The Architecture of Europe

My London Journey | The New Emblem of London

IMG_3290_1If you ask me to pick only one favorite modern building from the beautiful London maybe I would say the Shard! The pyramidal glass tower is currently the tallest building in the European Union. The 87-storey mixed use skyscraper, complete with offices, apartments, a hotel and spa, retail areas, restaurants and a public viewing gallery was designed by the famous Italian architect Renzo Piano and replaced Southwark Towers, a 24-storey office block built in 1975. Standing approximately 309 metres high, the Shard is currently the third most expensive skyscraper in the world.

In 2014 the Shard has been awarded Emporis Skyscraper Award. The jury praised the Shard’s “unique glass fragment-shaped form and its sophisticated architectural implementation”, resulting in “a skyscraper that is recognized immediately and which is already considered London’s new emblem.”
Read more about the building here: archdailyIMG_0711_1Photographs are taken by me.


My London Journey | W Hotel

IMG_0198

Architects: Jestico + Whiles
Location: Leicester Square, London, England
Photography: thealzblog
(The photographs are taken with my phone that’s why quality is not good.)IMG_0173
“The façade of the hotel has been wrapped in a second skin of frameless glazing, which is suspended from the face of the building like a floating sheer veil and etched with an undulating, abstract pattern, reminiscent of the folds in a theatre curtain and evoking the cinematic legacy of the locale.
Jestico + Whiles’ design allows for the façade of the building to function like a vast pixellated screen capable of projecting dynamic light installations during the hours of darkness. This striking visual effect is achieved by a sophisticated ceramic frit applied to the optically corrected glass of building’s outer skin, allowing it to ‘hold’ and project the light, without obstructing views outwards from the guestroom windows.”

For more information and HQ pictures please visit archdaily.com.


Explore Sofia | Church of St. George

The Church of St. George is considered the oldest building in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. It was built in the beginning of the 4th century AD during the reign of the roman emperor Constantine the Great.IMG_6555IMG_6724The temple is situated in the courtyard of the Government Office and Sheraton Hotel.IMG_6725IMG_6730(I had to take picture of this beautiful door!)IMG_6731IMG_6727It is a cylindrical domed structure, built on a square base. Its width is about 9.5 meters in diameter and its height is about 14 meters.IMG_6531 Old versus new.IMG_6545 IMG_6544Originally the building was used for public purposes. After the recognition of Christianity as a religion in the Roman Empire, the rotunda became a baptistery (a building for conversion to Christianity), due to the many conversions, following the authorization of this religion.IMG_6542IMG_6551At the time of Emperor Justinian the Great (reigned 527 – 565) the Rotunda was transformed into a church. The first wall painting was made in the same period.IMG_6553IMG_6546During the Ottoman rule the Rotunda St. George was transformed into a mosque. The Christian paintings on the walls were obliterated with white plaster and in their place were painted floral motifs. IMG_6537IMG_6534(I found this piece on the ground.)IMG_6557The main entranceIMG_6556After the liberation of Bulgaria in 1878 the Rotunda was deserted, and after the death of Prince Alexander Battenberg it was transformed into a mausoleum.IMG_6560 IMG_6559Information: wikipedia and bulgariatravel
Photographs are by me.


Explore Sofia | Ivan Vazov National Theatre

IMG_6516-2Hey everyone! Explore Sofia is a new topic on my blog. I’ve decided that it’s high time to write about Sofia, after all it’s my hometown. So, I grabbed my small not professional Canon and went for a long walk along Sofia’s streets. I took plenty of pictures, which means there will be many articles. 😉
I hope that you will welcome the idea!
IMG_6753IMG_6756 Named after the prominent Bulgarian poet, novelist and playwright Ivan Vazov, the National Theatre is the oldest and most authoritative theatre in the country and one of the major landmarks of Sofia as well.IMG_6469 IMG_6468The theatre’s Neoclassical building was designed by famous Austrian architects Hermann Helmer and Ferdinand Fellner and built in 1906. Beside Ivan Vazov Theatre, Helmer and Fellner together designed over 200 buildings, mainly theatres and apartment buildings across Europe in the late 19th century and early 20th century.
IMG_6489IMG_6505IMG_6503The large pediment, supported on six white marble columns, depicts Apollo and the Muses. The twin towers on either side of the building are crowned with sculptures of the goddess Nike in a chariot.IMG_6466 IMG_6464The Ivan Vazov National Theatre has a well-equipped main stage with 750 seats, a smaller 120-seat stage and an additional 70-seat one on the fourth floor. It employes some of the country’s best actors and stage directors and performs Bulgarian as well as international plays.IMG_6499IMG_6497An old photograph of the theatre.The fountain and its reflecting pool were built in 1976, and have recently been restored. If the weather is good, the area in front of the theatre is full of people of any ages and men playing chess. IMG_6743IMG_6750IMG_6751

links: wikipediasofia-guidevisitbulgaria


Coast Path Staircase

The staircase that left me breathless! ♥
Link: dezeen
Architects: Gillespie Yunnie Architects
Photographs: Richard Downer


Capri Island | Amalfi Coast, Southern Italy

The Amalfi Coast is a stretch of coastline on the southern coast of the Sorrentine Peninsula in the Province of Salerno in Southern Italy. It’s a popular tourist destination for the region and Italy as a whole, attracting thousands of tourists annually. In 1997, the Amalfi Coast was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a cultural landscape.
Amalfi Coast Map
 © 2006 by James Martin
In the 1950s Capri Island became a popular destination. In summer, the island is heavily visited by tourists, especially by day trippers from Naples and Sorrento.
Map of Capri by Morn the Gorn

Marina Grande is the main port of the island. Photograph: Wade 48Marina Piccola is the south harbor. Photograph: The Blue Grotto is one of the symbols of Capri. It’s one of several sea caves, worldwide, that is flooded with a brilliant blue light. Sunlight, passing through an underwater cavity and shining through the seawater, creates a blue reflection that illuminates the cavern.
Photograph: Frédéric de Goldschmi

Via Krupp is a historic switchback paved footpath, built between 1900 and 1902.
Photographs: 1.Averain 2. kudumomo, 3. roportalPiazza Umberto I (or La Piazzetta) is the most famous square of the island. It’s located in the historic center of Capri. Photograph: Elenagm
Faraglioni are one of the island’s natural wonders. Photograph: Wikipedia
Certosa di San Giacomo is a 14th century monastery near the town of Capri.
Photograph: fotoeweb.it
Caprisuite is a small charming hotel consists of only two rooms, both with private bathrooms. The rooms enjoy the exclusive use of certain areas: the inner courtyard for romantic dinners in garden, the lodge for breakfast time and the living room with its fireplace. (There are many hotels on the island, but I loved the design of this one.)
Photographs: caprisuite.it , facebook.com/capri.suite


Information: Wikipedia and About.com


Favorite Architects | OAB

www.ferrater.com

AA Origami House
Location: Barcelona, Spain | Construction: 2006 – 2010
Photographs: © Alejo Bagué
Science Park
Location: Granada, Spain | Construction: 2004 – 2008
Photographs: © Alejo Bagué New Headquarter of Group Azahar
Location: Carretera nacional 340 Castellón, Spain | Construction: 2004 – 2009
Photographs: © Alejo Bagué Roca Barcelona Gallery
Location: Barcelona, Spain | Construction: 2008 – 2009
Photographs: © Alejo Bagué
Benidorm West Beach Prominade
Location: Benidorm, Spain | Construction: 2005 – 2009
Photographs: © Alejo Bagué
House for a Photographer II
Location: Pº del Mar. Casas de Alcanar (Tarragona) Spain
Construction: 2003-2006
Photographs: © Alejo BaguéEMPORDÀ GOLF H&R
Location: Gualta, Girona | Construction: 2005-2007
Photographs: © Alejo Bagué


Favorite Architects | Edouard François

Edouard François is a French architect. Read more about him: EdouardFrancois.com

Hotel Fouquet Barrière
Location: Paris, France | Year of completion: 2006
Photographs: Edouard François / via ArchDaily
“…In this sensitive context, both historic and ostentatious, we invented the concept of Moulé-Troué (Cast and punctured). We replicated the authentic Haussmannian facade of the block. We then applied it onto the facades, like a bas-relief from Petra. The molded casting is then pierced by large openings that are completely independent of the Haussmannian lines but very relevant to the plans and the visual comfort of the rooms. ” via EdouardFrancois.com

The Building that Grows (L’immeuble qui pousse)
Location: Montpellier, France | Year of completion: 2000
Photographs: Edouard François / via archilovers

Résidence “La Closeraie”
Location: Louviers, France | Year of completion: 2006
Photographs: Paul Raftery via archicontemporaine


Tower Flower
Location: Paris, France | Year of completion: 2004
Photography: Edouard François via archdaily
Click here to view my post about this building.


Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2012

This year’s Serpentine Pavilion is an underground amphitheatre designed by Herzog & de Meuron with Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.
Photography: © Iwan Baan via Serpentine Gallery© 2012, by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei


Residential Projects by Gus Wüstemann Architects

Check out their official website here.

Location: Gemeinde am Zürichsee
Year: 2008
Photography: Bruno Helbling

Location: El Barri Gòtic, Barcelona
Year: 2009
Photography: Bruno Helbling

Location: Zürich
Photography: Bruno Helbling