Inspiration comes in many forms — images, words, music, and more. As part of staying #FluentInDesign, the team at Hunter Douglas looks for things that spark our imaginations. Here are some fun and intriguing items that piqued our interest this week… we hope they “pique” yours, too! Please tweet us (@FluentInDesign) or email us with any feedback or ideas. Our address is firstname.lastname@example.org
City of ice. As winter progresses, the city of Harbin, in northeastern China, is preparing for their annual International Ice and Snow festival.The festival attracts millions each year with detailed, life-sized snow and ice sculptures. Visitors can stroll through crystalline snow palaces and watch as artists carve final touches into the ice. At night, the sculptures are illuminated with colorful lights. Get in the winter spirit and visit TheAtlantic.com to see pictures.
Afraid of heights? Then this compact winter cabin isn’t for you. Atop Kanin mountain, near the town of Bovec, Slovenia, sits a diamond-shaped cabin of only nine square meters. Designed by OFIS arhitekti, the cabin overlooks the Slovenian and Italian borders and was built to withstand months of snow and occasional earthquakes. Due to the challenging location, the cabin was assembled on flat ground according to maximum weight and equilibrium limits, and then transported by helicopter to the top of the mountain. Check out blueprints and images at ArchDaily.com
Warm up the beach. When temperatures drop below 50 degrees, the beach is the last place you would think to go. However, cold and wind don’t stop local Torontonians from enjoying the outdoors, even during the winter months. Together artists and designers created inviting shelters that double as works of art. With vintage pelts of fur and a circular skylight, the “Belly of a Bear” is one of the the most popular, attracting many locals. Another intricate design that piqued us was a unique fire pit by architect Douglas Cardinal with a built-in wooden bench that allows people to congregate closer to the warmth. Check out the rest of the structures at Azure.com
Huddle up. Parisian architecture firm A.Bechu has designed a cluster of houses to create an energy-efficient community inspired by penguins. Just like a huddle of penguins, heat radiates through the group of houses, providing a simple basis for energy efficiency. Each dwelling is cubic and contains a green roof to maintain energy conservation throughout the seasons. Known as “Silicon Valley,” Skolkovo Innovation Center is located just outside of Moscow. Take a look inside by visiting ArchitecturalDigest.com
Image credit: Image © Janez Martincic via ArchDaily