Beautiful Upside Down House

“What if I should fall right through the center of the earth…oh, and come out on the other side where people walk upside-down?” – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.

And now something weird for your Friday. You wouldn’t think the world would have so many upside down houses, but it does. People have built them for all kinds of reasons, from starting up a tourist attraction to commenting on the absurdity of politics.

upside downhouse 1

Upside Down House in Usedom, Germany: Designers Klausdiusz Golos and Sebastian Mikiciuk have a very nonchalant approach to this tourist exhibit, saying, “We didn’t do it for a reason. We just wanted to do something different.”

upside down house 2.jpeg

Upside Down House at the Old School House Museum in Lee Vining, California: Part of an outdoor exhibit at a roadside museum in California, this tiny shed gets top billing as the “legendary upside-down house!”

upside down hous e4

Wonderworks in Orlando, Florida: They bill themselves as “Central Florida’s only upside down attraction — an amusement park for the mind, featuring over 100 interactive exhibits.”

upside down house 5

Upside Down House in Poland: Daniel Czapiewski, an entrepreneur in Poland, built this house to comment on the insanity of contemporary politics (and bring in tourists as well).

upside down house 6

Casa de Cabeca para Baixo in Rio: Don’t know too much about this upside-down house, except that it’s located in Cabo Frio, Rio de Janeiro, and the Flickr member who took the photo says “They are reforming it. It’s a Showroom from a house-construction shop.”

Beautiful Workplace Design

GoCstudio re-imagines a century-old Seattle building to house digital product company

studio-office-seattle1

US architecture firm GoCstudio has created an open office for a growing tech company that features original brick and timber elements, along with new enclosures made of ebony-stained plywood.

gocstudio_seattle 2.jpg

The office is located within the upper floor of a 100-year-old building in Seattle‘s Capitol Hill district. Encompassing 14,000 square feet, the space serves as a second office for Substantial, a digital product studio.

gocstudio_seattle 3.jpg

The company had occupied a portion of the floor since 2013, and decided to take over the full story when its neighboring tenant moved out. Local firm GoCstudio was charged with overhauling the entire floor, to read as one unified space.

gocstudio_seattle 4.jpg

The challenge was to create a cohesive open-plan workspace which retained the feel of the original Substantial space and would maximize the existing character of the building – exposed brick walls, old-growth Douglas Fir beams and roof decking, and the beautiful warehouse-style window walls.

studio_5.jpg

The architects worked closely with the client to understand day-to-day operations, as well as the company’s love of hosting parties. Their research led to the conception of the office’s signature element: The Forum, an assembly area for social and business activities.

studio_6.jpg

A large aspect of Substantial’s working practice is the hosting of public and private events thus creating a large social space that could be multifunctional was an important factor in the design of the expansion.

studio_7.jpg

The social space was situated near the entry staircase and looks toward a large reception desk faced with a steel door from the old office. The room is illuminated by a large skylight.

studio_8

In the kitchen, the team installed two bars made of cross-laminated timber planks, along with several black dining tables with colorful chairs. Employees can be found working here throughout the day.

cstudio_9

Surrounding The Forum are conference rooms, with walls made of black-stained plywood and large panes of glass. Additional enclosures were inserted on the north side of the floor. A large portion of the office is given over to open areas with versatile workstations.

The space is filled with natural light, thanks to large floor-to-ceiling glass on three sides of the building. For the first time in many years, views are opened up through the building, from east to west.

studio_10

Other projects by GoCstudio include a low-lying winery that blends with Washington’s natural terrain, and a floating wooden sauna that can accommodate up to six people.
Project credits:
Architect: GoCstudio (Jon Gentry, Aimée O’Carroll)
Builder: Montlake Associates
Lighting Designer: KMJ Design, Kathy Justin
Owner: Substantial
Photography: by Kevin Scott
Read more 

 

Beautiful Pink House

4-Laurinda-Spear-Bernardo-Fort-Brescia-Arquitectonica-The-Pink-House-Miami-Shores-1976-79-Photography-by-Eric-Meola

The Pink House, otherwise known as The Spear House, is one of the best known and most photographed residences in Miami, Florida. It is a quintessential symbol of modernism and sits at the edge of Biscayne Bay in the older Miami suburb of Miami Shores, is intended as an urban house within a suburban context. Rigorously conceived as a study in different planes, the house is painted give shades of pink, ranging from deep near-red to pale pink, which heighten the illusionistic perspective of the house and define the series of planes. Pink was chosen because it seemed to be the most tropical of all colors and at the time was rarely used. Many factors make the house interesting bit its controversy has all the intrigue. designed by Laurinda Spear and Bernardo Fort-Bescia of Arquitectonica for Spears’ parents in 1976, it’s a series of planes and framed views designed to maximize East/West breezes.

The Pink House, Miami Shores, Florida, 7800

Although the house was initially conceived as an object standing on its own, the west façade, facing the city, is scaled down; its dimensions diminish to relate to other houses on the street in an almost mathematical cadence. The east façade, designed for long-distance viewing from Miami Beach and the bay, is scaled so that it looms large. The approach is through a tropical grove — almost a tunnel– which opens to a geometric landscape with palm trees spaced regularly in a carpet of pavers.

pink jhouse ext 3.jpg

The house has a precise sequence: the façade, the courtyard, and then the rooms, each framing a different view of the bay. The house encloses a swimming pool, which, along with the living areas, is the piano, one level above ground. The house in narrow — only 18 feet wide — to capture the bay breezes and daylight as well. The Spear House is more rigorously mathematical than Arquitectonica’s later work, yet in many ways it is seminal, establishing a number of paths of inquiry that the firm has pursued consistently, including color and cadence.

The Pink House, Miami Shores, Florida, 7800

Its color statement received a lot of attention in the late 1970s when it was built.
Neighbors were disturbed by the 5 shades of pink, which were chosen to reflect
the tropical climate and were rarely used at the time. Ultimately a grove of trees
were planted to shield the house from the street.

The Pink House, Miami Shores, Florida, 7800

pink house porthole large

pink house pool

pink house pool2

PinkHouse_MiamiShores5

PinkHouse_MiamiShores1

early-collage-study-pink-house-copy
Original sketch

rendering 1

rendering 2

Beautiful Hotel Interiors

Located in a brutalist former bank headquarters in Stockholm, Universal Design Studio’s latest project, the At Six hotel, is home to one of Europe’s most significant hotel art collections. The London-based studio carried out a complete interior renovation to create the 343-room luxury hotel in the Swedish capital’s Brunkebergstorg Square, and also designed a new entrance. The scheme includes 10 floors of guest rooms, a penthouse suite, a 100-cover restaurant, a wine bar, cocktail bar, a 2,000-square-metre events and flexible work space, and Scandinavia’s first slow listening lounge.

hotel-at-six-standard-room

The art collection is curated by Sune Nordgren, formerly of the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.

art

The gorgeous monochrome interior contrasts shades of warm grey and highly textured natural materials with soft furnishings and classic furniture. The aim was to reinterpret the brutalist aesthetic of the building and the immediate architectural landscape of Brunkebergstorg Square. “A palette of sawn stone, blackened steel, fine timber and polished granite lends a sense of permanence and authenticity to the new interior,” explained Universal Design Studio.

hotel-a2

“Moving away from the uncompromising and unforgiving aesthetic characteristics often associated with the brutalism – the brief was to create a desirable, fashionable destination,” said the team. “Design is focused on humanising the architecture, bringing a sense of desirability and luxury to a brutalist building not often associated with these traits, turning the hotel into a contemporary version of a metropolitan grand hotel.”

hotel-3.jpg

Pieces of contemporary and classic furniture are complemented by specially commissioned pieces created by local makers and established Scandinavian designers. Custom lighting by Rubn is installed in each guest room, and local glassmaker Carina Seth Anderson has created a series of sculptural, hand-blown glass vessels for the lobby as well as tabletop pieces for each dining table in the restaurant.

six 5

The handrail of the grand white granite staircase in the hotel’s lobby was wrapped in leather by a local saddle maker, while a communal table in the wine bar was carved by local artist Lies-Marie Hoffman from a single Swedish elm trunk. Bedrooms feature timber wall panelling and marble credenzas that run the full length of the room. The hotel is one of four 1970s buildings that occupy Stockholm’s Brunkebergstorg Square. The buildings were built during a government initiative that aimed to replace much of the city centre’s belle époque grandeur with brutal modernity.

six 6

Although the high-rise building was originally designed by Swedish architects Boijsen & Efervgren as a hotel, it ended up functioning as the headquarters of Swedbank, never fulfilling its intended purpose. Now owned and operated by Petter Stordalen of Nordic Hotels & Resorts, the hotel is at the centre of a wider regeneration programme that aims to transform Brunkebergstorg Square into a social hub within the city.

six 8

six 7.jpg

hotel 4

Six-hotel-by-Universal-Design-Studio-Stockholm-Sweden-07

Beautiful Castle

When in Colorado you won’t want to miss visiting Bishops Castle, an extraordinary work of one man. For 40 years, Jim Bishop has been building a castle on a mountainside in central Colorado. Every year since 1969, Bishop has single-handedly gathered and set over 1000 tons of rock to create this stone and iron fortress
in the middle of nowhere.

2 3 4 56 7

With the help of his parents Jim saved up and bought himself a two and
a half acre plot of land in rural Colorado, planning to hunt and live on it.
A frontier spirit, when Jim decided it was time for him and his wife to get
a house, he figured he would build it himself. What started as a one room
stone cottage would soon grow to astounding proportions: it may be the
largest one-man architecture project in the world. Today the frontier
fortress reaches over 16 stories high, has three large cathedral windows,
wrought iron walkways and a steel fire-breathing dragon. Today Jim Bishop
is 63 and is still building. It is unlikely he will stop anytime soon.

READ MORE ABOUT THIS AMAZING STORY AND HOW TO VISIT HERE

Beautiful Lithography Stones

n 2011, while the REI store in the Puck Building in Manhattan’s SoHo
district was undergoing renovation, workers made an unexpected
discovery. Hidden behind one of the walls of the cellar were more
than 100 lithography stones from the building’s days as a printer.
They are now on display on the store’s lower floor.

1 REI  3 rei 4 rei

The historic building got its name from the magazine Puck, the first
wide-reaching humor publication in the United States, which was
founded in 1871 and moved to lower Manhattan in 1887. It shared
the space, in a mutually beneficial relationship, with its printer,
J. Ottman Lithographic Company. Their shared headquarters was
he largest building in the printing district at the time.

J. Ottman Lithographic Company printed many things beyond the
Puck magazines, including theatrical posters and board games.
Among the works now hanging on the REI wall are a high school
diploma, a certificate of election, and a mortgage bond. Some of
the litho stones are in rougher shape than others.

7 rei.jpg 5 rei 6 rei

Most of the writing and images on the stones is “backwards,”
standard practice so that the final print is the reverse of
what is seen on the plate or stone. Some, though, were
prepared for offset printing, which involves an additional
step between the plate and the final product. The inked image,
prepared “forwards,” or as it would be seen in the final
product, is first transferred to a rubber blanket, reversing
the image once, and then to the final surface, setting it right.

Puck continued to operate out of the Puck Building until 1918,
when it ceased publication. It was known for beautiful, full-color
lithographs and sharp political satire. Statues of the magazine’s
mascot, Puck, decorate the outside of the building.
J. Ottman Lithographic Company shuttered around the same time.
Other printing companies, and even another satirical magazine,
have called the building home since the original tenants left.

9 rei.jpg 10 rei.jpg 8 rei

During REI’s renovation, a deliberate effort was made
to repurpose materials from the original building.
Fixtures from the steam engine that powered the
presses are on permanent display, including two
flywheels and the governor. Nineteenth century
I. P. Frink chandeliers, newly fitted with LED lights,
help light the main floor.

 

Source: Atlas Obscura

Beautiful Old World Movie House

The Wonder Theatres were five giant, lavish movie palaces that opened around
New York City in 1929 and 1930. While cinemas were plentiful at the time,
the Wonder Theatres were a cut above the rest. Built as Loew’s flagship theatres,
the opulent venues were designed with all the fabulousness of the Jazz Age, and
went on to provide an escape into the fantasy of Hollywood and luxury
throughout the Great Depression and Second World War.

18WONDER-triptych-

The last of the Wonder Theatres to open was the Loew’s 175th Street Theatre,
today known as the United Palace Theater. It debuted on February 22, 1930, with showings of the films Their Own Desireand Pearls and vaudeville performances
starring Al Shaw and Sam Lee. The theater is a sight to behold. The lavish interior,
much of which is filigreed, features authentic Louis XV and XVI furnishings and
ornate chandeliers, while the blocky exterior is reminiscent of Mayan architecture.
Its eclectic architectural style, designed by Thomas W. Lamb, was described by
The New York Times as “Byzantine-Romanesque-Indo-Hindu-Sino-Moorish-Persian-Eclectic-Rococo-Deco” and a “kitchen sink masterpiece.” With more than
3,000 seats, it is still the fourth largest venue of its kind in Manhattan.

2014_United_Palace_from_corner

Movie palaces eventually fell out of vogue, however, and the grand
Wonder Theatres fell into decline and abandon in the late 60s and
through the 70s. Today, two of the theaters (the Jersey Theatre in
Jersey City and Kings Theatre in Brooklyn) still serve as cinemas
and performance venues. Another two (the Paradise Theatre in the
Bronx and Valencia Theatre in Queens) became churches.
The United Palace Theater, located in upper Manhattan’s
Washington Heights, found a second life as a unique mix of both.

United_Palace_-_Panorama.jpg

The former Wonder Theatre still functions as a church, as well as a movie
house with a 50-foot screen, and a performance venue that has brought in
acts as diverse as Adele, Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, and the Berlin Philharmonic.
It also serves as a cultural and community arts center, opened by Reverend
Ike’s son Xavier Eikerenkoetter, who now oversees operations of the
historic venue.

United_Palace_lobby_south_wall_from_main_staircase_crop

 United_Palace_Lobby.jpg

United_Palace_Balcony

2014_United_Palace_from_Wadsworth_Avenue

Atlas Obscura