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 on a man-made island on the edge of Doha harbour just off the corniche, the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar houses one of the world’s most complete collections of Islamic artifacts. Designed by Pritzker Prize laureate I. M. Pei, who embarked on a journey across the Muslim world to grasp the essence of Islamic architecture which he borrowed for the design of the museum. The result is an architectural icon composed of a five-storey minimalist building and a two-storey education wing with the geometric patterns and aesthetic details of the art and architecture of the Muslim world. Inside the building, a soaring atrium with a stainless steel domed ceiling above the grand staircase is a stunning centrepiece of the interiors.
Loblolly House on Taylors Island, Maryland is a 2,200-square-foot prefab house composed entirely of fabricated components made off-site. Designed by Kieran Timberlake Associates, this contemporary home named for the tall loblolly pines that characterize its site on the Chesapeake Bay was built in environmentally ethical ways. There is minimal disruption to the ground with the house resting lightly on the site using timber piles as foundations. Architects Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake believe that the construction process today should be streamlined, so they boldly took on the project which has become a model for componentized prefab houses.
This modern home located in Sausalito, California in the San Francisco Bay Area is situated on a steep slope with panoramic views of Richardson Bay. The house has a simple and unassuming front façade, but once inside the house, light and expansive windows open the interior to the grand environment outside. The home also features a rainwater harvesting system, and along with its use of a combination of light and dark woods, the zen-like simplicity makes for responsible living in a neighbourhood with history and sensitivity to its environment.
This modern family residence in New Delhi, India is designed for three generations of a family. Architecture and design firm Morphogenesis created an energy efficient home that allows air movement and light to flow throughout the house. The lap pool helps with heat absorption on the top terraces. The skylights above the interior garden creates a green sanctuary within the house. Interior spaces are divided into three categories — private domain such as bedrooms and breakfast room, inter-generational spaces such as the kitchen, dinning areas and family room, and public domain where visitors are invited to participate in cultural activities.
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.
This contemporary home designed by Hutchison & Maul Architecture sits on a bluff overlooking Lake Washington in Seattle, Washington. It has a large lawn and two upper decks with amazing view of the lake. The open concept encourages interaction between the outdoor space and the indoor living area.
The RainShine House is a beautiful contemporary home with green architecture in Decatur, Georgia. An unique butterfly roof with its inverted gable is designed to capture rain water which goes to a rain harvest system in the basement. The roof is also oriented to maximize southern exposure for the roof mounted photovoltaic system. Light shelves around the upper window sills bounce and diffuse light throughout the interior. The water (Rain) and solar (Shine) systems make this house the ultimate sustainable home for modern living.