Archive for January, 2012

Spend A Night In A Dutch Ice Hotel.

It could be any standard hotel room in the quaint northeastern Dutch city of Zwolle, with a bed, a minibar, bathrobes and two pairs of slippers.  Except for the room temperature, which hovers just above freezing. Welcome to the first Dutch ice hotel, all the comforts at eight degrees Celsius (46 °F).  “If you take a shower before bed, make sure your hair is dry or it will freeze. Do not drink too much alcohol, or eat too heavy a meal. Make sure you change clothes before entering the room,” hotel manager Annet van Limburg told first-time visitors.

Built for an ice sculptors’ festival in Zwolle and managed by a local hotel, the structure has three rooms and stands in a refrigerated warehouse.  It is the first time in Europe that an ice hotel has opened this far south, Van Limburg said. Indeed, the idea comes from the north.  With some 47 rooms for the 2011/12 season, the largest ice hotel is at Jukkasjarvi in northern Sweden’s Lapland.  “Unlike Canada and Lapland, the hotel here is not situated in nature,” Van Limburg said pointing out: “There, the guests sleep in minus 20 degrees.”

Inside, abstract patterns carved from the ice adorn the meter-thick walls of two of the rooms. A third has a nautical theme, including a giant shell carved into its ice.  Carved from a solid ice block, like a giant ice cube, the room’s main attraction is a square bed, which lights up in pink, blue and green lights through lamps installed underneath in its ice.  It took about 10 days to build the three rooms, where guests can stay from December 3 to January 29. A night for two including breakfast will cost 199 euros ($259).


Petr Spetina’s Water Music.

Born 1973, in the Czech Republic as a farmers son, Petr found his way to glass music through accordion and piano.  He specialized on glass harp and has been brilliantly playing it for 15 years.  His multifaceted compositions, performed on his self-developed glass harp made of 33 glasses, are policed by his unique playing technique His repertoire covers everything that makes his glasses sing.  From classical to tradition music, to pop.  Numerous appearances at the events and in shows, as well as in film, television and advertising confirm the uniqueness of Petr Spatina’s performance.  Truly outstanding music that goes straight into the ear and definitely under the skin.

The Transparent Swimming Pool.

Take a look at the Transparent Swimming Pool by OFTB.  ‘Out Of The Blue’ is a team of landscape architects, horticulturists and in-house pool builders based in Melbourne, Australia. They integrate contemporary landscape design with high quality construction of concrete swimming pools. Here I got a look at one of their stunning creations, a transparent pool from a house in Elsterwick, Melbourne.’

Unleash Your Fingers.

For the launch of the Galaxy SII in France, Samsung brought JayFunk, the internet Finger Tutting phenomenon, from Los Angeles to Paris to deliver an incredible and surprising choreography.  Check the method below.

The Oriental Warehouse Loft Building.

The historic Oriental Warehouse Loft Building sits nestled within San Francisco’s south beach neighborhood. Leave it to local architecture team Edmonds & Lee to spearhead a complete reconfiguration and renovation of the space. The team explained, “in order to maximize the spatial experience of the loft, traditional notions of domestic privacy were abandoned in favor of open and transparent relationships.”

Edmonds & Lee brought their concept to fruition by replacing opaque guardrails at the sleeping mezzanine with transparent glass rails, providing a direct visual connection to the space below. Edmonds & Lee also let the bathroom breathe by using an oversized sheet of transparent glass at the restroom instead of a closed off wall, allowing minimal privacy in order to maintain the open and lofty atmosphere.

The original shell of the space was compromised of heavy timbers and rustic old bricks. The architecture team added modern and sleek new fixtures in the restroom and kitchen areas, and a new cantilevered steel staircase, which leading to the sleeping quarters. New age elements were added to the design of the space including a set of spherical reflective lights hanging over the living room, gallery style canvas art hanging from the walls, and polished oak wood floors to contrast the existing timbers.


The USB Watch.

The USB Watch is a simple way of carrying your memory stick in style. A 10-minute romp with the computer charges it enough to tell you the correct time for a week. What’s more, every time you hook it up it syncs in automatically with the computer’s time. The LED display shows you the current memory status at the touch of a button. I think it’s a clever integration of functionality and utility.