August 13, 2017

Tadao Ando’s Hill of Buddha

Added to the architectural must-see list is the Makomanai Takino cemetery in Japan’s northern city of Sapporo.

For 15 years, the Makomanai Takino cemetery was home to a stone Buddha that sat alone in a field, before the owners decided they wanted to do something to give visitors a more serene appreciation of the figure.

Makomanai Takino Buddha

As it sat (above) before the architectural and landscaping project.

Tadao Ando Hill of Buddha

Cue self-taught architect Tadao Ando and his striking idea: hide the statue.

The hill is planted with 150,000 lavenders — green in spring, purple in summer, and white with snow in winter.

“The design intention was to create a vivid spatial sequence, beginning with the long approach through the tunnel in order to heighten anticipation of the statue, which is invisible from the outside.”
— Tadao Ando

When the hall is reached at the end of the 40-metre approach tunnel, visitors look up at the 1,500 ton Buddha, whose head is framed by a halo of sky.

Stunning.

Makomanai Takino cemetery was established in 1982, and is open all year. It’s about a 30-minute drive from central Sapporo, or you can take a subway from Sapporo Station to Makomanai Station and then catch the #2 or #3 bus. Visitor information here.

Via Spoon & Tamago.

May 30, 2017

Villa Ypsilon, by LASSA

A stunning three-bedroom holiday home overlooking olive groves on Greece’s Peloponnese peninsula.

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September 6, 2016

Vlooybergtoren

In the Belgian province of Flemish Brabant stood a wooden lookout post for taking in the view of the countryside and Kabouterbos forest.

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June 27, 2015

Pigeon Loft, by Schmidt Architects

Pigeon Loft, by Schmidt Architects

Inspired by Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House, the Pigeon Loft was built using materials left over from previous Schmidt projects.

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April 20, 2015

New York skyline: 1500-2015

Elevators to the observatory at the top of 1 World Trade Center show an animated time lapse that recreates the development of New York City’s skyline, from the 1500s to today.

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February 14, 2015

Two Hulls

Brian MacKay-Lyons of MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple has been awarded the 2015 RAIC Gold Medal for his body of architectural work.

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July 8, 2013

Diogene

Water is collected by the house itself, cleaned and reused, and the house supplies its own power.

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February 26, 2013

SODAE house

VMX Architects at work in Amstelveen, Netherlands.

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November 16, 2012

Chalet C7, Portillo, Chile

Chalet C7 is in the Andes Mountains, 2,900 metres above sea level, and a few miles from Mount Aconcagua. The chalet overlooks the Inca Lagoon with the "Tres Hermanos" peaks in the background.

Chalet C7, Chile

"The project was organized as two superposed volumes inserted in the topography. Below, a strong stone body shelters the private areas of the house. This stone enclosure and its controlled openings absorb the variations of the snow level during winter, anchoring the refuge to the slope and its rocky surroundings. Above this stone podium, a lighter steel and glass structure merges in one single space the common areas of the refuge; dinning table, living room, kitchen, terrace. This flexible space is fully open towards the views to the north."

Chalet C7, Chile

The yellow building (above left) is the Portillo Hotel.

Chalet C7, Chile

Chalet C7, Chile

Chalet C7, Chile

Chalet C7, Chile

Chalet C7, Chile

Chalet C7, Chile

Chalet C7, Chile

Chalet C7, Chile

Chalet C7, Chile

Chalet C7, Chile

Chalet C7, Chile

Chalet C7, Chile

Architects: D R A A
Location: Portillo, Los Andes, Valparaíso Region, Chile
Collaborators: Heloise Gailing
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Erieta Attali

Via Shelby White.

Chalet C7, Chile

Meet you there? Okay, good.

October 10, 2012

Buzludzha monument, Bulgaria

Captivating, otherworldly photos of Buzludzha, Bulgaria, by photographer Timothy Allen.

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October 4, 2012

Book Mountain, by MVRDV

The Book Mountain library in Spijkenisse, Netherlands, is designed as an advert for reading.

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May 24, 2012

The Rhein-Herne slinky

Following the slinky-inspired design of German artist Tobias Rehberger, a colourful ribbon wrapped in a swinging spiral connects the two existing parks either side of the canal.

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November 18, 2011

Moses bridge at Netherlands’ Fort de Roovere

Sunken foot bridge

Sunken foot bridge

Sunken foot bridge

Sunken foot bridge

"The West Brabant Water Line is a defense-line consisting of a series of fortresses and cities with inundation areas in the south-west of the Netherlands. It dates from the 17th century but fell into disrepair in the 19th century. When the water line was finally restored, an access bridge across the the moat of one of the fortresses, Fort de Roovere, was needed. This fort now has a new, recreational function and lies on several routes for cycling and hiking.

"It is, of course, highly improper to build bridges across the moats of defense works, especially on the side of the fortress the enemy was expected to appear on. That’s why we designed an invisible bridge. Its construction is entirely made of wood, waterproofed with EPDM foil. The bridge lies like a trench in the fortress and the moat, shaped to blend in with the outlines of the landscape.

"The bridge can’t be seen from a distance because the ground and the water come all the way up to its edge. When you get closer, the fortress opens up to you through a narrow trench. You can then walk up to its gates like Moses on the water."

Quoted from ArchDaily.

Sunken foot bridge

Sunken foot bridge

Sunken foot bridge

Sunken foot bridge

Sunken foot bridge

Sunken foot bridge

As much as I hate criticism of intriguing design, I can't help wondering how often this happens.

Sunken foot bridgeFort de Roovere image credit

Sunken foot bridgeFort de Roovere image credit

Architects: Ro&Ad Architects
Location: Halsteren, The Netherlands
Client: Municipality of Bergen op Zoom

If you liked this, you might also like the Rhein-Herne slinky footbridge.

April 30, 2010

House among trees

This two-level forest house is fantastic.

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David Airey
Brand identity design

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