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    INTERNATIONAL SNAPSHOT: Celebrating pools; Avant-garde chapel; Blue Lagoon retreat

    Stephanie Stefanovic

    Let’s take a look at some of the world’s latest innovations in architecture and design.

    New photo series celebrates the public pool

    stephan-zirwes-pools-designboom-01-1.jpgPhotography by Stephan Zirwes

    German photographer Stephan Zirwes has released a new photo series featuring public pools, in a bid to create awareness about the importance of free swimming facilities. The photos were shot with the use of drones, with the pools set against custom-made backdrop patterns. 

    Zirwes initially started his Pools series in 2000, when he would hire a helicopter to capture aerial shots of the pools. In this latest series, he features baby pools, diving pools and even an abandoned pool filled with scum, among many others. 

    Avant-garde concept chapel in New Mexico for all religions

    chapel.jpgImage: Michael Jantzen

    US artist and designer Michael Jantzen has revealed his concept for a non-denominational chapel in new Mexico. The design features gabled frames that stretch up to the sky, representing the chapel’s openness to all religions. 

    “The aesthetic and functional design of the structure was inspired by the mountainous landscape of New Mexico, and by the symbolism inherent in the ways in which the chapel is to be used. The painted steel, glass, and concrete structure consists of four large multilayered facades, each facing in a different direction, and reaching into the sky. This configuration is symbolically referring to chapel’s openness to all who will hopefully be inspired by its uplifting geometry. These facades are connected to the center glass enclosed meeting space, with four large doors located at the center of each of the glass walls. A large skylight is located at the center of the roof of the enclosed space, with a circular chandelier hung below it.

    My hope as the designer of the Chapel For New Mexico is that its design will help to promote the idea of multiculturalism, inclusiveness, and tolerance.” – Michael Jantzen 

    New retreat in Iceland’s iconic Blue Lagoon

    basalt.jpgImage: Basalt Architects

    Basalt Architects has completed The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland. The retreat has been designed to take advantage of the natural beauty of the lagoon, while minimising the building’s impact on the site. The layout of the plan was also influenced by a thorough analysis of the cracks and fissures that form the site’s volcanic landscape. 

    “A new spa and hotel will rise west of the existing Blue Lagoon Spa. The new spa building connects the existing lagoon with the new one. The building sits deep in the lava, allowing the natural lava formations to form both the perimeter of the lagoon and the interior walls of the spa. 

    “In the northern end of the spa, a new restaurant on the top floor allows views of the whole complex. West of the spa there will be a luxury hotel with 62 rooms, surrounded by the lagoon. Two wings come together in the hotel lobby, which connects to the new spa and the existing Blue Lagoon buildings. The surrounding environment is held in high regard and great emphasis is placed on the balance between buildings and nature.” – Basalt Architects 

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