Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category

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HM.A Architects have created this rather interesting home, made from old containers. Located Buenos Aires, Argentina, the home was designed around the clients program of a residential space with an office, a playroom, a guest area and an outdoor area.

the morphology and positioning of the container was the result of a search for tensions applied to parts of the container, as well as to to the entire unit. Masonry walls, concrete and insulating fire bricks were further used to maintain the position of the

For insulation the home has masonry walls, concrete and insulating fire bricks. This also provides stability to an otherwise light building material. Centered around a large main central living area, the interior is modern and contemporary and designed around the client.

Not a bad use of space from a container, one of the best container homes I’ve seen.











the grass is always greener on the welded side

Can you even believe this is the Google Engineering HQ for the London wing of this mega company? I certainly can. I mean come on this is tech haven and dream.. Calm down now readers this facility is only for the Google smarties but it doesn’t hurt to ogle. Oh, how i am ogling.

Designers,  Penson, has created this wonderful work environment where employees can lounge on sofas, draw on whiteboard walls, computer workstations, the offices include game rooms, music studios, lounge areas and an auditorium.

The offices also house studios for mobile web developers Android, containing electrically adjustable tables and magnetic walls.

Check out the cool and very geeky touches to the HQ, with Tron posters and Star Wars star fighters drawn on the wall.

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Here below is the press release:

PENSON “Strike 1” for Google Engineering HQ London

One of the world’s most up & coming architecture & interior design brands PENSON, has released their first project for Google engineers, in Buckingham Palace Road, London. This first release forms part of PENSON’s overall programme for Google, covering super cool office spaces for Googlers this year at Central Saint Giles & Belgrave House London.

This first release is a starship enterprise-come-space module-come space-city affair, which is shrewdly functional whilst laying down some really clever & fresh thinking workplace strategies. In summary it’s yet another brilliant to the point release by PENSON.

Henrique Penha of Google commented: “Working with the team at PENSON was a pleasure, they truly understood the functional and aesthetic attributes we were after when redesigning Google’s new engineering offices in London. Together, we pushed the ambition of the project into every phase, giving the Engineering teams in London a place to incubate and execute on numerous Google projects and products.”

The floor provides a mixture of spaces, gaming rooms, music studios, a park, coffee lab, flight pods, lounges, micro-kitchens, an amazing auditorium labelled Tech Talk & an abundance of very clever collaboration & working spaces.

Most walls across the space are magnetic white board laminates, which allow scribbles across the entire floor. In small or large nooks & crannies, Googlers collaborate in alone, in pairs or in spaces that can present casually to 100 people. It’s very clever, loose & natural in that the space works around Googlers & not the other way around. The laminates give a spacious glossy jointless feel. It’s simply fab.

Flight pods are a PENSON invention exclusively for Google. These pods solve a number of programme, landlord & technical matters in the interests of supersonic fit-out speeds. They also look amazing, solve acoustic issues & provide semi private slouching-come-formal seating opportunities that simply look & feel amazing. These are true kick off your shoes & meet spaces. The days of meeting rooms are perhaps numbered!

Knowing PENSON well, it’s of course no surprise to us that the Coffee Lab is in fact made from compressed sheets of spent fresh coffee shavings. Clever! The space overlooks the internal park, with music & gaming rooms creating a space with amazing acoustics for collaborative speeches or as per opening night an electronic violinist.

The space also covers the Android studio, which is responsible for development of all Android matters. The space has electrically adjustable studio tables for working whilst standing or collaborating at low-level. The space has magnetic walls throughout for pin-up presentations of software or new patents currently under development.

Corridors no longer exist through other clever ideas, which mean that footprint usage of the floor plate is maximised. Through shrewd space, planning using techniques that only PENSON seem to dream up, the floor has been totally max packed, however, the spaces feel incredibly loose & spacious. Large isles of walkways with inter-connecting orange lines create a joined-up approach, which breaks up floors. Floors alone are different here, again through PENSON’s young creative commercials.

Desking looks different & fully integrated into the space, thanks to that orange banding. 100% of the desks are fully height adjustable. Screens that divide, whilst allowing group wide social connection, are framed with self-illuminating perspex, which add zest.

Other aspects to the scheme which are also very well considered are acoustics, day-lighting, zoning & socialising. All of these things happen naturally in that the space works, its comfortable & relaxing.

Lee Penson founder of PENSON Groups says: “This project for Google underlines our position within the media & office sectors, not only exposing our supersonic design flair, but also our delivery capabilities. Handing over 300,000sq.ft for Google in less than a year from start to finish to this level of detail is no mean feat & as the remainder of the Google programme is released, the underline will simply get thicker! This is a good looking, functional, commercially & forward thinking project!

It’s a special place that presses all of the right buttons at all levels. Statistics, workplace strategies, styling, atmosphere & forward thinking for Google’s Googlers. Magic!

the grass is always greener on the welded side

House on the outskirts of Prague by Martin Cenek


My oh, my, this is a gorgeous home. Coupled with the beauty of the bright white snow then this is a real beauty to me.

Czech architect Martin Cenek really accentuated the landscape and the starkness of the countryside. The details in the staircase and the open plan style of the living area really gives this home a light feel to it. Clean and simple, very beautiful.


Here’s a detailed description from Cenek:

House on the outskirts of Prague
Zdiby, Czech Republic

The plot on the outskirts of Prague, protected by a forest from the north and sloping very gently into the fields to the south, seemed ideal for an energy efficient house.

The final design that was developed for this young family of 3 (planned to grow to 4) is a timber house, energetically very close to the passive house standard, employing natural materials, but mainly trying to be as simple and rational as possible. These two are for us also very important aspects of sustainable architecture.

The house is oriented parallel to the neighboring “catalogue” house and creates a clear contrast to its pitched roof and pseudo-classical details, but its ambition is not to overshadow it or criticize it. By its orientation on the plot the house creates a natural barrier between the road to the north and spacious garden on the south side.

The concept was based on a composition of simple volumes arranged into a compact and clear shape. The whole first floor is clad in larch battens which are also used on the shading panels that slide in front of south and east oriented windows and on the balustrade of the first floor terrace (above the carport). This wooden “basket” of the first floor rests on two transverse grey walls – one on the west side and the other east side of the house.

The ground floor volumes – of the day zones of the house itself as well as the one of the garden storeroom are inserted between the two grey outer walls and are finished in reddish rendering. The space between these volumes creates the carport and allows passage between the garden and the road.

The house opens to the south with a terrace directly extending from the living room and connected with it thanks to the extensive glazing of the south wall (glazed in its full length) shaded by means of a wooden brise-soleil. In the future the terrace should grow further to the south and a swimming pool of the same width is also planned.

The north side of the house is more compact and its main feature is a strip window above the level of the flat roof which provides zenithal light to the bathrooms. This sloping part of the roof also serves to mount solar collectors.

The interior layout tries to open up the living (day) zones of the house as much as possible. Sliding floor to ceiling doors then allow different options of connecting or closing the various zones of the house (living and work/service on the ground floor, children and parents on the first floor). The aim was to minimize corridors and lost spaces. The main feature of the central part of the house is a very light staircase suspended on steel rods from the ceiling.

All the built in furniture is simple and white, the aim of the design being to let it blend into the walls and thus give more importance to the occupants of the house and their life.

The structure of the house consists of very simple two-by-four timber framing, with all constructions open to water vapor diffusion. All glazing is made of insulated triple window panes in wooden frames (or frameless in case of the living room).

Heating – a simple small electric boiler and low temperature floor heating on the ground floor, very simple radiators on the first floor in combination with air heat recovery system. Water is heated using the thermosolar collectors and an integrated heat storage tank. As the heat losses of the house are relatively low, the fireplace in the living room is purely an aesthetical feature.

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Architect: ing.arch. Martin Cenek (*1982)
Completed: 2010
Project: 2007-2009

Total floor area: 145m2 + carport 20m2
Built-up area: 120m2 (including garden storeroom and carport)
Energy losses: 3,5kW



the grass is always greener on the welded side

Now I’ve always loved Star Wars art, and the folks at GeekTyrant reminded me again how amazing this franchise is. Yes I’m biased but I don’t really care.

I love these pieces and I’ve actually seen them before and Cédric Delsaux is one of my favourite photographers.

“French photographer Cédric Delsaux started out taking photos of what he calls “the peripheral zones” of modern cities – wastelands, empty deserts, scrapyards. Yet something was missing – and then he had the idea of placing characters from Star Wars into the images, giving C3PO and the Millennium Falcon modern settings that somehow seamlessly fit.

His haunting photos help us reflect on the urban environments of Paris and Dubai, the addition of a few stormtroopers and Darth Vader laying bare the effect of these domineering concrete landscapes.

George Lucas calls them ‘one of the most unique and intriguing interpretations that I have seen.'”
Huffington Post

Amazing stuff. And looks like George Lucas agrees. Find Dark Lens on Amazon to get these awesome prints.

the grass is always greener on the welded side

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‘Sneaker Tectonics’ is a very cool structure by an unknown 3D artist and illustrator. This sneaker architecture features New Balance, Nike and Adidas sneakers. Made from steel, wood, concrete and glass.

This looks very cool and sort of reminds me of an old 80’s sci-fi movie. I love it.

via Highsnobiety

the grass is always greener on the welded side

Coldwater Studio by Casey Hughes Architects

Simplicity in the form of an minimalist block, cladded with wooden shuttering.. This is a beautiful example of taking an ordinary shape and making it into the beautiful livable space seen here. By cladding and creating voids in this shape, creates a whole new dynamic. Yet, the initial shape is maintained, even just the shadow of it, is held together by the cladding.

I enjoy minimalist designs that are done with a hint of the extraordinary, and this fits in that category. The recess of the balcony, to the red cedar clad evokes a real sense of the Hollywood style, where this home is situated.


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The following description is from Casey Hughes Architects:

The writer’s studio was designed for a woman who lives alone. A primary intention was to create a building that would provide enclosure and security while remaining open to the exterior.

This condition was achieved in part through carving an atrium into the north façade which fills the studio with indirect light while providing privacy from the neighbors.

The treatment of the exterior further emphasizes this paradox through the use of a redwood screen that forms a rough protective layer around the building while imbuing it with lightness and transparency.

Coldwater Studio by Casey Hughes Architects

Sun Screen

The exterior of the building is clad in 2” by 2” redwood slats that screen the skin of the building. A 4” gap between the screen and the buildings exterior creates a transparency and play of shadows that enlivens the façade, and softens the buildings mass.
The effect of the light coming through the screen is similar to the light filtering through the trees behind the studio, creating an intimate relationship between the building and it’s surroundings.

Coldwater Studio by Casey Hughes Architects


The redwood of the screen has been left untreated. This was designed both to reduce maintenance, and to allow it to patina to a silvery gray that will soften the appearance of the exterior, further connecting it to its natural surroundings. The interior walls of the building are clad in 2’ by 8’ sheets of Maple plywood, treated with a mixture of beeswax and linseed oil, to create a natural durable surface. The plywood walls were designed to add warmth to the interior, causing the light entering the building to cast a tranquil glow. The subtle grain of the plywood paneling contrasts beautifully with the white ceiling and stair wall, giving them a crisp and clean appearance.

Coldwater Studio by Casey Hughes Architects


Most of the windows are placed on the front façade of the building, capturing the soft northern light. A panoramic window wraps the corner of the front façade, echoing the horizontality of the neighborhood. The window was designed to frame a cluster of iconic giant palms, which make the view undeniably Southern California. Standing at these windows, the viewer has a sense that they are in a control tower, surveying the landscape.

A balcony, enclosed in glass, was excavated from the north side of the building to act as a light-well, filling the space with light, but also maintaining privacy from the neighbors to the east. This balcony is covered by a redwood pergola, which further softens the light and creates pleasing shadows that track the sun’s movement.

4 square skylights, arranged in a row above the stairwell, bring light filtered by the trees at the rear of the site into the studio’s south side, and deep into the first floor.

Coldwater Studio by Casey Hughes Architects

Climate Control

A long vertical window on the rear façade of the studio, designed to frame the trunks of the trees behind the studio, also catches the cool breeze coming off the creek that runs along the rear of the property. Cool air is drawn through the studio and exits the larger windows in the front, making air conditioning unnecessary on all but the hottest days, where the exterior temperature can reach in excess of 100 degrees.

The redwood screen on the exterior of the studio was designed to not only shade the building from the sun, but to allow air to flow between the screen and the building’s skin which helps it maintain an even interior temperature throughout the day.


The powder room on the east side of the balcony is enclosed on two sides with translucent acid etched glass. The room is fitted with lights in a reveal along the back wall that make the powder room glow like a lantern at night, filling the spaces beyond with a soft defused light.

via Dezeen

the grass is always greener on the welded side

This building looks very cool. the new Lucasfilm headquarters in singapore looks like the classic Sandcrawler from the Star Wars franchise from certain angles.

These renderings show the proposed building that will be completed in 2012. Looking forward to this one, I love how it sits in the site and the flow of the lines to the ground. A real geeky building for a modern age.

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The new Lucasfilm office building will feature a 100 seat theater and start of the art digital production facilities, and it was designed by Architects, .


the grass is always greener on the welded side


This house, named “M House”, by Japanese practice takeshi hirobe architects a three-storey home in a busy Japanese neighborhood in Tokyo. By maintaining the strictest of regulations of the site, the architects wanted connect the interior withe the exterior while still maintaining privacy.

during the early stages of the designing process, an octagonal staircase was inserted into
the floor plan as a major structural pillar to the house. constructed with reinforced concrete,
the spiral stairwell is topped with a roof light which allows is to double-function as a lightwell.
the interior surfaces are also finished in white to maximize the natural daylighting effect,
bringing it all the way down to the basement. round holes of various sizes are randomly
perforated on the sides of the shell to establish internal visual connections to each floor.

to further introduce the outdoors to the living space, multiple volumetric voids are carved out
as outdoor terraces from the corners of the layout. the exterior shell of the house wraps around
these spaces, acting as a fence-like barrier from the street. all storeys of the house remains
open and flexible, generating living spaces that are flexible yet private when needed.

The interior of this home is a beautiful mixture of wood, white, and glass.. that is very homely and one can get lost in the cosiness and the small (yet not claustrophobic)  spaces.

Very Well Done

This is a really beautiful home and uses its space efficiently and sucks in the light rather well for a tiny home. I love it and yes the Japanese have done it again. This could be one of my favourite houses.

project info:

site area: 112.40 m2
built area: 63.53 m2
total floor area: 251.78 m2
structure: reinforced concrete
structural consultant: s.form

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the grass is always greener on the welded side