Alia is an architect and a professional writer who is familiar for researching and writing in a diverse range of fields, she loves to write on a variety of topics and her work is reckoned higher across various blogs as well.

Jun 092014


An expert on the Middle Eastern construction industry has said that architects working in Qatar are worried about the future of their projects, following the allegations sparked by a Sunday Times report last week of corruption during the country’s 2022 World Cup bid. With many people calling for Qatar to be stripped of the event or for the bidding process to be re-run, there is a chance that Qatar might have to pull the plug on many of its major projects.

Speaking to the Architects’ Journal  Richard Thompson, the Editorial Director of the Middle East Economics Digest, said “A lot of people out here are watching it nervously.”

Despite the risk posed by the allegations, Thompson made clear that the World Cup is just one part contributing to “Vision 2030″ in Qatar, and so not all projects will be at risk: “The past 12 months have seen some pretty major infrastructure projects going ahead – the Doha metro, waste water and sewerage programme… if the World Cup doesn’t go ahead all of those other things will carry on. The projects that will be affected are the stadiums and the ambitions for hotels will be scaled back.”

These at-risk stadium plans will likely include the recently launched competition for the Centerpiece Lusail Stadium, and Zaha Hadid‘s Al Wakrah Stadium.

 Posted by at 7:06 pm
Mar 262014

Illuminated glass-block bookends are a nice addition to otherwise dark bookshelves. Cut a wood base to fit the opening of a glass block vase, and mount a small light bulb on the base.

A pedestal is a stately accessory that provides a base for contemporary artwork or a plant. Pedestals may be sprayed with a textural granite finish, decoratively painted, or covered with fabric.


Wastebaskets can be covered with contemporary fabric to coordinate with any bedroom décor.


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Glass shelves provide a sleek display unit for contemporary collections and small objects. Simple metal bookends turned upside down serve as brackets.

Picture frames for contemporary rooms can be crafted from simple materials. This frame is made from two wooden dowels, a flat, thin board, and two pieces of clear plastic.

Hand painted chair is an exciting contemporary art piece. Unpainted furniture stores and garage sales are good places to find inexpensive furniture for this kind of project.


Feb 052014
architecture & design film festival

Architecture & Design film festival will held in Los Angles for the very first time in its 5 year history. The event will set for 12-16 March 2014, Hosted by Los Angles theater center with the schedule showing 30 feature length and short films alongside Q&As, panel discussions and reception events.

Architecture & Design Film Festival Founder and Director Kyle Bergman comments: “Los Angeles’ blend of architecture and passion for film make it a natural fit for the Architecture & Design Film Festival. There is no other city in the world with this rich combination. Our plan is to make LA a permanent part of the festival circuit that now includes New York and Chicago, expanding our scope from coast to coast.

architecture & design film festival

Jan 242014

Like art nouveau landscapes, traditional Japanese landscape and small gardens have a sense of privacy and enclosure. Unfortunately, this style has been largely misinterpreted in American residential plantings.

The stylish points most representative of a Japanese garden are the miniaturization of the larger natural landscape, the borrowing of surrounding views and foliage to expand the private space. And the prominence given to individual features, such as rocks, miniature trees, bridges, and garden structures.

Japanese gardens vary considerably, from the moss garden that feature hundreds of different types of mosses under a broken canopy of Japanese maples, to the famous Zen Royan-ji temple that has only a few carefully placed rocks within a raked field of coarse, gravelly sand, which is surrounded by a richly aged, tiled wall.

Garden in the Japanese style carefully employ texture and color, juxtapose geometric and free forms, and contrast enclosure with expansion. The overall character of such a garden speaks of simplicity and order, but doesn’t sacrifice the intricacies of a natural landscape. This is not an easy style to use well; when handled carelessly, it can resemble a miniature golf course rather than a sensitive reflection of nature. To create a garden in keeping with Japanese concepts, it is a good idea to make a concerted study of the subject. There are a number of excellent books devoted entirely to Japanese landscaping and several wonderful public Japanese gardens in various parts of the country.


 Posted by at 7:51 pm
Jan 152014

Transitional, or eclectic, style combines the best qualities of traditional and contemporary.

Transition decorating integrates elements from several styles, providing the warmth of traditional with the simplicity of contemporary. Exciting and more personal decors are often archived by blending styles, rather than slavishly following one theme

In transitional rooms, a mix of contemporary and traditional furniture can offer an effective contrast. For a balanced look,  the pieces of furniture can offer an effective contrast. For a balanced look, the pieces of furniture should appear similar in weight or proportion. Often, contemporary pieces of furniture are inspired by familiar traditional style, making them specially suitable for transitional decorating. The bed, for example, has some of the detailing seen in traditional furniture, but the glossy, white paint and the smooth lines give it a crisp, contemporary look.

Color can unify varied styles of furnishings so they work together. Repeat only a few of the colors and fabrics in the room, and avoid mixing several patterns.

Elements of a transitional bedroom

THE BEDDING ENSEBMLE is a mix of styles. The ruffled pillow shams, traditional in styling, are paired with a buttoned duvet cover for a more updated look; additional pillows with flanges complete the eclectic mix. A unified color selection blends the bedding fabrics, from contemporary pinstripes to traditional floral chintz.

A TRADITIONAL STYLE ARMOIRE mixes well with contemporary furnishings, provided the pieces in the room are similar in weight or proportion.

CLASSIC CURTAINS should be with a contemporary drapery pole. The leaded glass window provides added drama.

NIGHTSTANDS in transitional bedrooms can contrast effectively with the accessories. A traditionally styled nightstand can set off a contemporary lamp and picture, or a contemporary nightstand can provide a base for an old fashioned dried flower arrangement.

BASKETS are versatile and blend with many decorating styles, adding warmth to a room,


 Posted by at 10:46 am
Jan 102014


Location: Changsha, China


Design Principal: Wolf D. Prix

Senior Project Partner: Markus Prossnigg

Executive Coordinator: Lei Feng

Project Architect: Angus Schoenberger

Design Architect: Quirin Krumbholz

Project Team: Tyler Bornstein, Laura Ghita, Crystal K.H Tang, Xinyu Wan, Paul Challis, Veronika Janovska, Sorena Dumitru, Philipp Scherl

Structural Engineering: B+G Ingenieure / Bollinger und Grohmann Gmbh, Prof. Klaus Bollinger

MEP / HVAC: Buro Happold Ltd, Bath,UK, Steve Macey(Competition Phase)

Site Area: 150,000 m2

Year: 2013
Client: Changsha Xiandao Land Development and Construction Co., Ltd.


The building volume is integrated into a beautiful landscape scenery and positioned directly on top of a historical cement mining quarry pit and lake. In the design solution towards the South and East, the existing quarry pit is revealed and the sculpted shell of the Snow and Ice World spans 170 meters from cliff to cliff over a sunken and hanging garden creating a new functional leisure space of islands, water, cliffside pathways and ramps connecting the building to this natural heritage.
This unique framed open space in between architecture and landscape is also characterized through an impressive central glass cone providing controlled natural daylight down through the Ice World structure and on to the islands and water surfaces. A cantilevered outdoor swimming pool is part of the Water Park attractions and creates a 60m high waterfall into the quarry pit.
From the inside the leisure functions of the Snow and Ice World engage the space of the quarry pit with views through large glass façades to the natural cliff faces and hanging gardens, also with overviews to the water pools and islands below. At the same time visitors walking or standing on the Cliffside Pathways can also look into the building through the transparent façade; hence an interactive visual contact with the interior of the Snow and Ice World is created establishing more excitement and maximizing the existing value of the industrial heritage.
A separate sculptural 100m high tower on the South end of the site hosts a 5 Star-Hotel and is connected to the Ice World via a Grand Garden Plaza. Arriving from the city of Changsha over Pingtang Avenue, the Hotel tower will be the most significant iconic landmark for the entire Dawang Mountain Tourism Resort Center. It offers 270 high-class single and double bed suites, 60 Executive Suites with an Executive Club Lounge and a 6-room Presidential Suite, all with impressive views to Tongxi Lake, Dawang Mountain and into the Ice & Snow World.
A spacious central Lobby around the tower core opens up into the service plinth containing a bar and restaurant on level one, flexible and multifunctional conference areas on level two and the fitness and spa and beauty facilities on level three. The façade of the Fashion Hotel Tower is a specially designed, highly economical system providing state-of-the-art sun shading, natural ventilation and a unitzed, quick construction. The element façade system offers a maximum of flexibility to the inside room layout and allows a homogeneous appearance over the exterior façade.DAWANG MOUNTAIN RESORT CHANGSHA BY COOP HIMMELB(L)AU05 DAWANG MOUNTAIN RESORT CHANGSHA BY COOP HIMMELB(L)AU03 DAWANG MOUNTAIN RESORT CHANGSHA BY COOP HIMMELB(L)AU02

 Posted by at 6:44 pm
Jan 102014


Architect Nasser Murat Khan, the designer of Minar e Pakistan designed a cricket stadium in the historical city of Lahore, which was named as Lahore stadium. Mian Abdul Khaliq and company constructed this stadium in 1959. It is the lagest cricket stadium in Pakistan. In 1974, the Libyan president Muammar Qaddafi visited Pakistan and had a speech in second Organization of the Islamic Conference meeting held in Lahore. He supports Pakistan over the issue of having nuclear power and becomes very popular in Pakistani nation and government and the Lahore stadium was given the name of Qaddafi stadium after his name.

The 1996 Cricket World Cup was held in Pakistan. Before the commencement of World Cup in 1995-96, the stadium was renovated. Nayyer Ali Dada the most famous architect of Pakistan redesigned the Qaddafi stadium of the pattern of Mughal architecture by using red hand-laid brickwork and arches. The lower side of the stands outside the stadium was covered with Restaurants, offices and boutiques. The traditional concrete benches of the stadium were replaced by plastic seats and stadium was equipped with floodlights.

Qaddafi stadium Lahore is the main hub of Pakistani cricket activities. Headquarter of Pakistan cricket board situated in it. Many national and international completions have been held in it.

The Qaddafi stadium has hosted many historical cricket matches. The most famous of the match was 1996 world cup final played between Sri Lanka and Australia. Sri Lanka won that world cup. Three famous cricketers of world have made hat tricks at this ground includes, Peter Pethrick of New zeland and Wasim Akram and Muhammad Sami from Pakistan. Both of the Pakistani cricketers made their hat tricks against Sri lanka.

A memorable test match was played between New Zealand and Pakistan in 2002 in which Pakistan won by an inning and 324 runs. Inzama ul Haq made 329 runs in that match, the highest score made by any player on this ground. Pakistan’s fifth wicket partnership of 281 between Javed Mian Dad and Asif Iqbal was also a memorable one in Qaddafi stadium. They made it against New Zealand in 1976.

Highest team total on this ground in test matches was 699 runs by Pakistan made against India in 1989 and in one-day internationals, it was 357 by Sri Lanka against Bangladesh in 2008. No International T20s have been played on this ground.

In 2011 after the controversial and tragic death of Muammar Qaddafi the, cricket board think over changing the name of the stadium but after that it was decided that the name will remain unchanged.


 Posted by at 8:59 am
Jan 082014


Cmglee2A house is for life, not just for Christmas. That’s what Deborah Sarnoff and Robert Gotkin must have been thinking when they bought Robert Venturi’s 1969 Lieb House, an asbestos-shingled box emblazoned with a Pop Art number 9 beside the door. The house was earmarked for demolition when the couple acquired it for a dollar in 2009. They spent another $100,000 having it peeled off its site in New Jersey and shipped up the East River on the back of a barge, to its new resting place in Glen Cove, NY. The whole caper was recorded for posterity by Venturi’s son, Jim, in the film Saving Lieb House.

Not all houses have been bestowed with such benefaction. But maybe there’s another way in which architecture can help fend off the wrecking ball: what if the design of a house allows it to grow and change in conjunction with the needs of its occupants? The UK’s Lifetime Homes Standards encourage precisely such a principle, setting out a list of guidelines that have been adopted into the building regulations. The focus is on design features that make the home flexible enough to meet whatever comes along in life: a teenager with a broken leg, a grandfather with a serious illness, or parents dealing with an unwieldy Bugaboo.

This ideology fits with a long-lived tradition in modern architecture of adaptability and flexibility. The most groundbreaking example is Gerrit Rietveld’s seminal De Stijl–style house in a suburb of Utrecht. It was built in 1924 for Mrs Schröder, a widowed socialite with three children. Upstairs is a single dynamic living space that has the option of being left open or subdivided by a system of sliding and revolving panels. When entirely closed, the floor accommodates three bedrooms, a bathroom and a living room.

In the 1960s, the architecture of adaptability became bigger, more daring and more experimental. Archigram, a collective of architects, sought to fight the increasing sterility of modernism by designing hypothetical projects, fantastically drawn, inspired by the future. They imagined architecture as part of a solution for world problems. Buildings were giant transformers – they could walk, swim, float and join together. They were both independent and parasitic.

While these ideas remained firmly on the page, they came to influence the architecture of the home. Kisho Kurokawa’s 1972 Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo is the world’s most direct relation, in concept and aesthetic. It comprises 140 prefabricated, self-contained modules plugged into a concrete core using high-tension bolts. Designed to attract the bachelor salaryman, the capsules could be connected and combined to create larger spaces or completely replaced as required.


More recently, this idea resonates in container cities across the world. Shipping containers have been reinvented and stacked on top of each other like Warholian baked-bean cans to create affordable home/office communities. The first example, Trinity Buoy Wharf in London’s Docklands, was completed in 2001 and provided 12 work studios over three storeys. Much like Lego, it can always be added to, and a fourth layer of containers was craned into position two years later. The same principle is now being applied to schools, community centres, and even a new ecological urban spa in San Francisco.

Now architects are creating homes that adapt to rising sea levels. The cedar-clad Floating House by MOS Architects on Lake Huron in Ontario, Canada, is currently the most beautiful. The water levels vary enormously throughout the seasons, so the house sits on a structure of steel pontoons that allow it to fluctuate along with the lake. Morphosis designed the similar Float House – made from polystyrene foam coated in glass fibre-reinforced concrete – in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina for Brad Pitt’s Make it Right Foundation.


Taking a rather different transformative power to fight a turbulent future, KWK Promes’ Safe House in Warsaw has the ability to provide astonishing security. Constructed as a cuboid concrete monolith in Stealth Bomber grey, the building has two modes – open and closed. In defence position, huge movable walls operated by electric engines close into the property’s window and door openings, a roll-down gate barricades the south elevation and a drawbridge is wound up to create an island fortress.

Sliding House in Suffolk, by dRMM, was conceived out of joy and ingenuity rather than paranoia. Comprising three distinct parts – a house, garage and annexe – it has an enveloping structure on recessed railway tracks that can be peeled back or rolled over the building, like an architectural contraceptive, to provide differing combinations of enclosure and open-air living.


A similar sense of extendibility has been applied to the Living Room House in the chocolate-box German town of Gelnhause, designed by the architects Formalhaut. It is shaped like a child’s drawing of a house, with a steeply pitched roof, but that’s where the tradition ends. The house is clad with powder-coated aluminium and perforated with no less than 52 windows in a chequerboard pattern. Its main attraction is the bedroom, which is housed in a sliding drawer that can be pulled out over the street for alfresco sleeping.

modern contemporary architecture. It has a hovering platform that can be moved vertically through the various levels of the building on a piston, from the kitchen on the lower level all the way to the bedroom on the highest floor. Perhaps the ultimate expression of the Lifetime Homes idea, it was built for a client who was paralysed from the waist down following a serious car accident. “I want a complex house because the house will define my world,” he said. Whereas a building on one floor would have been the logical solution, Koolhaas chose instead to highlight the verticality of his design. Breezing past his wine collection and his books on a hydraulic magic carpet, the client had incomparable access to the things he loved. His adaptable house didn’t just help with his life. It enhanced it.


 Posted by at 7:10 am
Jan 072014

Now this is the museum you won’t be able to miss. Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles is one of the most known car museums in California and now it’s about to become even more famous. Architects from Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates office designed amazing new modern facade for the museum, with the goal of turning this place into one of the most recognized attractions in the city. By the look of it, we don’t doubt it.
As stated on LA Times, Petersen Automotive Museum will spend $20 million on its new modern facade which is already approved by the authorities and should be done by their 20th anniversary in 2014.

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 Posted by at 1:35 pm
Jan 072014


Concrete lovers and futurists, this is for you. Famous A-cero architecture office from Spain designed this ultra modern home called Concrete House 2. It is fabulous residence literally built into the landscape. Combination of black concrete and green grass. Joaquin Torres and Rafael Llamazares, founders of A-cero office often seek for inspiration in the work of Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe, which is reflected in their earlier projects like The Memory House and Sotogrande House. But, instead of perfectly white colors like in Sotogrande House, this ultra modern residence is pure black futurism.
Even though some may say it’s too much atomic shelter-looking, I think this design fits perfectly in the futuristic atmosphere. You know, the post apocalypse times? Anyway, another thing I like about this home is landscape design. Slanted walls are perfect for green walls with the grass planted over. The same thing on the roof. This is also big step in sustainability since this creates great temperature isolation, no matter is it summer or winter. Plus, it looks nice, doesn’t it? Specially the grass stairs. This is one detail that really catched my eye. Interior design is of course, minimalist with gray-ish colors. Glass walls let in enough of daylight to light up the whole house and its futuristic interiors. Modern home theater? My favorite. It really looks like a lot of fun. What do you think?

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