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Four reasons you should choose laminate flooring

20 January, 2018 - 00:57

Giving your home a makeover isn’t always easy, or cheap for that matter. One of the main things you need to consider, that often gets overlooked, is the floor.

This should be one of the first things you take care of, mainly because it’s the very foundation of the house and isn’t cheap either! For this reason it is understandable that you expect something to last, be practical and of course look nice. So, why not to think about laminate flooring as one of the options? Here are four reasons why we highly recommend laminate floors.


If installed and maintained properly, laminate flooring can last up to 20 years! This is mostly thanks to it being man-made and also due to the way that it is constructed. Laminate flooring consists of four layers. The backing which protects the floor from any excess moisture, the core which gives stability to the floor when people are walking on it, the image which imitates the wood look and on the top a protective layer.

Another great feature is that unlike real wood, laminate flooring stands quite well temperature fluctuations and will not contract or expand like its hardwood counterpart.

Family and pet friendly

As we were saying, laminate flooring is highly durable and among its features, this floor is waterproof and highly resistant to scratches. This is perfect if you have little ones running around, you won’t need to worry about any spillage they could cause, as long as it is wiped up as soon as possible it shouldn’t pose any damage to your floor.

And if you have a furry friend at home, laminate floor will be your new best friend as it stands very well scratches. As a plus, laminate floor doesn’t collect dust like carpets, making them not only hygienic but a really great alternative to anyone who suffers from allergies.

Low maintenance

After a long day at work we’re confident that you’d much rather spend your time with loved ones as oppose to cleaning floors. This is the third reason you will love laminate floor. It is really easy to take care of, you just need to regularly sweeping and a weekly mop with warm water. If you want to vacuum you only need to do it from time to time, as we were saying, this floor doesn’t collect dust which makes it very hygienic.


Laminate flooring is popular because it can replicate pretty much any surface. Which means, should you choose an imitation of wood, laminate is able to mimic many different types of wood. For example; oak, walnut or acacia – plus many more! It also comes in a wide variety of shades. This makes the laminate floor very versatile and can be used in different rooms in the house.

It is a good solution if you are making changes in more than one room, because you can use the same floor in different versions. So if you are on a tight budget, not only can you make savings by using laminate instead of hardwood, you can also replace tiles too!

So there you have it, some of the reasons that we think you will love laminate floors just as much as we do!

The Benefits of Bean Bags in Today’s Busy life

17 January, 2018 - 01:35

It is of utmost importance that you must know how to handle yourself in today’s busy life. It is human nature that if the human being is pampered properly then he or she manages even the busiest of the schedules. So bean bag is a product which can give you maximum level of body comfort so that you overcome the daily life hectic schedule. Comfort matters a lot to human body because it regenerates the interest to work again and again.

People who are into reading books and watching are more prone to using bean bags as it gives them a seat with ultimate comfort and they can focus on their respected hobbies. Movies, Watching TV and reading books are kind of activities which require the most amount of human concentration and if you are lying down on a sofa, couch or Bean Bag which is soft, comfortable and trendy in look then it multiplies the pleasure of these activities.

Similarly, In Dubai the weather is rough and the life here is also very busy so in that case Bean bags Dubai is actually a very nice tool to get over your tiredness. People here are prone to such life style now and they get exhausted quite easily but if they use Bean Bags Dubai then surely they can reduce the exhaustion level. It is very much advisable to focus an extra bit on yourself in those areas of the world where the working conditions are not as conducive for human health like in Dubai because the weather here is extremely hot.

Dubai is in the middle of a desert and hot weather there is no surprise but if you don’t keep good care of yourself then there are chance that your health will start deteriorate. Bean Bags in Dubai are also used in various events in the winter seasons as lots of fun filled activities are held in Dubai as the weather is quite pleasant during winters in Dubai UAE which includes lots of school and college’s outdoor activities and fun filled picnics. Some important features of Bean Bags are described as follow:

1 Bean Bags are ridiculously comfortable (if you haven’t sat in one – go try it now!) and soft,  you can lounge in them, lie on them, cozy up in them with a friend or three,  watch a movie, play some video games, grab a drink and chill on them.  Just tuck in and enjoy them.

 2 Bean Bags are just so convenient, redecorate your room with them anytime you like!   Move them around to play some games, push them out of the way when you need some extra space for dancing or even yoga.

 3 Bean Bags are multifunctional – the “transformers” of furniture.  From a couch to a recliner, to a footrest, to a bed.  There doesn’t seem to be anything you can’t make your bean bag into.

 4 Bean Bag furniture comes in an amazing array of colors shapes and sizes.  Match them to any room in the house, or the boardroom or the kids’ playroom. And if you change your mind later, you can always just pick up a new cover and you’ve got a whole new piece of furniture. You choose, make it yours!

 5 Bean bags are cost-effective pieces of designer furniture.  Maybe they’re not “cheap” but when it comes to all the above reasons it is one of the best purchases for your home, dorm or office.  And the materials and craftsmanship are right in league with their alternative furniture counterparts.


Artists in Residence: 18 Stunning Studios Designed for Cultivating Creativity

15 January, 2018 - 20:00
[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

Shouldn’t the settings of temporary artist residencies be just as creative as the art produced there? These structures include communal houses, remote huts, mobile studios, inhabitable billboards, rooftop apartments and entire inns full of creatives from various disciplines, providing an inspirational setting, lots of daylight and an optimal place to work. In effect, they’re like collaborations between the architects who designed them and the artists who dwell there for a brief period of time.

Artist in Residence Project by TYIN Tegnestue and Rintala Eggertsson

Håvard Lund, a jazz musician and composer, originally commissioned TYIN Tegnestue and Rintala Eggertsson Architects to create a workplace for himself in northern Norway. Once ‘Fordypingsrommet Fleinvaer’ was complete, he decided he couldn’t just keep it to himself, and turned it into a striking artist residence for rent with views of the rugged landscape and the sea. Four small sleeping huts are embedded into the hillside nearby.

Room on the Roof by i29 Interior Architects

Dutch department store De Bijenkorf teamed up with the Rijksmuseum to invite artists, architects, designers, writers and musicians from around the world to participate in a new artist in residence program located in a small historic tower in Amsterdam. i29 Interior Architects created the unique interior, which features a multi-story wooden built-in full of small, open rooms, including a bed platform and a desk platform. A dramatic spiraling staircase contrasts with eh light materials, offering access to the roof for inspiring views.

Fogo Island Inn & 6 Striking Artist Studios

Six small structures located along the craggy north coast of Newfoundland, Canada are collectively known as Fogo Island Studios, a residency-based contemporary art venue for creators from a wide variety of disciplines. These creatives come to Fogo Island to live and work for periods ranging from one to three months, either at these freestanding studios or at the Fogo Island Inn, a 29-room accommodation, all of which were designed by Saunders Architecture.

Droga Architect in Residence, Sydney, Australia

Australia’s first architect-in-residence program hosts overseas architects in a warehouse apartment in inner Sydney, designed by Durbach Block. The sleek black rooftop structure contrasts with the historic brick building below it, giving residents a bird’s eye view of the city and its architecture.

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Choosing a hardwood floor for your home? Here is how

10 January, 2018 - 23:46


When deciding on new flooring for your home, be sure to look into hardwood floors. They have long been a favourite choice of homeowners, and for good reason. They are a classic choice that never goes out of style while also offering a warm and natural look.

Hardwood flooring is also very durable and can last for years when it is properly cared for. Luckily this is easy to do, but it is still important to find the right kind of hardwood flooring for each space. Different types offer different benefits, so don’t be afraid to do your research and ask a lot of questions when picking it out. There are also a few important considerations to keep in mind when browsing.

Type of Wood Flooring

There are two main types of wood flooring available. The first is solid hardwood. This is a single piece plank that is formed from a wooden log. A groove and tongue is cut into the plank as well in order to allow them to latch together with ease. This is done on both the long and short edges of the plank. Solid wood is available as both prefinished and unfinished planks that come in a variety of sizes.

The second kind of flooring is engineered wood. This kind of wood is made up of multiple layers of plywood and other materials with a top layer of hardwood. The planks come in a wide range of thickness in order to best suit your home’s needs.

Both of these flooring options offer the rich appearance of wood but where you might notice the difference is in the composition of the floor. Solid wood is susceptible to the humidity of the room, meaning that it might expand and contract accordingly. It is usually safely installed on the ground floor and the upper levels of the house but might not be advisable for the basement. Engineered wood flooring tends to be more stable due to its construction. This would be the better option for bathrooms and basements.

Choice of Wood Species

There are a number of different kinds of wood used in flooring. If durability is your concern though, then hardwood is the way to go. Red oak and white oak are the most widely used kinds and offer a good level of durability, but if you are looking for something harder, than maple, walnut, and hickory are the way to go. There are also other exotic woods available to select from but budgets might get in the way of these types of wood. It it is a high traffic area of the house it might be worth investing in harder woods.

Grain, Color and Appearance

When looking for wood for the flooring, it is important to have an idea of what you want the overall look to achieve. For instance, if you want a rustic space it would be best to look into woods with a defined grain and maybe use a distressed finish. Formal spaces might be better suited for dark finishes in order to increase the overall drama of the space. Whatever you are looking for, you can find with a little bit of hunting. The overall species of the floor is a good place to start when trying to achieve this look, but finishes will also go a long way to tie the whole thing together.

Type of Finish

The type of finish used on hardwood flooring will have a huge effect on the final overall appearance of the floor. You can completely change the look of a species with different finishes. For instance a maple floor will look dramatically different with a clear finish versus a hand-scraped, wire-brushed, or distressed finish. On top of that, there is matte, gloss, and european oil finishes to take into account. This will determine the overall sheen of the wood by the end. Many suppliers also offer pre-finished wood to make their customers’ lives easier.

Cost and Installation

The overall cost of wood flooring will depend on type, species and the finish. Generally depends solid prefinished will cost anywhere from $2.49 to $12.69 per square foot, while engineered prefinished wood flooring might range from $1.69 to $8.79. Installation costs will vary according to the size of the space.

CLEC Site Docklands Park – Stage 2 | Melbourne, Australia | MALA Studio

10 January, 2018 - 22:00

A vibrant new recreational and cultural public space has been unveiled to the public in Melbourne’s Docklands. The project is the latest from up and comers MALA Studio who designed and developed the CLEC Site Masterplan for Development Victoria and the City of Melbourne.

The awkward triangular site was one of the last slithers of undeveloped public land in the precinct consisting of a series of dilapidated and disconnected buildings, plazas, courts and artworks. The site also contained a high pressure gas easement which effectively divided the site into two portions. The Masterplan aimed to unite the site and connect it to the surrounding Docklands Park by enhancing green space, reconfiguring existing elements, and creating new pockets of activity.

The recently completed park marks the second stage of the project and comprises a multi-purpose sports court, exercise stations, ping pong tables, daybeds, seats, gardens and green open spaces. The site also houses Amanda Levetes 2015 MPavilion which was relocated during Stage 1 of the project.

Since opening the park has been buzzing with people and activity both day and night. In the morning local residents walk their dogs and training groups run circuits and drills. During lunch hours the park is inundated with office workers eating lunch, working out, playing ping pong or lounging on the daybeds or tilted lawns. At night the multi courts host basketball, netball and soccer clubs and the MPavilion curates events.

The project is one of Melbourne’s new generation smart parks offering free wi-fi and phone charging stations throughout the precinct. Also hidden within the park are weather and data collecting instruments.

However, even with this technology, ingrained within the project is an expression of the site’s unique and contextual history. All the timbers used in the project were salvaged from the recently demolished Docklands North Wharf, less than 400m from the CLEC site.

North Wharf was historically significant with local Engineers opting to experiment with Australian hardwoods (such as Jarrah, Red Gum, Iron bark, and Yellow Box) rather than imported European timbers which were more commonly used at the turn of the century. Through careful planning and collaboration between the client, builder, timber merchant and landscape architect, salvaged timbers were graded, reconditioned and repurposed as the customised seats and daybeds within the new park.

The stage of the CLEC site is dynamic, fun, and playful. It allows another generation of city goers an outdoor Melbourne jaunt with a tasty side of history!



Design and Consultant Team
Lead Designer and Landscape Architect | MALA Studio
Construction | Maben Group
Engineering (Structural and Civil) | Taylor Thompson Whiting (TTW)
Engineering (Services) | Plan B Services
Lighting | Electrolight
Irrigation |  Make it Wet
Arborist | Stephen Fitzgerald- Arboriculture
Recycled Timber | Timber Revival

Client |  Development Victoria
Location | Corner Collins Street and Harbour Esplanade, Docklands Melbourne
Size | 6,000 sqm
Completion Date | October 2017
Photography | Lisbeth Grosmann and MALA Studio

The post CLEC Site Docklands Park – Stage 2 | Melbourne, Australia | MALA Studio appeared first on World Landscape Architecture.

Japanese Waiter Exhibits 8,000 Chopstick Sleeves Left as Restaurant “Tips”

9 January, 2018 - 20:00
[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Sculpture & Craft. ]

In a culture without tipping, one Japanese waiter began to realize that customers were expressing their gratitude in a subtle (and in some cases even unintentional way) by folding the sleeves in which their chopsticks came wrapped.

In 2012, Yuki Tatsumi began to collect these into a set he would come to display and call Japanese Tip. He started at the establishment in which he worked, then branched out to other restaurants around Japan to gather over 10,000 examples of all kinds.

Finally, half a decade later, he staged an exhibition of his collection in Tokyo. The variety is remarkable, from complex origami-style works to shredded and otherwise deformed sleeves.

The results show various degrees of conscious and subconscious effort by patrons. Meanwhile, the variety of materials, colors and designs from different sleeves also lends complexity to the collection.

“Japanese Tip is a project between restaurants and customers,” says Tatsumi of the project, “to communicate the ‘appreciation for food’ and ‘appreciation of the service’ by using the most common material used at any Japanese restaurant.

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Tikku: Three-Story Minimalist Micro Apartment Fits in a Single Parking Space

26 December, 2017 - 04:00
[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

Proponents of our supposed driverless car-sharing future say the system could lead to a dramatic drop in the number of vehicles in our cities, so does that mean we’ll be able to fill our sudden abundance of parking spaces with micro houses like this one? The Tikku by Marco Casagrande is a three-story structure with a footprint that fits perfectly within a single parking spot and can be erected overnight. Wherever a car can go, “the Tikku can grow,” says the architect.

20170906 Helsinki, Mikrokerrostalo, Arkkitehti Marco Casagrande KUVA: JENNI GÄSTGIVAR/IL

“Tikku is a safe-house for neo-archaic biourbanism, a contemporary cave for a modern urban nomad,” Casagrande explains of his creation, which was installed outside of Atheneum in the heart of Helsinki for the city’s Design Week 2017. “It will offer privacy, safety and comfort. All the rest of the functions can be found in the surrounding city. Tikku is a needle of urban acupuncture, concquering the no-man’s land from the cars and tuning the city towards the organic. Many Tikkus can grow side-by-side like mushrooms and they can fuse into larger organisms.”

20170906 Helsinki, Mikrokerrostalo, Arkkitehti Marco Casagrande KUVA: JENNI GÄSTGIVAR/IL

The self-sufficient house produces its own energy with solar panels and has dry toilets, but you’ll have to tote in your own water; the architect emphasizes that there’s no need for many amenities like showers, saunas, laundry machines or complex kitchens because such things exist all around you in the city.

20170906 Helsinki, Mikrokerrostalo, Arkkitehti Marco Casagrande KUVA: JENNI GÄSTGIVAR/IL 20170906 Helsinki, Mikrokerrostalo, Arkkitehti Marco Casagrande KUVA: JENNI GÄSTGIVAR/IL

The Tikku is made of CLT (cross-laminated timber), an engineered wood material that’s five times lighter than reinforced concrete, and it doesn’t require a foundation; a sand box in the bottom gives it balance on slightly uneven urban surfaces. It’s simple but cute, with interiors that might offer just enough space for a single minimalist occupant who’s dedicated to integrating into the fabric of the city. Would you live there?

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High-Design Pie: Complex Edible Works of Art You’d Actually Want to Eat

25 December, 2017 - 20:00
[ By SA Rogers in Art & Sculpture & Craft. ]

Instagram might have made it famous, but the fine art of crafting a delicious pie so intricate you’re almost loathe to cut into its crust is much older than the modern ‘food art’ trend. Centuries ago, the richest and most flamboyant members of high society sought out talented head cooks who could present a sufficiently impressive dining experience filled not just with the finest ingredients, but also edible sculptural wonders.

Conrad Hagger, who worked for the Archbishop of Vienna in the 18th century, wrote a book called ’Neues Saltzburgisches Kochbuch 1719’(The Salzburg Cookbook) that included drawings of pies with elaborate shapes like towering reindeer, sea monsters and swans. And if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you may recall the infamous Pigeon Pie at the fateful Purple Wedding – the monstrous one Joffrey cut into with a sword, releasing live pigeons into the air (psst… here’s a recipe for a replica, minus the live birds.)

It may be rare to see creations of quite that intricacy on the average dinner table today, but that doesn’t mean we’ve lost the art altogether. Pie making has always been among the quiet domestic arts practiced primarily by women, with decorative touches ranging from simple flowers to crusts woven like tapestries. Modern bakers are keeping the tradition alive with more contemporary designs, like those found on the blog and Instagram account Pies are Awesome, who’ve created pies inspired by pop culture phenomena like Stranger Things and Star Wars.

Some of the coolest modern pies come from bakers Lauren Ko and Karen Pfeiff Boschek, whose work is almost mathematical in its precision. While some of the designs fare better than others post-baking (in one of her Instagram posts, Ko admits that Boschek is better practiced at this, calling her a “butter sorceress”), all of the designs are sure to drop jaws at the table.

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Sunken City of Sin: Submerged Ruins of a Roman Playground for the Rich

21 December, 2017 - 04:01
[ By SA Rogers in Culture & History & Travel. ]

Hidden at the bottom of Gulf of Naples in Italy for 1,700 years, the ancient Roman city of Baiae has been revealed to the world after divers were permitted to explore and photograph the site. Historians call Baiae “the ancient Roman version of Las Vegas,” a getaway for the rich and famous where hedonism ran wild. The fashionable resort was popular with the likes of Julius Caesar, Nero and Hadrian, and it was once filled with luxury vacation villas and party houses echoing with rumors of corruption.

Italian photographer Antonio Busiello captured these incredible images of the now-submerged city, whose mosaics, statues and cobblestone streets are now located many feet below the surface of the water where they’ve been taken over by marine life. Researchers studying Baiae have discovered that its villas were made with marble shipped from quarries in Turkey and Greece. Can you guess why it ended up this way? Just look to nearby Pompeii for clues.

That’s right, the very same volcanic activity that provided Baiae and other regional hotspots with natural hot springs for its spas and baths ultimately destroyed it. The city was once located right along the water’s edge, but was eventually claimed by the Gulf. It wasn’t found again until 2014, when heavy flooding south of Naples caused landslides that exposed portions of the city’s old walls.

Experts have been able to identify the individual villas of various Roman historical figures, including Pliny the Younger, who witnessed and documented the 79 C.E. eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

“The beautiful mosaics, and the villas and temples that have reemerged or are still underwater show the opulance and wealth of this area,” says Busiello. “It was considered one of the most important Roman cities for centuries. Diving here is like a dive into history, looking at ancient Roman ruins underwater is something hard to describe, a beautiful experience indeed.”

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Stoned in Scotland: Modern Home Shrouded in 17th Century Ruins

19 December, 2017 - 04:00
[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

Without touching a single stone in the ruins of a 17th century farmhouse in Scotland, two architects managed to incorporate it exactly as it is into a modern, ultra-efficient, solar-powered family home. Lily Jencks Studio and Nathanael Dorent Architecture collaborated on a project that literally builds upon history, opting to adapt the ruins for a new usage in a way that highlights their history instead of trying to recreate what the farmhouse looked like once upon a time.

Located in the picturesque hills of rural Dumfries, looking out over a landscape of grassy emerald fields, the ruins might have seemed unusable to many who saw them. All that was left of the original structure was the suggestion of four walls, eroded down to waist-height in many areas. The farmhouse had been modified many times over the centuries, and for its newest incarnation, the architects chose to go bold with a surprising high-contrast design.

There are three layers of walls, they explain, starting with the original stone. Just inside them is a layer of black waterproofing EPDM rubber forming a pitched-roof envelope for the interiors. Then, there’s a curving interior ‘tube’ wall system defining the interior spaces in a way that feels soft and almost cave-like in nature.

“These three layers are not designed as independent parts, rather, they take on meaning as their relationship evolves through the building’s sections. They separate, come together and intertwine, creating a series of architectural singularities, including in some areas a particularly revealing simultaneous reading of these three layers.”

“At the windows and doors the tube funnels out towards the light, creating a ‘porched’ space within the thickness of the tube wall, and between the envelope and the tube, that can be used for furniture and storage.”

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Adaptive Architecture: Curved House Wraps Old Well, Reuses Stone Cistern

18 December, 2017 - 04:00
[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

A contemporary home in Spain was designed to wrap a surface well and sits on the associated subterranean cistern, creatively converting it into the solid foundation and habitable basement of this new living space.

The so-called Casa Aljibe (Cistern House) by architect Alejandro Valdivieso (images by David Frutos) is located in Alpedrete on the site of an old local water system that used to supply the neighborhood but stopped functioning over 50 years ago.

The cistern structure was left intact, however, and used for storage. When it came time to build a home for the descendants of the property owners, the architects decided build with and around these existing features.

The resulting design features a curved glass facade shaped by the well and a light prefabricated metal and timber frame system that rests comfortably on the existing stones of the cistern below. The cisterns’ ceiling functions as a patio.

Behind the house, the ground level drops off and the cistern-turned-basement can be accessed via the backyard while the new building elements cantilever out above.

The new additions are designed to be simple and geometric, informed by the shape of what is already on the site but also creating material contrast to distinguish old from new.

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Facades Minus Architecture: Subtractive Photos Flatten Built Environments

16 December, 2017 - 20:00
[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Photography & Video. ]

In Facades 3, the latest in a series of such sets, French photographer Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy ones again visits flatland, imagining the world constructed like a stage set from virtually two-dimensional building fronts (or sides).

In architecture schools and firms, students and designer often draw or photograph (or these days: turn to Google maps) to capture the street- or ally-facing parts of buildings adjacent to their site — an exercise to understand the context around their new vision.

In previous iterations of this series, the photographer focused on day-lit scenes, often occupied by people and cluttered with other contextual cues. In this latest set, calm, quiet and lonely evenings along country roads are the focus instead, all the more eerie as subjects.

Gaudrillot-Roy adds a twist to this approach, looking at structures from an angle, but nonetheless imagining them to be two-dimensional. He accomplishes the effect by photographing real places, then nearby landscapes to infill gaps when he subtracts. The surrealistic results call into question what lies beyond shared public space, highlighting the invisible voids concealed by facades.

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Parque de la Ciudad | Buenos Aires, Argentina | NOA

15 December, 2017 - 00:00


The new Paque de la Ciudad [literally Park of the City] will be that meeting place, but with a new urban look, designed for its inhabitants and putting in value the environmental quality of the territory, making it a new Ecological Park.

It is located in the South zone between Av. Fernández de la Cruz and Av. Roca, and along with the 130 hectares Indo-American Park and the new Olympic Park (Ex Parque Roca) of 46 ha. making up the second largest public green lung of the City of Buenos Aires.

On the other hand, the Census of the urban forest of the City from 1990-2000 shows that 70% of the trees were in sidewalks, 15% in plazas and 15% in parks. Values that change in the 2001-2011 Census, with 88% of trees in sidewalks, 6% in plazas and 6% in parks. This figure indicates that, due to the lack of maintenance and the increasing meteorological inclemencies and the absence of planting of new species, the number of trees in parks has decreased.

That is why the project maintains 100% of the existing vegetation, and at the same time proposes a replanting of 20,000 new specimens, all of them native.

The Park System in the South Area consists of: the Roca Park, which has a recent and important sports infrastructure, the Indo-American Park, with its immense area of 130 ha. and its varied playground spaces, in which Buenos Aires Playa stands out with its sports areas and in the center, the Parque de la Ciudad that will have a perimeter ring of neighborhood-scale squares and inside an environmental restoration of a unique tree reserve in the city of Buenos Aires.

This space system, mainly green, allows the minimum construction of square meters of non-absorbent pavements, providing the use of its perimeter squares not only to the nearby neighbors of the park but also to a large number of residents of the Commune 8 and the Metropolitan Area.

We believe, that taking advantage of the existing infrastructure is an opportunity to accomplish providing specific character to each park and the central space occupied by the Parque de la Ciudad is the heart of this system.

Understanding that the Parque de la Ciudad will be a key piece in the green spaces of metropolitan scale of the city and that at the same time it is necessary to give answers to the needs of both, existing neighbors and the new ones that will occupy the future Olympic Villa, we designed a succession of squares of neighborhood scale in which we propose a series of interventions, possible to be constructed in different and successive management units that satisfy this double character, metropolitan and neighborhood of the Park of the City. In this way we propose two large subsystems that make up the park and a piece that unites and articulates the three parks:

  • THE RING continuous subsystem of squares with programs of neighborhood scale and that make of transition between the plot and the park
  • THE WOOD a subsystem of natural green spaces of metropolitan scale that allows to enter in an exuberant nature
  • THE HALO allows crossing the Park of the City and is the link that unifies and connects the Olympic Park with the Indo-American Park

Client | Coorporación del Sur
Location | Villa Soldati, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Site Area | 50.000 m2 / 538.195 sqft
Built Area | 50.000 m2 / 538.195 sqft
Project | 2017

Authors | Oliverio Najmias & Marcelo D’Andrea
Collaborators | Nayla Budziñski, Florencia Cariddi, Lucia Cuello, Sofía Gonzalez Chans, Josefina Gorodo, Lucía Griotti, Juan Levermann, Candelaria Mercau, Marina Puiggari, Juana Shilton, Matías Spina, Sofia Rusca


The post Parque de la Ciudad | Buenos Aires, Argentina | NOA appeared first on World Landscape Architecture.

Sydney’s George Street reopens for Christmas

14 December, 2017 - 22:00


Sydneysiders have had an early Christmas present this year – their first taste of what the all-new George Street will look like when the CBD and South East Light Rail is complete.

Two city blocks along George Street have been re-opened to the public for the first time providing more space for pedestrians.

The two blocks between King Street and Park Street have been completely redesigned. Road surfaces have been replaced with the stone-paved track area and levelled with adjacent footpaths, while new underground services, light poles, street furniture and trees have been added.

Designed by ASPECT Studios, who are leading the public domain design along the 12-kilometre corridor of the CBD and South East Light Rail. Together with Transport for NSW, the light rail consortium led by ALTRAC Light Rail, and City of Sydney, ASPECT is working with multi-disciplinary teams of transport and civil engineers, architects, heritage consultants, lighting designers, arborists, design managers, safety consultants and operators.

“What’s happening on George Street is remarkable. This is a particularly complex part of the city and light rail project, and includes the most dramatic transformation – from a heavy traffic and bus dominated road, to a high quality, pedestrian-oriented shared zone in the heart of the CBD.” says Kate Luckraft, Studio Director, ASPECT Studios.

When complete, this new pedestrian zone will extend from Bathurst Street through to Hunter Street, with four city blocks upgraded with new paving and urban elements between the light rail stops at Town Hall, QVB and Wynyard.

Along the new pedestrian zone, the street has been made level with the footpaths, paved in dark grey granite, with the rails set in a ribbon of light grey stone for increased visibility. Only approved local traffic vehicles will be permitted in the pedestrian zone where pedestrians and light rail vehicles will be given priority.

ASPECT has used the City of Sydney’s public domain furniture palette of seating, garbage bins, pedestrian light poles, water fountains, tree guards/grate throughout. This award-winning furniture palette, designed for the City by Tzannes, has two suites of elements— stainless steel for the city centre, and a ‘bronze’ suite for surrounding suburbs and ‘villages’.

The project implements the furniture range on a large scale from Circular Quay through to Bourke Street Surry Hills, establishing a consistent language of furniture elements throughout the public domain upgraded by the light rail project.

Grimshaw architects are designing the stops throughout the light rail project, using bronze and stainless steel to complement the city’s palette and establish a clear identity for light rail stops.


Design Firm | ASPECT Studios

Photographer | Brett Boardman

The post Sydney’s George Street reopens for Christmas appeared first on World Landscape Architecture.

Urban Birdhouses: Danish Designer Builds 3,500+ Homes for Avian Occupants

12 December, 2017 - 20:00
[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Installation & Sound. ]

Some sit individually in trees while are clustered in sets, branching out like leaves on a building facade or hung like ivy off the sides of structures, but all of these diverse birdhouses share something in common: a single creative mind that has been working on them for years.

Street artist and designer Thomas Dambo’s Happy City Birds project is an ongoing ode to both cities and their avian inhabitants. He specializes in recycled artworks for humans as well as animals, ranging from small interventions like these to huge climbable sculptures.

Started in 2006, “the idea for Happy City Birds sprung from Thomas being a former graffiti artist, and was looking for a way to do street art in a positive way, that everyone can understand.” As with his other projects, these “birdhouses are made from recycled materials and scrap wood.”

His artist statements, like his kid-friendly creations, are not without a sense of childlike wonder and good humor. “One day Thomas felt that he wanted to know how it was to be a bird, so he built a giant birdhouse that he could hang out in. The house he build solely using recycled materials and put it up near Dronning Louises bridge in Copenhagen.”

A lot of these birdhouses are located in Arken, Denmark but they are also spread across other cities including Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense, Horsens, Beirut and Berlin.

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Petroleum Pets: Coalinga’s Vanishing Iron Zoo

10 December, 2017 - 20:00
[ By Steve in Culture & History & Travel. ]

Painted pump jacks with plenty of personality put the “pet” into petroleum at the venerable and vanishing Iron Zoo in and around Coalinga, California.

Formerly known as “Coaling Station A”, the town of Coalinga in Fresno County hitched its wagon to a different type of fossil fuel once the Coalinga Oil Field was discovered in the late 1880s. The subsequent oil boom peaked in the 1910s with pump jacks and steam injectors gradually replacing derricks. By the late 1960s one couldn’t swing a cat without hitting a pump jack… sparking a brainstorm in one Coalinga-area resident who wondered how the ubiquitous “nodding donkeys” could work for the greater good. Or at least, for her greater good.

Jean Dakessian Jones and her husband owned a motel that – due to the recent opening of Interstate 5 – was vacant more often than not. Jones knew she had to find some way to attract more traffic (literally) to their motel. Inspiration struck in the form of the pump jacks, whose form & function lent itself to artistic modification. “I had never seen oil pumps like those,” recounted Jones, “and my imagination saw them as all kinds of creatures. I thought that if people came off the freeway they would see a painted pump, go a little farther to see the next one, and on and on until they made it to Coalinga and saw our wonderful and inviting motor lodge. It worked!” And with that, the “Iron Zoo” was born.

Many of Jones’ painted pump jacks are off the beaten path with the most-photographed example – the zebra – being the most accessible. The images above were snapped by Flickr members Emerald Wu (whiteskylight) and 1Flatworld in 2013 and 2007, respectively. Note the ominous confluence of warning signs… it may be smelly but this is definitely not your average zoo!

Pumpjack Pennywise

To say the Iron Zoo had humble beginnings would be an understatement – it started with a single painted pump jack. Of course, the pump jacks weren’t Jones’ property and trespassing laws are rigorously enforced both for the safety of the public and to protect the companies from legal liability. Flickr member David Cohen (zampano!!!) captured this somewhat disturbing clown (aren’t ALL clowns somewhat disturbing?) in December of 2007.

Refuel Refugees

Jones played by the rules and in 1971 she contacted Marshall Newkirk, site manager for Shell Oil in Coalinga. To her surprise and delight, she found an ally in Newkirk. “After I painted the first one,” explained Jones, “he ran it by the head office and they gave me the green light to continue.”

Not only did Shell approve of Jones’ plan, they even chipped in to cover the cost of the paint – no small expense considering the company owned 23 pump jacks. By mid-1973, Jones had painted all of Shell’s pump jacks… and boy, were her arms tired. Flickr member Arlette captured the above bobbing goat in September of 2009.

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Extended Essay on Design and Technology

7 December, 2017 - 22:17

The word design means different things to different people. In many cases, it bases on the perception of an individual towards a specific product or object. People tend to think of design as a noun. For example, “that’s a good design,” however the plan is a verb within the current context of Design and Technology.

It’s a way of looking at the world, it’s not an “it” but rather a “how.” A method of doing things. It’s the process of converting an idea to the real world application whether we’re talking about the app you’re using or the car you’re driving.

Since the incorporation of Design and Technology in the UK curriculum in 1989, we have seen an increase in the quality of engineers produced by the school system. Being taught from a very early age, students have the opportunity to apply their knowledge in math and physics in a real-world scenario. Taking the abstract and bringing it into an applicable model that is easier to understand.

Furthermore, students can learn about the technologies used within the design process that make their everyday tools and products. It provides deeper insight into what makes our world work and creates a more profound appreciation within the minds of the students.

Stimulating the Creative Process

Within a world where technology is becoming ever more inexpensive, the creative process is becoming more critical. It is because of technology, as with any tool, is only as good as the person who is operating it.

Design & Technology teaches people to utilize their creative processes to solve real-world problems. It shows you problem-solving and motivates you to look outside the box of the conventional to find a solution that will work for a particular problem.

This skill also translates well into other sectors within society, providing students with a more robust approach to their particular discipline.

A Future within the Workplace


Another aspect we must consider is that the combined niches of the “Creative” sector within the UK is worth roughly five hundred billion pounds per year. Furthermore, there is a massive demand for labor with these particular skill sets.

Seeing that roughly 1.9 million new engineers will need in the decade leading up to 2022, this means that within a world that is becoming ever more automated, the security in employment becomes a significant benefit of Design & Technology.

Many people who cling to the “old ways” have been made redundant. By this, we mean that their function within society is no longer valuable seeing that technology is replacing the need for physical labor.

For those who have a background in design & technology, they have a more secure future with a potential for higher earnings than that of many other industries. Additionally, understanding that there is a considerable demand, and the sheer versatility of the subject matter, students with this background will have a myriad of choices when selecting a career path.

Solving the World’s Problems

Technology has increased the efficiency of humanity like never before. We face significant catastrophic potential problems, and it is subjects like Design & Technology that will cultivate the skills needed to solve these issues.

From issues relating to the environment, disease, infrastructure and so forth, it is the mentality that instills by design & technology that will provide the framework to address these robust problems.

Whereas many people look at the world’s problems and try to figure out why; engineers, creative people, and inventors see at solutions not yet thought of and asks, “why not?”

It is the very premise that we desperately need within a world that is expanding at an accelerated pace. From topics such as global warming or overpopulation, to even more alien concepts such as government and corruption; design & technology will provide the mindset to address these problems and make the world more efficient.

Better by Design

We cannot fathom how the world will be within the next decade. Technology has allowed humanity to connect like never before. We are finally in a position where we can design a future that meets the needs of everybody. Where the old ways of the privileged no longer hold humanity in a choke hold.

Now, the individual is empowered, and ideas have more value than ever before. Design and Technology provide humanity the necessary tools to become better, more efficient have less impact on our surroundings.

Something as simple as urban farming and hydroponics, designed by engineers and scientists, have revolutionized the production of food that can feed an ever-growing population. Smart cars, smart houses, and smart technology are increasing our efficiency while decreasing our negative impact on the world.

Author: Joan Young is an aspiring journalist and copywriter with deep interest in sociology, inventions and technological progress. In a spare from travelling minute, she provides online tutoring sessions to international students and finds immense pleasure in witnessing their writing progress. Currently he is working for, a custom essay writing service.

Shipping Shapes: Perspective Drawing Lines Form Containerized Landscapes

5 December, 2017 - 20:00
[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Drawing & Digital. ]

Anyone who has seen stacks of shipping containers and the huge cranes that move them at big ports knows they can make for a marvelous sight, but what happens when you overlay those rigid geometries on other landscapes?

Artist Mary Iverson, who lives near one such port in Seattle, combines paint and photographs to explore the results of globalization, intersecting natural and built environments with bright geometric cargo container boxes, ships and infrastructure.

“In following my interests and working to resolve an artistic dichotomy within myself,” she explains of her work, “between my love and nature and my fascination with the shipping industry, I came upon a visual solution that metaphorically echoes what we are facing in the world today.”

Architectural drawings often leave behind traces of perspective, hinted at in pencil before final forms are inked in pen. In her work, Iverson leaves those construction lines in place, then fills in gaps selectively to form containers.

“My paintings are colorful abstractions that spring from the theme of the industrial shipping terminal. The canvases feature mass accumulations of shipping containers and container cranes in various perspectives. My work employs a network of searching perspective lines and layers of interlocking, colorful planes and rectangles that suggest both deep space and flat surface.”

In both artificial and organic landscapes, the boxes introduce depth and scale, juxtaposing existing spaces with perspectives that align with new grids.

Iverson received her MFA in Painting from the University of Washington in 2002 and currently teaches painting and drawing at Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon, WA as a tenured faculty member. (via Colossal).

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Starchitect Spotlight: Olson Kundig’s Crystalline Modern Sensibilities

4 December, 2017 - 20:00
[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

Each one of architectural firm Olson Kundig’s creations is in open dialogue with its environment, often integrating oversized glass doors that open wide to the outside world or sliding steel panels to close them up and make them feel safe and secure. The Washington state-based firm, consisting of architects Tom Kundig and Jim Olson, feels quintessentially Pacific Northwest in its choice of raw, rugged materials that can stand up to extreme weather conditions, from wildfire-prone plains and heavy snow pack to rainforests and windswept coasts.

Seattle Space Needle Renovation

While a $100 million renovation of Seattle’s iconic Space Needle may sound like a project that could dramatically change the landmark’s form, it will look much the same in the city’s skyline when it’s complete. Olson Kundig is adding to the experience with floor-to-ceiling glass in both the interior and exterior spaces, including a rotating glass floor on the restaurant level for new downward-facing views of the structure. The architects collaborated with the original structural engineers, architectural historians and preservationists to remain true to the Space Needle’s spirit while removing clutter, replacing the safety cage system with glass barriers for better views.

Cabin at Longbranch

Designed by architect Jim Olson for his own personal use, Cabin at Longbranch is set on the Puget Sound among fir trees, renovating a 200-square-foot bunkhouse built in 1959 into a beautiful weekend house that reuses and reintegrates the original structure into a modernized context. What was previously three pavilions linked by wooden platforms has been joined together under one roof, framing large glass walls facing views of the water.

Sol Duc Cabin

Many of Olson Kundig’s structures transform in some way, opening and closing themselves to the environment for safety, privacy or protection from the elements. This 350-square-foot cabin is envisioned as “a small perch for its occupant,” raised above the soggy rainforest landscape in remote Washington State like a bird’s nest with a view onto the Sol Duc River. The owner and his wife like to use the place periodically for steelhead fishing, and close it up safely when they’re not around. The large shutters slide on rails designed for barn doors and are operated manually with custom steel rods, making the building virtually indestructible.

Glass Farmhouse

You don’t often see glittering glass buildings in rural locations. The owners of this property on a high-altitude plateau wanted a refuge inspired by Philip Johnson’s Glass House, opening up to the wheat fields and surrounding mountains, steps away from their barn. The shed roof of the home takes its shape from that of the barn. While it might look chilly, the house is made with high-efficiency glass and sits on a concrete slab supported by a concrete foundation to absorb and release thermal mass.

Chicken Point Cabin

A massive 19-foot-tall glass garage door opens to the lake outside manually via an industrial-style pulley mechanism in this concrete block cabin, which also boasts a 4-foot diameter steel fireplace the architects call ‘the bong.’ The door is large enough to accommodate long skis, an important feature for this vacation cabin in a snowy location. The cabin sleeps ten and is made of low-maintenance materials that will take on a patina over time.

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Rollout: 10 More Abandoned Roller Skating Rinks

3 December, 2017 - 20:00
[ By Steve in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

Roller skating may not have been as “cool” as ice skating but it was one hot recreational activity back in the days before inline was superseded by online.

Roller rinks, along with bowling alleys and drive-in movie theaters, form a sad triumvirate of dying “family” recreational venues done in by economics, demographics and the rise of personal electronics. The former Valle Vista Skating Center in Hayward, California epitomizes the decline and fall of old-fashioned outdoor entertainment – sign out front shoulda told ya’.

Speaking of which, the sign was the last vestige of the business to go after its closure, long abandonment, and destructive fire in early 2008. Kudos to Flickr member Michael Van Vleet (signalstation) who snapped these images in October of 2007. To quote the photographer, “Glad I snapped photos. You know, I passed that roller skater sign for seven years thinking ‘I should get a photo of that.’ I’m glad I finally did before it vanished.”

He Shoots, He Snores

Roller hockey was yet another attempt to extend ice hockey’s appeal beyond the winter months. Of course, “hockey” and “appeal” are two words that too often don’t make enough economic sense south of the World’s Longest Undefended Border. This abandoned roller hockey rink captured at sunset by Flickr member Setve Nogar (snogar) in June of 2013 can be found in the Dayton, Ohio neighborhood of Walnut Hills… assuming anyone’s looking.

Pro and Conway

The Conway Roller Rink in Conway, Arkansas opened in 1973 and was a popular hangout for local college kids – Conway was and still is known as “The City of Colleges”. The rink had to compete for customers with a bowling alley right next door but soon garnered a reputation for its theme nights, parties and other such events.

Like many non-chain enterprises, the Conway Roller Rink depended on the vision and energy of its owner. Larry Billings bought the rink in 1981 and his dedication to making the rink “a safe and fun environment for many families in Conway” made him a beloved figure in the community. In October of 2012, Billings was fatally shot at home – a murder whose perpetrator has still not been found. Billings’ wife and son inherited the rink but had no interest in operating it.

NOLA Tengo

La Fleur’s Roller Rink in Sulphur, Louisiana (just west of Lake Charles) has seen better days. Now it’s one of Five Big Eyesores in Southwest Louisiana That Could Be Great Opportunities.” That was in 2015 – Flickr member DieselDemon snapped the long-abandoned roller rink back in 2007 when its corrugated siding was a tad less rusted.

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