Photos from my weekend trip to Ottawa (pt. 4), August 2013, Parliament Hill- the home of the Parliament of Canada 

Photos from my weekend trip to Ottawa (pt. 3), August 2013, Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica

The main structure was finished in 1846, with the completion of the lower section in 1844 (designed by Antoine Robillard and Father Cannon, who requested Neo-classical design), Oblate Fathers took over the church and decided to redesign it in a more standard Neo-gothic style.  The two gothic spires were added in 1866 (designed by Rev. Damase Dandurand), the steeples are topped with French-Canadian tin.  The ornate interior decorated with bright paint, statues and carved features was designed by Georges Buillon.

Photos from my weekend trip to Ottawa (pt. 2), August 2013, The National Gallery of Canada- designed by Moshe Safdie

Spacious corridors fill with light from tall glass ceilings, which illuminate the gallery space.  Courtyards filled with rows of trees and small pools add a classical feel to some areas, that meet a modern twist with the shadows cast from the gem shaped steel frames in the glass corners of the building.    

Photos from my weekend trip to Ottawa (and a tiny bit of Quebec) (pt. 1), August 2013, The Canadian Museum of Civilisation- designed by Douglas Cardinal

Coop Himmelb(l)au, winning entry for the Dawang Mountain Resort Changsha, China (2013-)

The site combines an entertainment ice world with an indoor ski slope, a water park, and supporting restaurant and shopping areas.  The snow and ice world stretches 170 meters between two cliffs over a historical cement mining quarry and lake, framing the open space from architecture to landscape, and adding cliffside pathways connecting the two.  The water park includes a cantilevered outdoor swimming pool, creating a 60m high waterfall into the quarry pit, and pools and islands below.  Large glass façades provide an all-round view into the beautiful surrounding scenery, and a central glass cone refracts light downwards through the ice world structure and hanging gardens to the pools underneath.  The separate 100m high tower at the Southern end provides the most iconic landmark for the site and hosts a 5 star-hotel with impressive views of the Tongxi Lake and Dawang Mountain.  The Fashion Hotel Tower façade is specially designed to provide state-of-the-art sun shading and natural ventilation, offering more flexible planning to the inside and a homogeneous appearance.

Rice Gallery- Houston Texas, Rip Curl Canyon (2006), designed by Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues

Using 4000 sheets of cut cardboard, Ball- Nouges filled an exhibition room with a surging interactive landscape.  The installation tied in with the current exhibition "The Modern West: American Landscapes, 1890-1950", and inspiration from American topography of canyons and rock formations can be seen.

Park Royal on Pickering, Singapore, WOHA

The architects’ strong stance for the ultimate green city helped shape the “topographical architecture”of their design.  Layers of precast concrete form contour lines that weave through the supporting columns linking public areas and hotel space.  Tropical gardens are cantilevered at every fourth level between the guest rooms, and cascades flow from swimming pools and terraces allowing greenery to thrive.  The large striated design full of crevices and rock-like structures brings a unique building to Singapore and adds natural life to the city.

Arango Residence, Acapulco Mexico, John Launter

A modern home built in 1971, with the upper terrace looking over Acapulco Bay.

Knox Innovation Opportunity and Sustainability Centre, Melbourne, Australia, Woods Bagot

The centre focuses on teaching and training in sustainability, reflected in it’s use of materials and efficiency through orientation, where each of the blades on the façade act as a screen.