Category Archives: Architecture

Bridging the gap between land and sea on the Chilean coast, Casa Izuga, aka 5 Beams House features, as advertised, five concrete beams supported by walls to the east and west.

The structure – built in 2015 and designed by Gubbins Poldura architects – offers privacy from the neighbours (such as they are), creating concealed spaces on the lower level, half submerged into the hillside, capped with a wall of sea-facing glass.

Public areas on the upper level are likewise encased in glazing with spectacular views of the landscape, expanding  via sliding panels into a pool and terrace overlooking the incoming South Pacific waves.

It’s a hard oul’ station, right enough.


Behold: Federal House – a 400 square metre cantilevered monochrome home at Byron Bay on the New South Wales coast.

A concrete plinth partially embedded in the sloping plot supports a black timber clad upper level with floor-to-ceiling picture windows and an internal fern garden. A swimming pool with views framing the surrounding treetops extends across the lower level.

The doorbell plays “Agadoo’ by Black Lace.


Behold: what will soon be the world’s largest tropical greenhouse under one roof. Unveiled at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale, the vast Tropicalia (35m tall at its highest point) is planned for Northern France’s Côte d’Opale and is set to be completed by 2024. To wit:

Tropicalia will provide a unique tropical greenhouse experience with a regular temperature of just under 80°F (26°C). It will feature both tropical plants and fauna such as fish, reptiles, birds, and butterflies. This man-made ecosystem will take up over 200,000 square feet of land and is enclosed by a massive dome.


Behold: the Avengers Tower-esque Aston Martin Residences in Miami – a 66 storey glass and steel tower unveiled in 2017 featuring seven ultra sleek penthouses on the 56th floor with sweeping views of Biscayne Bay, the Miami River and the city’s skyline.

There are also 38 oceanfront condos on the 15th floor and a $50 million triplex that comes with its own Aston Martin Vulcan.

Owners will have access to a four-level facility that includes a fitness centre, virtual golf room, art gallery, two cinemas, full-service spa, and infinity pool, along with a private marina.

Completion in 2022 with prices starting at €4.65 million.


The late 15th century double spiral staircase at the Burg – regional government headquarters of Graz in southern Austria – so called because two people ascending in opposite directions will separate and rejoin several times before ultimately reuniting.

Yeah. Never gonna happen.

(Pics by Irène DB)


‘Berlin Brutal’: the uncompromising architecture of mid 20th century Berlin captured by Felix Torkar.

From top: Institut für Hygiene und Mikrobiologie, Fehling+Gogel, 1966–74; Isothermische Kugellabore, Horst Welser, 1959-6;Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedä chtniskirche, Egon Eiermann, 1957–61; Kirche Mariä Himmelfahrt (heute: Mor-Afrem-Kirche), Alfons Boklage, 1964–66 and St. Agnes, Werner Düttmann, 1965–67.


Behold: the Eco-Floating Hotel, designed by Turkish design studio Hayri Atak Architectural, soon to be located in the Persian Gulf off Qatar.

Powered by solar panels and wind turbines, desalinating and purifying seawater for use onsite, the hotel’s circular volume rotates once every 24 hours – generating power via tidal energy. The glass vortex-shaped roof of the 35,000m² structure doubles as a ‘rainwater collection’ system for greenery.

The project is due for completion in 2025.


Behold: Tom Cruise’s estate at Telluride in Colorado – a custom-made 10,000 square foot (930m³) native stone and cedar house with a separate 3-bed guest lodge tucked into a grove of aspen trees at the base of the Rocky Mountains.

Bought in 1994 (the year ‘Interview With The Vampire’ was released) the house is surrounded by a 320 acre estate with dirt-bike and snowmobile tracks, a sports court, helipad and a network of hiking and snowshoeing trails. 

Yours for about €33.2 million.