June 25, 2014

Polished Stainless Steel vs. Chrome Plating

Finishing1Stainless steel polishing and grinding is known as one of the most difficult projects. This is because most stainless steel polishing requires a mirror-like finish devoid of even the slightest of scratches or pinholes. The polishing process usually consists of 3 to 7 (or more) process depending on where you start from. The polishing wheel, cotton wheel, non-woven wheel, and polishing paste are materials commonly used for polishing. The hard and tough polishing wheel is used in first stage and then the softer cotton wheels.

The cold stainless steel is rolled, softened and descaled. It then receives a final light pass on polished rolls known as a ‘pinch pass’. The steel remains gray in appearance, but the final pass on polished rolls produces a smoother, brighter surface. Check out this video showing an example of the process.

Chrome is slang for Chromium, one of the 92 naturally occurring chemical elements. Chrome is a metal, but it is not useful as a solid, pure substance.

Finishing2Things are never made of solid chrome. The bulk of the object is usually steel but sometimes it can be aluminum, brass, copper, plastic, or stainless steel. When you hear that something is chrome, what it really means is that it is a thin layer of chrome (a plating of chrome) on the object. Decorative chrome plating is sometimes called nickel-chrome plating because it always involves electroplating nickel onto the object before plating the chrome (it sometimes also involves electroplating copper onto the object before the nickel, too). The nickel plating provides the smoothness, much of the corrosion resistance, and most of the reflectivity. The chrome plating is exceptionally thin, measured in millionths of an inch rather than in thousandths.

Finishing3A cause of confusion is the fact that people may tend to describe any shiny finish as “chrome” even when it really has nothing to do with chromium. For example, brightly polished aluminum motorcycle parts, electro-polished stainless steel boat rigging, vacuum metallized Mylar balloons and helmets, semi-shiny painted wheels, and nickel plated oven racks are sometimes called ‘chrome’ by the lay person. Now, chrome is always applied by electro-plating, it is never melted onto parts in the fashion of chocolate on strawberries, sprayed on like paint, or applied in any other way than by electroplating. Note that everything that is somewhat reflective is not necessarily real chrome plating. Indeed it’s not always easy to tell real chrome plating from other finishes if the parts are not side by side.



Submitted by Dwayne

Source: Finishing

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June 24, 2014

St. Louis City Museum

St Louis City1Welcome to City Museum, where the imagination runs wild!

Housed in the 600,000 square-foot former International Shoe Company, the museum is an eclectic mixture of children’s playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel made out of unique, found objects. The brainchild of internationally acclaimed artist Bob Cassilly, a classically trained sculptor and serial entrepreneur, the museum opened for visitors in 1997 to the riotous approval of young and old alike.

It continues to morph and grow with new exhibits every year. There are numerous features at the museum; 10 story slide, a Ferris Wheel, an Aquarium, a Shoelace Factory, enchanted caves, a skateless park, a circus, and several restaurants, including a fresh donut shop.

St Louis City2

Cassilly and his longtime crew of 20 artisans have constructed the museum from the very stuff of the city; and, as a result, it has urban roots deeper than any other institutions’. Reaching no farther than municipal borders for its reclaimed building materials, City Museum boasts features such as old chimneys, salvaged bridges, construction cranes, miles of tile, and even two abandoned planes!

“City Museum makes you want to know,” says Cassilly. “The point is not to learn every fact, but to say, ‘Wow, that’s wonderful.’ And if it’s wonderful, it’s worth preserving.”


Submitted by Crystal

Source: citymuseum.org

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June 23, 2014

Bina Concrete

Bina1Thomas Bina is a designer known for merging old world and new. His use of reclaimed and recycled materials in modern shapes is now a recognizable trademark. In his new collection for Four Hands, Bina is evolving his look with the use of concrete. This new medium, combined with Bina’s distinctive aesthetic, gives the new collection a much more industrial look. We’re guessing that this mix of concrete, steel, and wood will be hot this summer at Hold It Contemporary Home!





Submitted by A.

Source: Four Hands



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June 22, 2014

Hupomone Ranch

Ranch1The owners named the place Hupomone Ranch; “hupomone” is a biblical term meaning “joyful endurance and steadfastness.” It’s an apt moniker, as that is exactly what it took to build a home here. The property had been fallow for 30 years or so. There was a collapsing shed where the house now stands. There was what had once been a farmhouse on the property, but apparently it had been used as a goat barn before being abandoned. The transformation is truly stunning.



Submitted by A.

Source: 1001 Gardens




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June 21, 2014

Roost Tree House

RoostRoost Tree House is designed to mimic the organic curvaceous forms found in nature. The aim was to create a tree house that could blend in and almost become part of the tree itself, becoming camouflaged in the surrounding forest. The tree house consists of a series of pod like capsules that are harnessed to the trunk of each tree using a bracing technique that causes no harm or interference with the trees growth. Each capsule has a central spiral staircase leading up to an outdoor platform. This connects to the adjoining pod allowing access into the next structure as well as providing additional support to the overall structures. Only one of the pods has the spiral staircase running to ground level. The interior of each pod sleeps 2 people and the above exterior platform is designed to interact with the forest surroundings providing panoramic views of the trees canopies. All the materials used for the construction are from sustainable materials and do not damage the trees in any shape or form.



Submitted by Ximena


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June 20, 2014

Siberian Denisovans

DenisoviansIn the Atapuerca Mountains in northern Spain, 400,000-year-old bones found in a cave have yielded the oldest decoded human DNA – over 6,000 ancient bone samples belonging to 28 ancient humans have been found.

The DNA reveals a close genetic relationship with Denisovans, an archaic human group found in Siberia, rather than with the Neanderthals commonly found in Europe.


Until now, these sister families of early humans were thought to have resided in prehistoric Europe and Siberia. But paleontologists write in a new study that the bones of what they thought were European Neanderthals appear genetically closer to the Siberian Denisovans, as shown by maternally inherited “mitochondrial” DNA found in a fossil thighbone uncovered at Spain’s Sima de los Huesos cave. The Sima hominins could also be a completely independent group that mingled with Denisovans, passing on their mitochondrial DNA, but it would be hard to explain why they also have Neanderthal features. In the end, the identity of these ancient people remains a mystery, and further work is needed to clarify their identity. As with the Denisovans, only the decoding of the full genetic map or genome, and not just the mitochondrial DNA, will provide convincing evidence of Sima family history. This article really makes you wonder what humans will look like and be like another 400,000 years from now. There have been catastrophic events in the distant past where entire species who roamed our planet millions of years ago have been eradicated from existence. Will the same fate happen to our species?

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June 19, 2014

Into the Light Hotel by A31

i2tl5A31 have designed a hotel model for the 100% Hotel Show in Greece.

Perfectly attuned to the facilitators’ intentions to generate an exhibition that will enhance the visitor’s stimuli through experiential events and activities, the project “Into the Light Hotel” was created in order to promote a timeless architectural approach of an exemplary Greek hotel model.

The challenge for A31 was to create an exemplary hotel space that also coincides with the Greek landscape, while also using the landscape to the space’s benefit. A31 focused on the beautiful Greek light and with the beautiful materials selected, allowed the light to emerge and thrive within the hotel.


At the same time, the use of slim materials is consistent with the new construction ethics that prevent excess usage of raw materials, while making the building eco-wiser and lighter.

““Into the Light Hotel” introduces the visitor to the 100% Hotel Show through a path that triggers memories linked to the way we perceive light as it effortlessly fits into all our experiences. The project aims to highlight the plasticity of architectural volumes and components, as well as the materiality of the walls and the utilitarian objects.”

i2tl2“Into the Light Hotel” unfolds in 5 main sections:

1) The reception: An urban space which introduces the visitor to the concept and paves the way for the conquest of the integrated experience that shall follow. “Into the light – The installation” by A31 triggers memories and feelings and “The meeting”, a striking sculpture (1,80m) of Yiannis Moralis included in the scenery, prove the ability of art – when integrated appropriately- to “add” to the space and enhance the aesthetic result.

2) The Lobby: A place which allows connection with the mountainside of the mainland. Stone and burnished rusted steel illustrate the raw beauty which fascinates through the mere lack of any pomposity.


3) The Dining Room: A synthesis between classic and modern, allowing the harmonic conjunction of not only the elements included, but also the people for which it is intended.



4) The garden: Arid plants in a sand pit compose a landscape that resembles that of the Greek islands. The water element, inextricably connected with the Mediterranean landscape, couldn’t of course be absent from the scenery.


5) The Room: A contemporary space with cement floor, white furniture and built-in bed, which could be found in a Cycladic hotel, comforting the visitor with its welcoming nature and its unpretentious feel.


Additionally, the lobby features the artwork of Apollo Glykas which is a modern take on Shadow Theatre. “The applications of light through different perspectives and filters (modern trellises, skylights, pergola) trigger the visitor’s emotions, since surprise is being succeeded by warmth, feeling of safety and intimacy. In this experiential manner the visitor is not simply required to “grasp” the space, but actually enters and “fits” right into it, in an exact simulation of what should happen in an ideal hotel.”

ho_150614_14-630x420As guests pass through each section of the hotel, they come across the materials used while also absorbing additional information about each selection. A31 has created a space not only of pristine contemporary design elements, but a mecca for guest’s own Inspiration.


Submitted by Coco

Source: Contemporist

Posted by Coco 10:00am in Uncategorized Comments Off

June 18, 2014

Weiden + Kennedy’s New York Office Space

W+KAmerican firm Work Architecture Company (workAC) designed the new 50,000 sq.ft office space for renowned advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy. It embraces urban density as its motto, with a minimal compression of individual work spaces that open up room for a gradient of diverse collective spaces. The overall architecture moves away from the “office as a playground,” to put work back at the heart of creative work.

Because work at Wieden + Kennedy is highly collaborative, workAC designed the widest possible range of discussion spaces to accommodate meetings

W+K2and gatherings of varying size,privacy levels, and duration. More traditional meetings can be held in conference rooms that range in scale from smaller, intimate “phonebooths,” to formal conference rooms.




A circular shaped, walnut-clad “coin stair” features bleacher seating. Glass walls create a sense of lightness and transparency, and the coin stair and spiral stairs connect all three floors vertically.


The office also includes a multi-purpose gym on the 7th floor that doubles as a conference room for lectures and film screenings.

W+K4W+K5Employees can use the outdoor park surrounded by blueberry bushes on the 6th and 7th floors, which is completely wired for power, music and wi-fi.





Submitted by Caity

Source: My Modern Met

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June 17, 2014

Pocket Park

Pocket-ParkA formerly small, plain parking lot in downtown San Diego’s East Village community has now been transformed into a mini park where residents can gather and play in the heart of a very busy urban area.

The innovative little “pocket park,” as it’s called by developers, is snugly situated in a 2,500-square-foot space between buildings at 13th Avenue and J Street, right next to the Mission Café at 1250 J Street.

It is officially open to the public and is filled with families enjoying the extra space to play and mingle. It includes wooden pallets to climb and sit on, as well as big letters painted on the ground to mimic a word search game.


Submitted by Crystal

Source: NBC San Diego

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June 16, 2014

Museo Soumaya

SoumayaThe Soumaya Museum plays a key role in the reconversion of the area: it acts as an initiator in the transformation of the urban perception. Its avant-garde morphology and typology define a new paradigm in the history of Mexican and international architecture. From the outside, the building is an organic and asymmetrical shape that is perceived differently by each visitor, while reflecting the diversity of the collection on the inside. Its heterogeneous collection is housed in a continuous exhibition space spread over six levels, representing approximately 60,000 ft². The building also includes an auditorium for 350 people, library, offices, a restaurant, a gift shop and a multi-purpose gathering lounge.

The shell of the building is constructed with 28 steel curved columns of different diameters, each with its own geometry and shape,


offering the visitor a soft non-linear circulation all through the building. Located at each floor level, seven ring beams provide a system that braces the structure and guarantees its stability. The top floor is the most generous space of the museum; its roof is suspended from an impressive cantilever that allows natural daylight to flow in freely. In contrast, the building’s envelope is nearly opaque, offering little and scarce openings to the outside. This gesture can be interpreted as an intention to create a protected shelter for the art collection. The façade is made of hexagonal aluminum modules that optimize the preservation and durability of the entire building.


Submitted by Dwayne

Source: Pinterest

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