Category Archives: Architecture and Design

San Francisco Bridge LIGHTS UP Tonight

Internationally renowned artist Leo Villareal has been busy in San Francisco, using the Bay Bridge
West Span as a frame, for a five-hundred-feet high and 1.8-mile-wide
installation will comprise more than 25,000 LED lights, making it the
world’s largest ever light sculpture.

TONIGHT is the unveiling!  

The installation will light up
the Bay Area for two years, with an estimated 50 million people expected
to view the display in that time. – Whats happens after two years? I don’t know. 

According to the project’s webpage, “patterns of weather, the water
and the traffic of cars, ships and wildlife” will all be used as
inspiration for creating Villareal’s software algorithms, ensuring that
each light pattern is unique and never repeated.

“People’s perception of what the piece is will be highly subjective,
no two people may see the same thing,” the artist said. “But there’ll
still be this point of connection between many, many people.”

Villarael said he hopes that the “monumental” piece of public art
will inspire artists in the Bay Area, while local businesses will no
doubt be hoping the project will fulfill its promise to add around $97
million to the local economy.


Best Conservatories and Floral Exhibitions

Ahhhhhh, Spring is in the air!  Tree’s are busting out of their buds and flowers are popping up everywhere!

If you love flowers and appreciate the beauty of nature –  here are some MUST SEE Conservatories around the country:

Franklin Park Conservatory – Columbus Ohio.

Built in 1895, Franklin
Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a botanical landmark two
miles east of downtown Columbus. It is a premier horticultural and
educational institution showcasing exotic plant collections, special
exhibitions, and a signature collection of work by glass artist Dale

Set within the 88 acres of Franklin Park, the Conservatory houses 400
species of plants from a variety of global climate zones and features a
Victorian Palm House with more than 40 species of palms. It is
surrounded by botanical gardens and floral displays.

RIGHT NOW you can see  – 

Blooms & Butterflies: Now on view
Central Ohio’s iconic sign of spring returns! Get an up-close view
as hundreds of newly emerged butterflies are released into the Pacific
Island Water Gardens— a tropical haven where exotic butterflies of all
sizes and colors fly freely and feed on nectar from colorful blooms.
Learn about the fascinating life cycle and ecological importance of
these amazing insects during daily educational presentations and related

Orchids! Vibrant Victoriana
Awaken your senses on a dreary winter day and take a stroll
through a warm Victorian garden. Hundreds of orchids of all forms,
colors and sizes are artfully displayed in the Dorothy M. Davis
Showhouse. Explore the Victorian collectors’ fascination with the exotic
species through displays emphasizing the form, color and pattern of
individual blooms. Learn more about orchids in these special programs.

Cocktails @ the Conservatory

Spice up your humdrum work week with an evening visit to the
Conservatory. Stroll through warm, tropical plant collections and view
current exhibitions while enjoying live music, specialty cocktails, and
delicious appetizers. Reserve a table for your friends and colleagues!
Call 614.645.1800 for more information.

Thursdays, 5:30 – 10pm         21 and over
Full bar, featured cocktails, small plate menu
$11 admission, in return each guest receives $10 in tokens that can be used toward the purchase of food and drinks.

*It’s also the 200th Bicentennial Anniversary for Columbus this year!  Lots going on!  A great time to visit!

Read more about Gay Columbus and see they  have been voted a hot new LGBT destination!

  Golden Gate Park- San Francisco CA.

The largest and best known park in San Francisco is the
1,017 acre (411 ha) Golden Gate Park. Its history goes back to
1870 when the site was an area of wild sand dunes. At
the time, the area, known as ‘outside lands’, was well
outside the city’s developed limits.

main attractions of the park are located at the eastern
side. Here you find the Conservatory of Flowers as well as the
Japanese Tea garden and the adjacent M.H. De Young Museum.

The Conservatory of Flowers, a Victorian-style
greenhouse is modeled after the Palm house at the Kew
Gardens in London. It was
built between 1876 and 1883 and houses a collection
of tropical plants and flowers.

The M.H. De Young Museum has its origins in the
1894 Midwinter International expo. The Fine arts Museum,
temporarily built for the expo, was so successful that it was decided
to establish a permanent museum. The museum has a very
diverse collection, including paintings from the Laurence
Rockefeller collection.

Another remnant from the 1894 expo is the Japanese
Tea Garden
. Following the success of the expo’s
Japanese village, a Japanese Tea Garden was constructed
to display the Japanese lifestyle. The garden, covering
5 acres, features a teahouse, sculptures, ponds, bridges
and many native Japanese plants.

Chicago, IL  –  There are actually 3 great gardens and conservatories in Chicago.

Lincoln Park Conservatory, 2391 N. Stockton Dr., located in the heart of the city and  connected to the Lincoln Park Zoo – Step inside and be transported to another place and time!  Take a journey to the Lincoln Park Conservatory where you will find
tropical palms and ancient ferns right in the heart of Lincoln Park.
Designed both to showcase exotic plants and grow the thousands of plants
needed for use in the parks, the Conservatory offers visitors a
tropical experience within its four display houses: Palm House, Fern
Room, Orchid House and Show House, which is home to the annual flower
shows. This historic facility continues to provide an escape to nature
to the millions that live in and visit Chicago. No matter the time of
year, Lincoln Park Conservatory is always green and lush. Come take a
stroll and let yourself be transported away. Admission is free.

Chicago Botanic Garden –  is located just outside the city limits. Take a walk and discover early spring trees and shrubs in bloom,
including Joel bush cherry and Appalachian Red redbud, as well as
Autumn flowering cherry. Joining the host of narcissus and early tulips
in bloom are Lenten roses and Virginia bluebells. 

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Garden! Today, 2.5
million plants, 24 display gardens, and four natural areas thrive here.
Visit our anniversary website to view Garden milestones since the 1972 opening.

Located  at  1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL 60022  •  (847) 835-5440
Admission is free – However, it costs  $20 to park.

Garfield Conservatory is just west of the city a mile or so. Visit one of the nation’s premier conservatories — six
multi-faceted greenhouses and two grand exhibition halls.

The Garfield Park Conservatory sustained catastrophic damage in the June
2011 hailstorm, shattering approximately half of the glass panes
in the roofs of the historic Fern Room, Show House, and
ten propagation greenhouses. The glass panes in the Desert House
also sustained significant damage. The pathways, ponds and plants in
the Fern Room, Show House, Desert House and propagation houses are
covered with broken glass, and shards of glass hang dangerously from the
roofs. Until the roofs are repaired, rain will cause the ponds to
overflow, and direct sunlight will destroy and kill the plants that have
been so carefully and lovingly conserved for so many years. – It is still open to the public and the rebuilding continues.

Garfield Park Conservatory is open every day of the year. Located at 300 N. Central Park Ave., 10 minutes west of
downtown Chicago and easily accessible by automobile or
public transportation.



Travel Book Collection Gift Set – 4 Cities by Taschen


Travel wisdom in your pocket

Get around New York, Paris, Berlin, and London in high style

TASCHEN 4 Cities   is a 12 Vol.  Boxed set of wonderful books  covering New York, London, Paris, and Berlin.  Each city separated into 3 guides for ”hotels”, “restaurants”, and “shops”.

We love that they’ve taken the design-oriented (and coffee-table sized) TASCHEN guide book concept and translated it into pocket-sized companions.  Wonderful for gift giving and a great keepsake from these wonderful cities! Great photos and the text gives you interesting and useful information, as well as addresses, phone numbers and website address.  $60 retail price, $39 at Amazon.
TASCHEN 4 Cities – 12 Vol. in Box (available Nov. 22)

Highlights include –

London: Number Sixteen, a chic South Kensington hotel in a beautiful Victorian townhouse with romatic gardens, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s restaurant and social project, Fifteen, where teenagers cook the meals, and Dover Street Market, the multi-floor concept store founded in 2004 by Comme des Garçons.

New York: the Maritime Hotel, a former sailors’ dorm, now Chelsea’s coolest hotel, the Waverly Inn, Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter’s exclusive salon for the glitterati, and where to buy New York’s best cheesecake

Paris: Ladurée, the best macaroons in the city, the ultra-luxurious Ritz hotel on elegant Place Vendôme, and Colette fashion concept store

Berlin: hip nightspot Green Door, where one rings the doorbell to gain entrance, oriental delight at Edd’s, the best Thai restaurant in Berlin (perhaps Germany), and experimental store Bless, “publicizing artistic values through products”

Order yours today!
TASCHEN 4 Cities – 12 Vol. in Box (available Nov. 22)


Stunning Tower Design for Summer Olympics 2016 Rio de Janeiro

You may remember we told you about  the  spiralling sculpture designed by Turner Prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor has been chosen as the monument to mark the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The 115m tall piece, named the ArcelorMittal Orbit, will be placed in the Olympic Park and will be 22m higher than New York’s Statue of Liberty. The £19.1m design incorporates the five Olympic rings and will offer visitors panoramic views of London.

They are also now preparing for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro with a Solar Powered Waterfall.

An innovative Solar Powered Water Fall – ” Solar City Tower”, located atop the island of Cotonduba is said to be the welcome symbol to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

This 105 meter tower is meant to supply energy for all of the Olympic city, as well as also for part of Rio. It pumps up water from the ocean to create what appears like a water fall. This stimulates turbines that produce energy during the night. The Tower will consist of an amphitheater, an auditorium, a cafeteria, boutiques, and a top floor observation deck with a 360 degree breathtaking view of Rio. Oh, and for thrill seekers, they say there will be bungee jumping too!

This renewable energy generating tower is created by RAFAA Design. They say, “At night, the water is released to power turbines, which will provide nighttime power for the city. On special occasions water is pumped out to create a waterfall over the edges of the building” and it is  “a symbol for the forces of nature.” Info on the size of the solar and pumped water storage system is not available yet.

Cost?  A LOT!


Gay Dubai? David Fisher Brings Rotating Building to Dubai and Russia


While it may not be very gay in Dubai, it certainly has become one of the most visually stunning cities in the world!  I SO want to go there, just  to see it! 

I have had a couple of friends go and say that it is just amazing – and if you look hard, and are discreet, there are a few gay gathering spots.

At any rate, my friend was telling me about the David Fisher Dynamic Tower Buildings.

Dynamic Architecture or Dynamic Tower design was announced by the Italian architect David Fisher last summer. This is the world’s first building in motion. The first of these innovative skyscraper designs are going to constructed in Dubai and Moscow.


The design and floor plans of the rotating building in Dubai (Da Vinci Tower) will have 80 floors and be 420 meters (1,380 feet) tall. Apartments will range in size from 124 square meters (1,334 sq ft), to Villas of 1,200 square meters (12,916 sq ft) complete with a parking space inside the apartment.

 Fisher’s Dynamic Tower is the first building in motion that will change its shape and add a fourth dimension to architecture: Time. The shape will be determined by each floor’s direction of rotation, speed, acceleration and the timing; with timing meaning how each floor rotates compared to the other. The rotation speed will be between 60 minutes and 24 hours for one revolution.

David Fisher also announced that the second Dynamic Tower planned for Moscow is now in the advanced design phase, with pre-assembling of the units to start soon and completion scheduled for 2010. The developer is the Mirax Group, headed by leading international developer Sergei Polonsky, The Moscow tower, which will have 70 floors and be 400 meters (1,310 feet) tall, will be located in Moscow City area, the new prestigious part of the Russian capital.

The Rotating Tower of Moscow will be one of the most exclusive world residential buildings and become the new icon of the Russian Federation.


The world’s first building in motion, takes the concept of Green buildings to the next level, generating electricity for itself with a possible surplus for other nearby buildings, making it the first skyscraper designed to be entirely powered by wind and sun.

With wind turbines fitted horizontally between each rotating floor, an 80-story building will have up to 79 wind turbine systems, making it a true Green power plant. While traditional vertical wind turbines have environmental and social effects, including the need for roads to build and maintain them plus their noise and obstruction of views, the Dynamic Tower’s wind turbines are practically invisible and extremely quiet due to their special shape and the carbon fiber material of which they are composed.

The Dynamic Tower offers infinite design possibilities, as each floor rotates completely independently to create a building design that is constantly changing shape, resulting in a unique and ever evolving architectural structure, like no other.

 Watch the video presentation of Dynamic Tower!


Around the World With Architect Frank Gehry

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which claims the designer and builders failed to live up to their contracts and are responsible for the Stata amphitheater’s structural problems, Fox news reported this week.

Everyone was smiling three years ago when M.I.T.’s new $300 million Stata Center was described by its own renowned architect as resembling a “party of drunken robots.” –  But no one’s smiling now. It’s leaking, cracking and sprouting mold, and somebody’s going to have to pay.

gay businessman Barry Diller. Located next door to the famed ROXY nightclub, the IAC building will be Diller’s  headquarters for his empire.

Other famous Gehry Landmarks:

New York Times about the legal battle. He said he believes the issues at hand are relatively minor and that “M.I.T. is after our insurance.”

“These things are complicated, and they involve a lot of people, and you never quite know where they went wrong,” he told the newspaper. “A building goes together with seven billion pieces of connective tissue. The chances of it getting done ever without something colliding or some misstep are small.”