The Klein Bottle House: Unique Exterior Design Wins Architecture Festival

Quite special this one. Not only is it a) super and b) shiny, it’s c) officially the best house in the world and d) it exists in more dimensions than it ought to!

Confused? Then I’ll cover these points one by one.

a) and b) – well just look at it.

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(Photographs by John Gollings – Gollings Photography)

I rest my case.

c) It was recently awarded first prize in the ‘individual house’ category at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona. Amongst the judges are some of the most influential archictects around, so they should know a thing or two about what makes an amazing house.

and d) The science bit: it was designed around the principal of the Klein bottle, which according to Wikipedia is “a certain non-orientable surface, i.e., a surface (a two-dimensional manifold) with no distinct “inner” and “outer” sides”.

Which I take to mean an object which is both inside out and outside in at the same time and makes your head hurt the more you look at it.

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(image source)

But back to the house. Obviously it was not a slavish attempt to recreate the shape above, that’d be silly. Just telling the kids to go outside would condemn them to an endless loop and social services would soon be paying you a visit.

However the Australian architects McBride Charles Ryan were keen to stay, in their words, “topologically pure” to the form which meant that:

“The development was intense, the serious pursuit of joyful nonsense. The result we think is a unique shape and internal space, an unexpected entry sequence and series of new relationships between the traditional components of the home.”

They go on to admit, “The building required extensive use of 3d software for both its development and eventual execution”.

To which my reply is, “No sh*t Sherlock”.

More pictures and the full ‘how what and why’, over at World Buildings Directory.

November 6, 2009 at 4:38 PM Leave a comment

2009 Property trends: Huge drops in Property Millionaires

Price tag: £40 million, nine bedrooms, The Bishops Avenue, London

Years of booming house prices resulted in the creation of many ‘property paper millionaires’ who experienced rocket propelled property values and membership to the exclusive ‘property millionaires club’.

However this club has just shed a load of members…99,538 to be precise, leaving only 183, 630 today. That’s a 35% drop since November 2007 or another way of looking at it is 1 in 97 properties was valued at over £1 million two years ago but today that figure stands at just 1 in 150.

The hardest hit has been the North East; losing 83% of property millionaires in the past two years. Wales has also been hard hit, losing 56% of its property millionaires over the same period.

No surprise though that, despite the decline in house prices, certain parts of the country remain awash with property millionaires, notably London and the South East, where 81% of all million pound homes can be found.

The capital is home to 57% of all property millionaires, with the largest share residing in Kensington (W8) where 48% of all properties are worth over £1 million. Outside the capital, Virginia Water in Surrey leads the property millionaire stakes, with 28% of homes in the area worth more than a million pounds, compared to a national average of just 0.88%.

Click here for regional breakdown and areas with highest proportion of property millionaires.

FIVE PROPERTIES UNLIKELY TO FALL BELOW THE THRESHOLD ANY TIME SOON

1. £25.9m Courtenay Avenue, Highgate, London

Photo 1 of Courtenay Avenue, Highgate, London, London N6

2. £27.5m Avenue Road, London

3.  £18m Parkside, London

Photo 1 of Parkside, London

4. £15m Henstridge Place, London

Photo 1 of Henstridge Place, London

5. £12.5m Clifton Hill, London

Photo 1 of Clifton Hill, London

November 6, 2009 at 9:44 AM Leave a comment

Our Best properties for sale in Westminster

It’s Bonfire Night – hooray!!!  A fine reason for a few midweek tipples in a pub with a view of some fireworks action.

And, in order to remember, remember the fifth of November, we’re locating this week’s Five to View in Westminster, home to the very building that Guy Fawkes was planning to blow up all those centuries ago.

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It won’t surprise you that it’s not the most affordable of London locations*, given its proximity to the heart of the city, but it contains some incredibly swanky properties that are well worth a look, even for the humble electorate.

(*Unless, of course, you’re an MP, in which case it’s probably heavily discounted, courtesy of the tax payer.)

Here is our pick of prestigious SW1 sparklers, in ascending order of price:

(Click on pics for more images and property details)

1. 3 bedroom flat, Tufton Street

£945,000

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2. 3 bedroom apartment, Marsham Street

£1,750,000

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3. 4 bedroom townhouse, Old Queen Street

£2,950,000

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4. 10 bedroom penthouse, Queen Annes Gate

£10,500,000

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5. 6 bedroom house, Old Queen Street

£15,000,000

westminster-6-bed-lounge

November 5, 2009 at 6:18 PM Leave a comment

Russell Brand Selling Hampstead Pad

Russell Brand, comedian, serial shagger and professional Andrew Sachs botherer is selling his London pad.

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And what would his place look like?

Well, there’s lots of black obviously … black and silver wallpaper, black chairs, a black sofa, a black bed, and a luxurious en-suite bathroom with yes, you’ve guessed it, black floors and walls.

There’s also, in case you’ve missed the point here, a stag’s skull on the wall … err, hang on, didn’t we have one of those somewhere else recently? In a black apartment?

Russell, may we introduce you to Cindy Gallop, international advertising consultant, lover of all things black and good time gal about town.

With halloween still in the air, we may well have a match made in Hell here. Listen carefully: I think I can hear Satan himself cackling.

The house in Hampstead is on the market with a guide price of £2,500,000, via Hamptons (Tel: 0843 2842 562).

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Via: Brickwork: The London Property Blog

November 5, 2009 at 11:48 AM Leave a comment

Extension Invention 1: House In Surbiton

You wouldn’t expect the architect who designed Wembley stadium and Hong Kong airport – the chief executive at Foster + Partners, no less – to be happy with a simple side extension.

And you’d be right.

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But the extra living space that Mouzhan Majidi has added to his otherwise unremarkable new-build home in Surbiton is home extension on architectural steroids.

It’s a soaring triple height steel and glass extravaganza that’s doubled the size of the original house and transformed it into a dazzling grand design with vast open plan living spaces, a floating staircase and the best fixtures, fittings and furniture that money (an awful lot of money) can buy.

It’s yours to buy for £1.75m from Dexters (Tel: 0843 2819 308).

Or if you prefer, you can rent it from Foxtons (Tel: 020 8879 2121) for £1847 per week.

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November 4, 2009 at 4:04 PM 1 comment

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