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Archive for October, 2012

Home Insurance Horror Stories

Remember when Halloween was harmless fun? Trick or treat used to be a happy part of childhood, and the worst you’d get from a child whose request for treats was refused would be an idle threat.

Read the papers today though, and you’ll think anarchy has descended upon Britain’s once-quiet residential streets. Stories of feral teens slashing car tyres causing car insurance claims and taking front doors off their hinges abound. One of the most devious we’ve heard involved a group of children picking up a small car and rotating it in such a way that it became impossible for the car’s owner to move it.

Hopefully most of these are urban legends, but it’s certainly true that homeowners might want to make especially sure that their property is covered when gangs of children on a sugar high are roaming the streets.

So are you covered from any such damage? The answer is a fairly reassuring “probably”. Cover will vary according to the provider, but in most cases you’d likely be covered for any damage to your home as long as your home is occupied (i.e. there’s someone living there – don’t worry if you plan on popping out for the evening) and that the damage isn’t caused by people connected to you, such as family members or guests. In short: as long as you trust your own children, youshould be in the clear.

Your car, however, is a different matter. If your car is damaged, you will normally be able to make a car insurance claim. However, doing so could mean that you’ll lose your hard-earned no claims discount, which could cost you thousands. If you want to make sure that your car is protected, your best bet would be to move it out of harm’s way. If you’re lucky enough to have a garage then be sure to use it, and if you’re particularly wary of the area you’re in then it could be worth moving your car to somewhere safer for the evening.
Mind you, you could save yourself a lot of hassle by just giving the kids some sweets…

Hong Kong ‘City Gallery’ opens featuring exhibition design by MET Studio

The stunning new ‘City Gallery’ by the Planning Department of the HKSAR Government, which takes as its theme the city’s planning and infrastructure, has now opened within Hong Kong’s City Hall Annexe. London- and Hong-Kong-based experiential designers MET Studio acted as the lead exhibition consultant on the project, working in collaboration with joint venture partners Oval Partnership, whilst all architectural works were by the Architectural Services Department, HKSAR Government.

The new gallery saw the City Hall Annex building renovated and adapted from office use to become a dedicated 3,200 sq m planning exhibition venue, with the 1,500 sq m gallery created from an extension of an existing gallery space on the ground floor. As well as the permanent exhibition areas, the venue also now includes a major introductory audio visual show space, which will double as an events and seminar multi-purpose hall. There is a further new space for thematic exhibitions on the ground floor and an integrated resource centre on the fourth floor.

Badshahpur IT Park / by 10 DESIGN

Badshahpur is located in Gurgaon – one of the largest cities in the Indian state of Haryana, and a major satellite of Delhi. Gurgaon has experienced rapid development over the last 20 years; attracting both regional and global institutions to its infrastructure offering, proximity to the Capital, and for its growth as a hub of information technology, research and development, and engineering. This success has come with the support of a growing number of technology-geared educational institutions in and around the state.

CRODA in México D.F. / by usoarquitectura

The project for the redesign of Croda offices – an international company specialized in the production of chemical products with natural origins – was an interesting process in which architects Gabriel Salazar and Fernando Castañón were involved with the client to change, not only the space, but the way they work. Important modifications had to be done in the same space to generate a new environment.

To create changes from the interior it is very important have an open communication channel all the time, especially to transmit the new work trends to the entire organization. One of the main problems was changing the offices from closed to open space, which was solved by implementing bench furniture systems to increase the team work and limited filing space per person to use less paper.

Whale House in Toronto / by rzlbd

The Whale house is another spatial experiment by rzlbd, a monochromic contemporary manifesto that evolves around a central detached box painted in red standing free inside a three storey height foyer. The building appears to have swallowed the box symbolizing the contemplation space inside the spacious jaw of the whale that swallowed Jonah.

Situated in Woodbine-Lumsden Neighborhood in Toronto, the lot shares a driveway with its neighbor forcing the architect to design the house even narrower than what zoning bylaw allows. The final design is a 15 feet wide three-storey wood structure that celebrates linearity and sectional revisions.

SHH’s ‘Coach House’ Restaurant Wins the ‘Best Café or Fast Food Award’

© Alastair Lever

Coach House, the new 6,000 sq ft restaurant and café designed by SHH at one Britain’s most historic sites – Hatfield House – has just scooped the ‘Best Café or Fast Food Award’ at the UK’s prestigious Restaurant & Bar Design Awards 2012 (‘the world’s only concept of its kind dedicated exclusively to hospitality design’). SHH was also a double-winner at the awards in 2011 for Barbican Foodhall and Barbican Lounge, with all three projects created for the same client – Levy Restaurants (part of Compass Group UK & Ireland).

Liaison Cubique / by Kotaro Horiuchi Architecture

Liaison Cubique / by Kotaro Horiuchi Architecture

For a traditional Japanese restaurant in the underground commercial space under Nagoya Station, we started by analyzing the time transversal components of architecture, themes such as metric, gradation, rhythm and transparency, giving them a contemporary twist.
We used one of the primordial volumes to spur the feeling of familiarity, the cube.
By reducing it to a framed form we were able to provide it with the transparency we wanted to achieve.
This thin frame, and the graduation of the cube size and frame thickness, creates much like a veil for the facades, one that extends inside to the walls and to the ceiling, to craft a unified whole.
This veil effect is achieved just by using sheer numbers of the framed cube, providing the intended transparency with a small degree of translucency.
To improve the familiar environment, we took up a vernacular element of the Japanese culture the Shoji, which we apply to parts of the wooden lattice.

Sports Facilities And Recreation Ground ‘De Warande’ In Wetteren / by BURO II & ARCHI+I

© Filip Dujardin

Open Oproep Vlaams Bouwmeester 2008


The De Warande master plan provides a dynamic and cohesive framework for a multiplicity of activities with suffi cient fl exibility to respond to future changes and developments.

The plan focuses above all on experiencing the area as a park. A distinction has been made between two areas: a park with recreational functions along routes, and a strip with a high density of sports and relaxation functions. A large part of De Warande was behind fencing of all shapes and sizes. For much of the year a large part of De Warande is not accessible to the public. The superfl uous fences have been removed to turn De Warande back into a park.

By fencing only the lawn around the outdoor swimming pool, the park will remain open in summer to other visitors. Outside the outdoor swimming pool season, large gates in the hedge will be open to make the entire area accessible to sports enthusiasts and recreationists. The landmarks will be the impressive villa, the new sports hall, robust groups of trees and exceptional solitary spots set against a wooded background. The relationship between the different activities and the park is extremely important. Lines of sight and recreational routes through the existing landscape and architectural elements will reinforce the cohesion in the park. The trees have been positioned in a way that allows them to support the lines of sight and follow the curves in paths. This will ensure that besides its spatiality the park will also be socially safe.