Six Nordic Designs you must know

The Nordic region is home to some of the most celebrated and unique designs. It is the attention to detail, early experimentation with forms and materials, creativeness that set Nordic design apart …The simplicity and functionality of the forms define the style of the movement…
Here are 6 designs that are Icons of the movement

Safari ChairDesigned by Kaare Klint the Safari chair has a simple functional design with an elegant distinct silhouette ..It is Klints most known and celebrated design and from the very beginning of the making of the chair admirers such as Arne Jacobsen were some the first to purchase it ..Klint who believed that all designs should be recreations of existing designs ;he created this chair during trip to Africa. He had seen the British officers Chair that acted as inspiration to design the Safari Chair

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The Egg Chair
A chair that became synonymous with Danish design and is recognized as an international heritage; is the Egg chair. Designed in 1958 by Arne Jacobsen has a unique shape and organic feel. It was originated on the designer’s garage with the first prototype made out of plaster..A fibreglass shell wrapped in polyurethane foam upholstered in fabric or leather, seats on a 4 star pedestal made in cast stainless steel …

Egg chairs kmp furnitureCHO7 Lounge Chair
Known as the “King of the Chairs”, Hans Wegner designed this three legged lounge chair in 1963…The sculptural design of the chair stands elegant in a single shell of curved plywood padded and upholstered. Known for its lightness and simple lines it is an example of Wagner’s design aesthetics and work
ch07 lounge chairChieftains Chair
A chair that received the prestigious Danish Design award in 2012 it had changed the course of Danish Design when it was initially created in 1949…Inspired by ancient weaponry Finn Juhl approached the design of Chieftains from a sculptural point of view…He often said that a craftsman’s ability to form is the same as a sculptors…The chair’s impressive frame accommodates a series of planes and forms
chieftans-fPK20 Chair
The PK20 chair is true to Kjaerholm’s design aesthetics and style…Kjaerholm was a trained carpenter that worked with Fritz Hansen designing a number of chairs…He later studied to the Danish School of Arts and Crafts …His fascination of mixing materials and shapes lead him to create the PK20 chair; He particularly loved the way the light was reflecting on the metal and was one of the first designers to use steel in furniture

Amelia-fPH5 Pendant Lamp
Designed to hang low this pendant Lamp was designed to be completely glare free and indirect to the eye…Designed by Poul Henningsen the idea was to incorporate old and new in a completely unique and nostalgic way… Light is directed both horizontally and vertically giving moderate light to the surrounding …Almost half of the households in Denmark have the PH5 lamp

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Nature Inspired Baths, You need to see

The bathroom is an important  area of the home…many activities that relate to sanitation, relaxation  and personal hygiene are performed there. Throughout history bathrooms had a spiritual and religious meanings , since bathing was a ritual and opportunity to take care of your body and mind

Bathrooms have evolved since then …Below are some of our favorite bathrooms with a new approach to design:

On the Sea-shore

Take a trip to the coast! This dramatic design allows for the ultimate tranquility while bathing…The stunning view of the coast and sound of waves  hitting the rocks elevates the sensation of bathing  to the ultimate relaxation….The minimal wooden design of the bathroom brings in the warmth of the outdoors and frames the unobstructed views

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Garden Retreat 

This striking nod of nature is combined with  earthy tones  of marble to accentuate charm and tranquility and intimacy..Imagine if you were able to  experience the relaxation of a  beautiful  garden while bathing…Loose yourself in the beauty of the plants and greenery…The ultimate retreat

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Rain-forest Sanctuary

Why bathe thinking of the forest when you can take a bath in the rain-forest?….The organic rock-like shape of the bathtub reinforces the perception of  the outdoor oasis and adds to the whole experience…Let your mind roam freely in the tropics; let bright flowers and birds surround your spirit…

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Underground River

Have you ever experienced an underground river?… Swimming through the cave…stones and pebbles shape a tunnel rushing you  towards the light…The contrast of the wood floor and the organically shaped bathtub reinforces the experience of the cave like ambiance… Serene and calming are two words that come to mind when describing this bathroom…

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Bonus Footage

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How about some mid-century awe this season…Color anyone?

Summer is almost over but the colourful palettes associated with mid-century classic designs (as well as the designs themselves) are just the Right aesthetics for the Summer and Fall seasons…Browsing through our database we were able to find some of our favourite midcentury –inspired looks that you can incorporate in your own home to get the fun and Summery-Fall retro feel and vibe …

Home improvement

Furniture
Mid-century Design is characterized by simplicity and integration of nature. Pastel colours and curves are some of the dominant characteristics of the style. The urchin blue sofa with wooden walnut frame and curved arms is a great example of Mid-century Design as well as the Ochre chairs;all bulky supports in furniture were eliminated during that time.
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Windows:
Large ample windows were emphasized during this era. The need to bring the outdoor in was carried through all the design elements..Light is flooding through the interior spaces and the use of glass is replacing concrete walls …The style frequently employed in to residential projects with the purpose to bring modernism to Americas post-war suburbs…We recommend (since not everyone has large windows) to unclutter your windows, let the light flow

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Light wood Tones ,Beams and open Floor plans:
Opening up the spaces is one of the main characteristic of Mid-century modern design…The goal was to make the spaces feel as light as possible and bring people closer to nature. The use of post and beam architectural design was done with the intention to make the house airy allowing natural light to penetrate easier. The maple-white woods on the floor and ceiling accentuate just that adding warmth and elegance. Get rid of the carpets wood floors are beautiful bare

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Improvement:The use of colour on rich fabrics or even painting walls became a trend and a strong element of mid-century classic design…This trend begun from post –war America .It was a way to cheer up, uplift peoples psychology , move back to normalcy and also… colours are found in nature…It was part of the healing process …Vibrant colors are known to change peoples psychosynthesis …and a red wall will bring energy and make you hungry!

These were just few tips on midcentury modern design and its fascinating colour palette…Are we ready to dazzle?

 

 

 

Experiencing the mysterious & luxurious Purple

Have you ever heard of “purple haze”? It has to do with an unexplained confusion …euphoria …Embrace it…Bring it to your designs , create;… let the passion take over….Associations of the color purple is royalty, extravagance, luxury, grandeur and a hint of mystery…Purple combines the calm stability of blue and the fierce energy of red….It is noble

How Luxurious Purple looks like

Think Phantom of the Opera Drama meets Alice in Wonderland….Think of the many mind effects , the mystery, the uplifting spirits , nurturing tendencies and sensitivity, encouraged imagination and creativity…Modern elements merging with past …Magical effects…

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The light purple hues bring in the feminine energy and delicacy; evoking feelings of gloom and romanticism …a nostalgic constrain against the cold white

212 conceptHow Luxurious Purple feels like

A hint of purple in the home encourages imagination as well as adding a feeling of specialness and uniqueness

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The color of purple combines strong warm and strong cool…a graceful , feminine colour associated with refined fashionable women

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Lavender shades have a sacred place in nature, with lavender, orchid, lilac, and violet flowers considered delicate and precious.

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Purple is an introspective color. It stimulates the imagination and inspires high ideals. Choosing purple color will create a mood of individuality, mystery and fantasy…

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Luxurious purple design is a graceful and powerful way of expression..We are drawn to it and we are in love with its charm as well as its powerful contemporary backbone …It combines the dark and cool, bright and moody, delicate and fierce …a stunning design trend that allures in the world of style?

 

Furnishing A minimalist Home? Few tips that can help

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One of  design magazines favorite subjects –seems will be around for a while – is designs of minimal homes…And by saying minimal homes I don’t mean empty or almost empty white apartments with high ceilings…but about the choice of  color , furnishings , art and details that  transform an empty space into Awe…

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How you start

Have a reference… If you are seriously thinking to turn your home into a minimalist withdraw you probably have seen magazine or designers that have done outstanding work …This could be your starting point…See what you like , why you like it , what products are used, furniture ideas ,colours…See how it fits within the context you want to create and how it  can be applied  to your own space

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Set the tone

By setting the tone I am referring  to the colours you are thinking to use …accent walls, details and overall the feel of the apartment…Identify the main features of your space …do you have large windows with a garden view?…any architectural elements such as structural beams or spiral staircases you want to emphasize?…is tranquillity and monochromatic palettes what you envision? …Narrow down the options to match the vision you have in mind

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Picking out the furniture and art or better yet; furniture that is art!

In order to achieve the sleek elegant aesthetics you desire killing two birds with one stone can prove effective…Choosing furniture that are pieces of art can refine and simplify the home’s aesthetics and spaces…There are some great pieces created either by midcentury modern masters or new upcoming talented designers that work as both…Try to bring in the functionality , the humour , the artistic silhouettes …With a little research you will realize smart design and beauty is everywhere…

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Finally start educating yourself online…see what’s out there ,as far as product and furniture…Simplicity can create some of the most beautiful results if is combined properly and effectively …On the other hand It can also look empty and monotonous if the right design elements don’t merge cohesively …Puting a fair effort usually returns good results.. good luck!

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The Flashy Sophistication of Arquitectonica’s Modern Designs

Architectural firms often come and go, but one that has remained constant in the Miami scene is Arquitectonica. Founded in 1977, the firm has become a global mainstay with projects across 5 different continents and 54 nations. But, its design-oriented teeth were cut in the Miami cityscape it calls home.

In fact, one of the prime reasons for the company’s global allure is its attention to modern design, geometry, and colorful patterns. It owes much of its design savvy to its two principals: Bernardo Fort-Brescia and Laurinda Spear. The former is a native of Lima, Peru who engaged in his early studies in Europe. He went on to study architecture and urban planning at Princeton University before earning a Master of Architecture from Harvard.

His co-founding cohort, Laurinda Spear, is also no stranger to the Ivy League. She earned a fine arts degree from Brown University and a Master of Architecture from Columbia University. She also earned a Master of Landscape Architecture a little closer to home at Florida International University.

Both are fellows of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and both have received the AIA Silver Medal for their work. Fort-Brescia largely focuses on major architectural and planning projects, many of which have gone on to define the sights of modern Miami. Spear, on the other hand, is responsible for steering Arquitectonica into different fields like interior design and landscape architecture.

Their combined architectural prowess can be seen in the wealth of commercial, residential, and multi-use structures Arquitectonica has designed over the years. The firm has been responsible for many Miami icons including the American Airlines Arena, the home of the 3-time NBA Championship-winning, Miami Heat. They have also added residential towers, hotels, museums, theaters, convention centers, retail complexes, and many more to their repertoire over the years.

Projects by Arquitectonica

Since 1977, the firm has been at the forefront of modern design in Miami and across the globe. Of course, many of its most iconic structures can be found dominating the Miami landscape, but the firm’s over 800 architects have designed projects near and far with a keen eye on global innovation.

Atlantis Condominium

This 20-story project on Ocean Drive is likely one of the most iconic buildings Arquitectonica has designed. In 1980, two years before construction was even finished, the design won a Progressive Architecture award. The steely glass façade was featured in the opening credits of Miami Vice, and Florida’s AIA chapter named it one of the top 100 buildings in Florida. It’s an early example of Arquitectonica’s penchant for bright primary colors and interesting geometric features.

Icon Brickell

The name speaks for itself. This trio of towers is an icon in the Miami skyline. It consists of the Icon Brickell North Tower and the Icon Brickell South Tower which are identical, each consisting of 58 floors and rising to 586 feet. The Viceroy Tower, which houses the Viceroy Hotel and several residential units is 500 feet tall and offers picturesque views of the Biscayne Bay.

Miami Children’s Museum

The design of the Miami Children’s Museum on Watson Island is a showcase of Arquitectonica’s range. Incorporating their iconic chromatic and geometric sensibilities with an almost childlike aesthetic, the museum is certainly a sight to behold. The 56,500-square-foot building features 14 galleries that are aimed at children of virtually all ages.

MarinaBlue

Built in 2008, MarinaBlue is the 5th-tallest residential building in the state of Florida. The towering sky-blue complex is one of the hottest places in town to settle down. It’s located on Biscayne Boulevard in the heart of downtown Miami. In fact, it’s situated across the street from another Arquitectonica project, the American Airlines Arena.

Cyberport

Located in Hong Kong, the Cyberport is one of Arquitectonica’s numerous international projects. It consists of several buildings including a boutique hotel, a conference center, and over 27,000 square meters of retail and entertainment space in The Arcade. The Cyberport is one of Hong Kong’s premier destinations for tourism, residential living, shopping, and entertainment. Its design again features many of the hallmarks you’d expect from an Arquitectonica-designed building.

Cosmopolitan Casino Resort in Las Vegas

One of Arquitectonica’s biggest projects is clearly the Cosmopolitan Casino Resort in Las Vegas. Located on the Las Vegas Strip, the Cosmopolitan is a shining (albeit heavily tinted) glass structure that towers over many of its contemporaries. With nearly 3,000 rooms and over 600,000 square feet of multi-purpose space, the Cosmopolitan is widely considered one of the best hotels on the planet.

City of Dreams

Another casino resort, the City of Dreams in Macau, is also among Arquitectonica’s past efforts. The water-themed complex rises like a blue diamond in the Macau cityscape. There are four towers in the complex and you can find over 420,000 square feet of gaming space on the property.

Bronx Museum of the Arts

One of the highlights in Arquitectonica’s back catalog is the Bronx Museum of the Arts. The design has been described as almost minimalistic with its pleated geometry and an unobtrusive interior. In any event, it’s often considered one of the most sophisticated buildings in the Bronx.

Amelia Rozas Shines at the Miami Home Show

Amelia Rozas, an interior designer and architect, recently showcased her design prowess at this year’s Miami Home Show held from March 27 through March 30. She was one of only four interior design professionals who showed off their room designs working off the connection between art and interior design.

Rozas’ original piece was inspired by the art of Paolo Ambu and was featured in the Designer Showcase room at the Miami Home Show. The selection of muted colors and soft pastels was designed to exhibit and complement the comfort and airiness of Ambu’s artistic work.

Rozas designed both a living area and a bedroom set which evoked artistry and livability. Both rooms possess a flourish of whites and grays set against a soft brown backdrop. White flowers offer a unique natural accent while a notched wooden wall exhibits the openness of both spaces.

Both Rozas and Ambu were available for conversation during the exhibition of the Rozas-designed room. This is not the first time that Rozas’ work has appeared at the Miami Home Show. She also had an installation in last year’s where she worked off the art of Alex Turco. The 2014 showcase demonstrated her ability to turn art into space and make a room both aesthetically pleasing and eminently functional.

Rozas is the principal of the Amelia Rozas Designs firm based in Miami, Florida. She is a Certified International Staging and Redesign Professional and has helped numerous clients envision more fluid and artistic spaces in their homes. She has also been a part of numerous home shows and conferences and was a featured speaker at the fall Miami Home Show.

Her services involve everything from full home interior design and decorative assistance to redesign and home staging. She also works in the commercial arena to help businesses with their interior design needs.

Rozas earned a bachelor’s degree from Universidad Iberoamericana del Caribe in the Dominican Republic and her master’s from Florida International University. She completed her thesis at Universita degli Studi di Genova in Genoa, Italy. Her international experience has undoubtedly contributed to her overall design aesthetic.

 

The Eco-Friendly, Future-Focused Architecture of Kobi Karp

Miami architect, Kobi Karp, is no stranger to innovation and restoration. He is the mastermind behind two new skyscrapers on the Miami skyline: Empire World Towers and 1101 Brickell. But, he is also a major proponent of restoration, having worked on maintaining the beauty of Miami Beach’s historic Art Deco District.
His firm, Kobi Karp Architecture and Interior Design (KKAID), was founded in 1996 and is also based in Miami, but it has designed structures everywhere from the Caribbean to the Black Sea. Karp is known for his star partnerships with companies like Hilton, Hyatt, Club Med, and others, and he has received a flurry of recognition and rewards from organizations like the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the American Resort Development Association, and the Miami Design Preservation League.
Karp was educated at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Technology where he earned degrees in architecture and environmental design. It was this interest in the environmental aspect of architecture that led him to spearhead the construction of “green” buildings in South Florida before it was even in vogue. Energy efficient and stylish buildings are very much a hallmark of Karp’s design.
The architectural style employed by KKAID is often an amalgamation of environmental and logistical concerns. The firm has overseen the construction of everything from low-rise, commercial, and residential structures to high-rise and mixed-use buildings. In everything Karp designs, there is a unique touch of the outside world mixed with both historical context and contemporary styling. It’s the reason why he and his firm are some of the most trusted advocates for architectural design in America.
Kobi Karp’s Projects
The Karp firm has worked on numerous projects throughout the world, some of which have been extremely high-profile. Below, you’ll find some of the most prominent projects that Karp has worked on over the years.
Art Deco District Restoration
After years of owner neglect and architectural disrepair, the Art Deco District in Miami Beach was no longer the sparkling, internationally-renowned area where high-profile guests had stayed at posh hotels since the 1930’s. Instead, many hotels in the district had leaky pipes, moldy interiors, and a rundown aesthetic. Kobi Karp, along with many other architects and concerned people in general, took to restoring the area. Karp’s firm was responsible for restoring the Breakwater, the Astor, and the Clevelander.
Of course, since the restoration in the 90’s and early 00’s, Karp has added more of his unique flair to the district. In 2005, a condominium he designed was built right next to the Congress Hotel which has been standing since 1936. The condominium complex was designed to blend in with its art deco surroundings to keep the iconic Moderne aesthetic intact.
New construction in the Art Deco District often follows a streamlined Moderne aesthetic, contextual with its 1930s neighbors.  Here the Congress Hotel designed by Henry Hohauser in 1936 sits next to a 2005 condominium by Kobi Karp, AIA.
Baylights Condominium
One of Karp’s signature projects is the Baylights Condominium complex and it’s not just because the high-profile structure offers panoramic views of the Biscayne Bay to its inhabitants. The United States Green Building Council deemed it the first “green condo development” in South Florida. The complex has 12 units, and each one is fitted with energy efficient air conditioners, green appliances, and tinted windows to keep the hot Floridian sun out. On top of that, the Japanese garden landscaping is filled with drought-resistant plant species that ensures water conservation.
One of Karp’s signature projects is the Baylights Condominium complex and it’s not just because the high-profile structure offers panoramic views of the Biscayne Bay to its inhabitants. The United States Green Building Council deemed it the first “green condo development” in South Florida. The complex has 12 units, and each one is fitted with energy efficient air conditioners, green appliances, and tinted windows to keep the hot Floridian sun out. On top of that, the Japanese garden landscaping is filled with drought-resistant plant species that ensures water conservation.
Baylights Condo Miami Beach
1101 Brickell
Although currently under construction, this residential high-rise will be an iconic sight on the Miami skyline. In fact, it will be the tallest building in the state for at least a couple of years after it’s finished. Now known as the Panorama Tower, the project will feature over 800 luxury apartments, 250 hotel rooms, and plenty of retail and office space on the lower levels.
An already completed building at the base of the future tower, the Cube, was also designed by Kobi Karp. The energy and space efficient construction has been lauded by architects and pedestrians alike.
Hyatt at 1600 Collins
Built in 1950, the Tropical Gardens Apartment building was a small and often overlooked structure in the South Beach landscape. When Kobi Karp teamed up with Hyatt to create a unique 100-unit luxury hotel, it became something different altogether. The proposal is to keep most of the original two-story building’s façade and then add on to it with eight stories of flashy glass construction. The plan calls for a centrally-located and sky-lit atrium and a rooftop pool.
Publix in Sunny Isles Beach
Kobi Karp has also been associated with a plan by grocery market chain, Publix, to devise a 21-story tower with over 350 residential units. The lower floor will consist of a 54,000 square-foot shopping center. The residential units would feature wrap-around balconies and free views of the ocean.
International Edifices
The Karp firm is known throughout the world for its innovative and modern designs. Karp has been the principal on numerous projects outside the United States including the Dongshan Tourist Center in China, the Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi, the Baku Icon Tower in Azerbaijan, and the Queen Effat Cultural Exhibition Center in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (among many others).
Clearly, Karp’s design intuition has far-reaching appeal for clients across the globe. His firm has worked on just about every type of construction imaginable, and each one still manages to have a distinct “Karpian” aesthetic. They are also designed with an eye on environmental practicality to make the most energy efficient and eco-friendly buildings possible.
 

HOW RENE GONZALEZ CHANGED THE ARCHITECTURAL LANDSCAPE

 

South Florida might be known for its world-class beaches and preeminent party life, but Rene Gonzalez is making his name in a distinctly different field. He is the founder of the Miami-based Rene Gonzalez Architect firm that has designed everything from spacious compounds for billionaires to upscale department stores in Miami Beach. In everything he does, Rene Gonzalez exudes a touch of contemporary style and a connection between the inside and outside worlds.
Indeed, Rene Gonzalez’s architectural acumen is based largely on the connection between humanity and nature. Some might even say it’s why many of his buildings are seemingly made of glass. According to Gonzalez, his works are both utilitarian and artistic, combining elements of cultural and local interest with elements of sound structural design. His structures simultaneously stand out and blend in with the local environment so much so that the construction is almost seamless.
Gonzalez’s unique style has led him to the lectern, teaching architecture and design principles at schools like UCLA, the University of Miami, and the Universidad Central de Venezuela. He even sits on the Advisory Board at the Wolfsonian Florida International University and is an Honorary Trustee at MoCA Miami.
His firm has also garnered significant industry recognition since its founding in 1997. The American Institute of Architecture has bestowed several design awards upon the firm, including the prestigious Firm of the Year Award in 2011. The firm also won national awards for the design of two complexes—Karla in 2006 and Alchemist in 2011.
Projects by Rene Gonzalez Architect
Over the span of a relatively short existence, Gonzalez’s firm has managed to create immediately iconic buildings that capture the essence of their locale. One of his most well-known projects isIndian Creek, a home made primarily of glass and limestone that became the most expensive residence ever sold in Miami-Dade County in 2013. The 47 million-dollar villa is located on the exclusive Indian Creek Island and comes complete with a garden landscape with 5 floating pavilions, garden walls, and stone walkways. The home’s design captures the warm South Floridian sun while offering expansive views of the cool blue water.
The Most Expensive Home Sold on Record in Miami-Dade, Florida - 3 Indian Creek Island Estate
Of course, the firm’s expertise isn’t limited to single-family residences. In keeping with Miami’s trends, the firm has lent its architectural prowess to smaller, but decidedly chic condominium complexes like the 12-unit Louver House. Located in Miami’s posh South of Fifth neighborhood, the Louver House is a picture of elegance and laidback warmth complete with a rooftop pool and countless louvers (appropriately) lining the balconies. Units in the glassy, modern building range from 2,088 square feet to 2,432 square feet.
Another recent fixture in the South of Fifth neighborhood is Gonzalez’s GLASS condominium complex. The complex, which has a shiny exterior of opaque glass, has been likened to living inside a cube of water. You can see out, but outsiders can’t see in. The ultra-exclusive complex features 18-stores with just 10 residences. Prices for units in the building are between $9 million and $35 million. The first 5 floors house the lobby, the pool, and other common areas and are designed to provide a unique connection with the sand and the surf outside. As you go higher in the building, the effect is supposed to be like disappearing in the sky.
Perhaps the most recognizable of all Rene Gonazalez’s creations is the upscale Alchemist retail store. Located in Miami Beach, the store is effectively split it into two unique areas: the Alchemist Skyboutique shop and the Alchemist Ground department store. The Sky iteration of Alchemist is located on the fifth floor of a Herzog and de Meuron-designed parking garage. It has been described as a “hovering glass box” filled with eye-catching colors and reflective materials. Interactive mirrors within the shop ripple in conjunction with physical movements.
The Alchemist Ground store is filled with mirrors and windows that simultaneously reflect and illuminate. The design is actually a contrast to the boisterousness and constant motion of the Miami Beach atmosphere. It is a calm, colorful, and cool place to experience both the impressive architectural feats and the mass of high-fashion apparel.
One of the firm’s newer and most ambitious projects is located in the Long Island wetlands in New York. The Hamptons residence, which almost literally hovers over the environment, is yet another example of how to use glass and reflective material with great success. Although the house is built near an oft-visited beach and bay area, it still manages to offer with interior courtyards, a double-glass skin that can closes residents off from the outside, and 4 private terraces in the four upstairs bedrooms.
Clearly, Gonzalez’s affinity for the modern and the natural is unparalleled. His structures have provided a cool, calm, and airy aesthetic to locales across the world. If you’re going to get anything from a Rene Gonzalez-designed building, then it’s the combination of cutting edge and aesthetically primitive. These principles can certainly be seen in locations like Indian Creek and the Hamptons residence. And they will continue to emanate from any and all future endeavors taken on by Rene Gonzalez Architect.

Vasco Vieira of Arqui + Arquitectura

The built-in swimming pool has always been a staple of luxury homes, at least those in warm climates. And in recent years, the infinity pool is almost a necessity for luxury homeowners. But the bar has been raised: Vasco Vieira of Arqui + Arquitectura has turned the notion of the in-ground infinity pool on its head.Casa Vale do Lobo, built on the Vale do Lobo golf resort in Southern Portugal, includes a swimming pool in a concrete base, cantilevered over a reflecting pool below.

It is meant as both utilitarian pool and sculptural element, and one can imagine passersby pondering this work of art. The upper pool’s water overflows, cascading into the shallow reflecting pool, creating calming sounds. Unlike standard in-ground pools, unattractive fences to prevent one from falling into deep water are not needed, allowing the courtyard and pool to create a cohesive visual effect.The U-shaped home has solid outer walls, denoting private space away from the golf course that the structure borders.

Transparent glazing on the inner walls, however, allow for a connection between interior and exterior. Through the use of transparent and solid materials, Vieira plays with light and shadow. Wood paneling, glass, black tiles, concrete, and gray sandstone floors have all been used to this effect, as well as to create a sense of flow through spaces and demarcate public and private areas.The two-story northern wing houses five bedrooms, all of which grant easy access to the communal single-story living area. And then there is another pool—the roof of the main living space is a terrace with a “mini” pool and outdoor living and cookout areas. Other entertainment areas can be found in the semi-buried basement, including a game room, cinema, and spa.

A double garage and service areas are also found here.The exterior is a lesson in geometry: Vieira uses flat, straight, horizontal and vertical lines that appear as if they could continue into infinity. They have no clear stopping points and draw one’s eye through to the horizon. Only the stairs create diagonals, but even these are made with minimal materials and horizontal and vertical lines, leaving the space beneath them empty.Vieira was no stranger to the Vale do Lobo Resort when designing this one-of-a-kind home. Before founding Arqui+ in 2004, he was the resort’s chief architect and construction director.

He has been building in the Algarve, the southernmost region of Portugal, for fifteen years. His aim is to create contemporary, innovative designs there while maintaining the region’s essence through materials and the quality of light. Vieira has not always worked amongst the Algarve’s sandy beaches and year-round sunshine, however. He studied and trained for ten years in South Africa before settling in Portugal, giving him international experience.The architect has designed villas in other Algarve resorts, including for Waratah Properties. While many of these houses maintain the strict rectilinearity seen in Casa Vale do Lobo, in at least one home Vieira embraces more organic forms, demonstrating his ability to expand ideas of minimalism.

The villa’s exterior form, as seen from above, resembles intersecting half-circles. It hugs its surrounding green landscape, rather than standing above it.Vieira has received numerous awards, including being named one of the top ten architects internationally by Homes Overseas magazine in 2004, and has continued to recognize his work since; CNBC Property Awards has also given him a Best Architecture and Best European Development awards in 2009, among others in previous years.If Vieira continues to design luxury villas at high-end resorts, we should hope to see a new reinvention of luxury entertainment. What mundane utilitarian object will became a luxurious sculpture next?