1888 Hotel – Where Instagram Meets Hospitality
Jan23

1888 Hotel – Where Instagram Meets Hospitality

​ One of the strongest indicators that social media rules the world is an enigma which first occurred in Span. In August 2013, the world’s first (but probably not last) TWITTER hotel opened doors. With Twitter-themed rooms and special hashtags for room service orders, the luxury resort snowballed a new era in the hospitality industry. Just a few months later in Sydney, Australia, 1888 Hotel launched a genius marketing campaign for Instagram users. From a special spot for selfies to monthly contest for the best snap shot taken at the premises of the establishment, Instagram fans enjoy preferential treatment. Something more, users with over 10,000 followers receive a complimentary overnight accommodation. It’s only natural to wonder why Instagtam and not Facebook or Pinterest? Back in 1888 Kodak released it’s first camera and the property owners want to pay respect to the company’s history. Moreover, as you might have already figured out, the building of the hotel was constructed in 1888. Initially used as a wool storage facility, the structure is a fine example of typical Australian architecture. Vast period windows, exposed bricks and high ceilings dominate the space. After 2 years and $30 million AUD worth of renovations, 1888 hotel was opened to reveal an unique design and décor. Pops of vivacious colours (yellow, blue, magenta and deep purple) warm up the subtle stony-grey colour scheme. Punchy Australian art decorates both the rooms, suits and lofts and the community areas. With 90 rooms, 1888 hotel offers several accommodation options. Forget about the sterile hotel rooms you have seen. Each of the spaces in the establishment has it’s own unique style and charm. From standard-sized two-person bedrooms with mezzanine bathrooms to spacious loft with a spectacular view of Sydney – there is something for everyone. The presidential suite even has its own...

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Challenging Urban Design: Cambodian Temple-Inspired Home
Dec09

Challenging Urban Design: Cambodian Temple-Inspired Home

The ancient ruins of Angkor Wat – the largest religious temple in the world, have inspired Sydney architect Drew Heath to create a house inspired by its archaic wild beauty. Just last month the unique construction won the 2013 National Award for Architecture in the residential category. Dubbed the venerable Irish name Tír na nÓg (“land of youth”), the building mimics the overgrown outlying of the fist Hindu temple. Once a worker’s cottage, today turned into a magnificent construction – the dwelling received Atralia’s most prestigious acknowledgement for exceptional design the 2013 Wilkinson Award for Residential Architecture from the NSW Australian Institute of Architects. Situated in McMahon’s Point – one of Sydney’s most prominent suburbs, Tír na nÓg is an extraordinary example of green urban design. Situated on a quiet street in one of Sydney’s most luxurious suburbs, Tír na nÓg boasts natural bamboo fences and thick foliage to recreate the abandoned beauty of Angkor Wat – the temple lost in the jungle’s heart. Just like the ancient city, the property seems lost in the omnibus greenery. Drew Heath, the designer of the building and owner of Drew Heath Architects, was so fascinated by the Cambodia’s top tourist attraction that he decided to take on the challenge of recreating the solitude of the forgotten ruins in one of Sydney’s most densely populated suburbs – McMahon’s Point. Despite the ambitiousness of the project both jury and public agreed he has succeeded. With its unique floor plan and greenery overflowing the landscape, the house looks both insulated from the rest of the suburb and like an inseparable part of it. The home features several bedrooms and sleeping areas which can host up to 12 people. The old cottage’s backyard has been turned into a sunlit summer pavilion connected to the main building via a central garden. Tír na nÓg’s kitchen is spacious and can be further extended to the garden thanks to the floor-to-ceiling sliding glass panels. It also connects to a contemporary reading room. Indoor and outdoor spaces (including the garden, the bamboo fences and the rooms) all tumble over 12 different levels making the layered design of the building truly extraordinary. With natural sunlight penetrating every level of the house and the unique garden-centred arrangement along with the summer/ winter bathrooms make Tír na nÓg stands to prove why Australia’s exceptional urban architecture is world-widely recognised. Challenging urban design should always be...

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House of Bottles
Nov26

House of Bottles

There are 1001 ways to recycle and help protect the environment. From separating your residential waste in different containers to using energy saving appliances. However, some home-owners use their creativity to build houses from the most unusual materials. While the concept of using bottles to make dwellings is not a novelty, I am fascinated with the patience and determination of one person. Tito Ingenieri an Argentinian artist has utilised over six million recycled glass bottles to build a magnificent home for himself and his pet Captain Nemo. The incredible structure is known as ‘Casa de Botellas’ or ‘House of Bottles’. The artist has been working on this project for 21 years. Years of gathering glass bottles, cleaning them and arranging them layer after layer until the entire unit was complete. In an interview for Argentina Independent, the 57-year-old sculptor states: ‘You could say that I’m one of time’s castaways. I am an art labourer and I didn’t have a house so I decided to make one‘ Just like that Tito made the decision to build what is by far one of the most extraordinary homes I have ever seen. The persistence and love with which the artist has gathered each bottle and then laid it so that it fits the gigantic puzzle that is ‘Casa de Botellas’. However, the bottle structure is by far not the only inspiring thing about his home. Everyday items turned into enchanted art pieces lurk behind every corner of the establishment. After 21 years of recycling, upcycling and manual labour, Tito’s own home is now open for visitors. As you can see from the pictures below its interior is even more dazzling than the exterior. There is only one thing we would like to remind. Cleaning glass bottles is hard enough on its own but when you throw in that they have been left to the mercy of nature elements, it gets even more difficult. Making the Bottle House With a framework made of re-claimed iron, the structure has an unusual shape which totally corresponds with Ingenieri’s personality and style. Just like the rest of the construction is created from re-purposed materials like the glass bottles, the main framework incorporates 50-year-old wagon wheels and even port-hole windows. Thanks to the stable foundation, the aggregated pressure from the bottles is relieved preventing the bottles from shattering into million pieces. Tito’s bottle house not only showcases his creativity and vision, it also stands as a monument of community spirit. Most of the bottles – different in shape, colour and style, are donated by local clubs and even authorities. Beer bottles find their rightful spot right next...

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The Oldest Rotating House in the World
Nov19

The Oldest Rotating House in the World

Nowadays, rotating houses are not an innovation. There have been many fantastic examples around the world, including the magnificent Girasole in Canberra. It is no secret that its owner and designer was inspired by Italian architecture and design. Not many, however, know that our Australian Girasole’s predecessor carries the same name and was built almost 63 years ago. Villa Girasole is the oldest rotating house in the world designed by a local navy engineer, Angelo Invernizzi. Situated near Verona, Italy, the house follows the path of the sun in a circular motion. Translated from Italian, the word girasole means sunflower. An appropriate name for the house which follows the sun. The idea behind the creation of the first-of-its-kind rotating house is simple – to harness solar energy. Modern buildings use solar panels to transform it into energy. The implementation of the ambitious project took six years from 1929 to 1935. While it might seem too long for the construction of a house, we all know Girasole was no ordinary dwelling. Its unique for that era design and purpose required the use of advanced technologies. The First Rotating House Technology Girasole consists of two main body parts – a circular base (44 meter diameter) and an L-shaped rotational block. In the centre you will see a beautiful 40-meter-high tower described by many as a light-house-type construction. To rotate the 1500 tons structure, Invernizzi created an elegant mechanism powered by two diesel motors. With a speed of 4 mm per second, Girasole completes a full rotation cycle in approximately 9 hours and 20 minutes. Compared to modern rotating houses which can do make a full turn in less than 10 minutes, it might seem like an eternity. However, this is more than enough to follow the leisurely motion of the sun. Despite the genius design and advanced mechanics, each turn leaves signs of wear and tear in the foundation of the building. The vertical shaft grinds deep into the earthbound foundation, thus the very technology which awakens the structure also brings it one step closer to destruction. Today, Girasole is owned by the Invernizzi Foundation and the Swiss Mendrisio Academy of...

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Medieval Glory
Jan30

Medieval Glory

The Most Beautiful Castles in the World In complete controversy with my previous posts, I have chosen to name this one “Medieval Glory” with the more understandable subtitle “The Most Beautiful Castles in the World”. Why have I chosen to write on this topic? The reason is simple – Valentine’s Day is almost here, I am in a very, very romantic mood (who wouldn’t be after seeing all those “love posts” in other blogs), and I have been wondering how to spend the holiday with my boo. While a trip to Europe, the capital of the medieval action, at least according to my history teacher that is, is out of the question, I can’t help but dream at least a little bit. So I have decided to treat myself to a virtual excursion all around the world, searching for those romantic, tragic, yet so beautiful monuments of an age of damsels in distress, brave knights and chevaliers; princesses and princes; kings and queens who spent fortunes to build the most beautiful castles in the world. Having explained the reasons behind writing that post, I won’t keep you waiting any more: Peles Castle, Romania And off we go straight into the heart of Balkan history with the Neo-Renaissance Peles Castle in Romania. Hidden in deep forests in the Carpathian Mountains, this astonishing architectural miracle was built in the end of the 19th century. Not only is the view of the palace breathtaking, but it also hosts one of the finest art collections in Europe. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany Most of you who are fascinated with medieval history and architecture must have seen pictures of the “castle of the fairy-tale king” Ludwig II. The wild nature surrounding the castle makes it a perfect refuge, which is the reason the shy king decided to build the Romanesque Revival castle up in the Bavarian mountains. Even the name of the palace is romantic and beautiful, as it literally means the “new swan stone”. Matsumoto Caste, Japan Leaving Europe, and its tragic history full of mythical creatures, we are heading to the “Crow Castle” in Japan. It is by far the most beautiful castles in the country, earning its name due to the entirely black exterior. Unlike most Japanese palaces, this one is built on a plane rather than high in the mountains. Guaita Castle, San Marino Just because I want to show that not only the big countries have rich history, and beautiful castles, I am returning to Europe and the small Republic of San Marino. Right above the capital, you can see the mythical Guaita Fortress. It has been guarding the city for...

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