Monday, April 16, 2012

Hanging Infinity Pools in Bali at Ubud Hotel & Resort

Bali is a small island in Indonesia, a magical place, known worldwide due to its rich culture and mesmerizing landscapes. For today, we will present Ubud Hanging Gardens Hotel,

The most striking of the hotel’s design features is a large, multi-leveled infinity pool, with curves that are said to copy the shape and beauty of the hills nearby. Guests can swim at the edge and enjoy peaceful vistas of the ancient Pura Penataran Dalem Segara temple, located on the opposite hillside.
Decks adorn the pool, offering visitors a chance to relax in the sun, while contemplating. Taking full advantage of the setting, the resort was built on wooden pillars among the steep rice fields of Ubud. This way, each of the 38 luxury private pool villas is perfectly integrated in this scenic environment.
You can consider this a perfect Balinese hideaway for romantic couples and honeymooners, or a comfortable family retreat. Either way, this tropical paradise plays with senses and provides experiences beyond imagination. Enjoy the photos!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Underground Home Designs - Swiss Mountain House Rocks!

In underground home designs, this unusual house plan is the collaboration between the Netherlands architects at SeARCH and Christian Muller Architects. This underground home, located in the Swiss village of Vals, is set amidst a cluster of mountain houses and if you don’t look carefully you might miss it! The most striking thing about this stone house is the majestic Alpine view through a wide, elliptical opening in the hillside, revealing spacious outdoor entertaining areas that lead to the home’s main entrance. Another entrance from a nearby barn leads residents and guests through an underground pathway, providing an alternate entryway into the home. The circular opening in the mountainside allows for lots of windows, which flood interiors with natural light while framing the stunning mountain views. SeARCH and Christian Muller Architectsvia Gizmodo, via Abitare

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Some exterior compositions I really like

Above: Dreamworld
Below: A realistic Canadian reality

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Weekly Feature, Martin Wittfooth

I never get a chance to showcase fine art but this will work out perfect, Martin Wittfooth is a good Friend of mine and in 2009 asked me if I could make him a reclaimed barn board frame for his upcoming showing at Pulse art fair in N.Y.C..

Wittfooth wanted to incorporate shelving into the frame this idea made the hole concept of preservation came together as a beautiful paradox between man and himself, as well as man and his natural environment.

Here is a detailed shot of an old dry spongy piece wood after I stained it black or (ebony).

This is the May addition of Hi-Fructose, a very prominent Pop art and culture magazine. Wittfooth was the star of this months issue and I was pleasantly surprised to see the frame with in the featured pages.

Check out more of Wittfooth's work at

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Weekly Feature, Diller & Renfro Field

The historic High Line railroad was built through Manhattan in the 1930′s. It lifted freight traffic 30 feet in the air, removing dangerous trains from the streets of Manhattan’s largest industrial district. The last train ran over it in 1980, after which it remained wasn’t anymore until is was scheduled for demolition in 1999. Here’s how it used to look:

In that year ‘Friends of the High Line’ was formed. A community based non-profit organization with the goal to preserve this historic structure. The project gained the City’s support in 2002. The High Line south of 30th Street was donated to the city in 2005. Respecting the railroad heritage, landscape architects Field Operations, with architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, created the plan for the new destination for the High Line as a public park. Construction on the park began in 2006. The first 1,5 mile section, from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street opened this week, and it looks great. It runs through the city as a green ribbon offering visitors a unique experiment. When I’m there I will definitely check it out.

Two more sections are planned, running up to 34th street when completed. This will make it a unique attraction for New York City.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekly Feature, Kotaro Ide, "Shell House"

The 'shell house' by architect Kotaro Ide, is a sculptural shell-like structure which has been built in the woods of Karuizawa, located in the Nagano prefecture of Japan. the house is meant to function as a vacation home, which is able to withstand the humid summers and cold winters of the region. to accomplish this, ide opted not to use the typical wood structure of villas in the area because of their susceptibility to decay easily. instead, he used reinforced concrete to construct two elliptical shell forms which are supposed to represent a conch.

From its profile, 'shell house' takes on a j-shape which is raised above the ground by 1400 mm resulting in the 'floating' masses. ulin wood is used to create terraces around the home with a courtyard into the centre of the main living areas. the villa's simple aesthetic lends itself well to the traditional Japanese landscape, creating a balance between the futuristic man-made structure and the environment which surrounds it. the entire project took more than 18 months to realize and two and a half years to complete.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Weekly Feature, Cal Lane

The New York Times

Her landlords, David and Diane Waldman, of Rancho Mirage, Calif., have never charged her rent. The Waldmans are art collectors who pride themselves on helping talented newcomers. After seeing photos of Ms. Lane’s work, they offered the use of the property, which she says has given her the opportunity to focus on her art.

Though no money changes hands, she has found a way to show appreciation. Last summer, Ms. Lane drove across the country in her pickup truck and delivered a sculpture to the couple, whom she had never met. The piece — a wheelbarrow into which Ms. Lane had cut intricate, lacy patterns — now stands between a painting by Robert Mangold and a sculpture by Sol LeWitt.

Even in that rarefied company, “everyone seems to be attracted to Cal’s wheelbarrow,” said Dr. Waldman, a physician at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage.

Ms. Lane, 39, grew up on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, and studied welding, planning to use the technique to make art (and, if that proved impossible, simply to make a living). Some sculptors, including Richard Serra, who has called welding “a form of stitching,” use the technique to join pieces of metal. Ms. Lane, by contrast, uses her torch to cut baroque patterns into such mundane objects as shovels, Dumpsters and old oil drums.

The work is about the contrasts between the industrial and the fanciful, the opaque and the transparent. Ms. Lane described herself as “a person who always has opposites in my head.”

She started her adult life as a hairdresser (her mother owned a salon in Victoria), but she said she was a tomboy and “welding seemed to fit me better.” The mix of feminine and masculine vocations (teasing hair and welding steel), she said, is encapsulated in her work.

The property in Putnam Valley, 50 miles north of New York, contains a two-story house, a large red barn and a number of smaller structures. It once belonged to Martha Boswell Lloyd. She was one of the three Boswell Sisters, 1930’s singing stars whose vocal style is said to have paved the way for later marriages of pop and jazz.

In the 1960s, part of the Lloyd estate was bought by Jean and Terry Hennessy, riding instructors who kept dozens of horses in the outsized barn.

One of their students — starting when he was 5 years old — was David Waldman, a Brooklyn boy who liked hanging out with the Hennessys so much that “I became like a surrogate child to them,” he said recently.

As the couple reached old age, they suffered a series of setbacks — she lost her hearing, and he lost his sight. When they ended up in nursing homes without much money, Dr. Waldman bought the house, he said, so they would have a chance to return to it, “although they never really did,” he said.

Dr. Waldman, who is an allergist and immunologist, said he talked to the Hennessys about the house before they died in 2001, and they decided he should try to use it to do some good.

So when they met Nancy Dwyer, a painter and sculptor, they offered her the chance to become their first artist in residence. Ms. Dwyer, who performed extensive renovations on the house, was lonely there and asked if she could have a roommate; she proposed Ms. Lane, whom she had met through a friend. The Waldmans approved. Ms. Lane, who had been living in Nova Scotia, moved into the house and began studying art at Purchase College, in Westchester County.

After about a year, Ms. Dwyer left to take a teaching job in Vermont, and Ms. Lane stayed on. At first, she said, she didn’t know what the Waldmans expected from her.

“It was awkward,” she recalled. “I didn’t know how much they liked my work, so I kept asking them if they wanted me to send a check.”

The one thing they asked was that she not do welding in the wooden barn, which is not only a historic structure but a treasure trove, containing (among many other things) the Hennessys’ riding equipment. (Ms. Lane said she would have avoided welding in the barn even if the Waldmans hadn’t asked.)

While making art, Ms. Lane has found time to paint the house, dig a koi pond and plant an herb garden. She is also handy. “I seem to have a close relationship with the boiler,” she said.

The one time she needed help with it, the repairman who showed up was intrigued by her work. Now, she said, he drops by occasionally “to give me odd steel things like oil drums and car parts.”

By improving the house, and positioning several of her artworks on the lawn, “she really made the property come alive,” Dr. Waldman said. When she was in California, he added, “I showed her some of the old scrapbooks of the Hennessys, and she got involved with the whole spirituality of the place.”

Ms. Lane said, “It was exciting to see those old pictures and listen to the stories that connected the objects I had been living with.”

Ms. Lane says she hasn’t acquired any furniture. “My life has been transient in all respects,” she said. “I’m a wanderer, from friends, lovers, jobs and places. The only thing I could ever stick to is making art.” In fact, she said, her five-year stint at the Waldmans’ is a record for her.

She says her life in Putnam Valley has been solitary. “I keep thinking that it’s good for me, because it’s making me focus on work.” She later added, “I did have a nice man come by recently to cook me dinner.” The result? “I saw him as trying to steal time away from my work.”

Some of that work will end up in a show in March at the Patricia Faure Gallery in Santa Monica, Calif. The trip west will give Ms. Lane another chance to visit with her landlords. On the last trip, Diane Waldman gave her some of her family’s heirloom lace. Ms. Lane is using its patterns in her latest sculptures.

Referring to his mentors, the Hennessys, Dr. Waldman said: “Their wish was that the property would somehow do some good for other people. And it has.”

“Cal would have loved them,” he added, “and they would have loved Cal.”

Photographs by Phil Mansfield for The New York Times

Published by Fred A. Bernstein