Saturday, December 31, 2011

Boston Treepods - Decarbonize Beautifully

Because I (a) am a sucker for beautifully lit sculptural art and (b) love "green" technologies -- these decarbonizing trees designed for SHIFTboston really appeal to me.  The design challenge called for a tree-like product that would perform the same functions (carbon dioxide removal, oxygen release) as natural trees but be usable in locations unfriendly to real trees (lacking soil and water.) Designers Mario Caceres and Cristian Canonico grew Treepods in the collective imaginations to fill the need.

Not only do the Treepods decarbonize, they also generate solar energy and harvest kinetic energy from integrated see-saws.

Treepods - Boston 

Treepods - Boston 

Treepods - Boston

Found on Inhabitat.
More info here.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Rainbow Hill - James Hubbell, Architect

My interest in organic architecture springs from visual "wow" reaction to the work of James Hubbell, architect and sculptor, about 13 years ago when I lived in San Diego where James Hubbell is a local fixture and architecture celebrity.  I had no idea what I was looking at the time and who had created it, I was just so very drawn to the work.  I would run across pictures of his work in various places and never put the name to the work until one day I realized that these pieces were all the work of single artist - James Hubbell.

I'll be showcasing the work of Hubbell and Hubbell here on this blog regularly. Many of these are my own personal photos taken on the yearly Open House that James Hubbell and his wife host each year on Father's Day at their Julian, CA compound.

Today, I'm going to feature Rainbow Hill in Julian, California.  This structure was originally built out of friendship in 1991 and became a famous local Bed and Breakfast.  The house was sold to a private party in 2010 and is no longer available for rentals.  I was lucky enough to have stayed there in 2004 and it was an unforgettable experience.

Rainbow Hill - James Hubbell, Architect

Master Bathroom of Rainbow Hill - James Hubbell

Top of Water Feature at Rainbow Hill - James Hubbell
Hubbell and Hubbell Website.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Flylight - Lighting Art

My future home will not be complete without an interactive lighting display like this breathtaking sculpture in light designed by Studio Drift in Amsterdam. Flylight is composed of over 180 glass tubes that light up in what seem to be random patterns ...but are not at all random.  Flylight contains a computer simulation that reacts to a viewer drawing close, adapting flock behavior into spectacular patterns.

Video of a Flylight installation:


Flylight by Studio DRIFT

Flylight by Studio DRIFT

Studio DRIFT website.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Metropol Parasol - Jürgen Mayer H, Architects

For today's visual feast we showcase the Metropol Parasol in Seville, Spain.  Beautifully designed by architects Jürgen Mayer H, this new urban center is the largest wood structure in the world. The undulating parasols house a unique and artistic urban center of an archaeological museum, restaurants, public space for conversation and contemplation, and a farmer's market. A viewing terrace on top of the parasols allows for scenic vistas of the city and the structure.

Metropol Parasol, Seville - Jürgen Mayer H Architect
Metropol Parasol, Seville - Jürgen Mayer H Architect

Metropol Parasol, Seville - Jürgen Mayer H Architect
Metropol Parasol, Seville - Jürgen Mayer H Architect
Architect Website.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Vertical Gardens Slideshow

In a futile attempt to avoid doing my own yard work, I present a wonderful slide show of vertical gardens put together by Garden Design Magazine.


Some images just because posts with no eye candy are meh.

Highway overpass vertical garden by Patrick Blanc

Natura Towers vertical garden by Michael Hellgren

Smog Shoppe vertical garden by Jamie Durie

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Shell House - Octavio Ocampo, Architect

What's one shell inspired house when you can look at two!  This fantasy architecture was designed and constructed by artist Octavio Ocampo in Mexico and is available as a vacation rental.  The house has two bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and is constructed of concrete and over 4,000 seashells from the local beach decorate the house.

The Shell House - Octavio Ocampo, Architect

The Shell House - Octavio Ocampo, Architect
The Shell House - Octavio Ocampo, Architect
More images via Beautiful Life.

Booking for rental.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Nautilus House - Javier Senosiain, Architect

Today's we go off into the wonderful imagination of architect Javier Senosiain, mastermind of this shell shaped bit of organic confection in Mexico City. Built for a couple with young children, I can only imagine what a thrill it must be to grow up surrounded by this creativity.

Nautilus House - Javier Senosiain

Nautilus House - Javier Senosiain

Video slideshow with more images:

Via Beautiful Life.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ken Kellogg - Yen Residence

A recent "find" for me in the world of organic architecture was right here at home in the form of architect Kendrick Kellogg.  Today, a look at the Yen Residence in La Jolla built for neuroendocrinologist Sam Yen. The most startling feature of the house is the roof with integral solar water heated panels that fan out like the petals of a flower.

Yen Residence in La Jolla - Ken Kellogg Architect
Yen Residence in La Jolla - Ken Kellogg Architect

Yen Residence in La Jolla - Ken Kellogg Architect
Yen Residence in La Jolla - Ken Kellogg Architect

Kendrick Kellogg website here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Most Beautiful Video Of Our Planet You’ve Ever Seen

Reposted from Buzzfeed.

This is some of the most stunning photography from Tom Lowe you will ever lay your eyes on.  Enjoy!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The underwater mysteries of Witley Park

I think this classifies as a water feature ;)  The tale of Witley Park is a rather sad one and the original house was destroyed by fire in 1952, but the grounds are still kept by the original owner and the ballroom under the lake survives intact, along with other intriguing architectural delights.

The underwater ballroom in the lake of Witley Park

The only sign from above ground of the structure below is this statue in the lake:

Witley Park statue in the lake lit from below

A spiral staircase leads down to the rooms below the lake: 

Witley Park staircase

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Wearable Art - Fiona Paxton

From the department of Ooohh, Ahhhh, I want! comes these stunning creations by UK designer Fiona Paxton.

Ruthie Necklace by Fiona Paxton

Andrea Earrings by Fiona Paxton

More deliciousness at her website.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Ordos Museum - Gobi Desert

This stunning structure evokes the graceful sand dunes of the Gobi Desert.  What I don't see in any of the pictures are the galleries and exhibition halls.

Ordos Museum

Ordos Museum Interior

More pictures here at Dezeen.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Naturwall - Vertical Gardening

Today's bit of coolness comes in the form of another vertical garden concept called Naturwall.  Yay! Gardens.

This vertical garden concept uses throw-away plastic coffee cups to create a wall of greenery - a great way to recycle AND grow fresh herbs for use in cooking!


Found on Behance.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Aqua Liana by Frank McKinney

I just love this house since I'm a sucker for water features.  The water floors..oh, my!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

LA Police Academy Gardens

A gardening tour of Los Angeles should include this lovely specimen!

Elysian Park Police Academy Garden

Elysian Park Police Academy Garden

Elysian Park Police Academy Gardens

Monday, December 12, 2011

Artist Tom Price and the PVC Forest

Artist Tom Price built this stunning forest out of PVC piping and cable ties after being entranced by the natural beauty of the Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C.

Tom Price - PVC Forest

Tom Price - PVC Forest

Tom Price - PVC Forest

Courtesy of  Dezeen Magazine. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pottery House by Frank Lloyd Wright

This is one of two Frank Lloyd Wright houses that I find myself falling in love with despite not really liking FLW all that much.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Pottery House

Frank Lloyd Wright Pottery House
Frank Lloyd Wright Pottery House ironwork

Friday, December 9, 2011

Daniil's Cave

This "cave" was dug into a rock by Romanian monk Daniil Sihastrul. Sadly, no interior pictures were anywhere to be found.

Cave of monk Daniil Sihastrul in Romania

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tom Kundig Can Rock a House

Ah, two of my favorite things: interesting houses that go beyond McBox and work with nature instead of against it.  Recently I saw this one by Architect Tom Kundig, built in the San Juan Islands.

The Pierre House - Architect Tom Kundig

I love that this was built right into the existing rocks in the landscape - working with the natural design of the area instead of just flattening it out.

Living room of the Pierre House - Architect Tom Kundig

All the interior and exterior fireplaces were carved right into the existing stone and stone removed during the excavation was re-used as aggregate in the concrete flooring.

Sink in the Master Bath of the Pierre House - Architect Tom Kundig
The sink in the Master Bath is also carved into existing stone.

Really, lovely work!

Olson Kundig Architects

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

Organic Architecture - Eugene Tsui

Some wonderful organic architecture from Eugene Tsui. This is the house he built for his parents in Berkeley.  I love the shapes and materials on this!

Tsui Design and Research

Residence for Florence and William Tsui - Berkeley

Residence for Florence and William Tsui - Berkeley