Pritzker Prize goes to Peter Zumthor

by KTS. Trịnh chiến Thắng | 12:32 PM in | comments (0)

50 years ago when Peter Zumthor was training as a cabinet maker it would have felt inconceivable that he would join the architectural elite to win the Pritzker Prize for Architecture. But at the age of 65, this remote possibility has become reality.

Established by the Pritzker family of Chicago through their Hyatt Foundation in 1979, the Pritzker Prize is often equated to the Nobel Prize for architecture honouring living architects with talent, vision and commitment producing significant and consistent contributions to humanity through architecture. Recipients of the award receive a $100,000 grant and a bronze medallion which will be bestowed upon Zumthor at a ceremony on 29 May in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Previous winners of the award include Christian de Portzamparc, Richard Meier, Renzo Piano and Zaha Hadid.

Zumthor's humble beginnings in Switzerland have flavoured his work throughout his career. “For 30 years he has been based in the remote village of Haldenstein in the Swiss mountains, removed from the flurry of activity of the international architectural scene,” said the jury. “There, together with a small team, he develops buildings of great integrity –untouched by fad or fashion.”

Zumthor is the author of many outstanding yet modest buildings in Switzerland and beyond. Empathy for local culture and landscape is expressed in his architecture as a result of the direct integration of the community in his works. The Field Chapel in Eifel, Germany, was commissioned by farmer Hermann-Josef Scheidtweiler and his wife Trudel and largely constructed by them, with the help of friends, acquaintances and craftsmen on one of their fields above the village. The interior of the chapel room was formed out of 112 tree trunks, which were configured like a tent. In twenty four working days, layer after layer of concrete, each layer 50 cm thick, was poured and rammed around the tentlike structure.

Other works include Kolumba Art Museum of the Cologne Archdiocese, Swiss Sound Box, the Swiss Pavilion for Expo 2000 and Thermal Bath in Vals, Switzerland.

“In Zumthor’s skillful hands, like those of the consummate craftsman, materials from cedar shingles to sandblasted glass are used in a way that celebrates their own unique qualities, all in the service of an architecture of permanence,” reads the jury comments.

“The same penetrating vision and subtle poetry are evident in his writings as well, which, like his portfolio of buildings, have inspired generations of students. In paring down architecture to its barest yet most sumptuous essentials, he has reaffirmed architecture’s indispensable place in a fragile world. For all of these reasons, Peter Zumthor is the recipient of the 2009 Pritzker Architecture Prize.”

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Decorating style for a Shabby Chic

by KTS. Trịnh chiến Thắng | 9:09 PM in | comments (0)

Interior Decorating Styles >>

Shabby Chic® is a comfortable, casual decorating style with a look that uses vintage accessories, pastels, and comfortable furniture. While people have been living with old lace tablecloths, dreamy soft floral fabrics, light painted furniture furniture, wrought iron curtain rods with filmy sheer curtains, and colorful fresh flowers for a long time, Rachel Ashwell identified this style of decorating and named it Shabby Chic®.

Think of visiting with your grandmother, snuggled in comfortable soft furniture. Fresh flowers look beautiful and the soft scent of candles fills the room. A home decorated in the Shabby Chic® style can provide the same sensation for your own home.

Shabby Chic® is no particular style, but rather balances elegant things with old and worn, shiny silver accessories with painted wooden tables, soft throw rugs with rough old lace.

To read how the founder of Shabby Chic® describes this unique style, you migh read our interview with Rachel Ashwell. Then visit the About's links on Cottage style. Visit a store near you that carries Shabby Chic® branded furniture, fabrics, and home accessories.

Read about some of the ways you can use a Shabby Chic® decorating style in your home:

  • Soft Delicate Colors If you love bold primary colors, Shabby Chic® is not for you. Soft white, muted grey, pale pink, and faded green all have a place in a Shabby Chic® interior.

  • Tea Stained Fabrics Collect fabrics from around the house or buy vintage-looking fabrics even if they're new. To give the illusion of age, fabric can be made to look old, worn, faded, and soft by staining them with a brew of tea. Be sure to test a piece of fabric first to get just the right shade. You can change something that's stark white to a soft creamy white-- just right for the look.

  • Combine Patterns and Colors Combine stripes, checks, and floral fabrics to achieve a warm and inviting look. Gather yardage or fabrics from yard sales and flea markets. You don't have to follow traditional rules of combining prints, but for easiest mixing keep the background color the same (white or ivory, etc.). Then choose one color to repeat in almost every fabric, such as a soft green or pale pink.

  • White Painted Furniture Almost any piece of wooden furniture will fit into a Shabby Chic® interior if it's painted white. Collect pieces from flea markets, garage sales, and the attic. Spray with white paint, sand off the corners and rough it up a little, and voila!-- you have Shabby Chic® furniture. You'd be surprised how a coat of paint transforms a dark dingy chair or table.

  • Think Outside the Box Not every chair has to be sat on. How about using a sturdy, painted straight chair as a table at the side of a bed or sofa or in a corner to hold a vase of flowers? An old picnic bench or trunk can serve as a coffee table. Stack wooden boxes at the side of a chair for books and flowers. Be creative and use what you have.

Victorian Style Interior Decorating

by KTS. Trịnh chiến Thắng | 9:53 AM in | comments (0)

Interior Decorating Styles >>

Before you start decorating Victorian, picture a Victorian background set in the heart of a busseling town at the turn of the century. Whisps of mint and lavender brush your face as you stroll up the winding walk and approach the gingerbread house-like door. You feel like a kid. You can hardly wait to see what treasures await you inside!

Decorating Victorian style originated from Queen Victoria’s reign from 1837 to 1901. It can be referred to as very formal and slightly repressive, at least compared to today. People of this time experienced such abundance and culture that they hardly knew what to do with it. So, they used all of it! Status became very important. Where else better to display it than your house? This style will fit you perfectly if you love detail, like to be surrounded in femininity and luxury! The more the better! Below are a few ideas to boost your brain!

1. Don’t be afraid to use lots of intricate furniture pieces. Houses in this era were crammed with furniture! For sure use fabrics such as satin, silk and velvet. The furniture was carved in elegant swirls and dips as you can see below. It is a walnut three seater sofa with a pierced and scrolled "surmount" in the middle of the back. Upholstered in green velvet.

2. When decorating victorian, use lots of color, roof finials, crestings, wall carvings, inset panels of stone and terra cotta and stained glass to decorate the outside of your home. Excess is the key. Although there were several different kinds of Victorian houses the Queen Anne style was the most popular.

victorian house

3. Go crazy with tassels, bows and ribbons. Frame a 2 or 3 piece photo collection. Take a 2-inch ribbon and cut it the width of the framed photos leaving 3-inches at the bottom, four inches at the top and about 2 inches in between the photos. Staple or hot glue the photos to the ribbon. Cut the bottom of the ribbon in an upside down V shape. Then tie a bow at the top and hang.

4. Decorate picture frames and lamp shades with lots of gold , jewels, shells, pearls and glass. Costume jewelry is fun to work with too! Let your imagination run wild!

5. Display Bohemian Crystal or any kind of glassware that is painted with ornate designs and flowers such as the one below.

6. Use wallpaper in tiny patterns of vines, scrolls and birds.

7. Consider elaborate crown molding. Carved molding can be costly, but remember you will make up for it in appreciation to your home. Buy a plaster ceiling centerpiece that fits around your chandelier. Paint it gold. You can buy these at Home Depot.

victorian living room

8. When deciding on window treatments, use an abundance of velvet and lace. Tie long curtains back with tassels and gold ropes. If you wish to allow more light in, use scrolled or scalloped valances trimmed with fringe.

9. Color is very important when decorating victorian, as you might imagine. Don’t be afraid to paint the walls rich colors, especially in dining or family rooms. In bedrooms you may want to go a little lighter to promote rest. It’s all up to you!

victorian bedroom

10. When decorating Victorian style in your bedroom, create a sense of luxury! Purchase around 10 yards, you may need more, of satin or velvet and sew gold fringe or beads along one edge. Buy 3 metal curtain tie backs hooks. You can find them at Target or your favorite department store. The fancier, the better! Attach them to the wall above the bed’s head board in a pyramid shape. Drape the fabric over each one of the tie backs and allow to pool in between. Voila! Instant royalty!

11. Claw foot tubs are a must! They are deeper than tubs nowadays and are wonderful for a warm bubble bath. A couple of years ago I bought one for around $50 by scouting the local newspaper. It had 10 or so layers of paint and gunk that had to be stripped, but it was well worth the effort! I added some hardware and had a piece of history right in my own bathroom. Decorating Victorian can be easy even if you don’t come from a Victorian background. It’s a great way to decorate, especially if you can’t bear to give up those knick knacks!