Category - Architecture

Modernism social housing in the Berlin-Falkenberg garden city

Modernism housing estates with colorful facades, ornamented with geometrical patterns, red brick roofs, charming wooden windows, shutters and balconies, surrounded with bloomed gardens… this well designed housing estate may be something out of a Disney films, but just as beautiful was the idea behind it.  SdM_4267_RET_300x0 Falkenberg Garden city was created by German architect Bruno Taut between 1913-1916 and was listed on UNESCO World Heritage list in 2008. Industrialization during the 19th century caused migrations from villages to towns which caused many problems. While becoming a metropolis, not only did Berlin faced problem like overcrowding, but also social problems such as unemployment and pollution. Dark and cramped flats without basic hygienic facilities had to be replaced in order to solve housing problem. Taut’s responded was this beautiful social housing project.falkenberg_04_530

6e59530dd4d996689c994138572cc7c4 Its design is based on Bauhaus straight and geometrical style including colorful patterns and wooden or brick decorative  elements. Housing blocks are organized around an acacia courtyard mostly in rows.fullfile1611 “The paint box housing estate”, is what it’s usually called; and it draws from the English idea of the Garden City which should consolidate rural and urban life. Renowned landscape architect Ludwig Lesser was hired to design the estate’s gardens and public spaces which provided lots of fresh air.  100_0238

This was not an isolated project. Other modernist architects followed this idea and some of their housing estate projects are also under UNESCO protection. Unfortunately, when Nazi regime took over Germany modernism aesthetics lost its value and the period of democratic housing building came to an end. The idea of garden city is somehow present today in Berlin as its residents are environmentally conscious with many having private or community gardens beside Berlin’s vast green areas of parks.

Ian Schrager’s chic, budget PUBLIC hotel opens in NYC

The Lower East Side of New York City is not necessarily known for budget hotels. But on June 7, hotelier Ian Schrager (founder of popular 1970’s nightclub Studio 54) opened PUBLIC on 215 Chrystie Street in the Bowery district.

public hotel “I truly believe that everyone deserves a one-of-a-kind experience that lifts their spirits and makes their heart beat faster, one that elicits an emotional response…and to deliver this at a reasonable price point is even more on the mark for today’s savvy and sophisticated traveler,” Schrager said.

215chrystie-public-capped With a starting price of $200 per night, the 367 room hotel is relatively competitive for its Lower East Side location. Although the price point is rather low, the hotel spares no expense. Rooms are outfitted with Apple TVs, an online food ordering system, and USB ports fit for the most tech-savvy traveler.

e3ec12b5_z The design of the hotel is cozy, chic, and radical – Schrager said his hotel will not have the usual Brooklyn look, and will not feature the designs commonly found in other NYC hotels. One aspect of Public that differs from other Manhattan hotels is its two green spaces, which offer guests of the hotel with a little taste of green in an otherwise concrete jungle.

Throughout the hotel, there is not one style; there is a rather eclectic mixture of furniture and furnishings that cannot be classified into a single design oeuvre. Similar to Schrager’s other properties, there will be an emphasis on fun. Schrager also said Public will have an emphasis on public arts, hosting film screenings, theater productions, musical performances, exhibitions, and even talks.xISC_Public_09_RGB_V1-crop.jpg.pagespeed.ic.hZ7JI2YQcK In addition to a stunning, eclectic style, Public will also boast two restaurants headed by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Public Kitchen and Louis will serve diverse culinary offerings, from pastrami sandwiches to sushi (Public Kitchen,) and offer part-grocery store, part-luncheonette, and part-market for Public guests.

large_PUBLIC-Hotels-NYC-DBG-02 One thing is for sure – the buzz surrounding Public has continued to grow, and the hotel is ready to go, well, public.

The longest bench in the world gives everyone a fun place to relax by the beach

Is this seat taken? If youre looking for a place to take a break in Littlehampton, West Sussex in Britain, you definitely wont have trouble finding a spot. The small beach town is home to the longest bench in the entire world. Clocking in at 1063 feet, the bench can hold 300 people at once!longest-bench (1)[2] The bench is made from thousands of individual hardwood bars, recycled from the landfill and older seaside groynes and opened to the public on July 30th, 2010. Bright pops of color peek out through the benches undulating design and the bench also features two shelters where the bench bends and twists in on itself that makes for a fun play place for kids (of all ages).  Design company Studio Weave engineered the uber cool concept and locals even helped construct it. [h/t] longest-bench (2)[2] longest-bench (3)[2] longest-bench (4)[2] longest-bench (5)[5] longest-bench (7)[5] longest-bench (8)[5]