Friday, February 24, 2012

La signature de Paris Eiffel Tower

Paris is the city of love, art, fine cuisine, and some of the world's greatest architecture. No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower. The tallest structure in Paris, the most visited monument in the world, the global icon of France. 

 The Eiffel Tower was built for the World Exhibition in 1889, held in celebration of the French Revolution in 1789. With its architectural elegance and visibility from around Paris, a visit to the tower is a must see for all visitors to France. The construction was only meant to last for the duration of the Exposition, but it still stands today, despite all protests from contemporary artists who feared the construction would be the advent of structures without individuality and despite the many people who feared that this huge 'object' would not fit into the architecture of Paris. Today, there is no such aversion anymore among the French, and one could not imagine Paris without the Eiffel Tower, in fact it has become the symbol of the City of Light.

The Eiffel Tower was built by Gustave-Alexanre Eiffel, who also did the framework for the Statue of Liberty. When construction of the Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889, the 75 story high tower became the tallest structure in the world.

Gustave Eiffel, known for his revolutionary ace building techniques, as employed in the great viaduct at Garabit in 1884. These techniques would form the basis for the construction of the Eiffel Tower. He was also known for the construction of the framework of the Statue of Liberty.

When Gustave Eiffel designed the tower, he imagined that it would become the support of a great variety of scientific devices and experiments to study gravity and wind pressure. The structure of the tower was therefore designed for increase of its weight. During World War I, the tower was holding antennas to retransmit radio wave to the whole country. The structural aspects of the Eiffel tower indicate that it is a highly hyperstatic structure, which is dimensioned for a weight higher than what it is supporting this day.

The structure took more than two years to complete. Each one of the about 12,000 iron pieces were designed separately to give them exactly the shape needed. All pieces were prefabricated and fit together using approximately 7 million nails. The Eiffel Tower consists of three floors or landings.  A series or elevators run up the massive legs of the Eiffel Tower, carrying tourists to each of the three viewpoints.

This mighty lanky tower has stood puffed as the signature of Paris and is the pride of the French, always and forever.

Good Morning, Sunshine! Designing a solarium for your home

A sun-room, or a patio or a sun porch...however you address the room by, the purpose of the room is just the same, exposure to sunlight. In formal terms, people refer to it as 'solarium'. A solarium is a room with large glass windows or walls to let sunshine into the space. Whether it is a small glassed-in porch or an over-the-top conservatory, a solarium helps expand the living space in a house by bringing the outdoors inside. Offering all the advantages of being outside without any of the drawbacks, a solarium may also act as a greenhouse where people can raise tender and exotic plants.

The principal purpose of a solarium is to give a house out of the house, a place to enjoy the light, sunshine and views of the outdoors without having to contend with any discomfort. In addition, since a solarium always has big windows, it serves to visually expand the interior of the house into the outside, giving the occupants the illusion of much more space than the house actually includes.  A solarium serves as a home to plants that might not survive out in the open. One of the great pleasures of having a solarium is one's ability to cultivate flowering or green plants in it year-round. Such solariums usually have hard floors, such as tile or stone, that are impervious to the water that inevitably drains out of plant pots.

Solariums have a large amount of glass, which allows the sun to penetrate the room. People may include a solarium in their plans when they build a house, or they may choose to add one on at a later point. An added solarium might range from a modular unit purchased from a manufacturer and simply assembled on-site, or a custom design that requires an architect's attention. Designing and building a solarium for your house needs a lot of skill, patience and access to manpower. You need to plan your design before taking the plunge. Everyone has a different reason for creating the room, so you will need to design it according to your intended vision. You may take help from a book of solarium plans at your local library.

The slanted-front type of room addition is the easiest to build. It’s always best to keep it simple. Keep in mind that you need to create the room in an area facing the sun, after all, the main purpose of the room is exposure to the sun. The main windows of your solarium are supposed to face the solar south. Contrary to popular belief, this is not the south that your compass will show. If this is impossible due to the orientation of your home, orient the solarium towards the sun at an angle of no more than 15 degrees. Stick on to the plan you've made up, follow all directions outlined in your plans. No matter what plans you choose, you will have better success if you extend an existing room in your home, or better yet, if you replace a screened in porch or a patio with your new solarium. If you choose to do the latter, begin by building a wooden frame along the perimeter of the concrete base of the patio or porch after removal of the screens. 

The windows should consist of larger glass panels instead of many smaller panes in order to better transmit light and heat. Insert the panels also according to the plans you have chosen. Maintain energy efficiency by adding brick and concrete to the interior of this room. Doing this will make it more heat absorbent. Remember that the quality of building materials also makes a difference. Once your solarium is done, you may add some plants, which would help make your solarium more energy efficient. So, you need to remember to maintain them well and welcome Mr. Sun into your new solarium!

Man's Best Friend How to choose one?

So you have decided to keep a pet dog. That is a great decision you have taken. People with pets, especially dogs tend to be healthier and happier, and suffer less from depression, stress, high blood pressure, heart disease, and loneliness than those without a pet. A close relationship with a dog can provide you with years of protection, companionship, and unconditional love.

While the rewards of owning a dog are greater than any other pet, so are the responsibilities! All dogs need daily outdoor exercise, regular medical check-ups, and a lot of attention from their owners. To make sure you find the perfect canine friend, it’s important to choose a dog that best fits in with your lifestyle.

Think over, when you choose the right dog, so as to be careful not to pick one that doesn't suit or doesn't get used to the type of house you have. Even though it might sound logical that a smaller dog would be happier than a larger one in an apartment or a  small house without a yard, that isn’t necessarily true.

All dogs, whatever size and breed they are of, need daily exercise and outdoor activity, but some dogs need a little more exercise than others do. There’s no denying that puppies are adorable, but along with the cuteness comes added responsibility. Puppies require more time and attention for house training and behavior training, which may include patiently tolerating  their clumsy phases, where they might end up chewing every possible stuff,.

Given these reasons and the likes, people who don’t have time to meet a puppy’s needs or prefer not to deal with training, often decide to adopt an older dog. Additionally, small children or elderly adults in your family may not have the patience or ability to manage a puppy’s exuberance.

Another choice may be between a purebred or mixed breed. Some people prefer purebred dogs because they enjoy participating in dog shows, or are drawn to the look or characteristics of a particular breed. Other people prefer dogs of mixed breed, of unique kind. Adopting a dog that needs a good home, whether it’s a puppy or mature dog, a purebred or a mixed breed, can be very rewarding. Some people say adopted dogs exhibit a special bond and appreciation for their owners.

Breeders, shelters, and rescue organizations usually let prospective owners meet and interact with available dogs. It is recommended that you visit the dog a couple of times to best gauge a dog’s temperament before making a decision. Ask the breeder or rescue handler about a dog or puppy’s characteristics. They should be able to tell you if a dog is good with other pets or children. When selecting a puppy, kneel on the ground and call the puppy to you. Click your fingers to get the puppy's attention. If he comes quickly, he may have a strong attachment to people. If he stops to smell the flowers along the way, he may have an independent streak. If he doesn't come at all, it may be a sign that he’ll have difficulty forming a bond with people.

See how a dog responds when you have the chance to be with him in a pen or petting area. A dog that approaches you and wants to play may make a friendly pet. One that hides or is not approachable may require more work and time to become a good companion. Now that you are able to make out the instincts of the pet, you can go ahead and pick up the perfect pet.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Swerve of a Minaret Becomes a Wonder of the World!

Italy is a magical country where every region has something new to offer whether it is its food, the people, the history or its architecture. Italian architecture is unsurpassed in Europe and historically Italy has everything which shows within its architecture. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the bell tower or a campanile and is one among the seven wonders of the world.

Landscape Designing – Designing a Swimming Pool

Planning to go for your own swimming pool ? Well, go on ahead but you need to keep one thing in mind in regard, landscape designing, A swimming pool would be something which would be there forever, or at least, for a few decades. So you have to take care of the landscape designing. Having a swimming pool requires investment. Actually, it even enhances the value of your property!

Choose The Right Shades – Make Your Home A Vibrant Haven!

Modern home interiors are a reflection of the lifestyle of people. Colors also play a vital role in enhancing the interiors of your home. Not only they enhance the interiors, but color schemes of your home also act upon your instinctive aspects. The colors are what set the theme of the ambiance of your home, in terms of the interior decoration. Therefore, you should select the color carefully. You can take the help of interior decorators and paint manufactures to stay on the right track.

Furniture time-travelogue 3: Rome

Now Rome, unlike Greece, was not only prolific in its furniture building but also apparently diligent about preservation. But then what else would you expect from nearly the first empire builders in the history of the world.

The Greek style is very strongly reflected in Roman furniture but with the additional embellishment of bronze and stone. The ornamentation on this furniture generally consisted of vegetable and animal motifs. With time the rigidity of the furniture relaxed towards more flowing lines and the ever-present Greek influence became more pronounced.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the folding chairs and the stool make an appearance in Roman history too, except the Romans tended to use it as a chair and footstool combination, the footstool usually being fashioned out of bronze. However the Roman besellium  had cylindrical legs and lateral arm supports but no back rest (think Julius Caesar in Asterix) making them extremely uncomfortable to sit on. By contrast there is evidence of stone chairs with a curved back rest that were so perfect technically that were, paradoxically, very comfortable.

However, the most characteristic piece on Roman furniture remains richly decorated, portable, folding stool with double curved feet called the curule which was mainly used for dignitaries.

A bas relief showing the Roman curule 
Tables were also a popular item of furniture and there is reason to believe that the three-legged wall leaning console originated then as also we see the first signs of a large serving table often with a marble top.   

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Furniture time-travelogue 2: Greece

The Greeks have long since been acknowledged as some of the greatest architects of the world. It’s only natural that their furniture should also be equally spectacular. However unfortunately there are few examples of ancient Greek furniture existing that could give us a clear picture of their craftsmanship in that area. But what we do have is sufficient for us to glean some information from it.
In the construction of their furniture the Greeks basically used indigenous wood like cedar, pine, cypress etc and much like the Egyptians their work was inlaid with other precious materials like marble and metal.

Classic Greek furniture, with its curves, also had a novel delicacy as compared to any other preceding period. Their sinuous form with the sharp dip of the back is also evidence of their understanding of and an attempt to adapt to the human body.  In this regard the light-weight klismos chairs created circa 5th century BC were extremely popular, especially as evidenced by their frequent appearance on Greek period property and bas relief. Their slender legs swept outward as well as inward giving them not just their flowing shape but also stability. Since then the klismos chairs have made several appearances in furniture fashion around the world from France to England and even America.
The klismos chair

Another popular Greek design was the diphros – backless and with scissor shaped curved legs reminiscent of the Egyptian design. These were often also foldable. The Greeks also seem to have a found a wide use for tables, unlike the Egyptians, though their tables also remained compact and portable, scattered around corners in their homes, used to hold food and drinks.

A representation of the diphros

Interestingly, Greek couches apart from their rather decorative legs were also fairly simple in structure. Consisting of a rectangular frame for the seat and the back, the legs were often turned outward or were built like Greek pillars and decorated with classic motifs. From these couches evolved the ever-popular triclinium that also became tremendously popular with the Romans. In fact various versions of it are visible even today. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Furniture time- travelogue: Egypt

It was a well-travelled friend of mine who set me on this path. It was on one of my recent visits to his house that I realised that his house increasingly resembled a ‘curiosities of the world’ museum more than anything else. But the result, rather than being a mess, was a rather eclectic thing of beauty. So if you’re somebody who travels the world a lot or knows people who do, the next time, instead of chocolates ask them to pick up something that truly reflects the culture of the place they’re visiting. And please try to remember that culture isn’t something that usually comes in a bottle! Or if you’d like to attempt something more suited to your personality wherever you live we have a quick dose of background info for you!

We start this slightly peculiar travelogue/ time travel journey with Egypt ... feel free to join in.

Egyptian cross-legged stool
One of the oldest and richest cultures in the world, it’s lucky indeed for us that Egyptians were masters of preservation. Thanks to that we have live snapshots of Egyptian culture available to us even today. Lets’s take furniture for instance. It is apparent from a study of Egyptian cultural history that furniture in ancient Egypt was an indication as well as a consequence of social standing. But even the rich and the powerful didn’t pack their rooms with furniture. They were, however, comfortable and well-made, and a lot of it consisted of chairs. Some of the folding variety like the scissor and the X-shaped chairs have been replicated and remained popular through centuries. It wouldn't, in fact, be far off the mark to say that most skills known to modern furniture makers were already to known to those Egyptian craftsmen of yore. 

Their tables were made in varying sizes not so much to accommodate the height of the person but the fact that Egyptians were accustomed to sitting both on floors as well as chairs.

A fascinating peculiarity of their furniture design is the clear influence of nature, particularly animals. So if you thought only Europe had a thing for claws, think again! The legs of Egyptian furniture most often were slender and curved or shaped like claws or even hooves. Even the legs of their beds show a clear influence of cats, gazelles and sometimes even bulls and lions! 

Egyptian bed
The bed otherwise was a simple rectangular frame interwoven with leather thongs. Since Egyptians weren’t really into pillows their headrests sport some interesting features. Along with being portable they were usually made of wood, iron or ivory and in some special cases were covered with linen making them only marginally more comfortable! The headrests were usually a little higher than the rest of the bed to facilitate breathing and also to protect their complicated hairstyles!

Another intriguing thing about Egyptian furniture was the way they used wood. Since most of the wood indigenously available in Egypt was unsuitable for furniture making and had to be imported from the neighbouring countries their carpenters and craftsmen learned how to make the best use of the wood with barely any wastage!

We could certainly learn a lesson or two there!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Taj Was Not Built In A Day!

One of the wonders of the world and the spectacular  mausoleum that has been constructed in the year, 1654 by emperor Shah Jahan stands as a magnificent triumph of Indian architectural traits. The Taj Mahal, rendered by the Mughals is a splendid expression of architectural nuances of Indian architects. The monument in its entirety is the result of the grand total of all the efforts put meticulously by the expert artists of the age. 22,000 laborers lent their skills and sweat into construction of the mausoleum. 

Designing A Building Property

Property designing, designing a building property to be specific, is a unique and also a challenging task. If you think that only with the construction of a building, the task gets over then you are highly mistaken. For a building to flaunt its elegance, especially in terms of the exterior elevation, offshore structural designing is an utmost necessary trait. In the recent past, most of the building properties have witnessed remarkable advances in the aspect of designing the structures. 

Give Your Garden A 'Rocking' Look!

Constructing rock gardens in your home gardens has become widely popular these days. Its unique 'stand-out-alone' look given rock gardens a specialized look in the greenery of your garden. The clock of the hour demands uniqueness and rock gardens fulfill the demand with elegance. A rocking rock garden is the order of the day and lot of planning is necessary when the task of building up a rock garden is undertaken. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

House Makeover

The most important thing when going for a makeover of your home is to estimate as to how a home makeover would affect the wellness and look of the home. Exteriors and interiors of a home reflect the taste and perhaps is an extension of the occupant's personality. For some, the home is meant to be livable and child friendly while for others, it is designed to fit a certain lifestyle. There are no judgment calls when designing a home. The architect and or interior designer will service you and perhaps guide you to making choices that are functional as well.


Designing Beach side Houses

Designing a property is no child's play, especially with properties that lay by seaside, along the beach. You need to be all set before you take the plunge to get your property designed. Architectural designing is a highly specialized industry and you need to work with the best professionals to have your home designed perfectly. Whether you plan on building a holiday home or a permanent abode for your family, the blueprints, the work of dexterous architect or a team of them set the foundation right to move forward. From the structure and support of your new home to the unique layout and design that can set your home apart from the rest, you have plenty of things to consider. Designing beachfront homes is not a simple task and you need to ensure that you work with the best


World Architecture

Saprophyte is a bizarre skyscraper structural design developed by architecture students based in Poland. The skyscraper design structure was created considering the futuristic theory that in the times to come such technology will emerge which will reduce the travel distance between workplace and home. The concept is a result of four genius architects, namely, Emilia Dekarz, Justyna Krupkowska, Karolina Czochańska and Paweł Dudko. This futuristic skyscraper is eco friendly. 
Modern architecture suggests many shapes and sizes for the betterment of the existing construction practices. Many of these have found their way into the record books for their ingenuity and uniqueness. These marvels claim themselves to be futuristic and being generations ahead of their counterparts in terms of design and planning. 

So, here are some Polish architecture students who are struck by a brainwave that have left the most imaginative architects of the world gasping.
Architecture in contemporary times has taken a big leap, initially beginning with crude shelters like huts and thereafter moving onto awe-striking buildings. Architects have creatively designed bizarre yet unique structures. These are exceptional architectural designs that have just bloomed out of extraordinary talent, which ultimately lend us a chance to stop and gape at. 

Karolina Czochańska, Emilia Dekarz, Paweł Dudko and Justyna Krupkowska believe that the future lies in corporations retreating to the virtual world. It's a world, where communications reach a height to ask people not to commute from work. Now based on this thinking, let your imagination run riot. Imagine a giant, amorphous algae vine swallowing a traditional skyscraper. Now imagine living inside that growth. It is possible, say Polish architects.

Calling it the Saprophyte design, the students have combined biology and architecture – biomorphic architecture — and conceptualized a living mass that is much better than typical skyscraper structures. The transformable structure offers a myriad ways to shrink, grow, split, or change the existing setup in any way as desired by the residents. That’s not all. The bio mass is self-duplicating meaning new buildings effortlessly appear out of the original like flowers.

The students arrived upon the idea by studying bio-mimicry and asking themselves what they could learn from nature. They searched for an architectural idea that was both economical and effective and based on the principles of self-sufficiency and energy efficiency.

What about the sustainability of such a structure ? Well, the students have a very logical answer to give. Because the structure is an alga, a living plant, it will itself be able to harness all the positive attributes that come from plant processes. The building’s ‘skin’ will create its own green space, clean the air, store water and store electricity.