lake tekapo: houses

Dearest ______,

Architecture has always been both advocate and adversary to nature. As an ally, it directly responds to elements present in the natural environment it inhabits- works around them, mirrors them.


On another hand, it also aims to question these very same elements by introducing aesthetics and technologies that ultimately make built environments truly habitable for their purpose.

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cardboard cathedral

Dearest ______

I remember reading about a major earthquake that hit Christchurch in New Zealand not too long ago, one which caused great loss in lives and living to key areas of the disaster.
A tragically captivating phrase I caught recently could probably summarize the wake of that calamity in 2011:

“A mansion under English skies;
beautiful as a wreck of paradise.”


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camps bay houses

Dearest ______,

You often ask me how I can afford to write you letters when I always seem at my wit’s end with the day job’s never- ending deadlines.
Simple: 45- minute daily commute (where I happen to be writing this to you right now).


Camps Bay can be found at the western fringes of the Mother City (a.k.a. Cape Town). It’s a luxurious area that dots the curvy shorelines of Cape Town’s western beaches with beautifully made houses, hotels, restaurants, and bars all designed to face stunning views of limitless sea and sky.

Google Maps

Behind this arrangement of houses and infinity swimming pools, you see the 12 Apostles (similar- looking mountain ranges tailing the city’s beloved Table Mountain).

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like frasier crane on a saturday evening

Dearest ______,

These past few days, I leave work past most people’s bedtime.  Oddly enough, I’ve found the best form of relaxation in the combined neuroses of the entire Crane family from  Frasier re-runs I watch online.   That show is still one of the best, really, even years after its finale.

Gen’s stripes and a stretch of wall I could stare at all day.

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Dearest ______,

I’ve always liked Rendezvous Hotel here in Singapore, simply because it’s along the strip of the city’s old 1920’s Art Deco buildings; right across the museums and other such places of curiosity. It’s understandable how the hotel its self bares signs of the ornamental, eclectic, and artistic design that specific style era was heavily known for.

Geometric curves.

These tiles take my thoughts to Miami Beach.

This central piece at the lobby went all the way to the high ceiling. Sculptural lighting at its best, I think.
I couldn't stop looking at the driveway drop off's roofing. Those patterns and that lush green wall...

When lines and curves collide, in symmetry or otherwise, you know it’s a party.  Muy bello, si papi?



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SS 2012 … at ikea

Dearest ______,

Furniture snobs be damned- for most of us who cannot afford dare not purchase anything from Philippe Starck or Herman Miller, it’s understandable how Ikea could easily become our candy store:

We get very excited, look around for hours, and basically sense no imminent danger of walking away with a preposterous single- seater in place of the month’s salary inside our wallets…  unless you have the most saccharine of sweet teeth, or in this case, a whole freakin’ house to re- decorate.

Like a child who’s gone out to get some lollies, I was at Ikea last Sunday, excited and in want of some reasonably- priced (eye) candies.  Going around for a few hours, I realized how much their stuff resembled those of the runways of New York/Paris/London Fashion Week for Spring-Summer 2012’s collections.

Colors.  Prints.  Flowers.

That, my dear Karim Rasheed, is a 5- dollar stool. What's that? It's hideous? We think not.
Laser- cut objects are very interesting, because you end up seeing more than just one thing... There's the solid, opaque object, and then there's always varying degrees of shadow play (dependent on the light source). So if you really think about it, they're three- dimensional buys!

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