The Community Bookself is an intriguing piece of architecture at the Public Library in Kansas City, Missouri resembling a book shelf. This striking façade, which runs along the south wall of the Central Library, features book spines measuring 25 feet by 9 feet, and showcases 22 titles reflecting a wide variety of reading interests suggested by readers.
The Redwoods Treehouse located near Warkworth, north of Auckland, New Zealand was part of an advertising campaign for the Yellow Pages. This treehouse restaurant on the edge of a redwood forest was designed by Pacific Environment Architects, Ltd. Access to the Treehouse is provided by an elevated tree-top walkway built using redwood milled on site. The vertical fins and slats are built from sustainably grown pine and poplar.
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.