From Mykonos to Malibu, these vibrant international resorts offer picture-perfect settings for luxurious wedding ceremonies and once-in-a-lifetime celebrations

The world’s most enchanting wedding destinations tend to have certain characteristics in common: they’re usually warm and sunny, they have great food and cultural attractions, and they’re relatively easy to get to. While some couples find that renting an estate for family and friends simplifies a destination wedding, others choose a locale that’s en route to an exclusive honeymoon spot. The 10 resorts noted below have their own local color and character, making them ideal for different types of wedding festivities, from the exotic and adventurous to the traditional and serene.

New York-based event planner and wedding expert Joseph St. Cyr, President and CEO of Joseph Todd Events, says that choosing the right place is the key to planning an unforgettable event. “Start with the look and feel you’re after,” he advises. “White linen and bare feet on a Hawaiian beach is a different vibe than a black-tie wedding at an Italian villa.” Each of these luxurious international locales offers the promise of an unforgettable wedding that’s well worth the extra mile.

Paradise Island, Bahamas

Paradise Island is nestled just across the water from the city of Nassau in the Bahamas. It’s family friendly and lively—one of its resorts was the site of the movie Casino Royale—yet its pace is unhurried. Formerly a private estate belonging to a Swedish industrialist, the island is home to a cluster of historic residences. Its newer houses tend to blend modern amenities with classic seaside architectural features. As a destination, Paradise Island has a feeling of delightful remoteness but is easy to reach. “When selecting your dream destination, be sure to consider the travel involved for your guests,” advises St. Cyr. “A direct flight with a short ground transportation hop is always a win.” A non-stop flight to Nassau followed by a ferry ride to Paradise sounds just about right.

To obtain a marriage license in the Bahamas, the happy couple must provide government-issued photo identification such as a passport and reside in the Bahamas for 24 hours prior to the date of the marriage license application. Additional requirements and advice about organizing a wedding ceremony in this picturesque Caribbean destination are available from the country’s Weddings and Honeymoon Unit of the Ministry of Tourism

When selecting your dream destination, be sure to consider the travel involved for your guests.
Joseph St. Cyr President and CEO of Joseph Todd Events

Tulum, Mexico

Mexico’s spectacular beaches draw swimmers and surfers from all over the world. Its unique mix of ancient ruins, sophisticated cuisine, and natural beauty make it a top choice for wedding planners as well. The coastal city of Tulum is known for its 13th-century Mayan archaeological sites—and one of the most beautiful Caribbean beaches in the region. In honor of the local surrounds, couples may choose to be married by a Shamen or incorporate ancient Mayan rituals into their wedding celebration, such as the groom gifting the bride a muhul (gold chain), listones (wooden hair barrettes), as well as a traditional sleeveless dress called a huipil in order to take a temazcal traditional purification bath prior to the ceremony.

Direct flights from New York City to Tulum are just under four hours, and the city has an array of superb restaurants, five-star and boutique hotels that are ideal venues for a dreamy destination wedding. Luxurious venue options include the boutique hotel BeTulum which is ideally situated between the rainforest and the ocean, the eco-friendly Jashita Hotel located directly on the beach, and the new ultra-luxe Nest Tulum hotel.

Malibu, California

Malibu and California’s sunny and not-too-humid climate are hard to beat, and weddings here at any time of year are apt to be idyllic. Known for surfing and for its modern beachfront architecture, Malibu also hits many of the right notes for a destination wedding. It’s beautiful, convenient, and has “locavore perks like California wines,” as St. Cyr puts it. Its regional specialties can spark great ideas for day trips and adventures or souvenirs and gifts for the wedding party.

Couples must apply for their marriage license in person at the County Clerk’s office and provide proof that both parties are single. Malibu offers numerous luxurious options for wedding venues including Calamigos Ranch in Malibu wine country and the 75-capacityStone Manor Estate in the Malibu Hills.


Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a great destination for couples who love sports. Known for its golf resorts as much as for its beaches, the Dominican Republic allows wedding parties and guests to play on world-class courses in the tropical sun. Private enclaves such as the exclusive Puntacana Resort and Club on the eastern tip of the country offer proximity to the beach, and access to the highly rated Tom Fazio-designed Corales Golf Course.

Couples choosing to marry in this picturesque beach destination must bring a number of documents prior to the wedding ceremony. These include a sworn declaration stating that they are both single and eligible to marry, a valid passport, and a copy of a foreign birth certificate that has been translated into Spanish.


Encourage your guests to make the most of their stay by planning a few optional activities.
Joseph St. Cyr President and CEO of Joseph Todd Events

Mykonos, Greece

The Greek islands are hard to top when it comes to wedding locations. One of the best known, Mykonos, has an irresistible combination of culture, food, sandy beaches, and ocean views that combine to cast a romantic spell on visitors from all over the globe. Mykonos has historical sites stretching back several millennia and spectacular beaches in equal measure, so it’s worth making schedules flexible enough for some spontaneity. “Encourage your guests to make the most of their stay by planning a few optional activities,” says St. Cyr, “and be sure to leave enough free time for them to explore on their own.”

In order to marry in Mykonos, the couple must place a notice announcing the wedding in a local Greek newspaper and foreigners must provide an official translation of their birth certificates. Luxurious wedding ceremony options include five-star boutique hotel Kivitos amnd Mykonian Royal, a luxurious hotel located above a reserved section of Elia, one of Mykonos’ famous beaches.

Kahuku, Hawaii

Hawaii offers American travelers the fun of a Pacific adventure without the need for a passport. For those on the West Coast, Hawaii is about six hours away on a direct flight. The islands that compose Hawaii are spread across 1,500 miles in the Pacific Ocean and are home to an astonishing array of plants, wildlife, and climates. A variety of beaches that cater to surfers as well as swimmers plus volcanoes, jungles, mountains, and canyons await, making Hawaii a favorite destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

In a location with so much to explore, St. Cyr recommends helping guests get their bearings. “Go the extra mile, which they have done for you,” he says, “and provide your guests with welcome-bag goodies including sweet and savory local nibbles, water, sunblock, and the wedding-weekend schedule.” Kahuku in particular is an especially lovely setting for a wedding. Its ocean vistas provide a scenic backdrop that’s both laid-back and exquisitely beautiful.

White linen and bare feet on a Hawaiian beach is a different vibe than a black-tie wedding at an Italian villa.
Joseph St. Cyr President and CEO of Joseph Todd Events

Porto Cervo, Italy

Porto Cervo offers visitors a particular variety of la dolce vita, with a leisurely pace that sets it apart from the vibrant metropolises of Milan and Rome. Yet it has everything that makes Italy the world’s romance capitol: the cuisine, the poetic language, and the beauty of the Sardinian coastline make Porto Cervo an ideal wedding destination. Established as an enclave for the the 1950s jet set by Prince Karim Aga Khan, Porto Cervo remains the premiere resort on Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda.

Home to the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, it remains a favorite of serious sailors from all over the world, and offers plenty of sights and adventure for those who prefer to remain on land, including the Maddalena Archipelago National Park and the Museo Nivola. Foreign couples intending to marry in Sardinia must bring birth certificates that have been translated into Italian, an Atto Notorio declaration from their home country which states that there are no impediments to prevent the couple from marrying, as well as a Nulla Osta which states that the couple is free to marry in Italy and must be obtained locally.

Fajardo, Puerto Rico

Like Hawaii, Puerto Rico offers US citizens a refreshing change of scenery without the need for a passport. While Old San Juan is steeped in colonial charm, the island’s tropical rainforests and extraordinary biodiversity appeal to nature lovers of all types. Fajardo, Puerto Rico is about a four-hour flight from New York City and offers outdoor activities and pure relaxation in equal measure. The El Yunque National Forest, where hikers will find waterfalls and spectacular plant life, is about 10 miles away and serves as a popular wedding venue location in the Fajardo vicinity, as does El Conquistador, a Waldorf Astoria luxury hotel.

County Cork, Ireland

For couples who crave adventure in cooler climates, Ireland offers a green, rugged landscape dotted with castles and cliffs—as well as some of the best seafood in Europe. While the cultural mecca of Dublin attracts scores of tourists, some of the quieter pockets of this picturesque country are breathtaking. County Cork at the southern tip of the island is home to numerous attractions including the famed Blarney Stone and the Royal Cork Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in the world. Visitors might even hear Irish spoken here in one of Cork’s Gaeltacht regions. Wedding parties can find both grand historic houses and fairytale cottages for hosting family and friends, such as Hayfield Manor and Castle Martyr Resort.

Couples may choose to incorporate traditional Irish rituals into their wedding ceremony for added local flavor including handfasting, where the couple is tied together to symbolize their union (handfasting is also the origin of the phrase “tying the knot”), as well as incorporating horseshoe trinkets throughout the ceremony, a traditional symbol that bestows good luck upon the couple.

Newport, Rhode Island

Newport’s Gilded Age mansions are a must-see for architecture lovers, and the city itself is every bit as charming as the colorful boats that line its busy harbors. In addition to having a fascinating history, Newport is a sophisticated foodie mecca as well as a destination that’s quite easy to reach from New York, Boston, or Philadelphia. Newport’s spectacular coastline is the ultimate backdrop for a summer wedding, and the city offers plenty of excursions for visitors to enjoy. Its grand coastal estates were designed to hug the shoreline in order to maximize water views and provide a completely secluded escape.

*Fuente: LuxuryDefined, Christie’s International Real Estate

5 Estados con potencial para el sector inmobiliario industrial

Las empresas que busquen instalar una fábrica o bodega en algún Estado, deben considerar el acceso a materias primas e insumos de producción, vías y medios de transporte, ubicación geográfica y precios.

Aunque entidades como Nuevo León, Estado de México y el Distrito federal están entre las más industrializadas del país, existen opciones con potencial para competir en el sector inmobiliario.

Datos del sitio inmobiliario Lamudi arrojan que el sector secundario apenas registró 1.1% de crecimiento promedio anual de 2008 a 2012, mientras que el Producto Interno Bruto (PIB) total nacional ha crecido en promedio un 2% por año dentro del mismo periodo.

Esto se refleja en la participación del sector en el PIB nacional, pasando del 37% en 2008 al 35% en 2012.

Aun así, algunos rubros, como el automotriz, podrían significar un mayor crecimiento dentro del sector secundario.

“La reciente llegada de Mazda a Salamanca en Guanajuato, y el próximo arribo de Audi en Puebla, BMW en San Luis Potosí, pueden reducir esta brecha” declara Edmundo Montaño, co-director del portal automotriz Carmudi en un comunicado.

El ramo aeronáutico en México ha experimentado una aceleración en Querétaro, Chihuahua, Sonora y Baja California, que se traducirá en un crecimiento del 15% de las exportaciones del rubro, equivalente a un 6,300 millones de dólares, según datos de la Federacion Mexicana de la Industria Aeronáutica.

Al ver  potencial de crecimiento del sector en México, instalar una fábrica o una bodega, pueden ser considerados, según  José María Pertusa, director del portal inmobiliario Lamudi,  como “una decisión estratégica de negocios en la que deben considerarse el acceso a materias primas e insumos de producción, vías y medios de transporte, ubicación geográfica y precios”.

¿Quiénes son los Estados promesa del sector inmobiliario?

Estos son los 5 estados  con mayor potencial inmobiliario según Lamudi.

1.- Baja California. Por ubicación fronteriza con los Estados Unidos, el estado puede ser una buena alternativa. Su cercanía con el estado de California es una excelente oportunidad de negocios, pues el PIB de California es equivalente al de Rusia, de acuerdo con el Buró de Análisis Económico de los Estados Unidos y el Fondo Monetario Internacional.

2.- Coahuila. La cercanía con Estados Unidos juega un papel crucial aquí, gracias a su cercanía con Texas, cuyo PIB es equivalente al de España. Por otra parte, su cercanía con Nuevo León y con la región agroindustrial del Bajío le proporcionan una ubicación estratégica, vital para los sectores automotriz, siderúrgico y de electrónicos, entre otros.

3.- Guanajuato. Con una industria creciente y diversificada en sus ciudades, como el calzado y textil en León, petroquímica y automotriz en Salamanca, agroindustrial en Celaya e Irapuato, por mencionar algunos ejemplos, así como su posición privilegiada en el centro geográfico del país en la región del Bajío, Guanajuato es otro de los estados con mayor potencial.

4.- Querétaro. Aquí entran en juego diversos factores, como una ubicación privilegiada entre el Bajío y el Distrito Federal, la especialización en determinados sectores como el aeroespacial sin dejar de lado los rubros tradicionales, así como el apoyo estatal en términos de educación e infraestructura, sobresaliendo la Universidad Aeronáutica en Querétaro.

5.-  Veracruz. En su territorio se encuentra el segundo puerto de México; sin embargo, también entran en juego su acceso a diversas materias primas gracias a la riqueza natural del estado, así como su cercanía con estados petroleros como Campeche, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, además de la existencia de este recurso energético dentro del  Estado.

Geografía industrial

Te presentamos la infografía de Lamudi sobre estos estados emergentes del sector inmobiliario industrial.

*Fuente: Forbes México / Lamudi

Foto: Lamudi

Torre Reforma, la más segura y sustentable


A siete años de su proyección, el edificio muestra un avance de 70%. Contará con estacionamiento robótico, luminarias ecológicas e infraestructura diseñada especialmente para resistir siniestros y hasta disminuir el estrés.

El Distrito Federal tendrá el rascacielos más alto, que contará con 57 pisos y con un sistema de evacuación único en su tipo, donde los elevadores funcionarán en caso de incendio o temblores y servirán como refugio hasta por tres horas para desalojar a las personas.

Se trata de la Torre Reforma, cuya construcción inició hace siete años y se concluirá en diciembre de este 2015, con un periodo de vida de aproximadamente 100 años.

El arquitecto Benjamín Romano, responsable del proyecto Torre Reforma, habla de una construcción “audaz y única, al contemplar estrategias de sustentabilidad que la colocan a la vanguardia”.

Durante un recorrido se constató que actualmente la obra tiene un avance de 70%, es decir, 43 pisos ya están construidos.

En cada nivel del edificio se ubica un refugio que forma parte del área del elevador. Se trata de una zona cuadrada donde se logrará presurizar el aire para que no entre el humo y afecte físicamente a las personas, además contará con teléfono, cámara de video, rociadores contra incendio. También permitirá que la gente descienda por el elevador sin riesgo.

Será la primera edificación que permitirá a la ciudad de México tener un ahorro de hasta 7 millones 100 mil litros de agua potable al año, toda vez que 100% del agua de descarga del edificio será reutilizada.

Es uno de los primeros corporativos del país en obtener la certificación LEED Platino, que garantiza los más altos estándares de sustentabilidad a nivel internacional desde la construcción hasta el funcionamiento.

Tendrá 26 elevadores, un montacargas e tres metros de profundidad y será erigida y fortificada con más de 10 mil toneladas de acero.

‘Blindaje’ anti siniestros

A diferencia de otros inmuebles de magnitud similar ubicados en la zona de Reforma —como la Torre de Bancomer—, ésta no requiere de amortiguadores sísmicos.

Por estándares de seguridad fueron instaladas cuatro articulaciones sísmicas diseñadas para mitigar cualquier movimiento telúrico. Esto quiere decir que el edificio se moverá, pero de manera controlada.

Su estructura de concreto permite disipar las vibraciones sísmicas, además los muros en los cuales se aprecian algunas grietas contribuirán a liberar la energía. Estas rendijas forman parte del diseño y se podrán disfrutar visualmente en los costados.

Torre Reforma tendrá una arquitectura tectónica mexicana, una altura de 244 metros que superará a la Torre Mayor y por ende será el edificio más alto en la capital del país.

Hasta el momento se desconoce quién es el dueño de este inmueble, pero se sabe que el propósito inicial de esta construcción es transformar el concepto de espacio en oficinas.

Espacio multifuncional

El edificio es una planta diáfana donde no hay ni una sola columna, ésta es otra de las peculiaridades de la obra.

Será de uso corporativo, habrá locales comerciales y un área deportiva. El inmueble podrá ser utilizado por vecinos de la zona y no será de uso exclusivo para el personal del edificio.

Cinco pisos se asignarán para el área deportiva, la cual será manejada por una empresa privada; contará con una alberca semiolímpica, vapor y sauna, mientras que un piso será de ámbito comercial y los 51 restantes para oficinas ejecutivas en renta.

El inmueble es que está diseñado para albergar locales desde 100 metros cuadrados hasta 20 ó 40 mil.

Benjamín Romano, responsable del proyecto desde su inicio —hace siete años—, asegura que la torre está preparada para albergar a 4 mil 600 personas, es decir, una persona por cada 12 metros cuadrados.

En la obra laboran casi 400 personas entre ingenieros, soldadores, plomeros, obreros, alumineros y eléctricos, además de doce arquitectos y el mismo número de diseñadores. Son hombres 90% del personal y 10% mujeres.

“Uno de los retos, que se me hace muy interesante es lograr una estructura única sin columnas y que en este espacio el usuario pueda estar con una mejor calidad de vida. Es muy fácil diseñar una caja de zapatos ¡y pobrecitos a los que les tocó en el centro de la caja! pero aquí todos tienen un gran espacio y una gran vista”, resalta Romano.

Menciona que fue una empresa inglesa, que cuenta con los edificios más emblemáticos del mundo —como el CCTV en Pekín, China—, la que se encargó de orientarlos.


Rafael Viñoly deja su marca en el cielo de Nueva York

19453El arquitecto Rafael Viñoly quiere tocar el cielo con el edificio 432 Park en Nueva York. Los apartamentos más baratos cuestan US$ 7 millones y el penthouse del último piso se vendió en US$ 95 millones. (Lun, 09 Feb 2015)

En la mesa de dibujo y bajo el lápiz creativo del arquitecto uruguayo nació el rascacielos 432 Park Avenue, el edificio residencial más alto del hemisferio occidental y el tercer edificio más alto de Estados Unidos. Las obras están previstas finalizar este año.

Con 96 pisos y 425 metros de altura, la delgada torre ya se puede apreciar desde toda Nueva York. El proyecto es uno de los más prominentes en la carrera de Viñoly, oriundo de Montevideo. Hoy, su oficina ocupa dos amplios pisos de casi 2.800 metros cuadrados en total. La entrada está decorada con modelos en miniatura de proyectos anteriores, como el Aeropuerto Internacional de Carrasco, en Uruguay, y el Centro de Convenciones David L. Lawrence, en Pittsburgh, EE.UU. Entre medio hay modelos que compitieron en concursos que no ganó, como un paso peatonal elevado en Columbus Circle, en Nueva York.

Viñoly afirma que hoy hay demasiados arquitectos interesados en construir edificios que están de moda, una tendencia peligrosa, advierte, considerando la permanencia de la arquitectura. Opina que la gente debe visitar una estructura para sentirla de forma apropiada; un edificio no debería ser evaluado a través de las fotos. Algo que pasa muy a menudo hoy, lamenta, ante la proliferación de las críticas y el marketing. “En la actualidad, los edificios son recirculados y se vuelven conocidos y valorados, y también son juzgados en base a una experiencia que no es tridimensional”.


Aunque su edificio se encumbra por sobre la arquitectura que lo rodea, sostiene Viñoly, su forma de cuadrados superpuestos es apropiada para el estilo del vecindario. “Es diferente sin ser diferente”, argumenta.

Al arquitecto uruguayo le gusta pensar en la vida histórica de sus proyectos. “La arquitectura es el único medio que no se puede apagar”, expresa. “Puedes ir al cine o no, y puedes leer un libro o no, pero con (los edificios) no tienes escapatoria”. Eso les confiere a los arquitectos una responsabilidad seria, razón por la cual Viñoly opina que sus colegas deberían desempeñarse más como traductores que guionistas, es decir deberían transmitir una visión para una ciudad, no imponer su estilo. “Todos se ofenden cuando digo eso”, reconoce, pero postula que los arquitectos que intentan imprimirle su sello a todos sus edificios ignoran que “en lo que trabajas no tiene absolutamente nada que ver con esta universalidad del marketing”.

“La buena indicación de que tuviste la suficiente suerte con lo que has hecho es cuando la gente se siente empoderada (y) muy feliz” con el producto final, explica. “La buena arquitectura te eleva”, enfatiza.

Viñoly ya tiene residencias en EE.UU., Reino Unido y Sudamérica; ahora diseña el primer edificio que usará sólo para él y su familia, incluidos su esposa, tres hijos y nietos. La ubicación de este proyecto es un secreto. Afirma que el proceso de diseño fue incluso “mejor que el psicoanálisis”. Por primera vez, se permitió pensar en lo que quería diseñar para su propio uso. La casa tiene una forma alargada y curva, y todas las habitaciones tienen vista a las montañas y el mar, adelantó..


Rafael Viñoly


Behold the ‘Al Noor Tower’: Soon to be the Tallest Skyscraper in Africa



“Al Noor Tower” (Tower of Light)—slated to begin construction in Casablanca next June—will become the tallest skyscraper in Africa, dethroning the current holder of this distinction, Johannesburg’s 223-meter-high Carlton Centre. The tower is part of a larger project from Dubai-based Middle East Development, “Al Noor City“ (The City of Lights).

Designed by Valode & Pistre, the highly symbolic skyscraper—expected to cost $1 billion—will soar 540 meters high to represent the 54 African countries, and will have 114 floors to reflect the number of chapters found in the Koran. Its facade has been designed as a pixilated representation of Africa’s one thousand languages.

Expected to be completed in 2018, Al Noor will cover a massive area of approximately 3,229,173 square feet, and will contain a 200-suite luxury hotel; a trading platform; a conference hall; and a large art gallery, in addition to a staggering 100-meter-tall atrium that hollows the tower’s base.

The tower’s website states, “The design of Al Noor Tower is elegant and gives the feeling of a wedding dress. From the side, the tower looks like a fountain pen, which is the tool that Sheikh Tarek is using to design the future. The height of the tower is 540 meters to remind us that Africa has 54 countries. Everyone in Africa will feel part of that tower.”


Images and information courtesy of ArchDaily and Inhabitat 


Paradise Found: Underwater City ‘Ocean Spiral’ Recalls Atlantis


By Keith Flamer

Finally, the lost city of Atlantis has been discovered—at least in the imagination of Shimizu Corporation, an ambitious Japanese construction company. Instead of searching for fictional Atlantis, the company plans to build a new water world by 2030.

Shimizu’s dream concept, Ocean Spiral, is a self-sustaining, eco-friendly underwater city (fit to accommodate 5,000 people) that spirals and winds down 2.5 miles beneath the ocean’s surface to the seabed, where the complex can harvest all necessary energy from natural resources—like a plant feeding on nutrient-rich soil. ‘Ocean Spiral’ is a self-sustaining underwater city concept designed to accommodate up to 5,000 people.

The underwater community is sheltered inside of a watertight floating dome that’s one-third of a mile in diameter and umbilically attached to a nine-mile long resin helical structure that twists and descends to the ocean floor—creating what’s called an “earth factory.” Powered by generators along the helix and microorganisms, this factory converts carbon dioxide into methane and regulates temperature differences in seawater to produce additional energy (a process called ocean thermal energy conversion). The undersea complex would harvest its own energy from natural resources on the ocean floor.

Like any other city, Ocean Spiral would feature business and residential zones, commercial areas, and hotels to accommodate visiting tourists. Seawater in residential zones would be desalinated using hydraulic pressure, and the dome would submerge farther below water during bad weather conditions.

It’s not literally Atlantis, the mythical lost island described by ancient Greek philosopher Plato as being “beyond the pillars of Hercules,” but in reality, it would take a Herculean effort for Shimizu Corp. to construct Ocean Spiral by its 2030 target date (which includes five years of construction and many more years for advanced technology to become available). The project’s estimated price tag is $25 billion.

The watertight floating dome is one-third of a mile in diameter and features a hotel and lush green landscapes.

If this all sounds too fantastic, consider Egypt’s ancient pyramids at Giza, the Great Wall of China, and the first Moon landing in 1969. They seemed impossible too. It appears technology is finally catching up to Jacques Cousteau’s ingenuity. The French oceanographer (and marine conservationist and developer of the Aqualung), who opened our eyes to ocean wildlife, had a similar vision more than 50 years ago.

In the 1960s, Cousteau’s Continental Shelf Stations (a.k.a. “Conshelfs”) were the first experimental underwater habitats, designed as human research hubs to observe sea life. Conshelf I (constructed in 1962 and submerged in 10 meters of water near Marseilles, France) was the first inhabited underwater colony, sheltering two aquanauts for seven days beneath the surface of the Mediterranean. Cousteau later abandoned underwater habitat exploitation in favor of conservation.

In the residential area, the complex would offer the usual amenities for living, exercise, entertainment and lounging. Water in this zone would be desalinated via hydraulic pressure.

‘Ocean Spiral’ would also feature business and commercial zones.
Momentum for underwater habitat’s eventually slowed as it coincided with humankind’s greater fascination with the Cold War space race. Add in the allure of UFO and alien conspiracies, the film 2001 A Space Odessy, and later, panic over the 1975 film Jaws, water exploration drifted to the background.

According to Tech Times, Ocean Spiral was an inspired response to rising sea levels that threaten land communities worldwide. The concept reimagines the vast deep seas as new real estate territories for accommodating human life. These habitats can be replicated as necessary wherever people choose to live. As they say, location location location.

Ocean Spiral habitats (like these) can be replicated and occupy various oceans and seas like real estate in different cities.

Ocean Spiral isn’t the first undersea project, but perhaps the most ambitious. The Poseidon Undersea Resort in Katafinga Island in Fiji has delayed its opening since 2008 while the Hydropolis in Dubai, United Arab Emirates was already shelved.

Tokyo-based Shimizu Corp. is known for its dream project proposals where imagination supersedes practicality. The company’s other concepts include: a lunar-powered generator called Luna Ring; TRY 2025, a floating botanical city island; TRY 2004, a hovering pyramid city 2,000 meters in the air; and Space Hotel.

Tourists would be able to visit Ocean Spiral just like any other major city.
The company claims Ocean Spiral is more than a dream concept: it’s a blueprint. The concept was developed in partnership with Tokyo University and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.

It’s human nature to reach as high, far or deep as possible. All that’s necessary is an overactive imagination and a fearless will to try something impossible—whether it’s one small step for mankind in outer space or one league under the sea.

Renderings courtesy of Dezeen


Zaha Hadid’s ‘Grace on Coronation’ Residential in Australia Outrages Locals


By Stephanie Broke Friedman

Zaha Hadid is once again causing an uproar with her latest development project, Grace on Coronation—three matching residential towers referred to as “the champagne flutes.”

Set to ‘grace’ the waterfront in Toowong, Australia, the trio will contain 486 apartments, eight villas, and an interconnecting landscaped park, all encased in the colorless swooping web—Hadid’s trademark style effect. Many locals are said to be upset with the proposed development as it clashes with the area’s historic architecture and exceeds the city’s 15-story height limit.

“The design tapers each structure to minimize their footprints and open the riverfront to the public; creating a vibrant civic space for Toowong within a new riverside park,” commented Hadid, referring to the architects’ incorporation of grass-topped wedges on the ground-level. Critics of the projects point out that it is unlikely that these wedges will provide truly “vibrant civic spaces” as access to these “parks” from the street—particularly on the side furthest from the riverfront—is restricted by the 15-foot concrete walls.

Regardless of the development’s true functionality, the developers who contracted ZHA for this project are confident that there will be no shortage of buyers scooping up the ultra-expensive luxury residences when they hit the market.

Subject to receiving planning approval, the buildings’ construction is slated to begin in 2015.




This $118.5 Million Ritz-Carlton Penthouse Duplex is the Most Expensive Condo in Lower Manhattan


By: Kristin Tablang

Nest Seekers International broker Ryan Serhant’s newest listing—a 15,434-square-foot property in the Ritz-Carlton—has officially shattered the record for priciest apartment in lower Manhattan with an eye-popping $118 million price tag.

Occupying the top two floors of the 40-story Ritz Carlton in Battery Park, the resplendent property is comprised of three neighboring units—a four-bedroom, five-bath duplex owned by financier Randall Yanker, previously listed for $19 million, and two apartments owned by Five Star Electric’s Gary Segal, one of which is a 7,600-square-foot pad that was put on the market for $56.5 million last year. The phenomenal trio boasts magnificent views of the Hudson River, the Statue of Liberty, and One World Trade Center.

The “Million Dollar Listing” star has reportedly shown the gilded condo—located at 10 West Street—to a number of potential buyers, and has already been receiving offers well within the ballpark of the nine-figure asking.


Patronage Laïque: Paris


Located on the corner of Avenue Felix Faure and rue Tisserand, the building sits in the varied environment of the Boucicaut development zone with its orthogonal buildings and Haussmannian vestiges which dot this neighbourhood with industrial accents.

Occupying the typical Parisian street-corner lot, the building marks the neighbourhood with its luminescent front facade day and night. The building succeeds in extending several distinct levels while remaining in the same envelope, integrating two identities in a principle of uniqueness; the public program of Patronage Laïque and the private housing units.

The public facility and the housing enjoy two distinct entrances. The Patronage opens wide onto Avenue Felix Faure and rises one storey from the ground floor. Its glassed-in atrium extends the public space within the building while enabling neighbours and the passers-by to glimpse at activities happening in the building. The residence has a more discrete side entrance on rue Tisserand and extends from the second storey to the fifth. The ground-level entrance on Avenue Felix Faure anchors the facility to the ground and the neighbourhood, endowing it the same informal, homely presence of a corner cafe. Up above, two recessed facades rise on either side of a high gap that looks down on the glass ceiling over the entrance lobby. This signpost for the project is treated in translucent white glass with opalescent reflections. The 4-storey facade along rue Tisserand is treated in glazed concrete, the metallic reflections of which wed with the interior glazing. Its cadence is established by rectangular windows of varying dimensions and a recessed volume creating irregular modules.

Patronage Laïque’s reception is conceived like a covered public space. The program is housed on the ground floor, the technical mezzanine and the first floor all of which are articulated around the double-height atrium. This generous open space and hallways spoke off the lobby and have been designed to be occupied in a personal and informal way by users outside of the activity’s constructed framework. Giving more than what is demanded by the program in order to foster encounters between users is a way to conserve the important social strength and identity of this place which is above all friendly and generous. On both the ground floor and upper floor these buffer spaces are given over to the collective imagination.

Beyond the computer area and cafeteria on the ground floor is the space of the multi-purpose hall, a space for entertainment with a stage, a control booth, dressing rooms and a small backstage. This space is designed as a genuine “box” in the project’s larger “box” and as such enjoys optimized acoustics. Its walls are lined with light, grooved acoustic wooden panels that bathe the hall in a warm atmosphere. The hall is composed of two colours: light-coloured panels for the flooring and stage, and darker tones for the balcony and control room. Stored under the stage, seats slide into the hall on rails, a very compact set-up enabling multiple uses (neighbourhood get-togethers, teas or buffets, ballroom dance floor, etc.) and an increased capacity for adding more seats if needed.
On the first floor the program includes numerous activity rooms and Patronage’s offices. A patio provides natural light to the art room and the floor’s access hallway. Finally a large room with warm tones offers space for dance, yoga and low-impact gymnastics.

With its additional spaces, one of the project’s strong suit lies in its southern exposure from the plot’s inner courtyard. Offset from the plot’s boundary, the building frees up a patio at the heart of the block. Instead of a blind gable end–a sad vis-à-vis for the neighbourhood–the neighbours are offered a facade of access balconies, sometimes open, sometimes opaque. The access balconies that serve the three dwelling levels weave their way in the open air with the architects avoiding the pitfall of a poorly lit service hallway.

The living units combine a working wall (storage, kitchen, and office) and naturally lit and ventilated bathrooms. Generous operable glazing animates the studio space, the floor areas of which vary from 19 to 23 square meters. A community terrace on the building’s fourth floor overlooks Paris and dominates the preconceived ideas of joint ownership in social housing, whilst circumventing the prospect rules makes it possible to offer each unit a private terrace.

Patronage Laïque Community Centre and Social Housing, Paris
Program: Multi-purpose Association Facilities and a 30-unit low-cost housing
Architects: MAB Arquitectura + LAPS Architecture
Consultancy: AIA (structure), NOBLE (fluids, economy, environment), AIDA (acoustic), Vulcaneo (security-access)
General contractor: SRC
Client: Régie Immobilière de la Ville de Paris
Area: 1,834 sqm
Completion: Mars 2014


Apartamento P1: Ciudad de México


Este apartamento está situado en la Ciudad de México, justo en la última planta de un edificio de 10 pisos. Es un ático dúplex de 600m2 que tiene una privilegiada panorámica urbana, está desarrollado con una distribución de amplias estancias, y cuenta con un acabado repleto de materiales nobles (principalmente madera).

Las vistas a la ciudad no solo son accesibles desde la terraza-jardín, también desde cualquier otra habitación de la casa, ya que el edificio presenta una fachada muy acristalada. La madera se ha utilizado como pavimento, pero también la podemos ver en los peldaños de la elegante escalera que conduce a los dormitorios, en el parapeto que protege el hueco a doble altura sobre el salón principal, y en numerosos muebles, siendo algunos de ellos auténticas piezas maestras del diseño internacional.

El Apartamento P1 es también es una buena fuente de inspiración a la hora de buscar una moderna decoración de salas y de interiores.