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Contemporary home in Aarhus by Friis & Moltke

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Aarhus-based architectural practice, Friis & Moltke, has designed a contemporary family home located in Aarhus, Denmark. Completed in 2011, the modern home boasts spacious interiors.

According to the architects: “This functional villa is built on an undulating plot at the fringe of the forest. The spot is remarkable for the beauty of its scenery, but it also poses a challenge for the architect. The answer to this challenge is a ‘folded disc’ – design which allows you to enter the front of the house at one level, but to access the garden from the house at two levels. The contemporary house itself gives off a dynamic feeling of interaction with the plot and the landscape. To achieve this effect, the horizontal lines are complemented by a slanting roof and together they frame a pleasantly private space with respect for the surrounding nature.

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“The dominating element of the design – and the principal architectural feature of the interior of the house – is a 14.5 meters long wall, planked with oiled oak veneer. The wall is a decorative element providing warmth and texture to the house as well as a functional basis for the kitchen inventory, a cozy niche and the living room library. The oak wall creates a unique and meditative atmosphere with clear reference to the Scandinavian nature and tradition and also reveals a trace of inspiration from Japanese culture.

“All floors are coated with polished concrete and the ‘raw’ style is seen through all the way to the ceiling for which is chosen perforated acoustic plaster. Great panorama windows, spanning from floor to ceiling, invite in light and nature and create an experience of fluid transition between the inside and the outside. In the back of the living room, a special window seems to have been ‘cut out’ of the thick outer wall to the effect of making the natural scenery outside look almost like a painting. The two children’s rooms at the bottom level have windows to the garden while the master bedroom offers a secluded retreat towards the back of the house.

“A characteristic of this house is the conjugation of different materials: Stone and concrete contribute to the raw and textured qualities of the house while the oak wall brings warmth and depth and the plaster functions as a decorative acoustic ceiling.”

Images courtesy of Friis & Moltke

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Puerto Vallarta’s pride to take over old town’s romantic zone

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In 1963 Elizabeth Taylor’s extramarital affair with Richard Burton while filming in Banderas Bay put Puerto Vallarta on the map for US tourists. And ever since it has grown into a popular resort city that boasts a cosmopolitan lifestyle, pristine beaches, mountains and lush tropical jungle.

This year Puerto Vallarta’s Pride event will take place  on the weekend of 22 to 26 May, 2014. Increasing the one three-day weekend event into a week-long cultural celebration of Puerto Vallarta and its international population including music festivals, beach parties, fashion shows, mass commitment ceremony and activities in participating bars and clubs.

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The ‘romantic zone’ (aka Olas Altas) within the Old Town is where the celebrations are being planned. And this is where you can find a high concentration of LGBT-owned and gay friendly businesses. There are a plethora of gay friendly resorts, hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts and guest houses in the area.

Described as a mystical destination that combines the richness of Mexico’s tradition with innovation of the 21st-century. This rich contrast has created a beachside cosmopolitan city against the backdrop of the Sierra Madre along the Pacific coast.

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With 27 miles of coastline, there is plenty of space to allow you be in the throng of thongs or enjoy a secluded beach just for two. For adrenalin junkies, the destination offers exciting thrills extreme sports and water activities including whale watching, swimming with dolphins, zip lining through the jungle canopy, and more.

While cities around the world proclaim themselves as ‘gay friendly’, Puerto Vallarta has focused on offering a distinctly Vallarta experience to the gay traveller. And is dubbed as the ‘San Francisco of Mexico’, due to its friendly atmosphere.

Puerto Vallarta Pride takes place between 22-26 May, 2014, vallartapride.com and visitpuertovallarta.com

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Contemporary Hideg House by Béres Architects

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Budapest-based architectural practice, Béres Architects, has designed the Hideg House project. Completed in 2013, the chic family home is located in Koszeg, Hungary.

Hideg House is an unusual home in the landscape on the outskirts of Koszeg, a quaint historical town in Hungary.

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The site had been used as a quarry for more than a 100 years, so the exposed rock face was one of the strongest elements of the environment. In order to get enough direct sunlight all-year-long and to stay close to the sculptural cliffs, the building had been placed about 10 meters above the road that runs along the bottom of the valley.

This project is a first for Attila Béres and Jusztina Balázs. The young architecture firm started the design of this building in 2009 when the client found the architect’s details in international design magazine, Wallpaper’s graduate Directory – an annual list of talented architects.

Images courtesy of Tamás Bujnovszky

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Stylish Riggins House by Robert M. Gurney Architect

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Washington-based architectural practice, Robert M. Gurney Architect, has designed the Riggins House project. The luxury family home, which is located in Maryland boasts open plan living and bright interior design.

According to the architects: “Located in Cabin John, Maryland, this 4,900 square foot house is sited at the end of a manicured lawn, and looks over the edge of a steeply sloping wooded site adjacent to the C&O Canal and the Potomac River. A light-filled double height circulation axis separates the house’s main volumes, while transverse axes further organize the spaces.

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“Glass and steel bridges cross the circulation space to connect the volumes on the second floor. Primary living spaces bounded by large expanses of glass are oriented towards the river, while secondary spaces open to the lawn.

“Large overhangs shield glazing from solar gain in the summer and provide space for outdoor living, even in inclement weather. Combined with geothermal HVAC, day lighting, and operable windows and doors to provide cross ventilation, the house remains energy efficient despite employing its large amount of glass.

Interior design is minimally detailed. Finishes include honed and chiseled Pompeii stone, ash flooring, walnut millwork and white marble countertops. The interior is designed to allow views toward the woods and river to provide the primary visual experience.”

Images courtesy of Maxwell MacKenzie

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Modern villa Costa d’en Blanes, Portals Nous, Mallorca

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This recently-built modern but elegant villa is located in one of the most coveted residential addresses in southwest Mallorca – Costa d’en Blanes – known for its stunning beaches and prestigious golf courses.

Close to golf courses and just a couple of minutes from chic Puerto Portals, this home has been designed by famous architects and has lovely sea views.

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The property is arranged over two floors, with the addition of a spacious basement with garaging for several cars, and all are connected by a lift.

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At ground floor is an entrance hall with lush planted patio, four bedrooms, two en-suite and the master with a dressing room, and a further bathroom. Each bedroom has stunning views to the manicured Mediterranean-style gardens. Also at this level is a utility room and a studio/library that could be converted into a fifth en-suite bedroom.

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The first floor hosts a bright living-dining area with open-plan Bulthaup kitchen leading to large terraces enjoying those coastal views. Outside there is a large swimming pool and Jacuzzi with self-cleaning system.

This five bedrooms, four bathrooms villa boasts a built area of 517m² and Plot size of 1,088m².

To buy this home or for further information, visit mallorca-sothebysrealty.com 

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Contemporary Loft MM by C.T Architects in Belgium

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Bilzen-based architectural practice, C.T. Architects, has designed the Loft MM project. Completed in 2012, the contemporary home is located in in Bilzen, Belgium.

This remodeling of a small ground floor storage space come garage into a micro-loft sits within an existing historic shophouse that was completely converted in the early 1990s into a contemporary apartment building.

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According to the architects: ” Arranged within a 3m wide by 30m long space, the apartment features the familiar succession of increasingly private spaces: living room, dining area, a narrow hallway with the kitchen on one side and the bathroom on the other, and at the end the bedroom/study. It is one open-plan area – a sequence of living and dining spaces all open to each other. They are shielded as well as connected by wooden sliding panels, creating a flowing interior space defined by two solid elements which accommodate auxiliary functions. Daylight enters both from the windows facing the street and through the sliding doors that lead seamlessly out onto a patio situated half underground at the back of the project. Each of these areas are designed not as separate compartments but as an evolving sequence of spaces, articulated to take advantage of the endlessly shifting qualities of natural light and the existing views towards the vibrant street life.”

Images courtesy of Tim Van de Velde

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