The most famous buildings in India: From ancient wonders to modern marvels (part 2)

Infosys Pune

Infosys Pune is located just outside of Pune, Maharashtra. Resembling spaceships come to land, Indian Infosys’ campus provides a futuristic vision of the country’s architecture.

The egg-like buildings was designed by Indian architect Hafeez Contractor. The first was completed in 2006 and a duplicate followed later.

The buildings are made of glass, aluminum, and steel. They are tilted at an angle of around 10 degrees.

Did you know? You can find the designs of Hafeez Contractor across the country, including the twin Imperial Towers in Mumbai.

Rashtrapati Bhavan

The Rashtrapati Bhavan, located in New Delhi, is the official residence of India’s president.

The H-shaped building, former known as the Viceroy’s House, was designed during British rule. In 1947 when India became independent, it was renamed Government House and then in 1950, it took on its current name under the first president of India, Rajendra Prasad.

The most notable feature of the Rashtrapati Bhavan might be the tall dome at its center. It is made almost of stone and a very little steel.

Its design blends Indian and Hellenic architecture.

Did you know? This building contains a lot of rooms – 340 to be exact – with corridors having a combined length of 2.5 kilometers (1.55 miles).

Victoria Memorial

The Victoria Memorial, located in Kolkata, is one of the most typically structural reminders of British rule in the country. It dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria and is used as a museum. The building is a popular tourism destination in the largest city of eastern India.

The large marble building was designed in the Indo-Saracenic (or Indo-Gothic) style, blending classic Mughal architecture with Gothic revival styles that are popular in Europe.

The building’s central dome houses a marble statue of Queen Victoria.

Did you know? The Victoria Memorial was built using marble from the same quarries in Rajasthan like the Taj Mahal.

The most famous buildings in India: From ancient wonders to modern marvels (part 1)

If you’ll boil India’s architecture right down to one word or phrase, what wouldn’t it be? Dynamic? Melting pot? Overwhelming? Complex?

It are often all those things and more. From historic houses of worship to modern marvels reflecting the country’s rising global status, India’s architecture exactly demonstrates where it is.

Here are India’s most famous buildings from the most historically and culturally rich places on Earth.

The Lake Palace

Now home to at least one of India’s most luxurious hotels, the Lake Palace are often found within the middle of Udaipur’s Lake Pichola. The Lake Palace’s gleaming white marble looks as if it’s floating on the surfaceof the lake.

Did you know? If you are a Bond fan, you would possibly recognize the palace from the 1983 movie “Octopussy.”

Konark Sun Temple

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Konark Sun Temple (sometimes spelled Konarak) may be a superb example of Indian temple architecture.

Dedicated to the Hindu sun god Surya, the temple faces east to greet the rising sun, whose rays illuminate the doorway. It had been designed within the shape of giant chariot, pulled by seven stone horses (only six of which still stand) and 12 pairs of wheels, symbolizing the times of every week and therefore the months during a year.

Its main sanctum is believed to possess once stood at 70 meters (229 feet) tall, though it’s since fallen. Despite lying partial in ruins, the temple remains considered a superb example of the region’s so-called Kalinga architecture.

Did you know? The temple is decorated with reliefs including lions, birds, mythological creatures, dancers, musicians, and even erotica.

Taj Mahal Palace Hotel

The regal Taj Mahal Palace hotel is one among Mumbai’s most iconic structures.

The project was started by two Indian architects and completed by an English engineer so it’s an attractive union of European and Islamic architectural influences.

Standout features include so-called “onion” domes and an arch borrowed from 16th-century Islamic architecture. The hotel, which has hosted celebrities and politicians from the Beatles to Barack Obama, features a further modern tower completed in 1973.

Did you know? The hotel features a storied but tragic history. It had been used as a hospital during war I and, in 2008, was the location of a deadly terror attack.

Top 6 Patio Furniture Design Trends of 2019 (Part 2)

3. Mixing Indoor and Outdoor

The trend of mixing indoor and outdoor furniture started to develop in 2018 and continues to be a huge part of the patio furniture design trends of 2019. The idea of mixing between indoor and outdoor isn’t a totally new concept. In ancient Rome, there were many middle and upper-class families that had houses with indoor/outdoor courtyards and large gardens inside.

We have seen a drastic change from 1980’s old, flimsy, plastic patio furniture to sleek, contemporary, and versatile patio furniture. Current patio furniture appears with various kinds of materials, designs, and styles to well fit in with any outdoor living space. Especially in the outdoor dining spaces, patio kitchens and bars have become more and more popular, meaning that choosing the right furniture for a seating area is very important.

5. Fire Pits

An excellent way to bring your patio to the next level is using fire pits although the thought of having a fire pit on your patio seems a little intimidating. Luckily, when it comes to patio fire pits, there are plenty of options.

Fire pits can act as a focal point for your patio, making your patio feel larger, and working as a gathering point for you and your guests. Whether it is a warm summer evening or a cold winter night, the patio fire pit makes it a good idea to be outside at any time of the year.

6. Colorful

Mary GrayGrayText

One of the top patio furniture trends of 2019 is having a colorful one. Besides the fact that adding color to patio furniture is so popular in the present, having unique pieces to show off is also a great way to spice up your patio. There are a lot of ways to add color so it’s easy to find something that perfectly fits your space.

An easy way to add color is to add some fun pillows to your patio set up. You can buy some fun standard throw pillows which won’t last quite as long, but won’t break the bank!

10 Best Tourist Spots for Landscape Architecture in Asia (part 2)

  1. Free the Bears Store – Kuang Si Falls, Laos

The international organization “Free the Bears” works to fight against the illegal trade in bears. They also provide a safe sanctuary for rescued bears in the Tat Kuang Si Rescue Centre, Laos PDR. The new store will make this organization be able to sell items to receive the needed donations that help them continue their endless efforts to protect bears in Laos and beyond.

The centre has a simple but special architecture with the bamboo canopy built in conjunction with the local community. It enables visitors not only to see one of Laos’ most endangered species and discover the life and threats of them but also have the opportunity to admire the beautiful and unique landscape architecture of the store.

  1. SCG Headquarters – Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand is one of the most favored tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. Especially, travelers who prefer harmonious, modern, outstanding landscape architecture should not miss CSG Headquarters in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. The well-developed landscape design has bound the disparate companies’ buildings together and has created an attractive and harmonic stage on which to enjoy the environment through a mixture of nature and architecture.

The designers used curved geometry in a simple 3-D design pattern, which was accompanied by the furniture and emphasized by materials, to organize the open space. You can visit CSG Headquarters to enjoy the landscape views of the most powerful Thai companies.

  1. Quzhou Luming Park – Quzhou, China

Every landscape architect must have heard about Quzhou Luming Park, a Chinese hope-giving park by now. Its popularity remains undiminished since its first part was opened in 2015.

Designed by the well-known Turenscape bureau, Quzhou Luming Park shows three design concepts: a productive farming landscape on the fertile soil, minimal intervention to preserve the red sandstone hills, and water resilience to respect the natural water flow in the floodplain. If you plan to travel to China, you should definitely visit and get inspired by its Luming Park.



Europe is one of the best places for architecture buffs in the world. It is a wonderland for design lovers because it has a rich cultural and architectural history. From the classical styles of the Greek and Roman period to the florid Baroque and Art Nouveau, architecture in Europe contains everything of all taste. Each European city has a distinct look and makes you feel that you can identify each one by how the structures are built. The list of the beautiful cities in Europe is so long, but these are the ones which owe their fame mostly to their landscape architecture.
1. Barcelona, Spain

Have you ever heard of Antoni Gaudi? He is a famous Spanish architect whose works were greatly influenced by nature. And the best place in the world to experience his art is Barcelona. His works have made Barcelona become the center of Modernism. This city is dynamic, creative, and has many delicious foods, too. When you visit Barcelona, don’t miss the dream-like buildings of Gaudi, especially his most famous work, the unfinished Sagrada Familia cathedral.
2. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam, Netherlands’ capital, is famous for its canal and boat homes. Along the river, you can find the picturesque houses converted into museums, hotels, and offices. The most excellent way to travel around Amsterdam is walking or driving a bike, that can help you see the canal district and Renaissance architecture that makes Amsterdam so stunning. Just enjoy the cafes by day, the bars by night, and visit some world-class museums in between.
3. Rome, Italy

Rome, the ancient city with Roman ruins, fountains, churches, and squares, will not disappoint any travelers. As a cradle of culture, the city is a typical symbol of Roman architecture, especially the Colosseum, Pantheon, and St. Peter’s Basilica. Staying everywhere in Rome, you will be surrounded by world-class architecture.
4. Stockholm, Sweden

AS a breathtaking coastal capital spread across 14 islands, with the world’s very first twisting skyscraper, Stockholm offers some of Europe’s most diverse architectural landscapes. It instantly impresses everyone with charming medieval streets, traditionally painted homes, immaculate blooming parks, and vibrant waterfront promenades. It sometimes makes you forget that the city has escaped heavy destruction from war.
5. Venice, Italy

It can be said that Venice is one of the most romantic cities in the world. Just wondering through the city can give you the feeling of the most beautiful architecture in Europe that you’re not likely to see anywhere else. Just ride through the small canals to get a perfect look at Venetian Gothic architecture. Don’t forget to check out Saint Mark’s Basilica, and spend the afternoon in the beautiful Peggy Guggenheim museum.

No Space Balconies Can Be Magical

The city dweller has all the luxuries like entertainment, variety and the energetic pulse all at their doorstep. For most, it is a perfect life, never far from anything and always spoilt for choice, yet the one thing that could be short is a patch of tranquillity, a corner filled with greenery to make the concrete jungle a bit more peaceful.

Balconies are city-tenants escape back to nature, it is what keeps everyone sane in the concrete jungle, and in most cases the balcony is tiny. No matter the size with a bit of planning and a clever layout it could become the most favourite part of city life. The balcony needs to offer the tenant a sense of freedom, a gateway to relaxation and the perfect place to entertain. But with the correct amount of planning and a small investment, your balcony could become your private space, to special to share and a place where you get to escape the hassle and bustle of city life.

Steps Involved in Planning the Perfect Balcony

No matter how big or small the first step in transforming your balcony is considering the exposure to the sun, accessibility, maintenance and water as these are the factors that most affect the style, design and types of plants. It also determines how usable space is and if it could be an extension of your entertainment area or simply a corner of nature. No matter the design its always best to plan it with low-maintenance while keeping it user-friendly.

Grab Your Plan and Visit the Nearest Nursery

Your best advisor is the local nursery. They know best which plants thrive in what conditions. If space is cramped, you could fill it with pots overflowing with herbs or ferns.
Apart from the type of plants, the next most important is the pots or containers as these need to fit the style you have in mind for your garden. Pots could colour coordinate the look you wish for, blue and dark blue could compliment a Greek-Island style, while white is perfect for a zen-type garden, while a more forest-look could be created with natural pots in brown colours.

Maintenance and Accessorizing to Perfect the Balcony Escape

Once the plants are placed space will need to be decorated and furnished with comfortable seating, outdoor rugs and a few colour coded cushions. The furniture needs to fit the space while still leaving enough of an area to comfortably move in. Soft lighting can do wonders for a Zen-type garden, while candles, shells and a glass table will bring an element of nature. If space allows for a small waterfall, it could bring peace to the entire living area if the door is open, if not use small furniture made of glass to create a look of space. Stones are another great way to create a feeling of being outdoors, but in the end, it all starts with the planning and how much you plan to spend.

Best Gardens For People Who Live in the City

While a domestic garden may seem simplistic in name, the roots are much deeper than one would initially assume. For starters, the word domestic is taken from the Sanskrit language. If you break the word down into three parts, the Avestan demana, Damah, and Greek – you will see that domestic means house. Which in turn means a domestic garden is simply a garden what is connected to your home in one way or another.

While domestic gardens have been seen all throughout history. The earliest recorded domestic garden first appeared in ancient Egypt, and it features the similar appearance of a modern domestic garden. The only difference is that the garden which was seen back them only belonged to the rich and royalty, such as the pharaohs. Nowadays, anyone can own a domestic garden and customize it to be filled with your favorite plants as well as adding in walkways and seating areas.

Cottage Garden

The cottage garden has a rich history. When looking at its name, “cote” has a French origin. Then when combined with the English suffix was added in, a cottage became known as a property which is combined to a cote, which is known as a small shelter.

While it is easy to picture what a cottage looks like, it’s a bit harder to place what kind of plants were found in these gardens. The best place to looks is in the Middle Ages were cottages were becoming the norm regarding a living situation. Although there is no record of what sorts of plants were planted, it can be easily assumed that the land was used to sustain life instead of for aesthetic purposes. So, the safest assumption would be that veggies and fruit were commonly planted. Even when certain flowers were planted, such as roses and lilies, they were most likely used for some household reason.

This was the norm until the end of the 19th century was approaching. Guided by the rise of romantic arts which was focused on capturing the beauty, these gardens slowly became cesspools for planting a variety of stunning flowers that would cause anyone to stop to view the beauty. Since them, the cottage garden aesthetic started to bloom and became a commonly found site no matter your social rank.

Even in modern times, certain icons, such as the music legend Bob Dylan admitted that all he wanted in his life was a stunning cottage that had a garden filled with vibrant roses where he could escape to. Which wouldn’t be too hard to create depending on the area of the cottage and the person dedication to growing plants.

Herb Gardens

Herbs are nothing new as growing herbs have been in practice for centuries. No matter the culture, herbs were commonly seen for wither culinary reasons or health-related reasons. There are even reports of herb gardens being grown for pharaohs in ancient Egypt for both of the previously mentioned reasons. While today, hers is grown mainly for medical, culinary, and aesthetic purposes. They are some of the best household pans to keep for those exact reasons and could be the needed touch to make your apartment or home seem more connected to nature.

The Role Landscape Designers Will Have in Cities of the Future

The art of spending time outdoors, for most people, is one aspect of life that brings happiness and pleasure in what seems to have become a world where people spend more time indoors than out. The ability to spend that time outside in well-designed spaces is what makes like in a city more enjoyable. Knowing that, it is somewhat difficult to understand why so many cities fail to make the investment and understand the role landscape designers will have in cities of the future, let alone to properly design outdoor spaces as it impacts the quality of life of those that live there, let alone a city’s ability to attract new business and talent.

As most of us appreciate the time we spend outside, it is interesting to speak with people on their feelings about the outdoor spaces they enjoy most, what aspects about them they find attractive and what draws them to those spaces. For many, outdoor spaces in cities remind them of childhood memories that often are focused on outdoor activities with friends or family.

Outdoor Spaces Increase Quality of Life

Studies have shown that those that invest a greater amount of time outdoors are happier and tend to be healthier as well. The combination of the two has proven to increase lifespans, and those urban areas that feature quality outdoor spaces tend to reap the rewards tenfold in multiple ways. This includes reduced healthcare costs, increased economic output, economic growth and an overall happier population.

History has shown, those cities that fail to get this right and not have an adequate amount of well-designed outdoor space lack the ability to attract younger people to move to their cities. When you consider the cost to design and build these spaces, the minimal investment is returned for generations to come. Studies have shown it not only attracts the young but also attracts urban professionals and those entering their golden years as well who choose to move back to urban areas so as to be closer to health care facilities.

Outdated Trends Hard to Change

It seems the trend to put more thought into indoor spaces, and building designs remains firmly intact, however, what is clear is that the role designers will play in the future towards outdoor space will define a city in more ways than one. It is not uncommon when looking at waterfront cities to hear complaints about its deterioration, and subsequent investment to improve the value water front areas bring to a city. Those cities, such as Chicago that have chosen to make a concentrated effort to revitalise their waterfronts have found an increase in pedestrian traffic in those areas. That investment has allowed them to attract tourism traffic, which collectively benefits the local economy and health of its citizens as they spend more time engaging in walking, sports breathing fresh air.

What is clear is that the need to invest in outdoor spaces will be the determining factor in an ever populated world, one that has over 70% living in cities around the world. Those that design innovative parks, walkways and bike trails will be those that benefit in the future and the role of the outdoor designer will only play a larger importance as new technologies are integrated into public spaces and are combined with the qualities that are unique to our environment.

How To Construct a Maze – The Puzzle of Champions

From the hedge maze to modern day eco-houses, landscaping architecture has always combined human construction with botany and nature. A timeless art form, landscaping architecture has wowed people since it was first conceived, and it is this fascination with the creative artworks by landscape architects in thier efforts on how to construct a maze and their ability to create something profoundly beautiful and in many cases, useful – that we’re looking at in closer detail. It is time for us to take a look at a classic form of landscaping architecture, one which most of us enjoyed as children – the hedge maze.

The Early Hedge Maze

Hedge mazes also go by the names garden mazes or labyrinths, and they first appeared in Europe in the fifteenth century, created by Italian artists during the Renaissance. Of course, the earlier hedge mazes scarcely seem impressive compared to the goliaths that can be found today.

The very first hedge mazes began as sketches, some dating back to 1460. Over the course of the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, the concept became a reality, and new techniques were devised to make them ever more intricate, ever more challenging and, of course, ever more beautiful.

Today, we think of hedge mazes as a puzzle, one which children, in particular, enjoy. That wasn’t their initial intention. In fact, early hedge mazes weren’t really mazed at all, but simple walkways surrounding by greenery. It wasn’t until the end of the Stuart Era that Britain got its very first hedge labyrinths and mazes. By the late seventeenth century, King William III (William of Orange) had one constructed at Hampton Court, which, although it could not rival the luxurious Labyrinth de Versailles (subsequently destroyed in 1778), brought the concept of dead ends and trick passageways to British hedge maze and landscaping architecture.

Over the years, the objective was no longer to design hedge mazes which were just beautiful or ornate, but also those which genuinely confuddling audiences. Bridges, grid-less designs, and false passageways all upped the ante for landscaping architects to design ever more radical and challenging hedge mazes.

A Child’s Dream: Modern Hedge Mazes

Today, hedge mazes are seen as children’s playthings. It is true that many national parks contain hedge mazes, and adults are still known to walk through their green roofless hallways, many of which contain exotic plants and shrubbery. However, it is children that find them the most fascinating. The desire to make ever more complex hedge mazes has also continued.

Today, one of the biggest hedge mazes in the world is located in Castlewellan in Northern Ireland. Known as the Peace Maze, this stunning piece of landscaping architecture was first planted in 2000 and was designed as a pathway to peace for Northern Ireland. A peace bell stands in the centre for anybody bold enough to finish the maze. Other notable hedge mazes include those at Disneyland Paris, Blenheim Palace, Hampton Court (William III’s original), Longleat, Schönbrunn Palace, and Colonial Williamsburg.

While modern landscaping architecture may be about eco, solar, and nature-friendly constructions such as the much-loved Hobbit-style homes. It is important not to forget that in another time, and by very different people, hedge mazes were not only the first step in landscaping architecture but also a dream where man showcased that he could, in fact, build alongside nature instead of in place of it.