Venice

Enduring Scarpa

During a recent trip to Italy, I finally visited Carlo Scarpa’s Brion Tomb. The quality of off form concrete achieved in this monument in the small country town of Altivole reminds us why Italians were dubbed as the best concrete craftsmen of the modern era.

NouvelSydney

Sydney’s Starchitects Part 2

One Central Parkis one of the most inspiring multi-residential developments in Australia in present times. Sydney’s SEPP65 which dictates design quality of residential flats has allowed French Starchitect Jean Nouvel to convince developers to erect a heliostat on the southern side of the building to reflect sunlight onto the lower levels of the building. Skeptics may wonder whether it actually works or not, but after almost 12 months, the Patrick Blanc designed vertical gardens are flourishing and the building is truly amazing.

Metropolitan Cathedral

Postcard from Brasilia

Brasilia’s poster child, Niemeyer’s Catedral Metropolitana was as elegant as I had expected, but smaller than I anticipated. Nicknamed the “lamb rack roast” by my patient, non architect husband, the quality of light inside the cathedral was exquisite and the double glazing provides much needed respite from the heat of the Brasilia sun shine. Like many of Niemeyer’s public buildings, the main occupied space within the building is actually located underground, allowing the roof structure to become the landmark.

Itamaraty Palace 1

Stairway to heaven

The phrase “it can’t be done” were clearly never uttered to Oscar Niemeyer, or perhaps he chose to ignore those skeptics. Located in the main hall of Palacio Itamaraty, this staircase is one of the most spectacular pieces of engineering and craftsmanship I have ever seen. I am truly inspired to reach to the heavens.

Itamaraty Palace 2

Niemeyer gazing

On a recent trip to Brazil to Neymar gaze, I found myself Niemeyer gazing instead. Whilst the Brazilian football team has two talents players named “Oscar” and “Neymar”, it is the late Oscar Niemeyer who is one of Brazil’s true heroes. A exemplar of true modernism, Palacio Itamaraty is one of Niemeyer’s greatest achievements. The concrete structure appears delicate and lightweight and the integration of landscape and interiors is breathtaking.

Punta Della Dogana

Punta della Dogana

In 2007, Palazzo Grassi won a contest held by the City of Venice to transform Punta della Dogana (the historic customs house) into a centre of contemporary art. Tadao Ando was engaged to design and document the restoration and adaptive reuse of the building to accommodate part of the Francios Pinault Foundation collection of art.

Opened in 2009, the building is a must see for lovers of Ando, contemporary art or historic buildings.

KO&Co Architecture, Closet Architect

Closet Architect

I believe everyone has a little bit of “closet architect” in them and in my daily life, I strive to bring this out in clients. Through this blog each week I will share one inspirational building or detail from my travels over the years in the hope you might also find some inspiration.

I often wonder what non-architects look at when they go on holidays……….