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    INTERNATIONAL SNAPSHOT: Ski village you can ski down; Guggenheim-inspired treehouse; World’s most beautiful rest spot

    Stephanie Stefanovic

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

    Swiss ski village you can ski down

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    Famed Danish architect Bjarke Ingels has unveiled his design for a Swiss ski village that acts as a ski slope itself. 

    “The gentle curves of the undulating roofs create a careful continuity of the natural landscape while lending the whole village the unique character of an architecture of ski slopes – an inhabited mountain top. 

    “The Koutalaki Ski Village is a gentle as well as dramatic extension of both the summit and the resort. Grown from the natural topography rather than dropped from the sky, the architecture extends the organic forms of natural landscape, creating an inhabitable as well as skiable manmade mountain.” – Bjarke Ingels Group 

    Mexico's Guggenheim-inspired treehouse museum

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    Mexico’s IK Lab is a breathtaking interpretation of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Designed by museum owner Jorge Eduardo Neira Sterkel, a former painter with no architectural background, IK Lab features curved walls and sloping floors which alternate between carpets of curving jungle vines and polished cement. Upon entering, guests are asked to remove their shoes to get the full experience. Sterkel has warned visitors to pay attention to avoid falling, as the floor sometimes slopes unexpectedly. This experience of having no control and being forced to pay attention to your surroundings is humbling, says Sterkel, and makes people pay attention to what they feel emotionally and spiritually. 

    Like the Guggenheim, IK Lab features curving walls. And as the walls and roof are constructed of walls of vines reinforced by transparent fiberglass, light easily permeates the structure. IK Lab is also sustainable; no trees were cut and stilts were used to allow local wildlife to pass below. Museum director Santiago Rumney Guggenheim (who convinced Sterkel to turn the site into a museum) has referred to it as the counter-model of the standard gallery.

    One of the world’s most beautiful rest stops in Norway

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    Norwegian architects Haugen/Zohar have designed what may just be the world’s most beautiful rest stop, including an avant-garde toilet facility with a view of the northern lights. The architects asked themselves the question, “How can form emphasise nature by defining a clear concrete edge?”

    “In the winter there is hardly a more beautiful place to admire Aurora Borealis and the same goes for the midnight sun in the summer. 

    “[The project features] a new concrete viewing terrace, seating benches in the characteristic marble from Fauske and a toilet building. An Ampitheater enabling a unique view leads down to the beach area.” – Haugen/Zohar

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