List/Grid Monthly Archives: May 2011

New Zealand [PHOTO PEEK]

Part of our vision here at Urban Peek is to enrich our readers background with what our world simply looks like outside the city or country we live in. Putting cultures in contrast with fast previews of different spots around the globe – which can surprisingly vary from one location to another.  We think that nothing can deliver this message better than photographs. We will be adding a new category to our blog called [Peek at the World] under the newly developed [Photography] section in which we will be posting a new gallery of a different country/ location on weekly basis. So,… Read more »


The Flatiron, a 109 years old magnificent building standing at the cross-paths of Fifth ave and Broadway in the heart of Manhattan island, New York City.  Sometimes mistakingly thought to have held the title of the tallest building in the world once, but it never did.  Although upon completion in 1902, it was the highest standing steel structure of its time.  With its triangular geometry and steel skeleton, critics vowed it would never withstand its location, described as “a very windy corner for a building that is both slim and high (at the pointy tip of the triangle the room’s width is… Read more »

Home Automation – The next level

Just 10 days ago, Electronic house magazine have announced their 2011 Electronic House of the year.  Belonging to owners Angie and Shannon Davis of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, USA; they have taken their 5,500-square foot contemporary craftsman estate to the next level of home automation. We’ve seen lights that switches on automatically at dusk, curtains that close/open with a clap, room auto temperatures adjusted.  But an iron that warms up automatically a few minutes before you start pressing, or a chandelier that flashes in the powder room to indicate shortage of toilet paper, or a shower that presets the water temperature and… Read more »

A Tiny World – Miniatur Wunderland

Once upon a time, in July 2000 twins Frederik and Gerrit Braun decided to bring their childhood dream to life. They decided to build the largest model of miniature railway in the world.  Despite of all the difficulties they expected to meet on the way to their achievement, the result was, literally, Wonderland. The project was implemented in the hometown of the Braun brothers, Hamburg, Germany, with a loan of 2 million D-marks and a team of more than 150 personnel. By 2007, their great efforts produced 1000 square meters of model area exhibiting railway connections around Europe and America…. Read more »

How Many Architects Can You Fit in One Hotel?

In July 2005, a new hotel was added to Madrid’s hotel inventory. The Puerta America wasn’t just another hotel opening in the Spanish capital, it was ‘The’ hotel, a luxury concept. The Puerta America is very unique in the fact that it was a co-design between 19 of the today’s biggest internationally acclaimed names in the field of Architecture and Interior Design from 13 different countries, showcasing their magic in a very harmonious piece of design. With a price tag rising up to around $100 million there were really no obstacles to their imagination. They approached a minimalist high tech… Read more »

China’s Underwater Train

China completes construction of world’s fastest underwater railway tunnel The Construction of China’s first underwater railway tunnel has been recently completed in southern China, which allows trains to operate at the world’s top speed under the water. The project, or the Shiziyang Tunnel, crosses the Pearl River estuary in south China’s Guangdong Province with a length of 10.8 kilometers. It is designed for trains travelling at 350 kilometers per hour, the highest of all underwater tunnels worldwide.  The 10.8-kilometers tunnel, which is also the country’s longest, is a key part of a 140-kilometer high-speed rail link that connects Guangzhou, the… Read more »

The 10 most livable cities in the world

Everyday-growing world population of 6.7 billion people is living throughout earth under very contrasting circumstances, from needy and illiterate to extreme luxury and prosperity among different localities. Nowadays the number of cities around the planet overcame 2.5 millions including 101 metropolises. Neither size nor population can attach the good reputation and cozy surroundings to a city. There are much more important criteria to define the most livable city among many others as safety/crime, international connectivity, climate/sunshine, quality of architecture, public transportation, tolerance, environmental issues and access to nature, urban design, business conditions, pro active policy developments and medical care. The… Read more »

The next tallest building in the world – The Miapolis

Just after a few months of its unveiling, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa was already facing competition. Reportedly plans have been floated for a new super scraper in Miami that could steal the crown of the world’s tallest building from the Burj Khalifa. According to Miami herald, Kobi Karp has submitted designs for Miapolis, a ‘city within a city’ planned for Watson Island in Miami, Florida. If built, the 160 storey building will stand at 980m (3200 ft) high, surpassing Burj Khalifa by 183 meters. The proposed $22 billion dollar self-sufficient development would include an amusement park, a trade center, an observatory, rotating sky-lounge, a shopping… Read more »

The Parallel Valley of Egypt

Egypt’s population is estimated to be a staggering 85 million inhabitants and is mostly concentrated in and around the valley of the Nile River, using up 5.5 % of Egypt’s one million sq.km area (the size of Texas and California together, twice the size of Spain, & 4 times the size of the UK). The other 94.5% of the area is simply untouched desert. In efforts to make use of Egypt’s untouched land, several projects have surfaced with various solutions on how to urbanize Egypt’s desert. One of these promising projects comes from Egypt’s scientist and the Director of the… Read more »

The Awakening

As the whole world has been following, Egypt’s ruling regime has fallen after one of the most peaceful gathering for protesters worldwide.  The gathering was estimated to have reached by the end of their revolution days around 20 million protesters craving for change, freedom, social justice and higher living standards with the choice of who represent them as their ruler. This happening, it gave the youth of the country a tremendous feeling of hope towards a brighter future and a stronger will to develop their country.  With hope come ideas to rebuild and restore one of the world’s oldest civilizations,… Read more »


We, as human beings, have basic needs required for the survival on this planet.  Food, water, clothes, alongside a place to live and work and interact with one another.  As human beings evolved, the places they inhabit have also evolved a great deal, shaping today’s vast urban environments.  While the work of man towards the development of his urban living space is sometimes fascinating, it can also be disappointing. Here at Urban Peek we try to point out the pros and cons of our surrounding enviroment starting from the local neighborhoods to the world, covering innovative design ideas, current urban… Read more »

Stay tuned for UrbanPeek’s first articles

Months of work and effort is what it took us to put together our first website, discovering a whole new world of web design and coding language (as I’m an architect and my wife is an economist), building our blog was quiet an intriguing adventure, especially in today’s world where the blogosphere has evolved dramatically in the past 5-10 years accommodating millions of blogs covering all niches. With blogs like Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, ArchDaily, and others setting the rules in their niches, seeing ourselves blogging was a challenge.  So we decided to start a one step at a time trip to build our… Read more »

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