Archive for February, 2011

On this day after the Academy Awards, it seems appropriate to offer my own acknowledgments to creators of forward-thinking architecture or unusual urban designs—in both the dramatic and humor categories. So, without any song and dance numbers or fancy gowns, here we go:

Best sound in a comedic role


Brooklyn is the setting for this masterpiece in the use of baffling materials in a supporting role. Some 25,000 ping pong balls were used to fill this 90-square-foot apartment of architecture firm partner Daniel Arsham. View the slide show at Fast Company.

Unique lighting in a foreign role


Here in the Ukraine, the candles in this 13th-floor lobby in a “bad part” of Kiev are lighted every day by a resident who painted the concrete walls to look like Pandora. It’s also my nominee for best art direction.

Selected short subjects in architecture


Rooms in a Tokyo “capsule hotel” are my choice in setting—short subjects. All the drama is crammed into this small setting, a unique locale for a tryst or cat-nap. Read more at Nine Hours.

Best costume

urban cactus

Best costume this year goes to the Urban Cactus High Rise in (no, not Arizona) Amsterdam. Thank the greens personnel behind the scene for this disguised apartment complex that doubles as a hanging garden.

Special effects


The honeycombed apartments on this hillside terrace above Izola Bay in Slovenia take the place of one giant structure, adding depth of character to the role. Read the original script at the 2Modern Blog.

Best adaptation


The Prokops of New York City have made the most out of this 175-square-foot apartment. In a city where studio space comes at a premium, this innovative couple has adapted their act to the size of the stage, using local restaurants for craft service and keeping their wardrobe department elsewhere. They won’t have room for their Oscar, but they deserve it.

Congratulations to all the nominees!

Let it slide: Playful architecture for adult children

Don’t know about you, but when I get home I’m anxious to slip into something comfortable. Today’s blog is about making it even easier. It’s the single-happiest discovery I’ve made about architecture and interiors. I loved the idea in Ghost Busters of having an office with a fire pole. But these home designs that include inside slides for kids (and adults, too!) are about as fantastic as it gets. Sadly, almost all of them are from homes overseas, which says something about the conservative Puritan ethic in American architecture. Friends, if I ever hit the lottery, I’m building a home with a huge slide in it.

Architecture that goes whee!

head first

I’m not saying that I never went head-first from an upper floor to the lower one. I’m just saying I never did it on a slide. Look at this and other interiors that include designs for slides at High Gloss Blue.

Glee for your chi


Recently, Yahoo featured a slide show (imagine that!) of a home in Tokyo’s Nakameguro district that features a slide that descends over three stories, emptying out in a first-floor library.

What goes up, must come down


I may like the use of glass in this design, but I love the idea of taking the stairs on the way up and sliding my way back down. I even might climb the slide, hands, elbows and knees, to the second floor.

Newtonian interiors

circular slide

Here’s another home borrowing from the contrary actions principle. I’d love use it to test out the laws of inertia, wearing a tux for a wedding and cradling a teeming fish bowl.

Boomerang theory in architecture


This home in Indonesia employs a concrete slide that exits the home on the second floor children’s bedroom and has its re-entry in the kitchen. I was going to say the Jakarta slide had a re-entry “downstairs”, but why bother with the stairs? See additional views at Dezeen Magazine. Here’s another look:


Just remember: the more you slide the less you have to hide. (I just made that up.)

Recent Comments

  • Kid's stuff:Bedroom furniture for dreamers

    Hey Woodrow,

    You've put together a great post here. Hardwearing and long-lasting bedroom furniture is so important when you have young children, and choosing pieces which can handle the rough-and-tumble that comes with having little ones is key!

    Best wishes, Alex.

  • Awesomely Oddball Lawn and Garden Accessories

    I plan to do this. What was your process in painting the bottom...outside portion of the tub?

  • Poor staging can crush your home sale

    Woodrow, you have once again 'nailed' the essence of the issue of staging your home for sale with easy to understand pics and words. These are definitely rules to live by, oh wise one! I know I"m soaking up the knowledge you share--- now excuse me while I wring myself out. Can't wait for the next issue.

  • To everyone, a room of one's own

    We've recently bought a house which needs A LOT of work and I'm trying to convince my other half to let me build a "room of my own" for the house, one where I can put my games console and beer fridge. She's not gone for it yet though. The most I've managed to get is an office I can work out of ... not quite the same ... LoL.

    Mine would certainly be like the car boot room in the first image :)


  • Home designs you haven’t seen before

    I wonder how far the folks in the Rock House are able to drive in their car? Maybe down to their boat? It's so true that home is where you are at the moment.