The aquatic complex Les Bains des Docks (animation here), designed by the 2008 Prtizker-prize winning architect Jean Nouvelhas just opened in the historical Port of Le Havre. Inspired by theRoman thermal baths, the 5,000-square-metre complex offers an eerilybeautiful atmosphere of tranquility with the fantastic play of naturallight soothing the eyes, the masterful acoustics pleasing the ears, andthe pools and treatment areas taking care of the rest of the body.
Althoughthe main ‘colour’ of the complex is white, each section’s distinctatmosphere and hue is created by flowing water curtains, colour walls,and various textures and surface treatments. Each pool — lap-pool,children’s pool, whirlpools — is designed, shaped and lit to create aunique ‘private space’ for its specific users. These seemingly enclosedareas help minimize echoing and sound carriage — an annoying aspect ofmost aquatic centres – as do the varying-height floors and ceilings,and the acoustic false ceilings. Saunas, a hammam, cold and hot baths,and a spa area with hydro-massage and aquagym areas complete theatmosphere of pampering and care. An external lagoon makes the summeruse of the complex even more appealing.
TheDocks in the south end of the ancient port city of Le Havre are theoldest docks in France. The area is under massive revitalization withthe goal of making this a leisure, culture and shopping neighborhood.When completed, the area will include residences, a large park, atropical greenhouse, cinemas, bowling alleys and a shopping center,plus a Nouvel-designed Sea and Sustainable Development Centre to becompleted in 2011. The Sea Centre will be a showcase of shipping andsailing — exploring their economic and industrial significance as wellas their environmental impact on coasts and estuaries. It will be a120-meter-high metallic structure dominating the port and it willinclude exhibit areas, an aquarium, a meteorological station and arestaurant with panoramic, 360-degree views of Port of Le Havre.
Nouvel’swell-known public buildings literally span the world from New York toReykjavik, Dubai, Soul and Tangiers. Recent interesting buildingsinclude the bright-red research center for the maker of brakes forluxury cars, Brembo, in Italy. NouveI’s masterpiece for La Philharmonie de Paris will open in 2012. – Tuija Seipell
March 2, 2018
Casaplata – Seville, Spain
Casaplata is an unusually fresh-looking, newly reimagined restaurant and cocktail bar in the old quarter of Seville, Spain. While many renovations in...
February 28, 2018
Young designers, Zhang Yufan and Ha Da, who established their interior design studio, NA-DECO in Nanjing City, China, in 2015, took on a tough...
February 27, 2018
Wing Pen Drawings by Alessandro Paglia
Milanese artist and photographer Alessandro Paglia is known for his photorealistic pen-and-ink drawings of pop-culture icons and familiar objects. His...
February 26, 2018
Marble House – Tuscany, Italy
This four decades-old private summer villa has been transformed into an elegant expression of its location, Forte dei Marmi in Tuscany, Italy. The...
February 23, 2018
Balloon Concerto Series – Federico Picci
In this digital work of art, Florence, Italy-based graphic designer, illustrator and animator Federico Picci has managed to create an illusion of...
February 12, 2018
Ring House, Agia Galini, Crete, Greece
Between 2012-2013 Athens, Greece-based decaACHITECTURE designed the concept and master plan for a stunning three-building compound, Galinis Gorges,...
February 8, 2018
De Waterhond, Sint-Truiden, Belgium
Offices are so last decade. Everyone is a free agent now – especially in the so-called creative fields – and telecommutes, works from home, at cafes...
February 5, 2018
MaMa Kelly, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
If you don’t like pink – the so-called Millennial Pink or any other hue of it – or if you don’t like chicken or lobster, then MaMa...
January 12, 2018
Gaga Chef Restaurant, Shenzhen, China
A large, new restaurant, Gaga Chef, is turning heads in Shenzhen, China. Not only is the interior elegantly understated, the Gaga (Shenzhen GAGA...
January 8, 2018
Franchise Freedom – BMW and Studio Drift at Art Basel Miami Beach (Partner Content)
Many of us have watched the spectacular formations that small migrating birds such as swallows and starlings form in the sky. In a miraculous...
December 29, 2017
Roman and Williams Guild, New York
We are all getting tired of clinically sterile, copycat concept stores that seem lifeless and completely void of adventure, story or history. And the...
December 24, 2017
Nikunotoriko Restaurant, Tokyo, Japan
Just show us a description of a restaurant, store or hotel that includes the words “authentic experience” and “unique environment” – usually...