This panoramic view cabin keeps bugs out using a unique Japanese technique

I am obsessing over outdoor cabins since we are all stuck indoors. My favorites are the ones like LUMIPOD because they bring the vastness of nature into your cabin through the thoughtfully designed structure and, in this case, creative windows! We all know windows are a true blessing in quarantine and LUMIPOD seems to have the one so large its basically a door into the wild.

The LUMIPOD are a series of prefabricated cabins that are installed 1000m above sea level in the French Alps (here is when you start planning your post-pandemic getaway) so you can only imagine how pristine the views are. To do the French Alps justice, the design team built the structure with one aim – giving you a fully immersive experience of being in nature with a luxurious upgrade. The most unique feature about this cabin is its LUMICENE windows – the curved window provides a 180º view and makes you feel like you are in a snow globe. The window is set in aluminum frames sliding between two rails so you can blend the indoors and outdoors by simply opening the window.

The circular cabin measures 5.45 m with interiors specifically designed to resemble a high-end hotel. The structure is made from steel to provide top grade stability that is required by the LUMICINE windows. Another interesting feature about this house is how it keeps the insects away – the exterior has been wrapped in Douglas fir which has been charred using a Japanese technique (shou-sugi-ban) proven to keep bugs outside your bedroom! The interiors have earthy tones because of the light oak and merino wool usage which provide a warm ambience while also keeping the cabin literally warm through their insulation properties.

It is a minimal cabin that allows you to focus on the scenic experience rather than being distracted by free toiletries. “This prefabricated housing module, a real cocoon of simplicity, settles in the middle of Nature to welcome city dwellers willing to relax away from the concrete jungle,” says the LUMIPOD team. The cabin has three different sizes to accommodate your needs and can be installed in 2-3 days. It feels like a personal snow globe and I will continue to imagine all the little details about it until the next cabin getaway.

Designer: LUMIPOD

Architectural Designs focusing on balconies designed to help you unwind

Balcony designs are often overlooked. Now especially, in quarantine do we realize our need for that little nook that lets you connect to the outside world. But when you pay attention, that balcony space converts into a haven where you can spend some time and rejuvenate. Architects who realize this have also realise that balconies, from the exterior, create a visually interesting focal point that will help their creations stand apart. The designs curated here showcase this collection of buildings and home that have certainly made their balcony space, their personal space!

Zigzagging balconies with larch railings in the Ragnitzstrasse 36, Austria, enliven the facade of this apartment block in Graz, Austria, by Love Architecture and Urbanism. “Building cost and flat size were the big issues in this project. Besides that we had a free hand to design something unique,” says architect Bernhard Schönherr. “This building’s overall architectural character is defined by relatively inexpensive building components, such as the balconies.”

The Opus is a mirrored glass building occupied by a hotel, offices, serviced apartments, and several restaurants, set in Dubai’s Burj Khalifa district. The exteriors of the building were completed last year and the ME Dubai at the Opus is the only hotel in the world that can claim to have had both it’s exterior and interiors designed by the late Zaha Hadid. The interior is highlighted with furniture by Zaha Hadid Design and curving sculptural balconies that give the building a unique aesthetic.

Grillagh Water House by Patrick Bradley is made up of four stacked shipping containers! A balcony shaded by steel fins projects from the upper storey of this house in Northern Ireland, which this architect and farmer built using four used shipping containers. “I didn’t want to change the idea or the aesthetics of the design but I had to come up with an alternative that was more affordable and that’s where the idea for shipping containers came from,” says Bradley.

Overlooking the Atlantic ocean on the island of the Gomera in the canary islands, a simple metal guard rail is replaced by a contemporary concrete structure with a glass balcony that projects 200 meters from the cliff.

Not everyone has the luxury of creating our own balcony but worry not. Velux, the window manufacturer has come up with a new system that adds not only light and air to your interior spaces but also a balcony. Dubbed the Cabrio, this window system is perfect for attic rooms or any dark interior space under a pitched roof.

Balconies fan out like leaves from the mixed-use L’Arbre Blanc tower, which Sou Fujimoto has completed in Montpellier with Nicolas Laisné, Dimitri Roussel, and OXO Architectes. Modeled on the shape of a tree, the curved 17-storey building contains 113 apartments with cantilevering balconies, alongside publicly accessible facilities on the ground floor and rooftop.

A striking facade of protruding balconies make up the exterior of this residential building in Poland, which has been designed by local architecture firm KWK Promes. Located in the center of Katowice – once a dynamically developing industrial city – UNIKATO is a low budget building, which re-establishes life in what is now a depopulating downtown dominated with car traffic.

Balconies are surely space for you to mold as per your needs. But in the future, what purpose do these balconies play? MVRDV has collaborated with Airbus, Bauhaus Luftfahrt, ETH Zurich, and Systra, to develop a plan for the future of urban air mobility (UAM). The investigation tackles the integration of ‘flying vehicles’ into our urban environments and envisions a comprehensive mobility concept. over the last two years, MVRDV has supported airbus in exploring strategic urban development scenarios that leverage UAM as an opportunity to grow cities around the globe into thriving urban regions. Together they have produced a study aimed to avoid any detrimental impacts from this disruptive technology, which can so easily arise when truly revolutionary transport modes are introduced to cities without careful planning for both short-term and long-term scenarios.

Concrete balconies filled with tropical plants cover the Chicland hotel in Danang, Vietnam, designed by Vo Trong Nghia. Overlooking the sea on the coastal road of Vo Nguyen Giap, every room of the 21-storey hotel has its own tropical garden. Along with 129 bedrooms, the slim tower houses a coffee house, spa, bars, and a restaurant and is topped by an infinity pool and sky bar. Chicland’s entrance sits directly off the promenade alongside the popular My Khe Beach.

Local studio Peripheriques Marin+Trottin and Jumeau Architectes has completed an apartment complex on L’Ile-Saint-Denis in Paris, which features wavy balconies enclosed by a ribbon of perforated metal. The development is situated on a plot overlooking the Seine river, which is undergoing significant redevelopment ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. The building features eight storeys, with some duplex apartments incorporated on the top floor. A pair of private courtyards create a direct passage through the complex from the street to the pedestrian alleyway behind.

These pyramid-shaped Yacht communities are a millionaire’s social-distancing paradise

As society faces unforeseen struggles, and with climate-change just around the corner, these floating communities give insight into a new sort of habitat that’s up to the challenge of rising sea levels and of social distancing. Meet the Waya, a set of pyramid-shaped floating buildings that become a community on water. Designed by Lazzarini Design Studio, the Waya mimics the structures of the Mayan civilization, with a heavy reliance on pyramid-shaped forms. This shape allows structures to have a lower center of gravity and be very stable, while giving you slanted walls that are perfect for mounting solar panels to harness energy.

The Waya aren’t homes or individual yachts, they’re societies with all the elements needed for sustenance. Smaller floating structures act as personal houses, while larger ones serve the purpose of hotels and community centers. The Wayaland floating community even has entertainment and recreational zones spanning gyms, cinemas, shops, floating beach clubs, as well as greenhouses for growing produce that helps feed the people on-board. The floating architectural units are made from fiberglass, carbon fiber, and steel, and even have large underwater spaces that help extend living/storage capabilities while allowing the Wayas to easily float upright on water. Smaller Wayas come with two floors (including an underwater floor) while larger ones can go up to 10 floors in height, accommodating a host of people. Commuting between individual Waya units and to-and-from land can be done via boats, which then dock into dedicated boat-garages, while larger Waya buildings even have the capacity for a helipad or two. Deliveries between land and the Waya communities can be fulfilled using drones. The communities have the ability to slowly migrate too, allowing them to detach from a coastline whenever needed and float to an isolated location. Solar panels on each Waya building help supply the community with enough power to sustain them for long periods of time.

Shifting to a water-based society may feel like a bit of a cop-out at tackling real-world problems like climate change or pandemics, but they definitely do something interesting. By making humans migrate to water, the Waya frees up land for nature to take over, while ensuring that humans are much more mindful of their habit of pumping garbage into oceans… after all, you wouldn’t want your luxurious yacht to be trapped in sludge, garbage, and floating plastic, would you? Moreover, they even help strictly isolate communities, and more importantly take humans off the electricity grid, making them much more reliant on renewable sources of energy. The Wayaland floating community exists as a concept, but Lazzarini Design is trying to crowdfund €350,000 ($382,000) to build the smallest, basic unit to prove the entire project’s overall feasibility. In return as perks, the studio is offering backers Wayaland passports and short stays at the community’s floating hotels once the project gets successfully executed by 2022.

Designer: Lazzarini Design

A look at how architecture after COVID-19 will openly embrace and integrate the outdoors

“If we can’t go outdoors, why can’t the outdoors come to us?” It sounds like the kind of question a five-year-old would ask, but dwell a little on that thought and you start realizing it’s quite an intriguing question. In fact, it’s the design brief for ODA’s latest tower designs. These tower designs from ODA Architecture try to blur the boundaries between the outdoors and indoors… they were originally conceived as a way to alter New York’s predominantly glass-and-metal skyline by introducing an aspect of greenery into it, but in a world dealing with COVID-19, they provide a much more important service by allowing us to experience the outdoors without needing to step out.

ODA’s explorations primarily focus on tower designs, in an attempt to bring versatility and a touch of greenery to NY’s overtly boxy and shiny cityscape. Architectural explorations look at residential units with dedicated ‘greenery zones’ that act as areas of social congregation for the building’s residents. Adorned with curvilinear, organic architecture, and interspersed with greenery, these areas give the residents a break from the concrete-jungle-aesthetic of the skyscraper-filled city. They act as areas of reflection and of allowing people to connect with nature and with one another. Designed specifically for the building’s residents, these ‘shared indoor gardens’ even serve as wellness areas, giving people spaces to exercise, meditate, do yoga, and just take a break from being stuck at home… all while being safely within the confines of your building!

Designer: ODA New York

Architectural Renders that showcase a surreal future where nature rules our modern homes!

We all know how beautiful nature is – we continuously draw inspiration from it and set up space outside our homes for things to grow in an organized manner. But what if nature decided to overrun our boundaries and step into our homes? It sounds scary, but the result imagined by designer Alexis Christodoulou (@teaaalexis) is strikingly beautiful! Alexis imagines a world where humans have taken a step back (maybe the quarantine is still ongoing there!) and let the flowers, grass, and all the other myriad plants enter our home. Surreal but beautiful, the untouched nature tells a story of peace and harmony in each of these landscapes!

We all love a sunken seating arrangement, but Alexis elevates that situation to a whole new level. Replacing a modern living room with a field of flowers, Alexis brings the escapism to your living room.

A minimal, pristine white corridor that replaces the traditional accent rugs with something even more traditional – a carpet of flowers with a pathway running through it! Let nature come in and rule our creations to make them even better.

Autumn flows through this balcony with hues of red to yellow flourishing in there! Just looking at this render showcases the warmth of this season. If only we could smell the earthiness in the air, we would be transported to that space.

Corals come out from under the sea to meet the land in this Greece-inspired render. Now just imagine sitting on that chair and watching the sunset, it would be one of the most beautiful sunsets ever!

Green is scientifically known to cool our eyes and calm us down. It is that feeling of calm that washes over you when you look at this wall of green outside your home instead of the boring old fence!

Titled Population 001, this place is the perfect setting for one! A setting designed to help you focus and grow, this place is all set for one individual to rule.

Usually leaving a window open invites bugs and some good old-fashioned dust. But in Alexis’s world, your bathroom gets overrun by a pink weed that makes the old white tiles look retro and fashionable.

Remember those dream sequences commonly showed in movies, where children run through a field of flowers with their hands running across the flowers…this render looks like a top view of that field, only with much cooler colors!

Greenhouses may be green (logically speaking) but this one is offset by hues of rust and bronze! Maybe this is what the greenhouse on Planet Mars looks like.

Is a pool a pool if it’s orange and not blue? I truly don’t know the answer to it but it sure looks surreal yet beautiful.

Each render by Alexis is an escape to a dreamland we want to be in, situated in a space overrun by nature, away from all the clutter mankind imposes on the planet and until that happens, we can count on more designs by Alexis to keep us going!

This air sealed work pod was designed to let employees return to office post quarantine

We all have a new work-from-home routine that everyone has had to adapt to overnight. Now some companies can afford to let employees continue working from home till a vaccine is made but there are many others who are open and functioning with bare minimum staff because their work is not digital. Just like working from home brought to light issues we didn’t have, working in the office during or after pandemic will have its own set of new issues and that is what designers are aiming to solve with concepts with Qworkntine.

The non-essential companies have to open up at some point to keep the economy (and our income) running. Qworkntine is an air-tight pod system that wants to make working in offices safe while we figure out long-term solutions. It protects the employees and can make it easy to monitor how many employees are in per square meter of the space – it also makes contact tracing convenient in larger offices. Its hexagonal shape lets companies arrange it in any format to suit their physical office – it is like assembling a beehive to keep all the bees healthy and happy! It can be customized to fit right-angled corners and can be elongated as per the needs.

This conceptual work pod features an automatic handle-free acrylic door that is controlled by facial recognition. It also includes ventilation fans and air purifiers to keep a continuous flow of air that is safe to breathe. The designer envisions the Qworkntine pod to be made from hygienic, non-porous materials that will be easy to clean and disinfect. The skylight makes it better for those who may not enjoy tight spaces. Winner of the DNA Paris Design Awards in the Responsible Design category, this design highlights that for the sake of our health (and wealth), we may have to adapt to new work environments. Instead of cubicles, we might have pods and that is basically the same size as having an apartment in Manhattan – say hi to the new home of ‘work-from-home’!

Designer: Moahmed Radwan

A child’s drawing of a house is the inspiration behind this totally zen home!

What happens when one of the most sought-after architectural photographers in Texas decides to build their own home? A simple, honest home with an attention to detail that elevates that home to complete zen space. Known for photographing the best Texas homes, Casey Dunn had a clear image of what he wanted. When it was time to implement his idea, Casey reached out to his longtime friend Arthur Furman to bring that image to life. “Casey had an image in his mind of a house he had photographed early in his career in a wooded area of Maine. The house was a basic shape—as one would draw as a child—just a box with a gabled roof,” says Arthur.

Externally, the house presents itself as a raw concrete structure shaped like the simple house we have been drawing since school days. A visual poetry of contrast, the concrete exterior, burnished stucco, and the douglas fir front door – together create a nature-inspired warm color palette that is reflected in the interior of the house as well. Casey’s exposure to architectural design was instrumental in this design, but the main inspiration came from the Maine gable along with the architecture of Marfa (the West Texas town) where Casey began the journey of shooting interiors for his first photography book, Marfa Modern. The interiors of the house feature an open-floor living room with an east-facing window that allows the early morning dappled sunlight to play on the floor. The theme established in the exterior of using natural colors is continued within the house, reflecting the harmony Casey wanted to feel within this home.

“I have developed an appreciation of a lot of different styles of architecture over time,” he says. “This house project was a reflection of what we were inspired by and our values during this time of our lives. I was working on Marfa Modern during the design process, and while we didn’t aim to plop a Marfa house down in East Austin, we were certainly inspired by a style of architecture that is warm, minimal, and efficient, with natural, honest materials. We wanted it to be beautiful, but the style of the house was less important to us than having a project that was true to our values, that we could really live in, and that we could enjoy as it aged.” After looking at the images of this home, we can see it is a haven for all its inhabitants – allowing them to grow and prosper in that zen-filled space.

Designer: Arthur Furman and Annie-Laurie Grabiel for Photographer Casey Dunn

Bedroom Designs to inspire you with the best interior design ideas!

A bedroom is a space you retire to at the end of the day. It is your happy space – where you come to and want to feel a sense of calm to help you recharge for the next day – or at least that is what it is supposed to be! Given our cramped spaces and hectic times, bedrooms are no longer sacred. But that doesn’t mean we can’t aspire and have bedroom goals to rival the best of Instagram! The bedroom designs showcased here today are modern, elegant, minimal and most of all give you the detachment and escapism from our daily grind and inspire you to be the best version of yourself.

Every bedroom deserves its privacy, after all, it is the place where you can let yourself be. Vasyl Ambroziak’s bedroom visualization gives you this privacy but without the boring walls! Using a glass wall to partition between the bedroom and the raw concrete exterior wall, Vasyl adds an explosion of green in place of a boring old wallpaper. In fact, as the plants change with the season, you get a unique backdrop and of course the calmness of being surrounded by such a green space. Isn’t it perfectly zen?

While the previous design pays homage to everything green, this design by Matts Miliaukas respects the earthy shades. Using muted shades of stone grey, the highlight of this room is the lava-like backlit wall, making this room perfect for anyone who prefers a darker color scheme. The aesthetics of this design bring to mind a lair or a covered room that highlights your nocturnal nature.

Mostafa Hardani⁣’s bedroom design plays up textural elements to create focal points. The wooden highlight wall behind the bed is lit up and the beautiful minimal lighting lets the wooden texture do all the talking. Not to forget the vertical green wall adds some natural purification to the room, helping you sleep better.

A high vaulted ceiling, a wooden pedestal that stretches up to the ceiling in an unbroken line, and the subtle light underneath the bed – this bedroom interior by Taras Kaminskiy & Veronika Mulieieva named Urban Jungle has tranquility. The light under the bed makes the bed almost levitate, inducing a calming effect the moment you step into this room, draining away all your worries.

The thrill of a floating bed! Stephen Tsymbaliuk’s use of this floating bed amplifies the airy/spacious feeling that is the key element of this bedroom design. The open walk-in closet behind the darkened glass adds a modern touch whereas the trees creating a backdrop behind the bed amplify the feeling of floating up between the trees.

Philipp Pablitschko’s shot of this bedroom surrounded by nature is the first on my post-quarantine travel bucket list! Almost magical in its aesthetic, the vertically slanting windows on the sides of this bed create the drama and escapism we all are surely craving after being stuck in this urban jungle during quarantine!

White is one of the most difficult colors to achieve visual contrast with, but designer Nazar Tsymbaliuk uses textured walls to achieve this difference and harmony. The project is named Gloria and located in Greece, the interior complements the traditional white and blue color scheme that the traditional Greek architecture is renowned for.

Polyviz Visualization Studio created this render using leather to add a touch of ruggedness to this bedroom. From the headboard to the base of the bed, the dark brown leather upholstery creates the perfect setup on which to accent your bedroom.

Designed for an apartment in Iceland, designer Stephen Tsymbaliuk’s textured wall looks almost alive with its dynamic 3D pattern. The floating bed, muted bathtub, minimal design – all come together to create an ideal bachelor pad for the modern man.

Nazar Tsymbaliuk uses an almost Japanese inspired aesthetic with wooden slats to create a partition as well as highlight this bedroom design. Using a platform to elevate the floor bed, there is a peaceful aesthetic flowing through this bedroom, inspiring inner peace.

Seeing these designs, we can’t help but bring out our notepad and get inspired to make changes to our current setup – after all, what’s the point of all this time to ourself if we can’t use it to get ourselves come out better on the other side of the post corona world!

The world’s first 8-feet artificial wave generating pool to safely up your surfing game!

Feeling like hitting the waves? We don’t know when beaches will open but this controlled wave pool in Australia will be able to provide some relief to surfers while still being able to manage the crowds by keeping it to the recommended number of people as per social distancing guidelines. The interesting feature of this wave pool is that the generator creates waves in concentric circles that then radiate outwards. The idea for these concentric waves was conceived when Founder and CEO, Aaron Trevis, was tossing rocks into a lake with his children.

Surf Lakes is the world’s largest controlled wave pool famous for offering five different types of waves to their surfers! The pool generates 2000 waves per hour (so your week’s cardio is complete) thanks to the 5 Waves technology. It provides a safe space for surfers of all skill levels to practice and enjoy like they would in the ocean. It is as close to the real thing as you can get, the technology mimics the natural ocean groundswells resulting in waves that break over specially crafted reefs in sets of two or six per swell. Each pulse from the central generator can create 10 waves. To mimic the natural environment closely, each reef is distinctively shaped which allows the wave to crash and dissipate differently in terms of speeds, shapes, and sizes.

It has been the only facility to be able to generate an 8-feet tall wave artificially. The five different levels of waves all vary in difficulty, size, and length and are color-coded so beginner surfers through to moderate and advanced surfers can enjoy wave riding. Surf Lakes is working on making this technology available worldwide so that we can ride out this transition into the new normal!

Designer: Surf Lakes

Organic concrete curves give an unconventional vibe to this sustainable luxury home

When I first saw the Domik house, it felt like someone brought a kid’s illustration to life in the most aesthetically pleasing way possible! Nestled into the sandhills south of Noosa National Park, Australia, this private residence is playful retention of modern architecture. It’s curves make it positively stand out (as curves always do!) and every crevice by Noel Robinson Architects is just giving us house goals!

Designed for a client who wanted a timeless and practical holiday home, I imagine he is truly enjoying his quarantine overlooking the Pacific Ocean because that is where I would be living out the pandemic if I had the option. The eco-home has 3 floors, 6 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, and is one of Australia’s most expensive homes. The exterior is anything but that of a conventional house – it has several large domes stacked upon each other and covered with green roofs to blend in with nature. The unusual shape and use of natural materials truly optimize the natural sunlight and ventilation that Domik gets due to its premium location. It almost looks like the house is wearing a hooded cloak of eco-consciousness.

It was clear to the design team that sustainability was a very important aspect of the house – no air conditioning was to be installed and renewable energy should be used to generate power on-site along with using sustainable construction materials. So that is why the Domik house features an expansive rooftop solar array supported by a battery storage system. The design also incorporates the collection of roof water to be reused on-site. The internal non-loadbearing walls are made with hempcrete for thermal insulation (and acoustics!). Hempcrete has high carbon sequestration and is a fully recyclable product.

The sculptural forms were designed to give it an organic appeal and not destroy the landscape the house was in by using an angular build. The concrete arches were a smart move because they minimized the need for internal columns, made way for high ceilings, and maximized the space for spanning windows. The floor + footprint area of the property is massive and the landscape continues from the ground to the top using lightweight timber ‘eyelids’ to form the concrete arches. The residence is camouflaged into the natural setting seamlessly with the fluid shapes and gardened roofs. Quarantine or not, a getaway home has 3 cores – entertainment, sports, and health which is exactly what the team delivered with their eco-friendly and visually appealing design plan. Huge but still cozy!

Designer: Noel Robinson Architects