Pott Architects, Germany

September 13, 2008

Interior of a Pott Architects home in Germany (image: Rudi Meisel)

From Wallpaper:

Pott Architects is a small but very active and creative architectural practice, with an interdisciplinary approach. Founded in 2005 by Ingo Pott, a graduate from Berlin’s Technical University, the practice has already won several awards, including the Rudolf Lodders Prize – which Pott scooped at the age of 25. The Berlin-based architect has collaborated in the past with Norman Foster’s global team when they were working on the Belrin Reichtstag, as well as a variety of other projects in Germany and the UK. Following that, Pott worked in partnership with the architect Ulrich Harnann for four years before setting up on his own.

Pott sees architecture as much more than just a building. He therefore aims to create tailor-made solutions, depending on the specific demands of each commission and the requirements of each client, and always with the same high quality standards, creativity and a sense of experimentation. Residential design is a big part of the practice’s portfolio, with the featured Haus L in Glienicke being one of its most characteristic and expressive projects. This modern villa is situated on a slope in an extensive wooded site. Home to a lucky family of four, the structure appears to naturally grow out of the landscape.

click here to see the image gallery

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Seeing Berlin by Rooftops

August 15, 2008

Weekend Club
Berlin’s The Weekend Club

In North America Berlin seems to get a bad rap (Europeans know better). When listing off the best European capitals to visit, people will usually start off by naming the holy trinity of European travel destinations: London, Paris and Rome. Beyond that you’ll usually hear Prague and Budapest and maybe Vienna and Copenhagen shortly thereafter.

It’s really quite too bad since Berlin has to be Europe’s most underrated city for tourism. A tectonic fault line worthy of San Andreas during the Cold War, the city manages to balance the old (Unter den Linden) with the new, tradition with technology, art with finance. The city has long been a centre of the arts and especially a nucleus for architecture and design.

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Kathmandu – Where the Medieval is Today

August 12, 2008


Bansagopal Temple, from the 17th century, in Kathmandu’s Durbar Square

Nepal served as the link between Hindu India and Buddhist China and remained a closed place until 1950. What Nepal lost from the lack of contact with the outside world, the rest of us gained from Nepal as the country and especially its capital Kathmandu are incredibly well-preserved in all their medieval glory.

Lucinda Lambdon of Vanity Fair takes a peek at how Nepal is intent on preserving its medieval charm in The Once and Future Kathmandu:

The movement to preserve the valley’s architectural wonders has gathered momentum ever since. In an act of astonishing bravura, in 1969, to celebrate the wedding of King Birendra, the German government backed the restoration of the Pujari Math, a Hindu priest’s house, and later undertook the restoration of more than 200 buildings in the town of Bhaktapur. In 1972, unesco began restoring the vast Hanuman Dhoka Royal Palace, in Kathmandu’s Durbar Square. There have subsequently been heroes aplenty, but here I must reserve my plaudits for the Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust, founded in 1991 by Harvard professor emeritus of architecture Eduard Sekler and American architect Erich Theophile, on whose heads I place glistening laurels; for, to date, the trust has saved, or helped to save, some 50 buildings. The most prominent supporter of the cause is Prince Charles, who helped launch K.V.P.T.’s plans for Patan’s Royal Palace complex by hosting a fund-raiser at Clarence House and making a donation from his personal trust. Restoration of the complex began in May of this year.

Read the rest of the article and see the photographs at this link.

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The Splendour That is Versailles

August 12, 2008


Versailles’ South Gardens

Few places on Earth can compare to Château de Versailles when it comes to sheer aesthetic beauty. From the dramatic facades of the structures to the finely defined interiors, and of course the splendour of the gardens.

Take a look at this gallery of images from Versailles.

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Rem Koolhaas on the spectacle that is architecture and why Dubai, Russia, and China are the hot spots for it

July 23, 2008

Rem Koolhaas

Rem Koolhass tells us that Dubai, Russia, and China are the places to watch for forthcoming trends in architecture

Urbanist, architect, and architectural theorist, Rem Koolhass is a very excited man. Voted as one of the world’s 100 most influential people earlier this year, he is a man not shy to expound on his thoughts in the world of design and trends.

In a recent interview with Der Spiegel Koolhaas waxes eloquent on trends in architecture, on why sustainability is an empty catchword, and on what he wants to achieve with Dubai.

Koolhaas on where the future of architecture lies:

As far as the experience of building goes, the strongest impulse will undoubtedly come from China and the Middle East, and probably from India, as well. Things get more complex when it comes to thinking. The intellectual force of the West is still dominant, but other cultures are getting stronger. I expect that we will develop a new way of thinking in architecture and urban planning, and that less will be based on our models. There are many young, good architects in China. The unanswered question is whether our cooperation, this internationalization, will result in a common language of architecture, whether we will speak two different languages or whether there will be a mixture of the two.

Educatorium, Utrecht in The Netherlands

Koolhass’s “Educatorium” building in Utrecht, The Netherlands

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Hotel Palafitte – Neuchatel, Switzerland

July 21, 2008

Hotel Palafitte

Located on the banks of Lake Neuchâtel, the Hôtel Palafitte has 40 suites housed on stilts across the shallows. Designed by Kurt Hofmann for the Sandoz Family Foundation, the hotel is a haven for those visiting nearby Le-Chaux-de-Fonds.

Quite an original design :) Click on the link to take you to the website: Hotel Palafitte.

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China – home to the most exciting new architecture of the 21st century

July 17, 2008

Chinese National Centre for the Performing Arts

Chinese National Centre for the Performing Arts, design by French architect Paul Andreu

Flush with western dollars and about to stage its coming out party this summer at The Olympics in Beijing, China has remodeled itself with the help of the world’s best architects and designers. Bold, brave, creative, and yet humanistic, China is transforming itself at a pace similar to when the USA was bursting with the same self-assured confidence a century ago when it declared the 20th century to be “The American Century”. Kurt Anderson of Vanity Fair takes a peek at the visual delights rising in China in From Mao to Wow!