Category: Gardens & Outdoor Spaces

LEAP of Faith

Designed by Luca Gentilcore and Stefano Testa, LEAP (Living Ecological Alpine Pod) is an unattended high-altitude shelter anchored to the side of Mont Blanc. Used to record and transmit data on meteorological conditions, it can accommodate up to 12 people.

Pre-fabricated in tubular segments, it was lifted in by helicopter and then clamped to a trapezoidal rail-beam attached to the rock. A red jacquard motif on the roof echoes traditional alpine iconography and makes it visible from a distance. Photovoltaic roof panels provide electricity and heat to prevent the formation of ice and snow.

The prototype design is modular and flexible and could be adapted for other uses and geographic conditions. A breathtaking design – the views aren’t bad either.

More at Domus

Filed under: Architecture, Design, Gardens & Outdoor Spaces, Uncategorized

Unexpected Forms at Prague Castle

Prague is certainly one of the most beautiful and photogenic cities in the world. Just about everywhere you look there is something worthy of a photograph. On a recent visit (my first), I decided to mostly just absorb it with my own eyes rather than wander around in a lens-induced stupor.

I did, however, make an exception for Prague Castle. Sitting atop a hill across the river from the Old Town, it is the largest castle in the world (according to the Guinness Book of World Records). To say it’s eclectic would be an understatement, its buildings represent just about every pre-modern architectural style of the last millennium.

Perhaps it was the absinthe from the night before, but I tripped out on this stone balustrade with mushroom-like forms. On a rear terrace away from the crowds and overlooking a wooded park, their modern, almost futuristic aesthetic was so unexpected and out of place in a setting so steeped in history, which is surely why I liked them.

These bulbous shaped trees planted nearby in a grid pattern were a delightful surprise too. I usually find topiaries and structured gardens too rigid for my taste, but I found these oddly endearing, like enormous Christmas trees that have had a few too many helpings of stuffing and pumpkin pie.

Filed under: Architecture, Design, Gardens & Outdoor Spaces, Travel & Places, Uncategorized

Blooming Lovely


My Father-in-Law, Frank, is quite the gardener. He sent us this photo of his lovely garden in full bloom, which won an award for “Best Blooming Garden” in the village of Shevington, Greater Manchester. It’s so quintessentially English – why is that? I’m fascinated with the qualities that give something a strong sense of place. Two big green thumbs up!

Filed under: Gardens & Outdoor Spaces, Travel & Places, Uncategorized