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The World’s 5 Most Visually Stunning Homes

April 8, 2014

Home is where the heart is. Perhaps for this reason, many people have sought to create the most beautiful, luxurious and visually stunning homes in the world. From vast mansions to simple, reflective abodes, we count down the most beautiful, aesthetically appealing homes from all over the world.

Visually Stunning Homes No. 1: Hearst Castle

Visually Stunning Homes at Sunset

Source: Mark Juddery

In 1865, George Hearst purchased 40,000 acres of ranchland in southern California. Almost 50 years later in 1919, Hearst’s son, newspaperman William Randolph Hearst, decided to build his dream estate on the land, which had since grown to almost 250,000 acres. Along with architect Julia Morgan, William created the sprawling Hearst Castle, featuring 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens.

These days, the Hearst Castle is open to the public as a California State Park. Visitors from all over come to view the vast gardens, incredible artwork and breathtaking pools. The most popular attractions at Hearst Castle are the uninhabited zoo (which once housed the world’s largest private zoo), the airport and the wine cellar, which was originally constructed during the Prohibition era. The estate remains one of the world’s most visually stunning homes.

Hearst Castle Garden Statue

Source: Photobucket

Visually Stunning Homes No. 2: The Shell House

Visually Stunning Homes Look Like Shells

Source: XSML

Squeezed into a picturesque forest in Karuizawa, Nagano, the Shell Villa is an excellent example of modern design done right. Designers constructed the home, which spans more than 3,500 square feet, from reinforced concrete. From the outside, the structure appears to be two smoothly curved white ovals reminiscent of a shell. Photos of the interior demonstrate how those smooth, organic shapes remain a constant thread throughout the home’s furniture and appliances.

Japanese Shell Visually Stunning Homes

Source: inthralld

Visually Stunning Homes and Architecture

Source: HomeDoo

Modern Shell Home in Japan

Source: HomeDoo

Visually Stunning Homes Interior

Source: inthralld

Kotaro Ide and his team, called ARTechnic, built this shell-inspired home in 2008. While the home was created to be aesthetically pleasing (especially in the evening), the Shell Home was also designed to accommodate the local humid climate, ensuring that the space is as functional as it is intriguing. Here are some additional shell-inspired visually appealing homes:

Colorful Shell-Inspired Home

Source: IROONIE

Visually Stunning Homes No. 3: Philip Johnson Glass House

Sun Setting by Philip Johnson Glass House

Source: Architizer

Architect and artist Philip Johnson, the designer of some of the America’s most memorable and influential modern architecture, was the brain behind the aesthetically remarkable Glass House. Johnson built the home for himself, calling the space his fifty-year diary. Set in an unobtrusive forest setting, the glass house is a visually stunning home primarily in its simplicity and straightforwardness.

Visually Stunning Homes Made From Glass

Source: Staypat

Visually Stunning Home No. 4: World’s First Billion Dollar Home

Upward View of Antilla

Source: News

Scanning the Mumbai cityscape, one might easily mistake billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s home for a skyscraper. Yes, that’s right, a skyscraper. Ambani’s impressive, visually stunning home stands an incredible 27 stories high, and cost around two billion dollars to build.

Mumbai Cityscape by Visually Stunning Homes

Source: BuzzBuzzHome

Antilla and Visually Stunning Homes in the Evening

Source: Daily Mail

This 400,000-sqare-foot home, named Antilla, was designed based on Vaastu, an ancient science that is said to utilize the placement of furniture, design and other elements to positively affect a space’s energy. To prevent the numerous floor plans from becoming redundant, designers refused to replicate materials or designs on floors that were next to one another (for example, a design used on the ninth floor couldn’t be replicated on either the eighth or tenth floor).

Visually Stunning Homes Interior Antilla

Source: Pouted

Visually Stunning Homes No. 5: Acqua Liana

Beautiful Water Floors and Stairs

Source: Ecopedia

Located in Manalapan Beach, Florida, the Acqua Liana is easily one of the most visually stunning homes in the world. Constructed by real estate tycoon Frank McKinney, this 15,000-foot mansion has claimed the title of one of the world’s most incredible (and expensive) eco-mansions.

Beautiful View of Visually Stunning House Acqua Liana

Source: Dolce

“Acqua Liana” is a the Tahitian and Fijian word meaning “water flower.” As one can quickly see, the home truly embodies its namesake, as water and liquid serenity play a huge role in both the appearance and function of the home. Water floors, waterfalls, water gardens, a 2,000-gallon aquarium and waterfront views can all be found in Acqua Liana.

Beautiful Outdoor Look at Acqua Liana

Source: Noahre

Chandelier in Most Visually Stunning Homes

Source: Eco Chiq


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6 Gorgeous Train Stations From Around The World

April 4, 2014
Train Stations Gare De Liege

Source: Wikipedia

Gorgeous Train Stations: Gare De Liege-Guillemins, Belgium

Designed by Santiago Calatrave, this stunning train station made its debut in 2009 and boasts soaring arches made of steel, glass and white concrete which extend 105 feet in the air.

Train Stations Gare De Liege Front View

Source: Kazeo

Gorgeous Train Stations: Sao Bento, Portugal

Sao Bento

Source: Wikipedia

With walls covered in 20,000 splendid azulejo tin-glazed ceramic tiles and a main hall consisting of a mansard roof and stone façade, Porto’s main platform is a picturesque place to wait for your daily commute. The blue tiles are particularly impressive, depicting the history of transportation, historic battles and 14th century royalty. It took artist Jorge Colaço 11 years to complete.

Train Stations Sao Bentao Tile Interior

Source: Panoramio

Train Stations Sao Bentao Wall Art

Source: Wikimedia

Gorgeous Train Stations: Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, India

Shivaji Terminus

Source: Wikimedia

Located in Mumbai, the formerly titled Victoria Terminus is now a UNESCO World Heritage site for its splendid architecture. Designed by Frederick William Stevens, the station was opened in 1887 in honor of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. The stunning station seamlessly blends inspiration from the Indian Mughal style of architecture and the Victorian era of Gothic Revival. It was also made further famous by the “Jai Ho” dance at the end of Slumdog Millionaire.

Train Stations Shivaji Terminus Green Red

Source: ULG

Gare de Lyon, Paris

Though Gare du Nord might be the more famous Parisian train station, Gare de Lyon is definitely more revered for its luxurious splendors. Built for the 1900 Paris World Expo, Gare de Lyon is a complex, coherent and striking building. In particular, the restaurant Belle Époque, situated inside the station, attracts hordes of revelers who enjoy the stunning cityscape artwork, glittering chandeliers and a sweeping view of the station below. The restaurant even boasts a long list of famous clientele from Brigitte Bardot and Coco Chanel to Salvador Dalí.

Train Stations Dining Hal Gare De Lyon

Source: Blogspot

Train Stations Lyon Light

Source: Lyon News

Elektrozavodskaya Station & Komsomolskaya, Russia

Elektrozavodskaya

Source: Flickr

Located in Moscow, these two stations are world renowned for their bright and bold interiors. Elektrozavodskaya (named after a light bulb company) features designs from prominent Russians including Vladimir Schuko, Vladimir Gelfreich and Igor Rozhin. Komsomolskaya, too, features some fancy handiwork, designed with red granite, marble and featuring stunning mosaics.

Komsomolskaya

Source: Blogspot

Antwerp Central Station, Belgium

Central Station Belgium

Source: CN Traveler

Located in Antwerp and voted as the fourth greatest train station in 2009 by Newsweek, Central Station is considered one of Belgium’s finest examples of architecture, combining the artistic sensibilities of various prominent architects including Louis Delancenserie, Clement van Bogaert and Jan Van Asperen. The station was constructed between 1895 and 1905 and consists of vast domes, iron and glass train shed and a viaduct.

Train Stations Central Station

Source: Flavorwire

Train Stations Belgium Stairs

Source: Blogspot


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Monstrum Playgrounds, Realizing Children’s Imagination In Wood

March 12, 2014
Monstrum Playgrounds Transformer

Source: Monstrum

When you’re a child, the whole world is your playground. The tallest of trees in the garden magically transforms into a tree-top tower, and that cardboard box isn’t trash, but a ship destined for the furthest reaches of outer space. But what if you could actually play in a rocket? Danish design firm Monstrum strives to do just that with their playgrounds, bridging the gap between a child’s dream and its physical realization.

Monstrum Playgrounds Mushroom Kingdom

Source: Monstrum

Monstrum Playgrounds Crooked House

Source: Monstrum

Monstrum Playgrounds Ghost Trees

Source: Monstrum

Turning the basic swing and slide set on its head and rejecting standardized playgrounds for place-specific ones, these playtime professionals have created everything from super-sized spiders to haunted houses complete with creepy climbing frame forest and ghoulish guests. Only the bravest of children dare venture through the hall of the haunted house, and if things get a bit too scary, they can escape down the express slide to safety. They just have to avoid the bouncing bats on the way out.

Monstrum Playgrounds Parrot

Source: Monstrum

Monstrum Playgrounds Copenhagen Rooftops

Source: Monstrum

Monstrum Playgrounds Spider

Source: Monstrum

The brainchild of Ole B. Nielsen and Christian Jensen, Monstrum has won countless awards for its groundbreaking playscapes, all of which were inspired by the pair’s set design background after years working in theaters across Copenhagen. Initially commissioned as a playground architect by one of their children’s schools, the design firm now creates fantasy lands for children around the globe, where the only limit present is the elasticity of their imagination. Recently, Monstrum received the 2012 Danish design award for their teensy towers of Copenhagen kitted out with a mini planetarium and chiming church bells.

Monstrum Playgrounds Fish

Source: Monstrum

Monstrum Playgrounds Chinese Pagoda

Source: Monstrum

Monstrum Playgrounds Boat

Source: Monstrum

What is truly remarkable about Monstrum’s dream-like designs is its attention to detail and historical accuracy. Even the Pagoda playground was modeled on the traditional tiered towers of old. In an age where playtime is increasingly associated with the digital, domestic and static, the traditional playground’s role in the lives of children has come into question—yet is all the more vital. Construction expert and chief Christian Jensen, said “A good playground should inspire kids to move”, and that is precisely what Monstrum continues to do with its kid kingdoms.

Monstrum Playgrounds Dragon

Source: Monstrum

Monstrum Playgrounds Beach House

Source: Monstrum


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