Now here’s a strange sight! And is that… a ski rack?
The Snow Apartment by penda is located in Zhangjiakou, Hebei, China in a famous skiing region north of Beijing.
Inspired by a melting snowfield in spring, when nature slowly revives from winter and offers a contrast of cold and warm, white and colored, the apartment is entirely white and wood.
A series of skylights offer the only daylight – as if we really have been buried in a snowdrift.
The plastered walls of ‘snow’ are suspended just above the floor with brilliant white LED under lighting – further suggesting spring melting.
To build the soft undulating ‘snow’, local craftsmen hand-plastered over wooden forms.
By ancient tradition, craftsmen in the north of China are familiar with the exacting techniques required to generate these sorts of handcrafted plaster curves.
A network of heating pipes is inside the thick plaster and emits a gentle radiant warmth through the thick plaster walls.
These cozily warmed walls of ‘snow’ are enjoyed by the client and his guests after a cold day skiing.
The layout of this strange folly is on a grid, with the extensive plaster form work attached to the wooden base.
Most of the bedrooms get some sort of a skylight like melting snow.
With seven bedrooms and several bathrooms, the very eccentric Snow Apartment provides room for the client and his friends to gather at a ski weekend-getaway that is really quite unique.
A wraparound S shape defines this small but sweet all-white villa an hour from Tokyo on the Boso Peninsula by Kiyonobu Nakagame & Associates.
The serene simplicity of white concrete reveals the elegance of the S shape and establishes a peaceful counterpoint against the balmy blue skies just east of the capital city.
The very well-stated design consists of one continuous wall that is folded in different directions to set up the various views.
The utmost in serene minimalism continues in the single master bedroom suite upstairs.
Here a deep soaking tub for relaxation within the vast ocean views occupies one corner.
On the ground floor the sun penetrates deep within the floor-to-ceiling glazing.
The isolated, simple setting is reflected in the villa’s elegant and minimal design so the viewer is able to fully experience the vast panorama of the Pacific Ocean.
A very elegant residence, utterly basic and spare.
Got a hankering for red? We do! Red is bold and modern. It’s snazzy and snappy. Best of all, it can be the easiest way to wake-up an otherwise boring room.
But red can go wrong too. Use too much, and you lose the cool factor. Use the wrong hue, and it just doesn’t work. Here are a few things to keep in mind about RED.
1) A little bit goes a long way.
The best thing about red is that you don’t have to use much of it to get the most dramatic effect. In fact, just one red object in a room can have much more impact than a whole lot of red scattered around a room. For instance, in the home above and below, just a few red lampshades placed in windows make a bold, and very cool, statement to the entire neighborhood.
And in the bathroom below, just one red faucet (and a red towel) make a truly modern statement.
In the neutral bedroom below, one red nightstand provides plenty of pop.
2) Get your red right. Bright orange red reads modern, darker, maroon-like, burgundy reds summon up the traditional. If you’re going for a more traditional look, your red might look something like this:
Deeper, darker maroon reds suggest coziness. This is a color we associate with autumn and settling by the fire. It’s a hue we often see in oriental rugs. It works well in Victorian settings with lots of wood paneling and often gets paired with deep blue or golden yellow. Here’s another example in a Maryland Georgian home that veers more toward the transitional:
On the other hand vivid tomato reds and reds veering into orange work better in modern, clean-lined homes. Here’s a vivid tomato red, used with discretion in an otherwise clean-lined room:
And here’s an example of the red-orange hue in a very contemporary home:
3) If you want to make a very bold dramatic statement, consider an accent wall or red kitchen cabinetry. The beauty of the accent wall is that it can easily be repainted. As the walls below:
And look how cool, modern yet classic a red kitchen looks:
And if you’re not brave enough for kitchen cabinets, a sideboard painted a bright red can be a great, more flexible alternative:
4) There’s no need to scatter. While it’s tempting, once you get the “red” bug to scatter multiple red accents around a room, the more modern way to decorate is to concentrate the red in just one or two pops. Below is a bathroom that looks great but might look better with one or two fewer red accents:
And here, a slightly more modern use of red, by concentrating all the color on the floor:
So are you ready to paint the town red?
As in their Concrete House of Green Water, here SHATOTTO Architects are working just with concrete and water to create another stunner – this one in the tropical southern city of Chittagong, Bangladesh.
The heavy southwest wind from the Bay of Bengal and the year-round scorching sun are two major considerations for the deeply shaded and water-cooled design.
Lush tropical vegetation is the perfect counterpoint to the simple formed concrete structure.
Almost the entire second floor consists of water, both to cool the home, and for a more direct cool-off.
Viewed from a diving platform over the pool, one is conscious of an amazing concrete ceiling, two storeys tall, shields the pool from the hot sun.
A colorful wall next door is cleverly included into the aesthetic.
The perfect color balance of rust-colored concrete pavers, the bisque wall, the dark teak wood diving platform and the pool, provide the perfect jolt of color within the very incognito exterior.
The architects use a series of layered exposed concrete parasols against the sun and levels that contain water, cooling the air.
The monumental concrete edifice is not out of place in its urban setting.
A series of shadowed passageways cool the walker underfoot.
A stepped series of green roof gardens make their home in these concrete cliffs and caves.
To the street, the house is nothing but the most mysterious presence.
A marble stair entrance that is grand and also scrupulously correct in its textural balance of glass, dark tropical wood, lush greenery and concrete meets a door of lovely proportions.
From here it provides just a fascinating glimpse of an interesting and complex design.
It seems that everyone has been obsessed with granite countertops in the last few years, but there’s another countertop surface that deserves some attention for both its beauty and durability. We’re talking glass!
Although we’re used to thinking of glass as something delicate and fragile, it turns out that glass, when used as a countertop material, can be surprisingly resilient and far more practical than you might imagine. And there are some other benefits as well.
1. Glass countertops come in a surprising array of colors and textures.
There ‘s no limit when it comes to color scheme or application. You can opt for clear glass, textured glass, colored glass in transparent, translucent, and opaque varieties. The blue textured look of the countertop above, by CBD Glass Studios looks just as if you were looking to the bottom of a swimming pool, with the added advantage that the textured finish makes dust, fingerprints and small scratches nearly invisible.
You can also create a dramatic effect by using lighting, as seen in the countertop below.
2. They are very easy to clean and completely non-porous.
In the kitchen, understandably, cooks are always concerned about germs and bacteria. The great thing about glass is that it’s a breeze to keep clean, and thus the perfect choice for chefs looking to keep a spic and span kitchen.
3. Glass countertops can take the heat.
Although the use of hotplates is recommended, glass is naturally heat resistant so hot cookware can be placed on its surface without the kind of damage that could occur on many other types of surfaces.
4. The edges can be curved or contoured.
You are not limited in terms of shape or form with glass. Not only can edges be contoured in any way you like, but the glass can be designed into organic forms, as in the island above, also by CBD Glass Studios.
5. It can open up a room, providing an airy feel that reflects light.
Glass countertops bounce light around the room but are transparent. The combination of these two properties gives rooms an open, airy, modern feel that can even make a space feel larger.
6. It’s a high end look.
Let’s face it, granite has become so ubiquitous it’s lost its cachet. Glass, on the other hand, is still very uncommon in most kitchens. When you see it, it automatically suggests a custom kitchen with a unique personality.
7. It’s recyclable.
And here’s an important advantage in our book. Glass is not a synthetic material and it is not using a limited resource, like marble or stone. It can be recycled again and again to create even more beautiful glass countertops.
Like any surface, glass does require some care. On slick, untextured glass, dirt, dust and debris will be visible, as will waterspots. Some acidic substances and corrode the glass, and of course, glass can be scratched, chipped or broken under pressure. Still, the same is true of many stones. All in all, glass is a unique countertop material with many more advantages than disadvantages for the discriminating homeowner and definitely worth considering for your next kitchen remodel.