Archive for the 'Architecture' Category

sunday snapshots

With above zero temperatures this Sunday, we decided to explore a little bit of the city, particularly the development area of harbour district Bjørvika. On the way there, we stopped by the Opera House.

If you’ll remember, the Norwegian Opera House won the 2009 Mies van Der Rohe Award (European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture). There’s an ongoing exhibit at the National Museum of the 48 finalists for the award, so if you’re in Oslo do check it out. The exhibit runs until April 11, 2010.

One of the founding buildings at the Barcode project in Bjørvika is the PriceWaterhouseCoopers building. I spotted this huge steel pillar with etched anthuriums so I had to pose next to it.

The Bjørvika redevelopment area is right next to the old town, which has been a subject of debate among city developers and constituents but I don’t wanna go there. So after a quick survey of all the construction projects in Bjørvika, we swung by the old town. Look at all those graffiti. Not pretty!

We saw a graveyard of  road signs on the way home. Now where do the lost ones go?

And looking back, we saw an Oslo on the rise. I like how I’ve captured that bridge in construction and the newly opened Holmenkollen ski jump tower in the background. The steel and glass Radisson Blu hotel dwarfs the dome and spire of the Oslo Cathedral. That’s old and new for you.

Happy Sunday!

tonight, we break the ice

It’s that time of the year when companies in Norway book the best available tables for Christmas dinners. This year, I’ve organized a Christmas dinner (in Norwegian julebord, literally Christmas table) for our department of seven. Instead of going straight to dinner, I’ve arranged for some pre-dinner tapas, drinks and ice-sculpting activity at Oslo’s newest and coolest bar concept. We’re going to Icebar Oslo by Icehotel!

The largest and third Icebar by Icehotel in the world (the other two are in Copenhagen and Tokyo), the bar is made from scratch with 60 tons of ice from the Torne River in Lapland, Sweden. The walls, the furniture and even glasses and plates are all made from the same ice. Kept at a -5° temperature all-year round, the ice will not melt thanks to energy efficient LED lighting. The lighting is in several shades of blue and green reminiscent of the elusive and magical northern lights. The design of the Icebar changes every year, and this year’s theme is “Purity with a twist.”

Afterwards, we are having a three-course menu dinner at Restaurant Eik, I believe one of Oslo’s best and trendiest restaurants. Recommended in the Michelin Guide under the Bib Gourmand category, Restaurant Eik serves a medley of dishes created from the freshest ingredients of the season.

Hmmm, this will be good.

postcards from milan

View of the Alps

Approaching Milan, the majestic Alps appears outside my window.

Duomo at Night

I first saw the Duomo and its iconic spires at dusk. The intricacies of the facade was a sight to behold. The night quickly fell over the city, and the Duomo turned gold.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II

From one house of worship to another, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II next door is a church for worldly desires.

Via Monte Napoleone

My second day in Milan started with a stroll along Via Montenapoleone. The most revered street on the city’s “Golden Square”, the brands housed here can blind you – from Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, to Ferragamo, Valentino and Versace.

Balenciaga

Off Via Montenapoleone on a street named Via Santo Spirito lies the Balenciaga store. The interior is amazing and going through the racks of clothes and displays of its famous leather goods is an experience on its own.

Via Santo Spirito Irongate

On the same street we found this beautiful iron-gated building, such a perfect backdrop for a photograph. Shot a la The Sartorialist by my friend Maureen.

Via Santo Spirito Doors

Opposite is the Palazzo Bagatti Valsecchi with its gorgeous heavy doors. It now houses one of the finest museum homes in Europe.

Fiat Planters

These Fiat Planters along Via Montenapoleone are awesome. These are fiber glass versions of the Fiat 500 C model. A “green” car? Definitely.

Armani Manzoni

The Armani flagship store on Via Manzoni is a multi-concept store that covers an entire block and offers the requisite Armani clothing along with chocolates, food, books, and homeware and furnishings.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II

Hungry past lunch-time, we headed to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II where I saw in brilliant detail its beautiful arcades and glass dome. We settled for the restaurant across the Gucci Cafe. I had asparagus risotto with scallops.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II Arcade

The obligatory Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II shot.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II Prada

In front of the Prada store. I got myself a souvenir from here. The paper bag carries the Fratteli Prada (Prada Brothers) label.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II Louis Vuitton

And the Louis Vuitton store. Surprisingly, I did not enter here. A mistake?

Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II Windows

Amazing details on the interior facade.

Autumn in Milan

Stepping out of the Galleria, we viewed the world famous La Scala from this patch of autumn leaves.

Piazza del Duomo Maureen Mark

Maureen and I decided to go back to the Duomo, where I was to take the lift to the rooftop.

Duomo View

8 euros and a short lift ride after, I was treated to views of the city from above.

Duomo Gargoyles

The Gothic cathedral took 500 years to build and is often described as one of the greatest churches in the world.

Duomo Roof Mark

The cathedral is adorned with over 3,400 statues.

Duomo Spires

And 135 spires.

Duomo Details

Everywhere you look is simply breathtaking.

Duomo Piazza del Duomo

The view of Piazza del Duomo and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II.

Duomo Roof Sunset

The best time of the day to go up the roof is towards dusk, as the setting sun romances both spires and spectators.

Corso Como Outlet

I visited the Corso Como outlet on Via Tazzoli on my third day. Tucked within a discreet building, last-season goods from the world’s most exclusive men’s and women’s fashion brands are sold here. This day they had discounts on Balenciaga, Burberry Prorsum, Pierre Hardy and Prada, in addition to the already reduced rates on men’s fashion, accessories and shoes. I got something here, too. The nearby 10 Corso Como store, on the other hand, is a class on its own complete with a bookstore and a cafe.

Navigli

For dinner, we headed to the Navigli District that is famous for its canals.

Officina 12

I had the rich Osso Bucco meal at Officina 12, a great looking place that serves classic and regional dishes. There is also a bar that looks happening.

Dedic Anno

Porta Ticinese with ionic columns and bearing the words Dedic. Anno. 1815.

Grom Gelato

To end this trip, a gelato was in order. We headed to Grom where I had the creamiest and smoothest Pistachio ice cream I’ve had in my life. Ever. It was so good.

Moon over Milan

Milan is as beautiful after dark as it is in daytime. And on my last night, the moon was peeking from behind the clouds. Casting its light to this wide-eyed wanderer. Buona notte Milano.

the glass house

I was on LV ban until Thursday night, when my SA friend surprised me with this limited piece she had been keeping for me. And I could not resist breaking the ban for this. After all, history repeats itself.

LV AFA Boxed

Last time I was on a self-imposed ban, my last purchase was the Louis Vuitton book collectible The Birth of Modern Luxury. This time around, I’m truly entering my ban state once again with Louis Vuitton: Art, Fashion and Architecturea large-format volume that is a definitive work on Louis Vuitton’s contemporary fashion, art, architecture, design and photography.

LV AFA Slipped

Apart from the critical essays written by Jill Gasparina (Art: 33 Colors), Olivier Saillard (Fashion: The Empire of Signs) and Taro Igarashi (Architecture: Learning from Louis Vuitton), the title chronicles Louis Vuitton’s esteemed collaborations with an elite group of artists, architects, designers and photographers, indexed alphabetically for easy reference. The book is filled with a lot of arresting images that represent Marc Jacobs’ time at the helm of Louis Vuitton.

LV AFA Empire of Signs

LV AFA Indexed

LV AFA Marc Jacobs Design Team

LV AFA Frank Gehry

LV AFA Devil's in the Details

LV AFA Rei Kawakubo

LV AFA Cherry Blossoms

LV AFA The Nurse

LV AFA Manila After Dark

LV AFA Oslo Boutique

It is extra special for me because the Oslo boutique is photographed (shown above with Olafur Eliasson’s Eye See You installation for Christmas 2006), where many of my LV dreams have been fulfilled. This deluxe limited edition book is designed by Takashi Murakami. It comes with an acrylic slipcase bearing the Damier pattern that’s also found in architectural details in several Louis Vuitton stores around the world. It also features Murakami’s “LV with Hands” on the cover and multicolor bookmarks.

LV AFA Murakami Hands

LV AFA Illusion

LV AFA Cased

Louis Vuitton: Art, Fashion and Architecture is available in Louis Vuitton stores worldwide and at http://www.louisvuitton.com. £90.

wallpaper* reveals norway

Operaen

Winning this year’s Eurovision Song Contest was clearly just the beginning; it seems Norway is taking the world’s cultural stage by storm. – Wallpaper*

I just received my replacement October Wallpaper* issue with guest editor Philippe Starck’s translucent Evolution cover. This issue includes a special section called Norway Revealed, chronicling the country’s emerging contemporary design scene, cultural and inspiring destinations and creative outbursts of Norwegian designers on the international stage.

Bjørvika

The inauguration of the Norwegian Opera House last year was just the tip of the iceberg of a huge regeneration project transforming Oslo’s former Bjørvika container port. Projects in line include Oslo’s new business district, a new national museum, a new Central Station, a new Deichman Library and a new Munch Museum. The new Holmenkollen Ski Jump will provide a great bird’s eye view of the harbour once completed in 2011. These projects reflect the country’s increasing design awareness, something that is truly exciting.

Fjorden

Dalen

The Norwegian fjords and valleys not only bring national pride and a memorable experience to visitors, but is also apparently home to hundreds of small, family-run furniture companies with big ideas. Here are Georg Stokke’s Varier Furniture best known for its classic (and much copied) “Planet” chair of 1965; Stordal with its simple, functional and beautiful range of sofas, stools and tables; and Fora Form’s eye-catching range of Furniture including the Johan Verde-designed bright-red “Loop” armchair among others.

Hay

It also names Norway’s new generation of creative talents, including Petter Skogstad who created the “Hay” modular sofa which I love to have in my living room and rearrange the bale-sized pieces according to my mood.

Ålesund

The feature is capped with a four-page anthem of what’s interesting and hot in the country’s gastronomy, shopping, accommodation and attraction fronts, from the picturesque peninsular Ålesund (pictured) to the always vibrant Karl Johan Street.

There has never been a better time to visit Norway.

snapshot sunday

At the Norwegian Opera House, post-Operakvarteret exhibition.

Snapshot Sunday at the Opera

I’m wearing Marc by Marc Jacobs top, Zara jacket, Denim Birds jeans, Zara ankle boots, LV Huntington sunglasses, LV Monogram Bequia PDV, and Inno Sotto Mondo Huit Eau Extreme.

a greek holiday: postcards from mykonos town

The heart and soul of the island, pedestrianized Mykonos Town is a beehive of activity where the world comes together to sample Greek dishes in the many tavernas and topnotch restaurants, to shop local wares as well as luxury timepieces and fine jewelry, to appreciate and acquire art from the galleries, and when the night falls party like there’s no tomorrow.

Mykonos Town has a myriad of tiny and charming alleyways. In every corner you turn, you’ll find a sight that’s postcard pretty. Bursts of color, from potted plants to bougainvilleas lazily hanging from balconies, appear among whitewashed houses. Following the breeze, you’ll find yourself in one of the island’s main tourist attractions – be it the famous windmills, Little Venice situated dramatically on the edge of the sea, the Paraportiani church with its insurmountable shape and structure, or the friendly town mascot Petros the Pelican spreading its wings at the Old Port.

Here are my postcards from Mykonos Town.

Mykonos Town House

Mykonos Town

Mykonos Town

Mykonos Town

Mykonos Town
Mykonos Town

Mykonos Town

Mykonos Town

Mykonos Town

Mykonos Town

Mykonos Paraportiani Church

Mykonos Town Window

Mykonos Town Little Venice

Mykonos Town Little Venice

Mykonos Town Windmills

Mykonos Town Windmills

Mykonos Town Windmills

Mykonos Town Windmills

I hope you’ll find yourself here one day, too.


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