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!

3 Responses to “Unique architecture Oscars: and the winner is…”

  1. brett says:

    I always thought those Japonese sleeping pods were urban legend?! I really like that apartment building in Amersterdam.

  2. jim teigen says:

    thx Tony…good job

  3. Iris says:

    Honeycomb hotels are not for the claustrophobic. As for the the 175-square-foot studio in NYC, don’t tell me, let me guess. They paid $500K for it…or more?

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