Personal Paradise

Written by Online editor on . Posted in Architecture

Recently awarded “Best Caribbean Architecture & Design Company” by Caribbean world magazine, R.A. Shaw Designs has been creating some of the most sophisticated luxury residences in the Turks and Caicos Islands.Architect Ronald A. Shaw has recently commenced what may be his best work yet, The Villas at Turquoise Banks.  Nestled on two secluded acres just steps from Long Bay beach, unlike Providenciales’ Grace Bay tourist area, Long Bay is untouched in comparison and far more exclusive, allowing villa owners their own Caribbean paradise. This incredible luxury villa community is uniquely situated and comprised of six distinct residences designed by award-winning architecture and design company RA Shaw Designs.

Cool Construction

Written by Patricia Cullen-Photography Iwan Baan on . Posted in Architecture

Traditionally, the association between individuals and buildings was solely a functional one, where a house was built with four walls and a roof and, hey presto, job done. A new generation of architects have a different image of buildings that go way beyond just providing a roof over our heads. They aim to not only produce a practical structure, but also to create housing that will nurture and encourage community living.

Welcome Büro Ole Scheeren, an international design studio that practices architecture, urbanism and research, and has just celebrated its fifth anniversary in November, 2015. And they have certainly packed a lot of thought-provoking architecture into those five years with some exciting, global projects and German Ole Scheeren, founder of Büro OS, has become a huge success with his experimental architecture. Based in Hong Kong and Beijing, work keeps rolling in for this young practice and with its promising international portfolio, Büro OS is expanding, opening two new offices in Berlin and Bangkok. The MahaNakhon tower, Thailand's tallest skyscraper, the Guardian Art Centre in Beijing and a high-rise in downtown Vancouver, are just a few of the admired projects of this renowned architectural firm, but it is the inspired 'vertical village' that has been praised as the ultimate in innovative design. 

Minimalist Bliss on the Fringes of Chişinău

Written by By Garrett Brandon on . Posted in Architecture

A city of stark, utilitarian, Soviet-style buildings constructed in a rush during the 1950s is probably the last place you would expect to find a striking example of modern, cutting-edge minimalist architecture. But in an otherwise unremarkable suburban setting on the outskirts of Chişinău - the capital city of Moldova - is Line Architect's The Piano House. It's a sleek, single-story private house that comes close to epitomising minimalism at its finest.

Travelling out from the centre of Chişinău , the surroundings morph within a matter of minutes into the same monotony of characterless, low-rise homes found in suburbia the world over. The familiar sameness is suspended, at least momentarily, when you reach the Piano House,  a pleasing-to-the-eye euphony of glass, wood and concrete that sits easily in its trapezoidal plot, bordered on three sides by more conventional homes. It's a sleek, single-story, 264-square-metre family home with three bedrooms, an inner courtyard and outdoor swimming pool.


The front facade is subtle and signified, a car port that fits elegantly into the overall aesthetic. There's no sense of it being an afterthought or add-on, as is all too often the case with car ports or other external aspects of the house. It's flanked on two sides with reinforced ferro-concrete walls, with a flat surface of wood and glass to the back - the three elements coming together to create not just an ideal shelter but also the perfect frame. The sleek lines and low profile give the front of the house an unassuming and modest appearance; this isn't a house that could ever be accused of arrogance or ostentation.

The Next Generation of High-Rise

Written by By Susanne Steinböck on . Posted in Architecture

Demographic change means that companies today are facing a previously unknown challenge: the battle over the best employees. Only companies that are able to keep good employees are able to increase productivity, grow and survive amid the competition.

But the very employees they are in search of, the young "Generation Y", have become choosy. A commensurate salary and good career opportunities go without saying. A comparative study of the years 2004 and 2014 by the Centre of Human Resources Information Systems of the University of Bamberg established that Generation Y placed particular importance on soft factors such as work climate (2004: 53%, 2014: 94.3) flexible hours 2004: 28%, 2014: 85.9) and work/life balance (2004: 27%, 2014: 67.9%) when choosing an employer.

The Space Age Work Space

Written by By Patricia Cullen on . Posted in Architecture

On the 21st June 2011, Decos Technology Group, a Dutch company that specialises in high-tech digital storage, tracking and IT, officially opened its doors to their new headquarters in Noordwijk, NL. Now, before your eyes glaze over imagining you are about to read yet another press release, about yet another new build, for yet another tech company, try to dismiss these hasty preconceptions. Fortunately, this is definitely not a typical, run of the mill building, characterised by automatic double doors, opening into a banal centre of operations, revealing a standard office space. 

Live Work Balance - Gehry's Wall Street Social Experiment

Written by Howard Byrom on . Posted in Architecture

A two-bedroom on the 40th floor with one of the building’s rare terraces is yours for $7,385 per month.

‘New York by Gehry’, so good they named it twice… Also known as 8 Spruce Street, the 76-story tower is unmistakably Gehry. Adorned with his trademark exterior, a crumpled stainless-steel skin, it resembles a half-crushed can of Japanese beer if we’re being trite.

Malta: a cool climate that's hot on the quality-of-life index

Written by the Online Editor on . Posted in Architecture

The value of Portomaso property has risen by 400%. Might this reflect property expectations by overseas buyers for Tas Sellum and Ta' Monita residences, too?It's official - Malta has the best climate on earth.

Malta was one of two countries that were tied for first place with the title of Best Climate, according to the Quality of Life Index issued by the International Living magazine last year. Sharing top honours was Zimbabwe.

Yet a Mediterranean climate (over 5 hours of sunshine a day) isn't all that Malta has to offer. Malta's many other virtues in the 9 categories of the IL index combined to earn it 3rd place overall in the Index, pipped to the post by the U.S. and New Zealand. That ranking speaks volumes for the size of Malta's quality offering relative to the island's land mass of just 122 square miles.

HPP Architects - Learning from the Masters

Written by Chris Brown on . Posted in Architecture

Architecture, it’s been said, reflects the society that surrounds it. Consider then, the new Medical Library Düsseldorf´s Heinrich-Heine-University. Known as the OASE building, it’s been described as being a “pulsating space for studying, reading, learning, inspiration and social encounter.” Enthusiastic, certainly – but it’s a pretty accurate way of putting it.

The building mirrors the prosperous confidence of North Rhine Westphalia’s capital city and the federal region as a whole, but it also succinctly captures the ambition and more importantly the social democratic values of this part of the world. NRW understands the important asset of its citizens and it celebrates and rewards them with good architecture.

Designed by architects HPP, the project took two years from breaking ground to completion in November 2011. The design for the 38 meter high structure stack its various internal functions one on top of the other and is an architectural representation of our body’s capillary system. This idea is very effectively displayed through the smooth skin façade that forms a network of organic glass shapes over the slender cube. The cumulative effect is a vital building with high identification and recognition value.

Get High - Treehotels

Written by Claire Quinn on . Posted in Architecture

Getting close to nature is something that even the most hardened urbanite can tolerate when the design principles are right. Here we take a look at a series of magnificent ‘treerooms’ created by some of Scandinavia’s leading architects. The idea behind the Treehotel was to offer high-standard accommodation in an unspoiled setting where guests could truly engage with the peace and purity of their surroundings.

While the concept itself is not unique the inspiration and delivery of the Treehotel is. The project grew from a revisitation of the famous film “The Tree Lover” by Jonas Selberg Augustsén. A tale of three men from the city who rediscover their roots by building a tree house together, in many ways a philosophical story highlighting the tree’s importance to people, both historically and culturally.

Baring this in mind, the project’s designers chose the uniquely beautiful locality of Harads in Norrbotten County, northern Sweden. The site not only provides guests with seclusion and uninterrupted views over the Lule river but offers accessibility to the coastal city of Luleå. Initially five individually designed treerooms have been built at Harads, each one sitting between four to six meters from the ground.


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