Travel Thursday | Piece Of Paradise | Velassaru Maldives

Maldives has been synonym with luxurious natural retreats for a while now. Provoking travelers to indulge in this combination of pure luxury and breathtaking beach side panoramas, Velassaru Maldives is located at the fine line between the sky and the ocean, in the paradise we call the Maldives. This expressive island hotel holds details inspired by local architecture, while the finishes are luxurious and invite to a world of indulgence. If there is a place where memories of an almost impossible beauty become the foundation for inspiration, then this place is perfectly defined by its motto: “Live in your world. Play in ours.

Seven different villa types overlooking powdery white beaches and the infinite-looking ocean are available, showing that even paradise can be rented. Teak and stone meet under high vaulted thatch ceilings and extend towards the water in a unique embrace. Restaurants and bars, alongside private dining experiences, as well as an inviting spa and yoga pavilion care for your body and mind. Velassaru is definitely one of the most inviting places for a paradise-like experience.

Travel Thursday | Nu Hotel Milan, Italy


Project: Nu Hotel | Architects: Nisi Magnoni Architects Location: Milan, Italy| Compleated: 2012

‘Nu Hotel is the ideal solution for your business or leisure trip to Milan, located few minutes away from Linate airport and few steps from the Underground Station. Thirty eight different rooms, with every detail designed and created by hand, makes Nu Hotel a unique and sought after place as well as elegant and practical, with all the comfort and the indispensable services. From the five meters tall windows of the panoramic restaurant, located on the roof, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of Milan where to taste dishes fromtraditional Italian cuisine.’  Nu Hotel 

Concrete Blonde | Dreamtime Australia Design


Project: Concrete Blonde | Interiors: Dreamtime Australia Design | Location:Sydney, Australia | Compleated: 2011

Concrete Blonde exudes a grand sense of luxury and sophistication from its   mahogany floors, and matching chocolate coloured tables, to its sleek concrete columns and ceiling.

The robust, unified and warm interiors of this new Sydney nightspot, by Dreamtime Australia Design, are unique thanks to a series of artisan-made, bespoke features. Situated across the courtyard from the already iconic Hugo’s Bar Pizza in Kings Cross, Concrete Blonde has quickly become Sydney’s latest hot spot to see and be seen.

The overall impression when walking into Concrete Blonde is of an industrial interior in warm tones, lit dramatically, simple and strong on first viewing, but with detail in every corner.  Some of the architectural elements of the existing interior were kept exposed, including an internal concrete grid and exposed hydraulic piping.

But the outstanding feature in Concrete Blonde is the fireplace, a large bespoke artisanal structure made in brown metal. The piece is imposing, with a regular pattern of robust detail, and in the fireplace itself the metal takes the shape of firewood. The brown theme is repeated throughout the rest of the interior in timber, featured in the floor, tables and seating. The kitchen is large and open, including a low, round wood-fired rotisserie, one-and-a-half metres in diameter, and two round gas-fired char grills with woodchips. Mimicking these circles, the firewood is kept in a series of round shelves on the wall behind.

On the terrace outside, the central feature is a fountain that spouts either water or fire, while illuminated plastic furniture is a clever source of lighting at night. “Dramatic, yet low-key, moody lighting makes a crucial difference in warming the ambience of the interior and exterior spaces,” explains McCann. “As well, several light fixtures are highly creative industrial luminaires, adding a further touch of wow and whimsy to the overall atmosphere.” While lighting is key to achieving what McCann calls the “wow” factor, what he really brings to a project like this is the ability to create bespoke artisan-made features that assure owners that this interior is truly one of a kind.

Via | SMH, ArchitectureAU

Travel | Yellow tree house

The tree house restaurant, which is located near Warkworth, north of  Auckland, has attracted a lot of attention since its opening.  Peter Eising and Lucy Gauntlett of Pacific Environment Architects, the commission was a dream come true – being paid to design and build a tree house was the stuff of childhood fantasies. “The easiest part was coming up with the concept,” says Eising. “The trickiest part was to make it hang there.”

“We were inspired by the hanging ‘organic’ form of the butterfly’s chrysalis. This worked well in creating a memorable image during the day as well as a ‘lantern’ effect at night where the skin becomes transparent and the interior glows. It attaches itself to the tree and becomes part of the tree,” says Eising.

The restaurant’s dining room is inside the tree house, while the kitchen  and other facilities are located on the ground. Access to the treehouse is  provided by an elevated 60 metre tree-top walkway.

A striking pod-shaped structure built ten metres off the ground and claiming to  be New Zealand’s only tree house restaurant has become a hit. While the tree house restaurant is open for a limited season – 9 January to 9 February – an extended opening period is under consideration.


Cocotte | French Restaurant

Cocotte - Restaurant


Project: Cocotte | Designer: Foreign Policy Design | Location: Singapore | Compleated: 2009

Cocotte (which means for ‘honey’ or ‘sweetie’) is a French restaurant in Singapore, in the Little India neighbourhood. Cocotte presents a rustic atmosphere and actual food. It’s all about having a real kitchen and real people in front of you. Meals come in shareable platters (think tapas) and the ambiance makes you feel nothing but comfy. The philosophy had to pass by a good branding and this time it’s signed from Foreign Policy Design.

Cocotte Restaurant

Cocotte Restaurant

‘The Cocotte logo takes its inspiration from old-style local French eateries and hand-painted signage. Rough-looking weathered menu boards with newsprint menus to further convey the simplicity, the down-to-earth and unpretentious personality.’

Cocotte Restaurant

Cocotte - Design

This cozy restaurant is located on the ground lever of Wanderlust, Cocotte serves up tasteful, rustic French cuisine in a casual and comfortable setting. The owners wanted to achieve the heart of French country cooking, where people could share platters of piping hot food and have delicious dishes passed across the table between loved ones and they have done exactly that. ‘Bon appetit’ everyone!

Cocotte - Menu

Cocotte - Plates

Via | The Foreign Design Group & Cocotte

Serbia Open Cafe | Novak Djokovic


Project: Novak Cafe | | Architects: Bojan Supeljak | Location: Belgrade, Serbia | Compleated: 2009

The Belgrade Tournament ATP  and one of his major player, Mr Djokovic, has requested for a new restaurant to live up to the standards requested by the ATP tournament. The studio has design a venue that favors from the best view of the tennis courts and its adjoining areas as well as providing a cozy and relaxed atmosphere, a precious luxury in the frenzy of the tournament organization.
Photo © Paolo Colombo

Disco Bar Mladosti | Belgrade, Serbia


Project: Disko Bar Mladosti | Architects: Fluid arhitektura (FLUID: ARCHITECTURE) | Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade disco bar Mladost was opened 2010. Interior design is signed by Belgrade architecture and design studio Fluid arhitektura (FLUID: ARCHITECTURE), led by Đorđe Gec. They gave the space good yet raw look and colored it with dimmed light penetrating the blurry bar glass.

Neild Avenue | The hottest new restaurant in Sydney


Project: Neild Avenue| Location:Sydney, Australia| ArchitectLazzarini Pickering Architetti

Neild Avenue is an impressive, theatrical space – an old heritage warehouse converted into comfortable booth and table seating, adorned in monochrome tones and untreated wood. Polished concrete floors reflect the bare, simple aesthetic in the barn-like room, while cutlery is stashed in steel table pockets, ready for use. Vivid colour appears in murals, by artist Anthony Lister, the view varies from a rainbow sky to Titian-haired beauties, depending on where you sit.

Australian Carl Pickering, of Rome architectural firm Lazzarini Pickering, is their long-time collaborator and was tasked with bringing the inherent Terzini-Marchetti magic to life, using just two or three materials. “We always believe that the atmosphere should reflect the price range, the food you’re serving, the style of service that you’re getting.” says Terzini.

The menu is described as ‘continental European’: beer-battered mussels, coal-grilled octopus, a whole section devoted to “ancient soups” (such as lamb shoulder) and mains divided into “seafood”, “kebabs”, “birds” and “meat”. Prices range from $11 to $42, with the option of sharing plates or ordering a main to yourself.

Neild Avenue, 10 Neild Avenue Rushcutters Bay, New South Wales, (02) 8353 4400.

[via Vogue Living]

Beton Hala | Comunale Restaurant


Project: Beton Hala / Comunale Restaurant | Location: Belgrade, Serbia | Architect:

Building completion: 2010 | Photographs: Ana Kostic, Marko Todorovic

Comunale restaurant is located in Belgrade, an industrial building constructed in 1937, which stretches along Sava river port, five minute walk from the central city pedestrian zone. Once warehouse with six meters ceiling height and construction grid defined by concrete columns of 5.5 meters span, the place was converted into new gathering place of Italian cuisine’s lovers. As the name suggests, seating is organized with massive communal tables, made of steel, positioned both on ground floor and gallery, with wooden benches and bar stools. Focal point is bar counter, tile covered, where guests can observe the preparation of food.


Ocean Room Restaurant, Sydney

Across the Sydney Opera House, at the Overseas Passenger Terminal, Ocean Room restaurant headed by the Japanese celebrity chef, Raita Noda.

The design outcome resulted in a unique dining experience under the silhouette of 40,000 timber objects suspended from the ceiling. Within 7m high ceiling, the timber silhouette was dramatized in two parts: the front entry dark timber chandelier over the dark cocktail bar and, in contrast, a lighter coloured timber curtain was sculpted in the main dining area, creating a visual dialogue with the Sydney Opera House beyond. The timber objects swing and dance with harbour breeze and create pleasant hitting sounds just like Japanese furin over the main dining area.

The restaurant’s signature chandelier installation consists of over 3,000 miniature wooden cylinders, fitted together like a giant hanging puzzle. The floors to ceiling glass windows maximize the restaurant’s stunning location with spectacular views of Sydney’s Opera House and harbour.

Saturday? …you are thinking where to go – check out this amazing ceiling space ..or just enjoy the food!

[via images & text Koichi Takada]