Architecture | Three Iconic Architects That Have Changed New York City

Living in New York City among some of the tallest skyscrapers can make a person feel small. It’s easy to forget that among these man-made canyons lies some of the most creative architecture in the world. Three architects in particular have designed buildings in New York that add a dash of modern flair and organic interest to the cityscape.

1. Frank Lloyd Wright

Image courtesy guggenheim.org/the-frank-lloyd-wright-building
Image courtesy guggenheim.org/the-frank-lloyd-wright-building
Frank Lloyd Wright began his career in Chicago and the Midwest, where he designed homes in the Prairie style, which celebrated indigenous American materials and worked to tie architecture into the landscape rather than to European traditions. As he aged, his work became increasingly experimental.
Image courtesy guggenheim.org/the-frank-lloyd-wright-building
Image courtesy guggenheim.org/the-frank-lloyd-wright-building
The capstone building of Wright’s career is the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum right here in Manhattan. Wright died before the completion of this modern wonder, a rising spiral gallery in which guests are treated to a building as beautiful as the artwork it holds. The privately owned Crimson Beech house is the only residence of Wright’s design built in New York City; it’s interior is not open to the public, but it can be viewed from the street on Staten Island.

2. Frank Gehry

Image  courtesy designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/Frank_Gehry
Image courtesy designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/Frank_Gehry
Born in Toronto in 1929, Los Angeles-based architect Frank Gehry is perhaps the most famous living designer. He dropped out Harvard and moved to Southern California, where he designed homes in an increasingly radical Deconstructivist style. His buildings are known for demolishing architectural norms, such as right angles and straight lines, preferring instead to challenge the notion that form must follow function.
Image courtesy architecturaldigest.com/gallery/best-of-frank-gehry-slideshow/all
Image courtesy architecturaldigest.com
Gehry’s highly imaginative style can be seen all over Manhattan, most notably in the Issey Miyake flagship store, where the interior features Gehry’s signature shiny, undulating metallic panels. Gehry’s first skyscraper also resides in NYC at 8 Spruce St., where its wavering lines rise up from the street like smoke along its 76 stories.

3. David Childs

Image courtesy aia.org/practicing/aiab090856
Image courtesy aia.org/practicing/aiab090856

It’s hard to find an architect who’s more of a real New Yorker than David Childs. Though he was born in Princeton, N.J., in 1941, he spent most of his formative years in Bedford Village, N.Y. Today, he lives on the Upper West Side. As the chairman emeritus of the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, he has overseen many prominent buildings in New York, including the arrivals terminal at JFK and several buildings in Times Square.

Image courtesy aia.org/practicing/aiab090856
Image courtesy aia.org/practicing/aiab090856

It’s impossible to miss his biggest stamp on New York City, though: the Freedom Tower at One World Trade Center. This shining beacon — complete with a spire that rises to a symbolic 1,776 feet — is one of the most recognizable buildings in New York.

Travel News | Stunning Views from Stunning Homes

Choosing the right get away home requires more than just finding the perfect house. It is also finding the perfect location. Some have found homes that are situated on some of the most spectacular lakes around the world, while others have found equally stunning views right here in the United States.

Muskoka Lake | Ontario, Canada

Image courtesy muskokablog.com
Image courtesy muskokablog.com
One of the most stunning lake house locations is within Ontario, Canada at Muskoka Lakes where locals get creative with their homes. Many of the homes use wood to help blend in with the beautiful nature scenes that surround the homes. The lake itself is extremely serene and the houses at this location have taken advantage of this and worked to exist peacefully with their natural setting.

Victoria | Australia

Image courtesy visitvictoria.com/Regions
Image courtesy visitvictoria.com/Regions

It should come as no surprise that the area of Victoria, Australia boasts some of the most amazing lake houses around the world. The homes are designed to blend in seamlessly with nature while being visually appealing. Everything about Australia is both bold and beautiful. The lakes are no different and those that live by these lakes have gone out of their way to create homes that fit that style.

United States | West Lake Okoboji, Iowa

Image courtesy iowan.com
Image courtesy iowan.com
Okoboji offers homes that are both modern and practical. The location affords the owners some of their own personal heaven while the house designs invite nature indoors without compromising the privacy that many people seek out.

The Finger Lakes | New York

Image courtesy leisuregrouptravel.com/canandaigua-a-taste-of-the-finger-lakes/
Image courtesy leisuregrouptravel.com/canandaigua-a-taste-of-the-finger-lakes/
If you are looking for something a little closer, The Finger Lakes are a perfect place for a lake home. The lake homes here do not only have access to all of the outdoor options such as hiking, biking, boating, fishing, etc, but they are in close proximity to their famous wineries.

Lake Tahoe | California/Nevada 

image courtesy tahoephotographictours.com/tour-reviews/
image courtesy tahoephotographictours.com/tour-reviews/
Lake Tahoe is an ideal lake for homeowners looking to take advantage of their home all year long. North Tahoe and Tahoe South are surrounded by the breathtaking Sierra Nevada Mountains Lake, houses here will have access to swimming, sailing, biking, boating in the summer and ice skating, skiing, and other winter activities when it gets cold. 
Whether you are looking for a home that affords you privacy or you are searching for a something that will catch everyone’s attention, there are many lake houses that will offer both of these options to you. By looking into the options that owning a lake home would give to you, you are opening yourself to a world of possibilities with regards to owning a home that you will love while also being surrounded by a view that you could not find anywhere else.

Green Architecture News: Innovative Self-Sustaining Village to Break Ground in 2016

For the Dutch who want to adhere to a diet of locally grown food, a new settlement breaking ground this summer in Almere, Netherlands, could be their ideal destination. The first project of ReGen Villages, a self-sustaining community designed in partnership with Effekt Studios, integrates attached greenhouses with a series of buildings where families live and grow food. Using a fully sustainable model, they will also create their own power and recycle their waste.

Image courtesy regenvillages.com
Image courtesy regenvillages.com

The project uses existing technologies to create integrated, self-reliant communities completely off the grid but with the luxury of modern conveniences.

Investing in Green Technologies
Startup funds for the villages are coming from wealth funds seeking to divest of fossil fuels and transition into impact investments, according to Gizmag. State investment is also an important part of the business model. Pilot communities are planned for Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, with possible expansions into the UAE, China and African countries. The Almere settlement will start with 100 homes.

Image courtesy dw.com
Image courtesy dw.com

Part of the focus is on renewable energy creation using photovoltaic solar panels and natural ventilation. The prefabricated homes make heavy use of glass because of the material’s unique ability to manage a range of weather conditions. The village’s communal areas will feature electric car charging stations. Food will be grown organically in vertical aquaponic and aeroponic systems, adhering to a model of doorstep food production.

ReGen Villages also have sustainable water and waste management systems. Composted household waste feeds flies, who then feed fish. This fish waste provides fertilizer for food plants. Household waste that is not compostable can be converted to biogas to generate power. The cycle approach is used throughout the village’s sustainable design.

Long-Term Management
ReGen Villages have established blueprints that are modified to suit the local community. The company runs the village once it is functioning and inhabited, managing and improving on the village infrastructure. Public squares for community gathering are part of the plans. In addition, residents take on community roles, relieving strain on existing municipal governments.

While food production and transport causes massive environmental damage, projects as innovative as ReGen Villages might become a model of new developments to come, in all corners of the world.

Real Estate News: Four Great Private Islands on the Market Right Now

Owning a three-bedroom Upper West Side penthouse is great, and moving into a three-floor, single-family Brooklyn brownstone with a backyard is exciting for the whole family. But can there possibly be anything more satisfying than purchasing a private island? Sure, you have to find ways to get there once it’s in your possession, but given the choice of traveling to your own island versus one that houses a crowded tourist-attracting beach resort town, well, that’s an easy decision to make. Fortunately, there are some choice islands on the market all around the world, and, considering the cost of housing in New York, the value of these one-of-a-kind destinations might be more favorable than you’d anticipate:

1. Ilha Do Gato
Camamu Bay, Bahia, Brazil

town july real estate news islands 1
(Photo courtesy privateislandsonline.com)

This 18-acre island is already developed and can be regarded as a wonderful private getaway locale or an income-generating property—or both! Access to this island, located off the central-western section of Brazil, close to Salvador, Bahia’s capital, is relatively easy. The trip includes about a twenty-minute flight from Salvador to nearby Barra Grande where a boat can be hired for the remaining trip. The surrounding Camamu Bay has been very well preserved; the water is crystal clear and the lush local forests have been named a government-protected sanctuary.

Asking price: $3.3 million
See the listing here.

2. Stora Rullingen
Stockholm, Sweden

town july real estate news islands 2
(Photo courtesy privateislandsonline.com)

This European destination is located in the beautiful country of Sweden near its biggest city, Stockholm, which is just an hour-long drive. The island spans more than 80 developed acres with a villa, hunting lodge, and stables, all found in the island’s center, surrounded by a sprawling, magnificent lawn that is big enough to land a small plane on. Practice golfing, play some soccer, or go horseback riding too. The surrounding bay is protected and private, and offers exceptional fishing opportunities. The villa was built from trees located within the island’s massive forest.

Asking price: $7.4 million
See the listing here.

3. Perot’s Island
Riddell’s Bay, Bermuda

town july real estate news islands 3
(Photo courtesy privateislandsonline.com)

This island spans just a tick over 8 acres; however, it is fully landscaped and developed with an incredible Bermudian stone manor house spanning 13,500 square feet. The enchanting island is perfect for those with an active lifestyle or people on a search for serenity in an optimum climate. The home’s features are virtually endless, and there are dual covered slips, another open deep-water slip, two registered moorings, mainland parking for six cars, and a 200,000-gallon water tank. This property can also viewed as one with massive income-generating capabilities.

Asking price: $15 million
See the listing here.

4. Katafanga Island
Fiji

town july real estate news islands 4
(Photo courtesy privateislandsonline.com)

This estate is one of the last freehold islands in the South Pacific paradise of Fiji. Known as “The Blue Lagoon” island, it is encircled by an eye-popping, 5,000-acre natural turquoise lagoon and features sugar-white sandy beaches. The 225-acre island also contains coconut palm trees and 150-foot elevations that make for unbelievable panoramic views of the ocean. Construction of a world-class resort is underway, but certainly theownerof the island could find a way to ensure there are some über-private quarters located there. 

Asking price: $25 million
See the listing here.

 

International Real Estate Spotlight: Ireland

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(Photo: NYTimes.com)

Ireland is certainly one country that can be counted among those hit hardest by the unfortunate period of international economic turmoil that began in 2008. The Wall Street Journal reports that housing prices in the small, but incredibly beautiful nation dropped 60% from their 2007 peak figures. There does seem to be some good news emanating from “the old country” though, as the market has taken a much more positive turn in recent months. Between this past May and June alone, housing prices rose nearly 3% and almost 13% over the course of the past year. Prices in the city of Dublin have really been on an upswing, seeing a jump of 23.9% over the same twelve-month span.

We took a look at what is available in the capital and in the counties of Cork and Galway, which are closer to the ocean and have a higher availability of homes that feature impressive scenic views.

mint interior
(Photo: MyHome.ie)

Detached family homes are highly sought-after in Ireland, especially in and around populated areas where row houses dominate. This five-bedroom estate is named “Louvrain” and located on a desirable stretch of road in the northern, suburban portion of Dublin County near Malahide Village and Coast Road, which runs along the nearby bay. The property is approximately 5,000 square feet and features a fireplace in the living room, a drawing room, an office, a bar and even a guest apartment.

List Price: €1.5 million or $2.01 million

86eda03433_l
(Photo: MyHome.ie)

This 4,000 square-foot gated property overlooks Cork city and is part of the quiet suburb of Montenotte. The kitchen has recently been redone to include tasteful “granite worktops” and in the upstairs section there are five double bedrooms. Perhaps most impressive though is the landscaped backyard with a pond and small waterfall feature, plus the classic cobblestoned driveway in the front.Be sure to hop in your car and take a short drive into the city to attend Cork’s many festivals, which feature great food stands. The English Market there also sells locally produced foods, including fresh fish and artisan cheeses and breads. It’s like their version of the Union Square Farmer’s Market in Manhattan.

List Price: €650k or $871k

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(Photo: Draft.ie)

Just outside Galway in Clarinbridge County on over seven-and-a-half acres of land lies the “Clarin House,” a 7,400-square-foot stone detached house with five “generous” bedrooms and bathrooms. Built in 2005 in a contemporary style and with elite finishes, the house features all the amenities one would want in modern living: a double refrigerator, washer and dryer, integrated ovens—and that’s just in the kitchen. There’s also a dining room, sports room, music room, drawing room, and a reception hall. Moving down to the ground floor, there’s also an office, a gym, and a playroom for the kids.

List Price: €1.35 million or $1.81million

International Real Estate Spotlight: Melbourne

sydney
(Photo: Sotheby’s)

Australia’s priciest—and highest— apartment is currently on the market and creating lots of buzz across the country and beyond, but this $18 million showpiece isn’t in Sydney.

 

No, the much-talked-about penthouse at the Eureka Tower looks down over Melbourne—Australia’s so-called “second city”—and increasingly it’s most desirable.

 

If glamorous Sydney is Australia’s Manhattan, then Melbourne is its Brooklyn, a laid-back capital of cool filled with funky-chic cafes, innovative new restaurants, and super-cool boutique hotels. Not surprisingly, much like Brooklyn, Melbourne has seen a real estate boom in recent years. Home prices here increased more than 10 percent last year—although, also not unlike Brooklyn, some analysts have wondered whether buyer-happy Australia is in the middle of a bubble that will soon burst. While that’s hard to tell, for now, those who purchased in Melbourne over the past few years have seen their home prices increase dramatically.

 

And that $18 million penthouse in the city’s ultra-hip Southbank neighborhood? It’s still on the market and features wraparound, floor-to-ceiling windows offering 360-degree views of the city, plus air conditioning, heating, blinds, lighting, doors and security that can all be controlled on your iPad. This home has never been lived in, and if it does sell above asking price, it’s expected to be Melbourne’s priciest deal ever.

 

 

On the Map: Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo Real Estate
Sao Paulo Real Estate
Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons / Andre Deak

 

With the World Cup coming to Brazil this summer, all the world’s eyes will be on South America’s largest country, an emerging market those in the luxury real estate business have been aware of for quite some time. Everyone knows Rio, but Sao Paulo in particular has seen amazing growth in the real estate market over the past half-decade. The question on everyone’s minds now is: will the market there continue to grow, or is it a bubble ready to burst?

Brazil in general has overseen a booming economy, with Brazilians across the spectrum – but particularly on the higher end – earning rapidly growing salaries with many of them buying high-end real estate in New York. Add in low interest loans and a burgeoning mortgage market, and housing prices in Brazil have gone through the roof, to the tune of 126 percent growth from 2008 through 2013. According to the Bank for International Settlements, that’s the most growth seen anywhere in the world – and particularly impressive given that much of the rest of the world was suffering through an economic downturn during the first half of that period.

In Sao Paulo, the World Cup stadium currently being erected is only one part of a construction bonanza taking over the city’s skyline. Luxury condos, hotels, and more modest single-family dwellings are all quickly attracting buyers, and leading to a whopping 181 percent growth in local housing prices solely in Sao Paulo.

All this growth lead to plenty of euphoria among anyone who bought Sao Paulo property prior to 2008. However, it has also left some analysts fretting about the possibility of a coming crash. Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller, a housing expert who predicted the 2008 burst of the American housing bubble, warned late last year that the signs for a similar situation are lining up in credit-happy Brazil. But at least for now, the real estate boom in sunny Sao Paulo shows no signs of slowing down.