Archives For 21st century

360 house

January 4, 2014 — 2 Comments

The 360 House, by the Dutch firm 123DV -

123DV, 360 house 2

round house by 123DV

300 degree house

November 10, 2013 — Leave a comment

A newly-built, near-circular house in Thornbury, England, is now on the market -

thornbury, UK

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Time and again, when people are asked to choose between an object that’s linear and one that’s curved, they prefer the latter. That goes for watches with circular faces, letters rendered in a curly font, couches with smooth cushions — even dental floss with round packaging. 

Recently neuroscientists have shown that this affection for curves isn’t just a matter of personal taste; it’s hard-wired into the brain …. “Curvature appears to affect our feelings, which in turn could drive our preference.”

circle dreams

October 26, 2013 — 1 Comment

The circle-studded facade of NYC’s Dream Downtown Hotel -

dream downtown hotel, NYC

The hotel is the latest incarnation of an iconic 1966 building designed by Louisiana architect Albert C. Ledner, known for a sort of playful, oddball modernism. Just off Ninth Avenue, stretching between West 16th and 17th Street, the building was recently transformed by Handel Architects. The building’s 16th Street facade, above, was covered in shiny stainless steel, as was its 17th Street facade (on the left, below, in its original red-brick cladding).

maritime hotel

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The building’s circular motif — equally in evidence in the adjoining Ledner-designed structure, the white tile and concrete Maritime Hotel — reflects the structure’s history. Both buildings were originally annexes to the headquarters of the National Maritime Union: the porthole windows were a coy reference to life at sea.

Ledner, whose use of circular forms extends from his professional to his personal life, or vice-versa, lives in a round house of his own design in New Orleans.

In an interview with The Guardian, architect Zaha Hadid talks about resisting rectangular design. “The world is not a rectangle,” she insists. “You don’t go into a park and say: ‘My God, we don’t have any corners.’”

This is the stuff you might own -

yurt, huang qingjun, 2007

For nearly a decade, photographer Huang Qingjun has been taking pictures of families in rural China, together with their houses and all of their belongings. This picture is from 2007.

casa pi

August 12, 2013 — 1 Comment

Casa Pi, the University of Zaragoza’s entry for the Solar Decathlon Europe 2012 -

The project was a finalist in the competition, selected as one of the 20 best entries among the 50 that were initially submitted. It was designed to be self-sufficient in energy, producing more than it consumes.

A defensive fortress from the Napoleonic era was converted in 2009 to a private residence -

martello tower

Made up of some 750,000 bricks, with immensely thick walls, Martello Tower Y was originally built in 1808 as a coastal outpost against an expected invasion from Napoleon’s France.  The years passed, the French attack never came, and the building fell into disrepair. It was totally derelict when renovations began, 200 years after its construction.

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villa vals

July 21, 2013 — 2 Comments

Even by round house standards, this Swiss vacation home is extremely unusual -

villa vals

vals5

vals4

vals2

The Villa Vals, built in Vals, Switzerland, in 2009, was designed by Bjarne Mastenbroek and Christian Müller, of architectural offices SeARCH and CMA, respectively. It is now for rent.

wheel house

June 19, 2013 — Leave a comment

wheel house

Rolling around Europe this summer!