Posts about Architecture

A green Easter egg depicting Czar Nicholas II. The Fabergé Museum in St. Petersburg

Guardians of the „Egg“ collection: The Fabergé Museum in St. Petersburg

31.05.2015

Карл Густавович Фаберже – Karl Gustavovich Faberzhe – the Russian goldsmith and jeweller born in St. Petersburg in 1846, gained worldwide fame with his luxuriously fashioned Easter Eggs crafted in precious metals and lavishly encrusted with twinkling gemstones. Czar Alexander III awarded The House of Fabergé the title „Goldsmith by special appointment to the Imperial Crown“ in 1885, after getting acquainted and enthused about their exquisite contemporary craftsmanship on the occasion of a Moscow exhibition. He induced Fabergé’s works to be displayed at the renowned Hermitage and commissioned the first superbly finished Easter egg as a present for his wife, Empress Maria. Over time, frequent orders were placed by the Imperial Court and ample freedom was granted in terms of design, which proved to become more and more elaborate. Only one condition needed to be fulfilled by the talented jewellers: each one of the eggs must contain a surprise. Until this day, the bejewelled masterpieces exert their magic on whoever lays eyes or hands on them. The tradition of Czars ordering Easter eggs from Fabergé continued until 1918 when – during the October RevolutionThe House of Fabergé was nationalised by the Bolsheviks and their stock confiscated.

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Reading time: about 3 minutes
The terrace of Esma Sultan Palace in Istanbul.

An architectural legacy: Esma Sultan in Istanbul

18.05.2015

The shell of a historic structure on the European coast of the Bosporus is lauded as one of Istanbul’s most exceptional venues and the distinguished guest or performers’ list includes Deep Purple, Alan Parsons, Boy George, Chris de Burgh, Elia Kazan, George Benson, actor Kevin Spacey … to name a few. But what is the mystery behind this astonishing building and its eponym?

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Reading time: about 2 minutes
The Valetta Waterfront. Large-scale events in Malta

Malta: Large-scale events on the rocks

7.05.2015

A guest post by Paul Selis

Situated in the heart of the Mediterranean, the three main islands Malta, Gozo and Comino are small, beautiful and unique. With a fascinating 7,000 years of history and pre-historic temples older than the Pyramids, the Islands are bursting with culture, friendly locals, sunshine and ongoing events. With its thriving economy, continuous business development and considered to be a very safe destination, Malta has become an important hub for various trades, professions, services, vocations, research and education in the Mediterranean, making it an optimal choice to hold international meetings.

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Reading time: about 3 minutes
Doused in purple light: A restaurant in the Caves in Edinburgh's underground.

A cryptical maze: The Edinburgh Vaults

1.05.2015

When South Bridge was built around the end of the 18th century, it was not solely constructed in order to connect the Old Town of an expanding community with its Southside, but designated to become the city’s very first purpose-built shopping street. Underneath, embedded in the viaduct’s 19 arches, lie a series of chambers known as The Edinburgh Vaults. Back then, they mainly served as a practical storage area for the shops above.

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Reading time: about 4 minutes
A hydro-electric power plant in Geneva/Switzerland converted into a venue: The Bâtiment des Forces Motrices

Industrial yet theatrical: The Bâtiment des Forces Motrices in Geneva

13.04.2015

How very fortunate a coincidence that, in 1994, the management of Geneva’s Grand Théâtre were looking for an alternative venue to which to outsource their cultural performances set for the 1997/1998 season: Modernisation of their theatre was imminent and a worthy substitute location desperately needed. A magnificent structure, listed since the late 1980s and dramatically squatting above the River Rhône, seemed the ideal candidate: The Bâtiment des Forces Motrices, originally built by the engineer and politician Théodore Turrettini for industrial purposes in the outgoing 19th century, served as Geneva’s first hydro-electric power plant. It had provided the city with water and electricity until its decommission in the 1960s and had been lying dormant since.

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Reading time: about 2 minutes