French architect Odile Decq (born 1955) and her late partner, architect and doctor Benoit Cornette (1953-1998) have never feared bold, big, challenging projects.
This year, Decq who continues to lead Odile DECQ Benoit CORNETTE:Architectes Urbanistes in Paris, completed a task that has apparently eluded designers and architects since 1875.
She designed the spectacular L'Opéra Restaurant, located in one of the most famous buildings in opera, the 1,600-seat L'Opéra Garnier, on Place de l'Opéra in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris.
The 6 million Euro (about $8.2 million US), three-year-long project was completed this summer. The most significant features of the restaurant are the magnificent glass curtain walls that protect the original stone; the curved structures that define the new space and also create the seating areas and even some of the seating; and the simple use of white and red. The result is both minimal and grandiose, contemporary and historic. From some angles, the curvy structures create a cave-like view, perhaps a reference to the Phantom’s subterranean world.
The building, originally designed by architect Charles Garnier in Baroque Revival style, was inaugurated in 1875. Over the years, it has been known as Opéra de Paris, L'Opéra Garnier, Paris Opéra and L'Opéra Populaire. Its architecture set a new style for opera buildings, and for the next several decades opera houses around the world were built to resemble it.
The building’s fame has also been boosted because it is the setting of Gaston Leroux’s gothic novel, Phantom of the Opera (Le Fantôme de l'Opéra, 1911) and the popular musical ,by Andrew Lloyd Webber (1986). - Tuija Seipell
Pics by Roland Halbe
Earlier this year, the angular and colorful illustrations of Star Wars characters by UK-based illustrator and animator Liam Brazier drew everyone's attention.
In addition to the Start Wars characters that in their clunkiness lend themselves to geometric treatments, Brazier has also attacked Superman whose billowing cape and bulging muscles are far less boxy.
What makes Brazier's work even more interesting is that the illustrations are not created in Illustrator using vectors. Instead, he draws each shape with Photoshop's polygonal selection tool and then fills them in with color.
We love these powerful images full of intention and action. We can see them covering an entire wall in a kids' room. Or in our office .- Bill Tikos
”Kipling” is the title of a hauntingly melancholic yet somehow beautifully hopeful music video created for the Finnish indie rock band, Magenta Skycode, by Miikka Niemi and his Lapland-based team at Flatlight Films.
We love the way the open space, sparse nature and mythical plot leave room for the viewers’ own interpretations. The airiness and subdued light are perfect reflections of the chilly beauty of Lapland where this was filmed in Kemijärvi and Salla.
The voice and the music are those of Jori Sjöroos, Magenta Skycode’s founder and main man. The other band members are Niko Kivikangas, Kalle Taivainen, Valtteri Lipasti, Mitja Kiviluoma, Niina Sinkkonen and Jessika Rapo.
We especially love the rhythm that seems to recall a yoik (joiku), the Lapps’ ancient form of storytelling by singing. Combined, the video and music bring out thoughts of shape-shifters and shamans, tragic fates and dramatic lives, fear and hope. The man and dog (a white Swiss shepherd) never appear together. Are they the same?
Kipling gained its name from a Rudyard Kipling quote: “Of all the liars in the world sometimes the worst are your own fears.” The song ends with a beautiful verse: As your sadness leads you home, will you turn the scene around, moving closer to the stage where your fear ends up afraid?
Kipling is part of Magenta Skycode’s second album, Relief, that won the 2010 Finland Emma Award (Finnish equivalent of Grammy) for the Best Indie Album. In 2006, the Turku-based Magenta Skycode’s debut album, IIIII, became Finland’s Record of the Year. - Tuija Seipell
Rosemarie Köckenberger's experience as part of Balestra Berlin no doubt shaped the creation of KJOSK.
A double-decker bus reimagined - KJOSK is part kiosk, part urban oasis for Berliners seeking well-curated
staple goods sourced from local farms. It stands apart, much like Balestra Berlin, known for it's unique, collaborative approach and stand-out projects like Kubik, a lantern-like light installation. Check out more here:
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What do you get when you combine the ultimate summer playground with a fun, cool brand that is willing to play with you? You get life-size Mini convertibles, inflatable beach toys that are as much fun for adults as they are for kids.
Most likely kids will have no chance at all to play with these toys as the Mini inflatable screams grown-up fun in an irresistible way. This is the ultimate beach accessory; too big for the ordinary pool but perfect for the warm waters and sandy beaches where the in crowds gather to see and to be seen.
Beach-goers can just grab one and play in the sand or on the water. They will be able to enjoy the sun, catch the waves, look cool, pose for some pics. These are pictures they will want to broadcast and post online because the beach Minis will not appear on every beach. People will want their friends to know where they are so that they can join the fun.
Mini Inflatables were created by Access Agency after the success unveiling of the Mini Indoor Drive-in cinema for the new Countryman in Italy.
Access’s cool car experiences for Mini include the car wraps and the recently launched Sephora's new Same Day delivery service using the Mini Clubman.
The Mini Inflatables are incredibly flexible as promotional and entertainment tools. They can be used not only at the beach over summer but in many other environments as well.
Additional uses for the beach include fun Mini rides in Mini Inflatables pulled by speedboats or jet skis.
Mini Inflatables are effective as massive “balloons” on top of actual Minis in showrooms, outdoor picnic promotions, parks, special events such as Art Basel and other large-scale festivals.
Mini Inflatables are also perfect for point-of-sale displays, as showroom props and as décor. - Bill Tikos
Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Fernando De Noronha - Brazil
Spirit Island, Magligne Lake, Alberta, Canada
Rice Field Terraces in Yunnan, China
Coron Palawan, Philippines
Rocky Village, Vernazza, Italy
Porto Katsiki, Lefkada Island, Greece
Lower Lewis River Falls - Gifford Pinchot National Forest - Washington, USA
Pangong Tso Lake in the Himalayas
Golden Eye Hotel - St. Mary, Jamaica
Golden Horn, Brac Island - Croatia
Soneva Fushi, Maldives
Etretat, Normandy, France
The Pearl Waterfall, Jiuzhaigou Valley, China
Awa’awapuhi Trail Kauai, Hawaii
Santa Domenica nel Salento
Discovered a place we should include in Part 3 of Amazing Places? - get in contact
Former jazz singer Lana Del Rey defines her genre as Hollywood pop/sad core and says she hopes her music can be the “sonic equivalent of a Vincent Gallo film”. The 24-year old New Yorker also describes herself as “gangsta Nancy Sinatra”, putting into words the surprisingly coherent mix of the classic 60s round sound, the gloomy, grown up lyrics and the strong, convincing presence. Owing to Marianne Faithfull as much as she does to Fiona Apple and Norah Jones, this promising newcomer contrasts dark references with her fresh face via a series of DIY Youtube videos.
Her yet-to-be-released album is still being produced with a little help from a very cool production team including Liam Howe, Chris Braide and Emile Haynie. The foregoing teasing Youtube offerings seem to be all instant hits despite the poor production value of the videos: this is definitely the most awaited release of this autumn (Lana has signed with Stranger Records on June 30th and Video Games and Blue Jeans will be available on October 9th).
Befriend her on Facebook and keep an eye on those updates: 14k of fans before the album release can’t be wrong! - Andreea Popa