Mies Times Three

While scanning through some files today I came across a few photos that made me realize I need to do some travelling – some more sightseeing.

Chicago Federal Building Mies van der Rohe

Kluczynski Federal Building


New York City Seagram Building Mies van der Rohe

Seagram Building


Toronto-Dominion Tower Mies van der Rohe

Toronto-Dominion Tower

Having the opportunity to play tourist in Chicago, New York City and Toronto, I got to experience 3 very different cities, but all with 1 architecturally similar skyscraper in their skyline.

The Kluczynski Federal Building (45-story) in downtown Chicago, the Seagram Building (38 story) in Midtown Manhattan and the Toronto-Dominiom Tower (56-story) in downtown Toronto were all designed by Mies van der Rohe.  All 3 of these buildings are of the International style in which the buildings’s structural elements are made visible on the exterior.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (March 27, 1886 – August 19, 1969) was a German born American who left his mark on the world in a very visionary, forward thinking, contemporary way.  And long before social media or technology!  Mies van der Rohe was an architect who was widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modern architecture.

These iconic skyscrapers that Mies van der Rohe dubbed “skin and bones” architecture still stand today as a testament to the adage “less is more”.

All images via Modmissy


Metropol Parasol

Summer time to me announces ice cream season and what better way to enjoy your favourite flavour than atop a waffle cone.  Forget the Styrofoam-like cone and never out of a cup – I pay the extra $$ and always get the waffle cone.

In my neighborhood there is a small shop specializing in hand-made ice cream and last week I made a point of having my first ice cream cone of the summer season.

When I recently came across this photo of outstanding architecture I was reminded of my favourite waffle cone.

The Metropol Parasol is a unique infrastructure located in Seville, Spain in the old quarter district known as the Plaza de la Encarnacíon. The ‘Parasol’ scheme with its impressive timber/concrete/steel structure was designed by German architect Jürgen Mayer-Hermann and completed in 2011.  Standing at an impressive 26 metres high and 70 by 150 metres wide the building claims to be the largest wooden structure in the world.  Designed in 4 levels, the underground level houses the Antiquarium where Roman and Moorish remains discovered on the site are displayed.  Level 1, the street level, is the Market and Level 2 & 3 is where the panoramic terraces and a restaurant are located.  There is also a raised winding walkway that allows for amazing views of the cityscape.

The Metropol Parasol has become a new site of ‘identification’ for Seville as one of the most fascinating cultural destinations in the world today.  Its role as a unique urban space within the dense fabric of the medieval inner city of Seville allows for a great variety of activities and tourist locale.

And now another destination to be added to my ‘Must Visit’ list!

Images via J. Mayer H.


Paris in Spring

Paris in spring.  How lovely.  My friend visited Paris recently with her husband.  I was not invited as three is a crowd!  Instead each day my friend sent photos of her sightseeing adventures so in spirit I was there too traveling to all of Paris’ beautiful attractions.  The wonder of technology!  The gears are already in motion planning my ‘Paris in Spring’ adventure for next year.  In the meantime I thought I would share some of my/her photos to showcase some sights of Paris.

When one thinks of Paris the Eiffel Tower always comes to mind.

And the Eiffel Tower at night is just as beautiful.

Of course a bit of culture is always on the travel agenda.  This is a photo showing the veil of undulating glass of the restaurant in the Paris Opera House – Palais Garnier; named in recognition of its opulence and its architect, Charles Garnier.


One must shop in Paris.  My friend knowing I would love the streetscape and window dressing of CHANEL sent this photo just for me.  Quite dramatic isn’t it?  My friend’s husband could not figure out why this photo was taken.

When in Paris one must dine like a Parisian.  Quand à Paris il faut dîner comme un Parisien.  This is a photo of Steak Tartare with a raw egg in the middle!!  Apparently ‘we’ scraped the plate clean!

Not being able to see all the beautiful sights of Paris (in reality) my friend brought me home a ‘taste’ of Paris – French macaroons from the famous bakery Ladurée.  The decoration of the original 1862 pastry shop was entrusted to Jules Cheret, a famous turn-of-the-century painter and poster artist.  Cheret sought inspiration from the painting techniques used for the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and the Garnier Opera.

What a great vacation!




Your Weekend Travels

While researching for rooms that I would like to spend some time lounging in this weekend I came across this bedroom photo from www.roomandboard.com

I chose this room for a few reasons.  Overall it felt like a calm space, everything is fairly neutral except for the pop of colour coming from the orange pillow.  The grey bedding is a colour that is on trend right now.  I really love the large window that goes right to the floor flooding the room with natural light.  The decision to go with bedside tables that are not identical appeals to my “non matchy, matchy” inclination.  A very functional bedside reading lamp allows for easy bedtime reading.  The black and white framed art above the bed offers interest.  Of course the mid-century modern piece of furniture gets great applause.  The Eames Molded Plywood Chair designed by Charles and Ray Eames in 1946 provides the ‘classic’ piece for the room.  The acrylic lamp and glass table are the departure from having too much wood in the room.  And of course one could not help but notice the large cowhide ottoman.  But the main reason I chose this room is that it reminded of a place I had visited many years ago – South Africa.  Actually it reminded me of the Rondavel I slept in while visiting the Kruger National Park located in the north-east part of South Africa.  A Rondavel is a round hut with a thatched roof.  Fairly rudimentary on the inside with 2 beds built from rough lumber and some basic storage.  It was the design of the bed that reminded of the above photo.  The legs of the bed rather than being recessed underneath the frame were at the edge.  Since the Rondavel was tight on space I found myself repeatedly whacking my toes on the wooden legs while walking around the bed.  I was lucky that I somehow managed to avoid breaking my toes.  With over 7500 sq. miles of land to travel in the park there was no room for broken toes.  Since then I have avoided purchasing any bedframes that have the legs on the edge as I know they are potentially hazardous for me!  Also the cowhide on the ottoman reminds me of the many beautiful Springbok that I witnessed roaming naturally in the wilds of the Park.  This trip was the trip of a lifetime and I love to be reminded of it any chance I get.  So here’s to your weekend travels wherever they take you.  Enjoy!


Hudson, Quebec

I am heading out for a gal’s weekend to beautiful Hudson, Quebec.  The picturesque town (population ~5000) located 60 km west of Montreal was once voted as one of the top places to live in Canada.  Originally settled by French Canadian farmers and “voyageurs” in the early 18th century, the region became known for its large English farming community in the early part of the 19th century. The immigrants were mainly from northern England, with others coming from Ireland, Scotland and the United States.  Nestled on the Ottawa River (Lake of Two Mountains) surrounded by farms and forests, Hudson is known for its large, turn-of-the century homes, various boutiques and antique markets, wonderful restaurants and hiking trails.  I believe a trip to the well-known Finnegan’s Market will be on the agenda to check out the ~100 vendors offering antiques, handicrafts, organic produce, home baking, local wine and lots of seasonal goodies.  Cheers!