it was resting between two chestnut trees, and although the only way to reach the tea house is via ladder, the view from the top gives visitors a perfect view of Chino, Japan. Instead of displaying the picture scrolls of traditional tea houses that indicated the time of year, Fujimori used the building’s windows to achieve the same effect while also allowing visitors to observe the profound changes that were happening in the world around them.
Although tea houses have come a long way since they first came into existence in the ninth century, modern tea houses still have strong roots in the traditional purposes of tea ceremonies. Tea house architects have to take into account how such structures have evolved over time and how they can continue to be adapted to fit the always-changing needs of modern society.

More info:

Monday, 15 August 2011

12 Ways to Add Beautiful Stone to Your Home

When it comes to building materials, stone has been admired for its longevity and beauty since the oldest dates textbook history can reach. We all know that Egyptian pyramids have been around for many, many years, and although we have come a long way since building with stone blocks weighing as much as 15 tons, the use of stone is still going strong.
Read More:


Pool Garden mediterranean pool

Pool side. It only seems right to have stones and water in the same setting, and what better place to implement this than near the pool? The organic shape of the pool, combined with the rocks and greenery, make this landscape feel like almost like a swimming hole.

Ackerly Park ~ New Albany, Ohio traditional kitchen

Kitchen island. It's not often that you see a kitchen island made of anything but wood or metal, so this stone island is a welcome change. The lighting under the countertop makes sure the stone doesn't go unnoticed.

Private Family Ranch Retreat contemporary entry

Walls. Call me crazy for thinking about fall, but I can't help but to imagine how wonderful it would be to walk into a house like this after a long walk through the crisp, colorful leaves. This is another example of when veneer would come in handy, and shows how you may be able to add a wall treatment like this to your own place.

Read More:
By Erin Lang Norris

Friday, 12 August 2011

Solo House by Pezo Von Ellrichshausen Architects

From Solo Houses, a villa in Spain that is open to the countryside, "a cross between a patio and an observation post, whose heavy base acts as foundation." More in our photo gallery.:

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Your DNA Song

This is brilliant.

"DNA music exists within every living organism universally and now we have the technology to unlock a symphony from within everyone for a better and more aesthetic understanding of life, ourselves and each other".  Stuart Mitchell

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Nuvist Architecture & Design

Simple and smooth , these two pieces bring beauty and tranquillity to any bathroom.

Pare : Washbasin Design

Pare washbasin is inspired by the movement and power of water.
Nature has been designed by its own elements. Such as a rock that has been shaped by a single water drop in the nature. This was the main idea for the washbasin design. Formal movement and asymmetrical transition are blended between horizontal and vertical twists and bends in the curvature of form.

Charme : Bathtub Design

Charme bathtub defines a new typology in bathtub design. We have designed Charme for continuity unique form which has transition between watering system function, comfortable seating idea, and also singular continuous form.Side parts of back rest area of Charme form provide arm resting area during the bath period such as sofa has and also control buttons for the watering system.

Designer: emrah cetinkaya (Turkey)

more info:

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Twins: Houses in Five Parts / William O’Brien Jr

Architects: William O’Brien Jr. LLC
Location: Upstate
Project Year: 2009-2011

© William O'Brien Jr rendering by Peter Guthrie

This design proposal for two vacation homes for two brothers and their families on one plot of land in upstate New York represents an examination of a curious part to whole relationship. The mathematical principle of “dissection” states that any two regular polygons with equal areas can be divided into sets of similar shapes; “minimal dissection” is the pursuit of the fewest number of subdivisions in each polygon. This scheme appropriates this principle as a solution to (1) general similarities in the programmatic requirements, and (2) distinctions in the desired relationships to the site, voiced by the two brothers for each of their homes.

© William O'Brien Jr rendering by Peter Guthrie

© William O'Brien Jr rendering by Peter Guthrie

© William O'Brien Jr rendering by Peter Guthrie

© William O'Brien Jr rendering by Peter Guthrie

A regular six-sided polygon and a regular four-sided polygon contain the same five shapes—each are made up of the same four trapezoids and one triangle. The adjacencies between the five shapes are different within each of the regular polygons, as are their orientations relative to the outer perimeters of the polygons. Translated into spatial divisions in an architectural plan, these fixed arrangements prompt sectional-flexibility. Conceptually, in section the floor planes and the roof planes are configured in order to accommodate strategic micro-topographic continuities and discontinuities across the collective surfaces.
Flows in circulation of residents and water govern possible configurations of the floorscapes and roofscapes respectively. An overall articulation of the five volumes as discrete parts acts as a second ambition which directs the possible formal outcomes of the houses. Programmatically, the pairs of parts are used similarly between the two houses, although each programmatic piece utilizes its unique adjacencies; for example, the triangular space is used as a vertically-oriented, sun room in the center of the square house, and as a landscape-oriented, screened-in porch in the hexagonal house.

Site Plan

© William O'Brien Jr rendering by Peter Guthrie

© William O'Brien Jr rendering by Peter Guthrie

© William O'Brien Jr rendering by Peter Guthrie



Proximity of houses relative to one another is calibrated through the development of the agricultural usage of the interstitial land. Water collection from the two roofs is directed to a subterranean piping system between the houses. The agricultural development of the land between the two houses separates them visually (to varying degrees depending on season) while linking them inextricably, both infrastructurally and communally. Water dispersal stems from two pairs of “water channels” embedded in two walls in each house. The planometric dovetailing of four different crops, which oscillate in harvest seasons, accommodates different proximities of crops to each of the houses. Leaf vegetables, berries, wheat and corn are braided together in order to provide each house immediate access to each food type.
Materially, the houses remain abstract, to offer a reading of the forms as packages of discrete volumes with orientational differences made possible by the large apertures. There is a rubber roofing system that is used for the tops of the houses and dark, thick stucco that coats the sides and underbellies of the houses.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Toma House – Portable Do it Yourself Chalet

"It’s the Swiss Chalet of portable home office, the Toma House is the brain child of Frank Thoma together with Australian born architect Shinta Seregar as the lead designer. The idea is to create a portable DIY home office for the rich, but with a price tag of USD15,000 won’t it be much cheaper to buy a shelter in Bali?"

"Its light weight aluminium structures, designed and fabricated in Germany, are transportable anywhere in the world thus making them ideal for more moderate and warmer climates. In addition, the patented “TomaHouse” in natural woods and its expandable add-on concept and affordability allows for multiple uses such as in private homes as a beach pavilion or, for commercial use as in a booth at a trade show, or a newsstand or even a Jacuzzi bathhouse!
Finally, each house can be assembled or taken apart within 48 hours and is completely outfitted with showers, toilets, air-conditioning, heating and lighting systems where a building team is available to setup a house anywhere in the world for a fixed fee.
TomaHouseBaleClassic combines German technology with the charm of Balinese craftsmanship."

Toma House is Feng Shui ready:

Sources: Toma House – Portable Do it Yourself Chalet & &

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Electrolux's Design Lab 2011 competition

Even if you're not into home appliances, Electrolux's Design Lab 2011 competition is something worth watching, not least because a neat robot vacuum made it to the finals.
After a field of 25 semi-finalists was announced last month, the judges recently narrowed the hopefuls to eight crushworthy concepts.

The foot-controlled Robo TAP keeps you on your toes.
(Credit: Gyu Ha Choi

One is the Robo TAP Cleaner by Gyu-Ha Choi of Handong Global University in South Korea. This design improves upon automatic vacuums like Roomba by giving users more hands-on (well, make that feet-on) control.
Robo TAP makes use of an indoor positioning system as it follows its own route to vacuum household floors. But when you want it to pay attention to a particularly dirty spot, you just tap your foot twice to summon it.All you need is a slender remote tucked into your footwear to get its attention. Three taps return it to its previous routine. And if you click your heels together, you get whisked back to Kansas.

As seen in the vid below, there are some out-of-the-box designs among the other seven finalists. One is the Smoobo Blender by Roseanne de Bruin of New Zealand's Massey University.

Bounce that thirst away with the Smoobo Blender
(Credit: Roseanne de Bruin)

To make a smoothie, you pour the ingredients into a large ball covered with nodules, and bounce. Interior blades mix it up for a perfect drink. Just don't try to slam-dunk it.

Kent Madden of Carleton University in Canada, meanwhile, dreamed up a portable rotating bagel toaster that runs on sugar crystal batteries--the same power source as the winning entry for 2010, a portable cooking device called the Snail.

Other finalists for this year include a wall-mounted slow cooker and a portable microwave. The winners will be decided in September, and the top designer will bag 5,000 euros (a little over $7,000) and a six-month paid internship at an Electrolux global design center.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

ICON Bluetooth headset

The new Jawbone ICON Bluetooth headset introduces an unprecedented suite of choices for greater self-expression with six unique shield designs, more like a cast of characters in a movie. Each design is evocative of different personalities that represent different personas, creating a palette of “cultural icons.”

Jawbone® ICON™ is equipped with military-grade NoiseAssassin® 2.5 with wind reduction, the best noise cancellation technology that money can buy. Originally developed for use by tank commanders and helicopter pilots, NoiseAssassin is a proprietary technology that eliminates unwanted background noise when you talk on the phone. It gives you the freedom to enjoy quiet phone conversations in places you previously couldn't. Jawbone headsets are the only Bluetooth® headsets with a Voice Activity Sensor (VAS) that literally feels your speech vibrations. As a result, Jawbone ICON delivers unmatched speech quality and eliminates virtually all background noise.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Lake Geneva, Switzerland

A contemporary residence, office and guest annex on Lake Geneva, Switzerland. Powerful sculptural forms and lines and the use of bold colours and sheer materials result in a taut composition.
About SAOTA :
SAOTA (Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects), is driven by the dynamic combination of Stefan Antoni, Philip Olmesdahl and Greg Truen who share a potent vision easily distinguished in their buildings and an innovative and dedicated approach to the execution of projects internationally, nationally and locally. SAOTA is a firm of approximately 90 talented, young architectural designers and technicians including and in-house CGI and marketing team and a strong support of administrative staff. The company has received numerous awards and commendations from some of the most respected institutions worldwide.

Interiors by Antoni Associates

Roof Plan

Ground Floor

First Floor