Thursday, August 30, 2012

VENICE: - 13th International Architecture Biennale – AWARDS

VENICE: - 13th International Architecture Biennale – AWARDS: The awards ceremony of the 13th International Architecture Biennale took place today. The Board of la Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, also awarded Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement under director David Chipperfield’s proposal to, Álvaro Siza Vieira.

Golden Lion for the Best National Participation – Japan.  The Golden Lion for the Best National Participation, which captures the spirit of Common Ground, is awarded to the Japanese Pavilion in which leading international architect Toyo Ito (above) collaborated with younger architects and with the local community to address in a practical and imaginative way the design of a new centre for a region devastated by a national disaster. The presentation and the storytelling in the Pavilion are exceptional and highly accessible to a broad audience. The jury was impressed with the humanity of this project.

Golden Lion for the Best Project - Urban Think Tank. The Golden Lion for the Best Project embodying the theme of Common Ground goes to Torre David / Gran Horizonte by Urban-Think Tank (Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner) and Justin McGuirk and to the people of Caracas and their families who created a new community and a home out of an abandoned and unfinished building.  The jury praised the architects for recognizing the power of this transformational project. An informal community created a new home and a new identity by occupying Torre David (above) and did so with flair and conviction. This initiative can be seen as an inspirational model acknowledging the strength of informal societies.
Above: Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert Klumpner.

Silver Lion for a promising practice - Grafton Architects. The Silver Lion is awarded to Grafton Architects (Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara) as a promising and emerging practice. For their impressive presentation of a new university campus in Lima, connecting to the ideas of Paulo Mendes da Rocha. The jury believes that the conceptual and spatial qualities of this installation demonstrate the considerable potential of this architectural practice in reimagining the urban landscape.

Special Mention - United States of America. A Special Mention goes to the United States of America for ‘Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good’. This interactive installation impressed the Jury with its celebration of the power of individuals to change society in small but effective ways. The unpretentiously simple presentation was a delight.

Special Mention – Russia. A Special Mention goes to Russia for ‘i-city’. The ‘i-city’ takes a dialectic approach to Russia’s past, present and future and in the process turns us all into digital spies. The jury was drawn into this magical mystery tour and beguiled by its visual presentation. 

Special Mention – Cino Zucchi. A Special Mention goes to Cino Zucchi’s Copycat. Empatia e invidia come generatori di forma, 2012, an installation which ‘aims to evoke a complex network of relationships that shape our physical environment’. The jury believes that this serves as an exemplary reminder of the all-embracing theme of the Common Ground Exhibition.

CONTESSANALLY NOTE: An extensive coverage of the 13th Biennale of Architecture will follow after the Venice Film Festival and art exhibition posts in the near future.
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Friday, August 10, 2012

"The Eye Has To Travel" Official Trailer [HD]: Diana Vreeland's 50 Years...

This trailer is dying to see the movie this Fall for
Contessanally stories on diana Vreeland go to: Pin It

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

A Garden and Hotel complex in Venice

Venice: Giudecca Island. Enjoying one of the most famous views in the world, the Palladio Hotel and Spa and its garden, in Venice on the Giudecca Island looks across the water to the Doge’s Palace. And, best of all is the experience upon arriving via the Baurer’s hotel shuttle boat; the atmosphere and tranquility of the garden immediately propel guests into an oasis of serenity.

The Bauer Palladio Hotel & SPA. The Palladio Hotel and SPA is a five star hotel with SPA on the Giudecca Island, it has a private garden and breathtaking views on the lagoon. 

Housed in the historic palace ex-Casa delle Zitelle, which was a charity established by women in the sixteenth century to prevent young women from falling into prostitution. The building is attributed to the famous Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio (1508-1580).
Above: A view of the hotel and its al fresco restaurant from one of the three gardens which have been re-arranged and partially restored behind the sixteenth century Zitelle complex, where there were vineyards and orchards. 
The Palladio gardens - Lunch al fresco. Chairman and CEO of The Bauer hotels, Francesca Bortolotto Possati is a third-generation hotelier and is the only executive-level female hotelier in Venice.  
The Palladio gardens - Lunch al fresco # 1.The menu focuses on light and savory dishes made with organic ingredients, all of which strictly follow the “carbon neutral” principle, fresh seafood from local markets, the freshest, ripest seasonal fruit used in the delicious homemade cakes, and a selection of wines from the nearby Friuli region.
Above.  Refreshing Sliced Chicken Salad with Mediterranean vegetable.

The Palladio gardens - Lunch al fresco # 2. Meals are served in absolute peace and quiet on the tree-lined lawn, far from the hordes of walkers who invade the quays and alleyways of Venice. Protected by the high monastery walls, you feel as if you are in the countryside
Above: Apricots and Ricotta Cheese Soufflé, White Chocolate and Pistachio Praline Passion Fruit Ice-Cream.
The Palladio gardens - Lunch al fresco # 3.  Wildberries Cake. 
Note: The pretty tablecloth made by the Hotel seamstresses with pieces of antique fabrics used in The Bauer hotels.

The Palladio gardens # 1.   In their different ways, the three gardens tell three different stories and bring nature back to this part of the island. The first, attached to the Palladian Zitelle Convent, preserves its great trees, among them an Aleppo pine and a European olea, which are the main objects in the composition and historical landmarks. Recovering some themes connected with the orchards and gardens of Giudecca, the restorers put back a pergola of Isabella grapes and roses pointing from north to south with blooms of iris, iris barbata, catnip, columbine, roses and grasses at the base, planted according to a natural scheme that harmonizes with the way in which the lawn was conceived and designed.
The Palladio gardens # 2.   The second garden belongs to the former Asilo Mason, now the Convertino rooms and suites.   A brick wall surrounds the building and has separated the garden with five plane trees and a magnolia from the area of the Palladio garden since the middle of the twentieth century. The garden that has been created consists of hedges and though they are the traditional boxwood, they have been planted next to Annabelle and oak-leaf hydrangea, roses, agapanthus and dwarf pittosporum, playing different variations on this garden’s main motif and almost making up a maze laid around the existing trees to imbue the place with a character that provides guests with a new space halfway between tradition and modernity. 

The Palladio gardens # 3. The third garden on the west side of the Zitelle complex also has big trees: a taxus baccata, a monumental magnolia, and an enormous lime.  The classic, long and narrow, umbrageous Venetian garden opens onto the Giudecca Canal.  The garden is perceived as a space of light and water with a shady green interior consisting of different pre-existing varieties of hortensia, fern, astilbe, ruscus, fatsia and oleander that are very much at home in this minute space.
Note: The exclusive Villa F., above, home to a unique luxury accommodation resulting from the restoration of a charming sixteenth century villa, by Francesca Bortolotto Possati.  The Villa-like accommodation with hotel service and butler on demand, offers the privacy and comfort of a Venetian Villa combined with the magic atmosphere of the Giudecca Island. It has eleven apartments and three acres of  private garden, the largest in the city.

 The Palladio gardens # 4. The meditation pool in the three-acre garden.
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Monday, August 06, 2012

1948 London Olympics – The story of an Olympic scarf souvenir.

Photographs courtesy Missoni press

 The story of an Olympic scarf souvenir with a happy ending

And  “… they live happily ever after”.  Way back in 1948 during the London Olympic Games, Rosita Missoni was introduced to Ottavio.  She was a sixteen-year-old student learning English and he was a handsome twenty-seven year old member of the Italian 400 meters hurdle team.  After watching him run at Wembley, Rosita and her fellow students were invited to lunch with the Italian athletes, and it was love at first sight.
1948 Olympic scarf souvenir.   Shortly afterwards, Rosita saw this Arnold Lever Olympic Scarf souvenir at Harrods which included Ottavio’s name as an Olympic winner and remembering the handsome, intelligent athlete she had had lunch with, wanted to buy it, but was afraid her fellow schoolmates would pull her leg.  She regretted this ever since…and for the past sixty-four years has been trying to find another one…luckily this June, one was found at the renowned Alfie’s Antique Market in London, ending the quest concurrently with – wait for it - the 2012 London Olympic Games.  
  Photographs courtesy Missoni press

         … they live happily ever after - Ottavio and Rosita on their wedding day 18 April – 1953.

  Photographs courtesy Missoni press

 The commemorative Olympic stamp. A commemorative Italian stamp shows Ottavio Missoni, who ran in the 1948  London Olympics 400 meter hurdles.  Ottavio Missoni also produced the 1948 Italian Olympic team sportswear, marking the beginning of the Missoni fashion empire it is today.

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