Tag Archives: architecture

Inspiring Home with One Garden per Level in Singapore

The Meera House was designed by Guz Architects and is located on the island of Sentosa in Singapore. We consider it a daring and original project- after all, not many homes feature green spaces for every floor of the building. Here is a short description from the architects: The plots on the island of Sentosa are not large and neighboring buildings are built close to the sides of each house. Thus our strategy was to build a solid wall to each side neighbor to provide privacy where possible,  while creating a central light and stair well which would funnel the sea breeze through the centre of the building.
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The front and rear of the building meanwhile, terrace back allowing each storey to have visual or actual access to greenery. The intention was to try to allow each roof garden provided a base for the storey above allowing the layered effect to make each storey feel like it was a single storey dwelling sitting in a garden…..as much as we could do in the close confines of Sentosa island and with such a large building!!
What a wonderful architecture idea and a call to sustainability as well ! (Photographer: Patrick Bingham Hall)
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(from freshome)

The Seatle apartment

Chelsea brought this article and this fantastic little apartment to my attention. I am guilty of not covering apartments very often but I love the use of space in this one and you must see it.

The article written by The Seattle Times Rebecca Teagarden is titled “Tiny apartment shows the value of a good fit” and talks about Steve Sauer’s 182-square-foot Seattle condo which shows the value of a good fit, from the soaking tub built into the entry floor to the “video lounge” tucked beneath the “cafe area.” Sauer shopped Ikea for many of his home’s furnishings, such as a little table, and used tabletops to fashion cabinet fronts.

Photos by Benjamin Benschneider of the Seattle Times

Steve Sauer watches television in the video lounge, which has seating for two. The horizontal band around the condo, accenting the powder-blue walls, is coated with blackboard paint.

Saurer’s says, “What I really wanted was one place with exactly what I needed and wanted. Quality is more important than quantity for me, and extra space only a problem,” he has written, describing his nearby too-big-for-him, one-bedroom condo.

Sauer relaxes in the cafe area of his 182-square-foot condo. “I was worried as I filled in all the upper spaces that it would feel cramped, but it didn’t,” he says. The window is at street level. The little table is Ikea. It has a glass top that swivels open, providing storage.

“I wanted to compress my home to squirt me back out to the community,” he says, taking inspiration from dwellings in Scandinavia and Japan, places where space is dear. “That was one of the philosophical reasons. I want to be able to shop daily, not store a lot and eat really well.”

Sauer checks his messages at the dining table, which includes a leaf to expand for company. The undercounter refrigerator is Frigidaire, from Lowe’s.

When Sauer couldn’t find the things he needed, he designed them and built them: The stainless-steel shower caddy, towel bar. For other pieces, “Ikea came through again.” Lighting, cabinet pulls, and butcher block for shelves, the table top and cabinet fronts. The rich flooring, Brazilian walnut, was installed by Matt Messenger. A bureau from West Elm fit to 1/8 of an inch, and so it was ordered.

Sauer designed the tiny condo for two. Just inside the door is the bathroom to the left, and a soaking tub inserted into the floor and covered with a 3form Chroma panel.

“My dream is to put 300 of these in a building and not have it be a tenement.”

Read the Seattle Times article here.

One bike is tethered to the ceiling for storage. Steam heat comes from the building’s system. The ventilation chimney runs across Sauer’s ceiling, and was easy to pipe into. “It was passing through here anyway.”

The bathroom wall is covered in 1-inch tiles from Tiles for Less. Light filters into the room through a 3form Chroma panel, shared with the kitchen. The ceiling is tempered glass meant for a table top from Ikea. The toilet is Philippe Stark for Duravit. Sauer designed and manufactured the stainless-steel shower caddy and towel bar.


The video lounge is tucked beneath the cafe area and next to the dining table. “All along the way this project’s had good chi, so that’s good,” Sauer says. The bureau is from West Elm. “It fit to within 1/8 inch. It was a nice find. I didn’t want to build another piece of furniture.” The floor is Brazilian walnut.

(from tinyhouseblog)

Architectural Eyebrow Raisers: 15 (More!) of the World’s Weirdest Buildings

[ By Elizah in Architecture & Design, Travel & Places, Urban Images. ]

Reflecting their creators’ desire to step far, far away from the sheepish architectural clones that our culture has grown to accept as “normal”, these outstanding structures are among the unique global jewels that convey a quirky sense of personality tucked within an even more wackadoodle shell. While it may be hip to be square, these slightly left of center buildings demonstrate that marching to the beat of one’s own drummer – whether you’re of the animal, vegetable, mineral or architectural persuasion – is actually a whole lot more fun.

Ferdinand Cheval’s Le Palais Idéal or “Ideal Palace” (Hauterives, France)

(Images via: Nobiwan, The Bodacious Belgrade Blog, Arts Library)

Throughout a 33 year period, rural postman Ferdinand Cheval – who lacked any architectural background whatsoever – collected all the individual stones necessary to create his elaborate carved limestone and shell studded structure via pocket, basket and wheelbarrow. Incorporating a bizarre conglomeration of architectural styles inspired by Hindu and Biblical mythology as well as Algerian, Northern European and Chinese elements, he finally completed his outstandingly quirky monument just one year before his death in 1924 at the age of 88. Grottos, flying buttresses and statues of animals collide in what is today one of the most outstanding examples of “naïve art” architecture and France’s most beloved cultural landmark.

Waldspirale (Darmstadt, Germany)

(Images via: Pakway, Memucan, Germany Tourism, CheapOstay)

Viennese architect and painter Friedensreich Hundertwasser conceived of this fantastical, U-shaped, multi-earth-toned 12 floor residential building complex which emulates the layers of sedimentary rock that you might see in a jutting outcrop deep in the mountains. Completed just 10 years ago, his “Forest Spiral” features 105 apartments, 1000 different shaped windows, a café/bar, an inner courtyard with an artificial lake plus a diagonal green roof studded with botanical elements such as trees, grass, shrubs and flowers. Built by the Bauverein Darmstadt company, it currently serves as the home base for hundreds of lucky German residents.

Eliphante (Cornville, Arizona)

(Images via: Dymaxionweb, Organic Architect, Somethin Beautiful, You Live Where, Trip Advisor, Eccentric America)

An exercise in artistically imaginative organic architecture, this dwelling – built into 3 acres of natural Arizona landscape by husband-wife team Michael Kahn and Leda Livant – would likely trigger Seussian envy in Theodor Geisel himself. Consisting of five separate hand-crafted structures linked together by their shared idiosyncratic themes, the main living quarters are housed within Eliphante and connected to a meditation zone, art gallery, bath house, sculpture garden and wading pond. Raw materials were scavenged from the desert and integrated into the homestead with decisive artistic flair along with stone and glass mosaics, wood, tile, plaster and metal sculptures, yielding a one-of-a-kind home that lives, breathes and communes with Mother Nature.

The Ice Hotel (Jukkasjarvi, Sweden)

(Images via: Multemusic, Culture Shoq, Sophistikitty, Ice Luxury Items)

Quite like short-lived, seasonal treasures such as the emergence of cherry blossoms that are here today and gone tomorrow, Jukkasjärvi’s Ice Hotel exists just 4 brief months out of every year. The nearby Torne River is relieved of tons of its ice, which is then used along with well over 30,000 tons of snow to form the ethereal exterior structure, central supports, shimmering rooms and infamously surreal ice bar. At the end of the spring, what remains is recycled and stored for next year’s incarnation — which is just one of several eco-friendly efforts (including self-generated renewable energy) that add to the hotel’s carbon negative aspirations that they intend to achieve by 2015.

Experience Music Project (Seattle, Washington)

(Images via: Washington.edu, Steve Picture Place, Travel Dudes, About.com, Mibazaar)

An architectural train wreck or simply just a brilliant collision of our world’s most memorable landmarks? In fact, this Frank Gehry-designed museum – which offers a cultural exploration of science fiction and music within – pays homage to the Gehry Tower, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and Walt Disney Concert Hall among other works created by the designer’s firm. Of course, critics have referred to it as being somewhat hemorrhoidal in shape and among the most supremely ugly buildings in the entire world, and while it IS risky with its clashing colors, textures and overall architectural identity crisis, the Experience Music Project kind of grows on you after awhile. Perhaps it’s high time for a little extra dietary fiber ;)

The Sheep Building & Sheepdog Building (Waikato, New Zealand)

(Images via: Cool Mags, Uphaa, Ray Tomes)

Known for its rolling emerald hills dotted with what can only be described as a sea of terrestrial sheep, it’s rather fitting that in a land where wooly creatures out number humans twelve to one that Tirau boasts the world’s only known corrugated iron sheep-shaped structure along with a companion sheep dog version. Housing a wool and craft shop, the sheep building provides a perfect complement to its canine compadre (which happens to be the location of the town’s i-SITE Visitor Information Center). Both are crafted by local artist Steven Clothier, the brains behind “Corrugated Creations” and the reason why this small New Zealand locale is now covered with hundreds of smaller scale but equally quirky iron sculptures.

The Urban Cactus (Rotterdam, Netherlands)

(Images via: Vision Decor, Arts Library)

Rising up into the sky like an alien urban desert invader, this 19 floor Rotterdam high rise offers city dwellers an opportunity to get their funk on along with their green thumbs. Conjured up by the visionary design team at UCX Architects, the graduating structure with star-shaped levels enables natural light to stream through the living spaces while also offering residents access to ample outdoor patio areas, all while overlooking the Rotterdam Harbor. Sounds and looks divine!

“Inversion”…Also Known as “The Hole House” or “Tunnel House” (Houston,Texas)

(Images via: Listphobia, David Airey)

Prior to its imminent demolition, the Houston-based art trio of Kate Petley, Dan Havel and Dean Ruck decided to make the most of a doomed dwelling in a Montrose neighborhood by transforming it into a short lived but very memorable installation called “The Tunnel” or “Hole” house. With its central vortex narrowing into a tunnel that spilled out into the exterior of the structure, local spectators were able to experience their own personal Alice in Wonderland fantasies (or nightmares as the case may be) before the whole thing was leveled in 2005.

The Mushroom House aka Tree House (Cincinnati, Ohio)

(Images via: at: 5chw4r7z, Rocketeer, AnDy631, The Wondrous)

Sprouting up in Cincinnati’s Hyde Park section, professor of Architecture and Interior Design Terry Brown – along with his students – hand crafted this one bedroom residence throughout a period of 14 years until its completion in 2006, at which time it was put on the market for $525,000. Sadly, Brown met his untimely demise just two years later in a car accident, but his Mushroom House – constructed with multiple types of metals, tinted glass, ceramics, wood and shell – serves as his most outstanding legacy and one of Cincinnati’s most esteemed landmarks.

Hang Nga Guesthouse a.k.a Crazy House (Dalat, Vietnam)

(Images via: Webady, TrippyDoo, Travel Spot Cool Stuff)

Tumbling out of the imagination of architect Dang Viet Nga, Hang Nga’s Guesthouse and Gallery is…well…all sorts of crazy, from its rustic tree-like base with spiderweb windows to winding, nook-and-cranny laden interior that promises to keep you guessing at every turn. The artsy designer and daughter of Vietnam’s former president tapped into her entrepreneurial spirit by wisely charging admission to the storybook structure, knowing full well that spectators would happily gobble up its funhouse like details, including seemingly melting interior and exterior facades punctuated by somewhat goofy ‘what are THEY doing here?’ zoo animals keeping a watchful, protective eye upon the premises.

Mind House, Part of Park Güell (Barcelona, Spain)

(Images via: Unusual Architecture, Kripo)

Spanish Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, known for his fantastically original architectural works that can be found throughout Barcelona, incorporated intriguing mythological imagery within his Park Güell, including an outstanding colorful mosaic lizard and a sea serpent-shaped bench which took its unforgettable form thanks to the impression of a woman’s curvaceous derriere in the wet clay. Slightly more memorable than his naked buttock design technique is the overall gingerbread-like layout of his enchanting city garden boasting a thicket of 88 twisted rock pillars along with meandering walkways that appear to exist symbiotically with the lush green landscape. Serving as the focal point of the sprawling botanical zone is the Pavilion or Mind House, a rock studded masterpiece with whimsical jesture-like roof crowned by a polka-dotted mushroom shaped turret.

Conch Shell House (Isla Mujeres, Mexico)

(Images via: Couture Carrie, Art Style Online, Home Away)

Located just 20 minutes away from Cancun, this Carribbean Ocean-surrounded oasis — crafted by Octavio Ocampo — certainly leaves a distinctive impression with its 180 degree ocean views and seashell inspired design. The 5500 square foot dwelling, incorporating concrete as well as structural materials plucked straight from the beach and surrounding region, has no angles…just smooth flowing lines that mirror real seashells. With an interior that is just as alluring as its façade (thanks to creative design details that make the most of real coral and assorted conch shells), Ocampo’s structure – which is available for vacation rentals – offers a true escape into an ocean bound paradise.

Grand Lisboa (Macao)

(Images via: Cool Mags, Nightlight, Wayfaring)

We’ve all seen the ritz and glitz of modern casinos, so this entry may not seem like it’s treading unchartered waters, however the Dennis Lua and Ng Chun Man-designed structure happens to be among the world’s tallest skyscrapers…so that’s somethin’. An eight-story spherical platform pulsing with ostentatiously gaudy neon lights supports an equally Liberace-like lotus leaf, providing onlookers with seductive eye candy which baits them into gambling their cares and bank accounts away. With 58 floors of 5 star debauchery, the $375 million dollar project is said to be among the most opulent, in part due to the ample bling scattered throughout…such as crystal balls, 580,000 Swarovski crystals, gold leaf accents and the permanent display of a flawless 218 carat diamond called the Star of Stanley Ho.

The School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)

(Images via: Architecture List, CPG Corp, Kamwise Miao)

Blurring the line between nature and architecture, this 5 story learning institute is an outstanding example of green construction with its fluid, grassy roof which appears to nestle its inner structure with a protective hug. Amid an urban landscape traditionally studded with buildings that automatically conduct heat, CPG Consultants’ award-winning design offers innate cooling properties along with a roof top rainwater harvesting system and smart sensors that only hydrate the greenery when necessary. It almost seems as though the glass, concrete and metal structure is carved into its wooded valley, acting as a natural extension of what Mother Nature was like long before man stepped into the mix.

The Crooked House (Sopot, Poland)

(Images via: Xcitefun.net, Panoramia, 2Bored4fun)

With little elbow room to breathe due to its curious location amid a long string of boutiques and cafes in Sopot’s Rezydent shopping center, it’s not surprising that architect Szotynscy Zaleski’s 4000 square meter cartoonish structure is suffering from a serious squish factor. However, it’s all by design and reflective of the art of Per Dahlberg and Jan Marcin Szancer, both of whom created fanciful scenes that are brought to life in The Crooked House’s off-kilter lines and somewhat saggy overall demeanor. Containing three stories packed to the gills with shops, restaurants, bars and a handful of touristy sites, Zaleski’s most photographed landmark is memorable just as much for its quirky appearance as it is for its sheer artistry and rather pitiful, gravity-succumbing sadness.

(Top montage images via: iFood TV.com, Instant Shift, Vision Decor, Wayfaring, Top 10 Thailand, Jassy World, Art Style Online, Cool Mags,  Design Top News)
(from weburbanist)

10 Radical Restaurant, Bistro and Cafe Designs

(Images via: Make Sweet, Spot Cool Stuff Travel, Cool Family Vacations, Trendir, Dirwell, Momoy, Juvan Design,  Restaurant Tycoons, Home Architecture & Interior Design, Modeco Design, Autojogja, Momoy)

Feeling a little peckish? Longing for a dining experience that transcends the ordinary, taking your taste buds on an otherworldly journey into hot damnnnn territory? Fret not, foodies, for the act of eating can be easily elevated to that of a culinary adventure when good food melds with even greater digs. Tantalizing our taste buds traditionally begins with fresh ingredients, masterful preparation and an aesthetically pleasing arrangement, but once the extra ingredient of architectural genius is added to the mix, a perfectly satisfying meal becomes that of an event that lingers within our minds long after we unceremoniously lap up the last scrumptious crumb from plates. (Waste not, want not…mom would definitely approve.) You might want to make a point of visiting at least one or two of the following radically designed chow palaces for an experience you’ll undoubtedly dine for!

Germany’s Fully Automated, Quick-n-Quirky Restaurant

(Images via: Crust Station, s Baggers, Be Update, Anita Coco, 2Day Blog)

Boasting a Wallace and Gromit-like, spiral-configured and entirely automated gravity feed rail system, Michael Mack is the brainchild behind ’s Baggers highly entertaining and quite efficient automated ordering and direct-to-table delivery service. Essentially rendering waiters and waitresses obsolete, his patented, computer-networked process could enable other restaurateurs to focus on the business of serving good food and pass their saved personnel costs onto patrons. Endowing diners with greater control over the pace of their meals, the novelty aspect alone is enough to help Mack gain a devoted following and court fast food chains like McDonald’s, which he is very eager to license the idea to.

Japan’s Deeply Rooted Eatery

(Images via: Storm Seed, RVM Gratz, Cube Me, Best House Design, Cyana Trendland)

Upon initial review, this novelty restaurant perched atop a rustic looking tree is quite impressive with its 20 foot tall weathered foundation and internal elevator which transports patrons up to the main dining area. The hearty vines ensconcing the trunk add to the overall impression that this is a tree with a storied life, but in actuality, it possesses the heart and soul of plain old concrete. In spite of that buzz kill, the Naha Harbor Diner has earned a reputation as offering an outstanding view of Onoyama Park and the harbor as well as serving up really tasty, locally sourced organic ethnic cuisine running the gamut from Japanese and Indian to Italian.

A Maldivian Deep Sea Spectacle

(Images via: Elite Choice, Sydney Table, Koormann, Trip Advisor, Funking Dave)

For those who never quite got their sea legs down pat but still long for the hypnotic views that only the ocean can provide will undoubtedly be enamored with the Maldivian spectacle known as Ithaa, which in the region’s native tongue means “pearl”. Indeed, the $5 million restaurant is an ocean bound treasure, located 15 feet below the Indian Ocean to be precise, but you better be prepared to sell off any spare gold dental fillings you might have or at least a whole bunch of platelets to afford their $120 lunch or $250 dinner. Still, some might feel that it’s an experience well worth the bank account damage. Situated on Rangali Island, Ithaa restaurant is believed to be a one-of-a-kind underwater restaurant encapsulated entirely in very thick clear, aquarium style R-Cast acrylic, enabling patrons to enjoy 270 degree views of coral reefs and the naturally indigenous marine life.

Funky French Archipelago Dining Design is Especially Tres Fine

(Images via: Komokokomoko)

In a land dotted with endlessly quaint outdoor cafes, French designer Matali Crasset conceived of a vibrant indoor eating configuration that offers a modern interpretation of an archipelago with multiple satellite dining zones. Located inside a shopping mall at Cab 3000, St Laurent du Var, this Nouveau cafe design concept offers a dash of eye candy as well as a festive indoor solution to the open air dining culture that is so intrinsically a part of the French lifestyle. Even better, the designer created a fully movable unit which can be easily relocated to future locations that may be more optimal.

The Bee’s Knees For Diners Who Speak Chinese

(Images via: Ricarch, Shenzen Party)

Have you heard what all the buzz is about in Shenzhen, China? Ever since SAKO Architects constructed the 1300 square meter Honeycomb restaurant, area residents have been enjoying its large public space for special events as well as its intimate dinner nooks, all stylistically divided with a white spiral honeycomb-studded staircase. Featuring sleek transparent acrylic plastic partitions, undulating wave-like white aerated room sectionals, black granite flooring and mirror-like ceilings, the contrast of carefully appointed details with a space-age undercurrent work harmoniously to create a dynamic dining space that any diligent worker bee would happily want to cool their heels off in.

Pricey Crane-Bound Vittles a Light-Headed Thrill (or Chill)

(Images via: Spot Cool Stuff Travel)

Better not be afraid of heights if you step on board the swinging platform of Dinner in the Sky’s instant movable restaurant with a view. Hatched up by an apparently wacky and thrill-seeking Belgium company, they seem to be doing quite well given the fact that they are offering their distinctive crane-hoisted experience in major cities around the globe, including directly above the Grand Canyon, Paris’ Notre Dame, the Las Vegas Strip and naturally, glitzy Dubai. For the equivalent of an average blue collar salary ($30,000), you too can achieve new heights of dining glory with (hopefully) 22 of your closest seriously seat-buckled friends as you clink glasses at a height of 162 feet for two ever-so-brief yet undoubtedly memorable hours. Mangia!

Darkness Abounds in a Lviv, Ukraine Din-Din Shroud

(Images via: English Russia)

A Ukrainian undertaker and funeral home director must have thought to himself, “Egads! I know what’s been missing from the dining scene for far too long…a little dash of death to help us digest the bitter pill of our mortality!!” In keeping with his whopper of a brainstorm, the enterprising entrepreneur created a massive pine coffin restaurant replica called Eternity — acknowledged by the Guinness Book of World Records as being the largest in the world — and adhered to dreary thematic touches such as funeral music, depressingly crummy carnation wreaths and multiple human-sized coffins propped up against the black landscape plastic-lined walls. Whoo-eee, that’s one heavy scene. Who’s craving a Hello Kitty eatery instead?

Dining Kiwi-Style at What Seems Like a Mile (High, That Is…)

(Images via: Homedit, Cibo Archittetura, NZ Tramping, Springwise, Technovegy)

Standing 12 feet tall and spanning an equally impressive 10 feet in width, New Zealand’s plantation poplar-constructed Yellow Treehouse restaurant – nestled on the forest edge and accessible via a meandering 60 meter pathway – accommodates 18 diners in seriously lofty style. With its chrysalis-like vibe that spirals upward toward an open ended top, the organic design employs structural timber trusses which work in tandem with its central Redwood tree base to support the entire restaurant. Overall, the final look is one of an enchanting childhood fantasy come to life.

Airy, Woven Beauty With a Japanese-Themed Interior

(Images via: Dezeen, Design Boom)

With its bi-layer steel lattice exterior offering a practical yet highly dynamic way to repurpose what was previously an old house, Tori Tori Restaurant – located in Mexico City – is the exciting result of a collaboration between industrial designer Hector Esrawe and Rojkind Arquitectos. Filtered light streams through its open air pattern and into the perimeter of the very successful Japanese eatery, creating what seems to be an organic yet structured representation of the surrounding ivy-covered walls. This is one of those stop-and-stare structures that easily demonstrates that the days of cookie cutter box designs are fortunately over and done with – good riddance!

Sky-High Wood Pile (Better Keep the Splinters Out Of Your Eyes!)

(Images via: Ricarch)

Without its chaotic cacophony of criss-crossed wooden pieces streaming from four central cores and emanating up onto the ceiling, Sliver restaurant might easily be relegated to the ranks of attractive, modern dining spaces that are nevertheless easily forgettable at the end of the day. Fortunately, Russian based Dark Design Group exceeds our wildest design expectations with their simple yet incredibly compelling effect…as if a turbulent tornado of stripped trees is swirling overhead. Just be sure to shield your dinner plate from the splintery fall-out!

(from weburbanist)