Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mountain Dwellings: Architectural Housing Development Innovation in Style


Plush residential housing come in huge numbers, you can spot and live in them everywhere. They are usually buildings that speak of nothing but houses boxed literally in concrete and glass. There is nothing new and original about this and this is the reason why any mediocre architectural firm can copy them. But the ones that give extensive grit and passion for superb, unique and innovative architectural design fit for suburban living, which is aimed for tranquil and comfortable living, is rare. And they are hard to replicate in terms of originality and creativity.

One of these rare housing development rendered in classy style is Mountain Dwelling. Completed in 2008, Mountain Dwellings was built on a 33,000 sq/m sprawling land in Orestad, Denmark. This housing development was the second of its generation of so-called VM Houses. Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) was the architectural firm that worked with this project for Hopfner, a Danish oil company. Since its completion, the residential building was the focus of architectural-award-giving bodies and has actual won many awards for its innovative design.

The Inspiration to the Classy Architectural Innovation

What is unique and innovative in terms of architectural design with Mountain Dwellings is the inspiration for its design. The shape and thematic rendering on how this residential house should look were pulled from the idea of a Mt. Everest settled amidst an urban setting. Mountain Dwelling is one exquisite, classy 80 housing apartments built on top of each other in a terraced-manner from the 11th floor to the ground floor.

The materials used for its north and west facades were perforated aluminum plates, materials that allow air to pass in and out to the parking area. The designed holes in the fa├žade give an impression of the building as a replica of Mt. Everest. The effect of this design makes the holes in the aluminum plates black during the day, impressing a rough rasterized photo. But during the night, these holes will be of different colors according to the floor they are located (each floor has unique lighting colors as part of the design).

The Unique Parking Lot Design: Inner Essence of Mountain Dwellings

If there is something that Mountain Dwelling’s architectural design can boast of, it is its innovative rendition of how the parking lot will serve as part of the whole concept of the building. Mountain Dwelling can be considered 2/3 parking lots and 1/3 residential houses. One of the challenges faced by BIG when conceptualizing Mountain Dwelling was how to converge the parking lots and the residential houses in one novel approach.

The result is the reality of homeowner’s ability to park their cars just outside of their apartments. This gigantic parking lot, which can park as many as 480 cars, is complimented by sloping elevator built-in in the building’s inner walls. BIG also created and designed these parking lots with high ceilings to give a cathedral-looking atmosphere and veer away from the traditional impression that parking lots are spooky and gray space.

Roof Garden

Another innovative and classical yet modern in rendition in Mountain Dwellings is the roof garden built-in with each terraced apartments. The architectural firm BIG choose for this plan plants that can change character in accordance with the changing season. This, in a way, gives the 80 apartments a unique look but embracing nature’s climate cycle. Residents are also assured of complete maintenance of these roof gardens with a huge watering system.

To add value and utilize these roof gardens for an effective tranquil and refreshing atmosphere for the residents, the apartments and gardens are only separated by glass walls and sliding doors. This design makes for good sunlight and fresh air.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Discover the Pleasures of Burgundy


There are only two possibilities when visiting Burgundy.  You either discover Burgundy’s wine and gastronomical treasures or savour the majestic cultural heritage of the region through the medieval castles that speckle its flat pristine country side.  Either way, it is best to find holiday properties in Burgundy and from there enjoy the pleasures inherent in this exotic region.

Go for gourmet and wine tour on Route des Grands Crus for this will reveal Burgundy’s unique regional gustatory flavor. This trip boasts of an unadulterated view of the vast flat and sloping vineyards where you can feast on the famed Burgundian cuisine. During Autumn, you can enjoy Noyer-sur-Serein’s Truffle Market where you can get the rarest and some of the most expensive truffles ever to be dug up. Burgundy’s truffles are world-renowned for their characteristic to spice up any dish you can cook at home. The Chablis Wine Festival held annually every October should also be your priority when in the region.

Discover Burgundian religious heritage by visiting the abbey church of Pontigny in Auxerre or Notre-Dame Quincy abbey in the Tonnerois. These abbeys are just one of the best examples of Burgundy’s Cistercian Art. The Basilica of Vezelay near Avallon gives you a glimpse of the Romanesque architecture-inspired influence of the city. It is a good strategy to find Holiday rentals in Burgundy to get the most out of the region.  You can reach Burgundy through Dijon Burgundy Airport which is served by local flights to and from other French cities.