Hotel Amsterdam Zaandam in the suburb of Amsterdam, the Netherlands is a whimsical real life gingerbread house. The concrete building with a quirky façade of irregularly stacked Dutch wooden houses is the work of WAM architecten. The traditional houses in bright green and blue speaks the architectural language of the region. This 160-room hotel has individually designed guest rooms which refer to typical products from the Zaan region.
Metropol Parasol, the Redevelopment of the Plaza de la Encarnacíon in Seville, Spain is a stunning structure designed by J. MAYER H. Architects. Completed in April, 2011, Metropol Parasol is the new icon for Seville. It articulates Seville’s role as one of the world’s most fascinating cultural destinations, and explores the potential of the Plaza de la Encarnacion to become the new contemporary urban centre.
The M. H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco, California is a fine arts museum first opened in 1895. Earthquakes have damaged the original building, and in 2005, a new structure was completed by Herzog & de Meuron. A twisting tower in the shape of an inverted pyramid is the most distinctive feature of its exterior. Located in Golden Gate Park, the new museum is sensitive to its natural setting. Landscaped gardens by Walter Hood harmonized the surroundings. In the Barbro Osher Sculpture Garden, a 21-foot safety pin adds an artistic element to this interesting property.
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.
The “Auto Residence” house located in Gnigi near Salzburg, Austria is a Volkswagen Beetle inspired home designed by Master Builder Markus Voglreiter. The owners bought the original 70’s style house and wanted to renovate and update the structure. The result was this unique transformation into a VW Beetle house which was completed in 2003. Voglreiter would later build a restaurant and bar “The Car. Das Auto” nearby. The “Auto Residence” is an eco-friendly house with energy efficient heating and insulation technology that reduces energy consumption.