Gabrielle Col

We are living in uncertain times now, with the economy still at an all time low.  Whether we like it or not, the economy greatly influences the way we live and how we express ourselves in the way we dress, how we feel, or even our homes.  Remember The Hemline Theory which shows that every time skirts get shorter, then our stock markets improve! (Get your minis out again, and cheer us all up)!!

With this theory in mind, color trenders have been greatly influenced by our economy and have come up with palettes for 2013 – 2014 that are there to cheer us up, and to make us feel more secure.   Here is the new color palette for 2013 – 14  from The Color Association of the United States (CAUS).

GreysReds - EnticeCosmic

Blues - Swept Away


CAUS’s  new palette for is based on the theory of  ‘Seduction’ no less!  Anything that will seduce us, and…

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Observation Tower on the River Mur by terrain loenhart mayr

This observation tower by Munich office terrain:loenhart&mayr rises over the river Mur at the Austrian border with Slovenia.

Observation Tower on the River Mur by terrain loenhart mayr

The aluminium-clad structure staircase curls back on itself at the top, forming a double spiral so that visitors on the way up pass those on the way down.

Observation Tower on the River Mur by terrain loenhart mayr

Here’s some more information, written by Lilli Hollein:

Up There All Treetops Are Still

A society that generally focuses on results tends to lose its sense for gradual emergence and for the discoveries one can make during processes and journeys to a destination. Already 2,500 years ago, Confucius had written: “The journey is the reward.” Some might consider that a nice way of skirting around disorientation, but is it worthwhile to be rushed off one’s feet?

Architecture is a wonderful means of representing, imposing, or arousing states of human nature. The concept of the recently completed Murturm by the architects Klaus K. Loenhart and Christoph Mayr then involves not only the elation of having reached the top, but also the enjoyment of the stages on the way there.

A deliberate foreign object made of steel and aluminum rises from the riparian forest in Southern Styria: a somewhat geometrical observation tower that nevertheless fits into the landscape as naturally as a harmonic counterpoint.

Observation Tower on the River Mur by terrain loenhart mayr

The border to Slovenia is marked by the Mur river in this part of Southern Styria, near Bad Radkersburg. Once a public-excluded security zone along the former Iron Curtain, the area became a de-facto nature reserve and is now part of the European Green Belt. Today, the view of the opposite river bank is relaxed, and both countries join forces to renaturate the course of the river and the pasture landscape.
Supported by Naturschutzbund Deutschland [German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union], the tower was originally only meant to mark the European Green Belt. In fact, however, it has become an architectural sculpture and a lookout that offers a panoramic view of the landscape.

Climbing up the 168 steps, one follows one’s own path, and yet one is drawn in by the landscape that can be observed from different heights and by the eyes of those one inevitably meets, because two intertwined stairwells wind up into the sky. At the highest point of this significant visual anchor, at a height of 27 meters, one finally realizes that the path never ends. The doubling of the ascent and descent and the three-dimensional interweaving bring forth the vis-à-vis.

Observation Tower on the River Mur by terrain loenhart mayr

The double spiral staircase with its opposed flights of up and down steps has a famous forerunner nearby: ever since 1499, it has been witness to the eagerness of Friedrich III of Habsburg to experiment and to the brilliant architectural design of his castle in Graz. The special three-dimensional experience it creates has made the castle a place of pilgrimage for architects. Among them was Klaus Loenhart, Director of the Institut für Architektur und Landschaft at Graz University of Technology. Impressed and inspired, he and his colleague Christoph Mayr managed to transfer the poetry of this historical location into nature.

The supporting structure of the observation tower is designed like a tree. The lower part corresponds with the trunk, whereas the steel structure made of thinned-out tubes represents the more delicate branches up above. The tower was certainly an engineering challenge for the Office for Structural Design in Frankfurt. It is all the more surprising to feel the edifice, which looks amazingly massive and multi-braced, softly sway as one climbs the stairs. Seen from down below, one first notices the elegant nodal points of the structure. The steel girder joints result in a sophisticated and skillfully designed geometry that exhibits the three-dimensionality of the tower.

Depending on the weather and time of day, the wonderful gleam of the aluminum-clad stair balustrade continuously changes the appearance of the edifice. The beveled aluminum boards create a body and a play of surfaces without destroying the translucence. The flowing element of the recessed river bed and the piled-up flotsam is mirrored by the tower, which emerges from the topography with the same softness and precision.

Observation Tower on the River Mur by terrain loenhart mayr

With this project in an unspoilt countryside that belongs to the European Green Belt biotope compound system, terrain:loenhart&mayr have set an example that puts nature in the limelight in two different ways. First, visitors enjoy rotating views of the surrounding landscape as they walk up and down the continuous spiral stairs. Their attention is directed both inward and outward. From a distance, the silhouette of the tower is interwoven with the landscape, but the watchful steps of those who climb up the stairs define a sensed inner space.

Second, the sculptural edifice itself explores the essence of nature, the double helix structure along which DNA components are stringed in parallel turns. It does not take a microscope to see that organic forms are often impressive compositions of curves and edges, of geometry and free, unlimited escalation.

Not mountain summits, as Goethe wrote, but the treetops of the wonderful riparian forest along the banks of the Mur river near Gosdorf unfold before the eyes of those who climb all the way up the tower. And yet, up there all is still. This is a place to pause for those who have come to the tower by bike, on their early morning jog or their Sunday walk. It is also a place that was quickly taken over by locals and—especially biking—tourists alike. One of the reasons for the public identification with the project is that the members of the surrounding communities were able to participate by making donations. Now, they visit the tower as if it were an old friend, they proudly read their own name on a plate, and again and again, they come to the same spot to take in the changing moods of the surrounding nature in all seasons. At the same time, they can watch the progress and efforts in renaturating this unique pasture landscape, in which terrain:loenhart&mayr are also taking part. Here, Styria has found its landmark. While Graz has its Uhrturm, Gosdorf now has its Murturm. The contemporary contribution has won the architectural competition.

Observation Tower on the River Mur by terrain loenhart mayr

Client: Gemeinde Gosdorf Orts- und Infrastrukturentwicklungs KG
Design + planning of observation tower and exteriors: terrain:loenhart&mayr architects and landscape architects, Munich/Graz
Structural planning: osd – office for structural design, Frankfurt
Construction period: March – September 2009
Opening: 20 March 2010



Under Professor Ginger Krieg Dosier, an up and coming architect/scientist, Aman Yusuf designed his water tower to become a focal point in the neighborhood of Jumeriah.  It not only acts as water source, but meeting area with its tea bar and over looking observation deck.  Its program is simple, but the model itself is what sparked our interest.  Pulling from the network of veins within the leaf, the structure of the model seems to grow out of the ground wrapping the building and pushing the tower up.  Check it out after the jump! 

STUDENT: Aman Yusuf
American University of Sharjah
PROFESSORS: Ginger Krieg Dosier
YEAR: 2011

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concretefabric news-hero

Imagine being able to use concrete on slopes, in water, and in other hard to reach places – with no molds, no mixing, and minimal equipment. Concrete Cloth is flexible and will bend and curve, enabling it to follow the natural contours of the land, including ditches and slopes.

Unlike regular concrete, Concrete Cloth can be installed in the rain, and other wet conditions, virtually eliminating rescheduling due to weather conditions. It comes in a variety of sizes, including man-portable rolls that two men can carry, reducing the need for heavy machinery.

The fabric structure also reinforces the concrete and reduces cracking, while using up to 95% less concrete than conventional methods. Concrete Cloth has a low alkaline reserve and a low wash rate for a low ecological impact. It meets many ASTM and other standards and is resistant to chemicals, weather, wear, and UV.

The unique structure of Concrete Cloth facilitates ease of installation. Cement mix is trapped in a flexible 3D fabric, backed with a waterproof layer. The fabric can be hung vertically, laid in trenches, or cut and formed into shapes to create a durable layer of concrete, all without the need for molds or mixers. Wet the fabric to activate the cement, and within 24 hours, the product has cured to 80% strength.

April 29th, 2011 by retail design blog

cell led carpet 01 Cell LED Carpet by Lama Concept

Dutch Company Integrates LED Wayfinding Into Its Carpets. LEDs tucked into Lama Concept’s Cell+LED carpet create customizable lighting where people look the most — on the ground.
Normally, we don’t see loads of innovation in the carpet industry — how much can you really do with a bunch of thread that exists only to be stepped on? — but Holland’s Lama Concept has managed to produce something pretty fresh: Cell+LED, a carpet that doubles as a customizable wayfinding system.

cell led carpet 02 Cell LED Carpet by Lama Concept

That probably doesn’t sound that impressive, since folks are used to seeing illuminated carpeting just about everywhere. The difference here is that Lama’s lights are planted directly into the carpet. What’s more, the latest version — to be released this year — will feature RGB LEDs, which, at the press of a button, can be customized to assume any pattern or color.

So what you end up with is a flexible series of wayfinders limited to the spot where people naturally look when they walk: the floor. It makes perfect sense for industries that need to be able to herd crowds, but not always in the same way — airplanes, for instance. You could have one pattern that guides passengers onto the plane; another to signal when it’s safe to move around the cabin; another to flash the airline’s logo; still another for emergency situations; and so on.

Some might argue that turning the carpet into a sort of utilitarian light show would confuse passengers, though that’s hard to imagine if the patterns and color schemes are distinct from one another. Think: No one mistakes a green traffic light for a red one.

cell led carpet 04 Cell LED Carpet by Lama Concept

Not surprisingly, the earliest version of Cell+LED Airbus debuted at the Paris Airshow in the business class of the hotly anticipated Airbus A350, (which isn’t even scheduled to fly until 2013). The rugs have also been featured in the Land Rover concept car LRX, and incorporated into corporate, public, and residential spaces.

cell led carpet 03 Cell LED Carpet by Lama Concept

cell led carpet 05 Cell LED Carpet by Lama Concept

cell led carpet 06 Cell LED Carpet by Lama Concept