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List/Grid Monthly Archives: July 2011

Wadi Rum Desert Lodge in Jordan

A combination of primary lifestyle and high-tech innovations, synergy of virgin desert and modern construction, Wadi Rum Desert Lodge in Jordan, (Wadi Rum meaning Rum valley in Arabic), is designed to satisfy a traveler’s interest of immersion into desert meditation with the comfort of a supreme contemporary hotel. The creator of an outstanding resort  is a Florida-based company Oppenheim architecture + design, who recently won the design competition. The hotel will be carved into the cliffs of the famous Eco-tourism zone. “The architecture we will humbly create within the realm of the Wadi is intended to miraculously and meticulously add another sound in… Read more »

Japan’s 9-hours Capsule Hotel

From Japan, the busiest most efficient country in the world, comes out a new capsule hotel named 9 hours. Coming along this modern Japanese-style hotel grabbed my attention that 9 hours isn’t just a name, its a complete theme that defines the exact function of the sleep-in facility. Designed by Fumie Shibata of design studio s, the new capsule hotel offers luxury in a minimum living volume by defining the elements necessary for a minimal transit space for day-travelers, businessmen that missed the last train, or night-life goers who are looking for a fast place to crash. The design theme is very minimalistic, it’s majorly white and black,… Read more »

LYTRO Camera – Snap Photos First and Focus Later [TRY IT YOURSELF]

Lytro, a start-up company in Silicon valley, has recently developed a camera with a new revolutionary technology, where you can simply take the photo NOW and focus LATER, with an aim of helping photographers avoid missing a moment or a canvas. Just shoot, and fix your focus later on the camera or on your pc, with an option of creating multiple versions of the same photo with different focus points. They call it the Light Field Camera. Recording light fields requires an innovative, entirely new kind of sensor called a light field sensor. The light field sensor captures the color, intensity and vector direction of the rays of light…. Read more »

The Underground Art of Stockholm Subway

Tunnelbana (or T-bana), the Subway network of Stockholm, Sweden, it is known for being the world’s longest art gallery. The length of the metro rail is 105.7 km (65.7 mi) and it consists of 100 stations: 47 underground and 53 above ground, creating 3 lines – blue, red and green. The deepest station is Kungsträdgården – 29.3 meters deep and the longest distance is between 2 stations is 4.341 km, from Kista to Hallonbergen. All 3 lines of T-bana share a common station (T-centralen) with the main city railway station (Central Station) and the bus terminal (CityTerminalen). It’s also called Stockholm-C, from which you… Read more »

Will Cairo ever see Zaha Hadid’s NILE TOWER ?

In 2007, British Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid started working on a design for the Nile Tower – a multi-purpose use skyscraper, to be located at the northern edge of downtown Cairo, (for those of you who know Cairo, it neighbors the National-Ahly Bank twin towers in Maspero) . Nile Tower, a 70 story building reaching up a height of 250 meters, will be the highest skyscraper in Egypt. The tower’s main structural elements are concrete fin walls that twists gently over the full height of the tower, opening up various for all tenants on the inside. These fin walls are reflected on the external… Read more »

The Super Bus – from Holland to UAE [VIDEO]

Yes, it’s not a train and its not a bus, its a Super Bus. A high-speed, Eco-friendly, state of the art motor vehicle, designed for public transport, offering luxury and ease to business commuters and tourists. The electric-powered cross-over between a race bus and a limousine is being developed at the Delft University of Technology in Holland under the direction of Professor Wubbo Ockels, who in 1985 became the first Dutch citizen in space, part of the shuttle Challenger crew, and is designed by Antonia Terzi, an Italian aerodynamicist who has worked for the Ferrari and Williams Formula One teams. The Super bus has the length and width… Read more »

Twitter office

Sometimes just a little bird can take an important role in shifting the direction of history’s wheel.  In the beginning of 2011,  the world has witnessed the Twitter effect on the Middle Eastern wave of revolutions. Egypt was one of the countries that demonstrated the use of internet technologies in their up-rise. Due to the super fast rate of info exchange, twitter.com was the first website to get blocked by the ex-government, even before Facebook, tweets went viral in a mater of seconds.  As a result, now the country is experiencing a much higher interest in social networking and especially tweeting. The… Read more »

Mexico [PHOTO PEEK]

Mexico is the largest Spanish-speaking country and the second-largest Roman Catholic nation in the world. Ancient Native American civilizations, including those of the Maya, Olmec, Zapotec, Mixtec, Toltec, and Aztec, flourished there for centuries before the Spanish conquest in the 16th century. Under the Spaniards, Mexico was ruled as a colony for more than 300 years and gained independence on Oct. 4, 1824. War with the United States in 1846 and 1848 caused the loss of what are now Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and California. Although millions of Mexicans still live in poverty, Democratic reforms and economic… Read more »

Pimp your Garage Door with Cool Deceiving Art [PHOTOS]

For the weekend article, I’m sharing with you a light piece of urban art, as everyone is grabing their beach towels and heading out of the city escaping the noise and high temperatures for some OFF time. I came along a new product by German firm “Style your Garage”, they created a decal poster that sticks to the exterior of your garage door, giving an artistic illusion that is highly detailed and extremely realistic, it sure will let passers stop for a second look. From circus elephants, to crocodiles, to a subway station platform. This is definitely a hip way… Read more »

A Shoe-box Studio Apartment with 24 Rooms [VIDEO]

Award-winning Hong Kong architect Gary Chang has managed to fit 24 rooms in his 32 sq meter(344 sq feet) apartment studio, including a spa and home cinema transforming it into a Swiss army knife-style home. He added to his flat a series of accordion-like sliding walls on metal tracks fixed to the ceiling, movable smart walls which allowed him to easily transform the space available into a variety of spaces carrying different functions, the partitions conceal a wall-mounted TV,  drawers for clothes, shelves for toiletries, racks for CDs and DVDs, a hidden queen size master-bed, a fold-down guest bedroom. Moving a series of walls also… Read more »

Flower Eco House

Nowadays one of the most trending lifestyle is the Eco one covering different branches and areas around us; and architecture sure isn’t an exception. Another homeowner is going green and joining the Eco lifestyle with one of the cutest low-impact houses, designed with technology and materials which lowers its energy needs, and a zero-carbon footprint of a fully functioning self dependent green house. An idea implemented by Make Architects for green-enthusiast and English football star Gerry Neville. The 745 sq meters (8,000 sq ft) house has the design of a gigantic flower that consumes less energy than its inhabitants, using a ground source heat pump to… Read more »

nHow Music Hotel in Berlin by Karim Rashid

The nHow, Europe’s first Music Hotel – in the heart of Berlin, Germany. Located on the banks of the river Spree right between east and west Berlin, and at the epicentre of the music, fashion and creative scene, the new lifestyle hotel was recently opened in November 2010, and it has yet to meet its match. The amazing cantilevered exterior is designed by architect Sergei Tchoban which harmonically complements the stunning and dramatic hotel interior by American designer Karim Rashid. The nHow Berlin represents a new generation of luxury accommodation, it centers on music and design representing a lively, offbeat and dynamic… Read more »

The Loopita Bonita – A Social Chaise-Longue

The Summer has arrived with all the heat it can offer, you gotta believe me on this one, living in Cairo, you can never under-estimate the HEAT we get here, pushing us all to go up north to our lovely breezy beaches on the coast of Alexandria – my hometown. During the sunny season, people starts their summer outdoor-furniture shopping. For the past week or so my wife and I were also on the hunt for the same exact thing, trying to land a couple of outdoors comfortable chairs for our beach place, and while searching online, I bumped into this magnificent piece… Read more »

San Alfonso del Mar – the Largest Pool in the World

San Alfonso del Mar is a resort in Algarrobo, Chile, also known for its world’s largest swimming pool according to the Guinness World Records.   The resort is owned by a Chilean biochemist and businessman Fernando Fischmann, the head of Crystal Lagoon Corporation – the company that designed the gigantic pool. He used the patented technology to “harvest, filter and permanently recirculate ocean water”. “This advance provides something that until now was not technically possible – the generation of monumental masses of water in a crystalline state to provide a beach life environment and aquatic sports at the top level,” Fernando… Read more »

Russia [PHOTO PEEK]

RUSSIA is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuaniaand Poland (both via Kaliningrad Oblast), Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, Mongolia, and North Korea. It also has maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk, and the United States by the Bering Strait. At 17,075,400 square kilometres (6,592,800 sq mi), Russia is the largest country in the world, covering more than one eighth of the Earth’s inhabited land area. Russia is also the ninth most populous nation with 143 million people. It extends across the whole of northern Asia and 40% of Europe, spanning nine time zones and incorporating a wide range of environments and landforms…. Read more »

Floating Houseboat, Amsterdam

Amsterdam, a city well known for its water canals slicing-in its urban fabric, a large waterfront available within the city, makes the presence of many houseboats, floating on the rivers, not surprising. The standard “caravan” style houses have been the norm for these floating units, nowadays it’s different, some people wants to set the trends and go minimalistic and contemporary with their floating estates. Our feature house today is a perfect example for a floating design that pumps up a vibe of optimism, through its simple lines and curves, and transparency.  It’s the kind of house that make your neighbors jealous! The Water… Read more »

New York by Gehry

Frank O Gehry, the 82 year old Canadian-American architect, doesn’t look like he’s planning to retire anytime soon. This time he stuns the world with his magnificent “8 Spruce St.” Residential Tower, named “New York by Gehry“. At  265 meters (870 feet) high it joins the iconic Manhattan skyline as the 8th highest tower in New York and the highest residential tower in the Americas. The building’s exterior is covered with twirly stainless steel sheets looking like a fabric, that reflect a glare of changing light giving the “8 Spruce St.” tower different appearances throughout the day, it also contains opening for… Read more »

South Korea’s Virtual Supermarket [VIDEO]

A fresh marketing idea is all what it takes to go from zero to hero!  Tesco homeplus, a newly introduced supermarkets chain in South Korea, is now the second largest in the country, thanks for using the right idea in the right place. South Korea is the second hardest working nation in the world, for such hardworking people, there might be little to no time for grocery shopping. Tesco made use of this fact, along with the reputation of south koreans of having technology integrated in alot of aspects of their lives; they introduced the Virtual Supermarket in subway stations. Huge… Read more »

The CUBE TOWER Announced for Beirut

In April 2011, Dutch firm Orange Architects were assigned by the Lebanon based development company, Masharii, to design an appartment building located in the south east side of Beirut. By the end of June 2011, the concept designs started surfacing,  a 50-metre-tall tower containing 19 apartments ranging in size from 90 to 180 m2, named The Cube. The Cube’s design, yet very simple but extremely efficient, as it effectively uses the full potential  of its location, opening up 270º views on the city and the Mediterranean sea. The structural idea of the tower is based on One Central Core functioning as the spine… Read more »

Top 10 Train Trips Around the World

1- Indian Pacific, Sydney to Perth, Austalia One of the world’s great train journeys, it departs from Perth and ends in Sydney, a journey of 4352 km.  Linking the Indian Ocean with the pacific, the journey takes 3 days and runs the world’s longest straight stretch of railway, 478 km across the Nullabor Plain. There are 2 weekly departures from both perth and Sydney that travel through the blue mountains, minning towns like broken hill and kalgoolie, Adelaide, the remotest outpost of cook and vast stretches of outback dessert. (www.gsr.com.au) 2- Hanoi to Lao Cai, Vietnam The train departs Hanoi… Read more »

Concrete Slit House

Concrete Slit House is a contemporary concrete residence that gives a good example to the definition of architectural minimalism, the structure and roof of the slit house are casted and fair-face finished entirely from concrete. Designed by AZL architects the 270 square meters residence, in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China, is designed with various levels on the inside, creating rooms with ceiling heights extending one and a half levels and the reception/living area at two levels high, along with the slit (opening) in the concrete shell of the house, it gives a high sense of transparency that responds to the interior circulation. Here… Read more »

Spain’s Teenager’s Playground – The Factoría Joven

Carlos Javier Rodríguez Jiménez was a physical education teacher at the Institute Pedro de Valdivia de Villanueva de la Serena (Badajoz, Spain). He studied the humanization of urban spaces and believed that sports and non-competitive activities and hobbies such as hip-hop dancing or skating, could help in understanding and educating young people. It was Rodriguez along with four companions, who introduced in 2006 a pioneering project: The Factoría Joven – or a teenager’s playground. Architects José Selgas and Lucía Cano implemented the design idea, a lightweight polycarbonate building like a colorful porch open to the city. Their goal was that visitors first impression would be a… Read more »

30 Days of UrbanPeek

After our First 30 days of publishing, UrbanPeek is starting to see more and more loyal fans that are willing to come back to read more of our blog, and I would like to send a huge shout out to them for the extreme help and support in spreading the word about the new kid in town! The motivation we gained through the interest of our friends and fans gave us the push of confidence we ultimately needed to keep on writing and sharing more content. With the end of  our first month, I decided to share with you some… Read more »

Water Colors in Motion

Normally we do not feature music clips on this blog, as its a bit out of niche, but this one, a mind-blowing piece of art, sure is an exception.  Artist Irina Dakeva used Water Colors to individually paint 2000 sequential frames forming this artistic music video for Breakbot aka Thibaut Berland, a French producer and DJ, their cooperation gave birth to harmonic transitions of colors and music showcased in this motion art, Breakbot – Baby I’m Yours (feat. Irfane) – HD from Ed Banger Records on Vimeo. The video was represented by WIZZ, a french production, animation, motion graphics, and SFX company.

Nemo 33 – The Deepest Diving Pool in the World

In 1996 after learning to dive in blue lagoon John Beernaerts got a thought to recreate the conditions of Bora Bora islands in Brussels, Belgium. 7 years of construction and 3,2 million euros spent on Beernaerts’ design and on the 1st of May 2004 the efforts resulted into the opening of the first deepest diving pool in the world – Nemo 33. The name came from a combination of Jules Verne’s book – Captain Nemo and the pool’s maximum depth mark. Its maximum depth is 33 meters (108 ft) and it contains 2.5 million liters of non-chlorinated, highly filtered spring water maintained at 30 °C (86 °F). The… Read more »

Holographic Sheets – The Future of 3D Modeling

A little more than a year ago, a video clip surfaced online showcasing  an extraordinary technology innovated by the fellows at Zebra Imaging . A 3D digital holographic print that can be used to display architectural models with a true three dimensional effect that would allow information analysis from every angle of  a certain design model, drawings are extracted from drafting softwares as AutoCAD or Revit and magically printed as 3D holography. Some of you maybe already familiar with this new technology, but it definitely deserves spreading. Watch the introduction video of their mind-blowing holographic sheets. [Sources:Zebra Imaging, StumbleUpon]

The Mega Art of Jim Denevan

Which of us haven’t held a stick to draw on sand at the beach or the river shore?  I’m sure almost everyone. But not everyone had a passion to do it on a professional level.  Jim Denevan (50 years old) is one of the artists who picked landscape as a canvas for his art. Jim Denevan is an artist who creates large scale sand drawings along the coasts of California, on the Dry Lake Beds of Nevada, even drawing on frozen water surfaces in Siberia. From the ground, these drawn environments are experienced as places. In the mid of 1990s when… Read more »

Dubai’s O-14 Tower

Dubai is fast becoming the fertile field for bizarre designs of mega developments, it’s an architect’s wonderland. Designers Jesse Reiser and Nanoko Umemoto of RUR Architecture have found great enthusiasm in Dubai for innovative architecture, which clearly shows up in their  “O 14″ tower.   While, the majority of the city’s skyscrapers tends to follow the school of modernism, sharp edges and all glass facades, the “O-14″ tower is certainly different. For a fact, its not a skyscraper, it houses 22 stories and 31400 square meters (300,000 square feet) of offices & commercial space.  the most significant feature of the O-14 is its… Read more »

OfficePOD – the Next Generation of the Workplace

With fast technologies and fast–developing world working from home is becoming a very popular and desirable trend. Who would mind to escape everyday stressful traffic, dress-code at work, tight working hours and many other working-mood spoilers? Same time there are few strong cons –staying home too much, not organized working space, distraction by home duties. OfficePOD Ltd. decided to change the concept of how people work. The OfficePOD has been designed to be a place of work that meets all the obligations to provide a safe and compliant work environment. It is of optimum size (2.1m x 2.1m) and does… Read more »

Kenya [PHOTO PEEK]

Kenya is bordered by the Indian Ocean, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda, and Tanzania. Mount Kenya is located in the south-central part of the country, near the equator. Kenya gained independence from Great Britain on December 12, 1963. The terrain boasts lowlands and mountains, and the highlands are divided by the Great Rift Valley. The articles included herein relate to Republic of Kenya, and tourism in Kenya. Kenya is the major safari country in Africa, and Nairobi the safari capital of the world. Kenya has a system of well-managed nature reserves across the country, where lions, rhinos, elephants and zebras, antelopes… Read more »

Top 10 Most Visited Cities Worldwide

Where to go for vacation this year? Not only to release your mind from the daily routine but to see something really spectacular and breathtaking and at same time comfortable and tourist friendly. That’s the question you start to spine in your brain as soon as the horizon is lit by the upcoming break or sometimes even as soon as you are back from the last one. Here’s a fast peek at the 10 most visited cities in the world: 10. Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 6,81 million tourists. 9. Istanbul, Turkey, 7.51 million tourists. 8.  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 8.11 million tourists…. Read more »

The Safe-House, An Anti-Burglar Fortress

Open plan living has never been so secure, if you’re keen on protecting your property yet still want your glass wall-to-wall then you may find some inspiration in this design. The Safe House is a concrete rectangle that folds in upon itself to become completely sealed, even the windows are covered with a slab of concrete. The house, with its movable walls, has only one entrance, which is located on the second floor after crossing a drawbridge.No need for a panic room in this stylish structure. You will feel as secure as can be while relaxing in this piece of… Read more »

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