At 12,000 feet above sea level, the St. Regis Lhasa Resort in Lhasa, Tibet is one of the highest luxury hotels in the world. Inspired by the nearby Sera Monastery, the eight-acre resort hotel designed by Denniston International Architects combines the traditional Tibetan architectural elements with modern luxury. The hotel faces the stunning Potala Palace with views of the Himalayas and Lhasa Valley. The exterior of the buildings with stone walls and dark shale pagoda-style roofs pay homage to the ancient Buddhist culture. The interiors showcase works of art from local and international artists such as the six-panel painting in the lobby by Christian de Laubadère. The Iridium Spa has an ornate gold-tiled pool with artwork of a black and white Sea Serpent. Sustainable features such as solar panels and an underground water recycling system were also incorporated into the hotel design.
Built in the shape of the human eye, L’Hemisfèric is one of the structures within the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain. Designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, L’Hemisfèric houses an IMAX theatre, a Planetarium and a Laserium. The “pupil” is the hemispherical dome of the IMAX theatre and the “eyelid” can open and close by using hydraulic lifts to operate the steel and glass shutter. This impressive architectural masterpiece is situated at the end of the dried up riverbed Turia. Calatrava wanted to bring water back to the area by creating a reflecting pool which also serves as a stunning artistic display at night when the lighting creates an image of a whole eye.
Marina Bay Sands in Singapore is an integrated resort with three 55-storey towers capped by a boat-shaped 340 meters long SkyPark with a 150 meters infinity swimming pool. This impressive resort developed by Las Vegas Sands and designed by Moshe Safdie Architects cost approximately S$8 billion (over US$6 billion) to build. The 16-hectre resort combines a casino, 2,560 rooms, two theatres, a shopping mall, restaurants, a Museum of ArtScience and world class convention facilities. The project’s foreground — composed of the ArtScience Museum, an outdoor event plaza along the promenade and the grand arcade — serves as a base from which the hotel towers rise.
Vitra Haus is the home of Vitra’s Home Collection located in the German town of Weil am Rhein which is a suburb of the city of Basel, Switzerland. Designed by Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, Vitra Haus is a five-storey building with the theme of stacked houses on the Vitra Campus, joining the Vitra Design Museum. The striking architecture and the complexity of the interior space create an atmosphere that is both grand and intimate at the same time. The white interior walls allow the furniture displays to stand out. At night, the illuminated interior glows from within.
Master Builder Markus Voglreiter who earlier designed the “Auto Residence” decided to build a bigger and sportier structure in the form of a restaurant and bar called “The Car. Das Auto”. Located north of Salzburg, Austria, the Volkswagen Beetle inspired restaurant cost approximately €1.6 million to build and was completed in 2007. The interior design is contemporary, and there is also an outdoor patio seating area for locals and tourists to soak up the atmosphere of this cool restaurant.
This eye-catching building is the home office of The Longaberger Company in Newark, Ohio. Longaberger — a basket manufacturer — commissioned NBBJ Architects and Korda Nemeth Engineering to construct the seven-storey building which was completed in 1997. The Longaberger gold leaf painted tags are attached to the sides of the building along with two basket handles on the top.
The Krzywy Domek “Crooked House” is an unusual piece of architecture located on Monte Cassino Street in Sopot, Poland. Completed in 2004, the building was designed by Szotyńscy & Zaleski who were inspired by the fairytale illustrations and drawings of Jan Marcin Szancer and Per Dahlberg as well as designs by Antoni Gaudí. The magical effect draws many visitors to the property which houses restaurants, cafés and shops.
The architecture and interior design of the Sugamo Shinkin Bank in Tokiwadai, Tokyo, Japan sought to create a relaxing and refreshing space for customers. Architect Emmanuelle Moureaux arranged 14 different colours in a distinctive rhythmical pattern for the windows of the building, and designed silhouettes of trees for the façade. A constellation of leaves in 24 different colours are painted on the interior walls and glass windows, blending with the real trees in the courtyards.