Week #9


Ciao ciao 2017!

Wowee that year went by fast! 2018's aim is to try and chill out. For New Years I completed the New York Road Runners Midnight Run in Central Park to qualify for the New York Marathon.


So in the cliche end of year fashion let's wrap it up with a summary of Space Invader Anon's (yes mine), (not archdaily's, designbooms', dezeen's etc) "best of" twenty-seventeen.

And like every other week, shenanigans are at the bottom.

Enjoy your 2018. Ash xx


Thank you to those classical maestros out there for composing and performing this piece...

This week is French composer, Erik Satie's Gymnopedie no. 1. A hypnotising piece from the modern period for all you romantics out there.


1. Coming in hot, with the multi residential

56 Leonard aka Jenga Tower

Architect: Herzog and de Meuron

Location: 56 Leonard St, TriBeCa, New York, USA

Paying homage to the skyscraper of TriBeCa, 56 Leonard also fondly known as the Jenga tower was halted by the client when the global financial crisis hit, but has now finally been completed. The stacked and rotating arrangement of the apartment plans allow each of the residences to have their own private balconies.

Fun fact: the balconies were installed after the floor plates were poured. And if you look closely you will see that the face of the slabs are concave… but were they a later addition? (I can't tell).



2. Sanctuary of knowledge

Tournai School of architecture

Architect: aires Mateus

Location: Tournai, Belgium

Portugal based architects Aires Mateus have designed a beautiful educational facility that is neatly nestled within an historical city block. The positioning of the new building is aimed to help define new external spaces and bring the two historical buildings (it's nestled between) together. A cantilevered geometric entrance way invites its visitors to some great stair porn.

Ground floor plan where we can see how the building cuts through the historical block.

Ground floor plan where we can see how the building cuts through the historical block.


3. the diamond in the rough

Silo Hotel

Architect: Thomas Heatherwick Studios

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

These insane bejeweled windows are part of the Silo Hotel by Heatherwick's outfit. The former grain silo towers above the waterfront, with the top 6 floors for hotel use, and the bottom intended for a major contemporary art museum. Each of the faceted windows transform the building into a glowing lantern at night.


4. Size matters... the skyscraper race

Lotte World Tower

Architect: KPF

Designed by skyscraper afiicionados KPF (Kohn Pedersen Fox), the Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea opened to the public in April of 2017. "Form elegance" was one of the main drivers towards its design, as it towers a phenomenal 555m/1,820 ft in the skyline. Similar to many other towers, it holds a stacked, program with various uses including, reetail, office, officetel, 7-star luxury hotel. The top 10 stories of the building are reserved for public use with an observation deck and rooftop café.

The petal like curvilinear forms that taper to a point at the top of the building as said to be inspired by korean ceramics and calligraphy.


5. Infrastructure

Te Whitinga aka. hendon Bridge

Architect: Warren & Mahoney

Located: Auckland, New Zealand

Haha now for the shameless self advertisement plug, but this was the first project I worked on after I graduated and it is super cool seeing that it's finished. 

Hendon Bridge (as we knew it in the office) is a pedestrian cycleway that gives residents safe passage to cross the motorway below. It was parametrically designed in rhino/grasshopper and the curved ramp is built from 3 arcs that are tangentially joined to create a smooth curve. The portion of the bridge that is suspended over the motorway is supported by the cables and arch above. And the two ends are ramps that are supported by large concrete piers. 

Cool to see that it's been getting some love on the (insta)gram. 

Hendon at night @locketom @ash__low

A post shared by Dean Mackenzie (@deanjmackenzie) on


6. unbuilt

666 5th Ave

Architect: zaha hadid

Location: 666 5th Ave, New York, USA

Zaha Hadid's Office unveiled a gigantic skyscraper set to grace Fifth Avenue. 666 5th Ave will be replacing an old office building and extending a further 40 floors above its current height. Kushner Companies (yup Jared Kushner) will be developing the building that is to contain a mixture of retail, residential and hotel program.

If all goes to plan, demo is will begin in 2019 and all will be finished in 2025.

7. The unbuilt part II

X House

Architect: Monk Mackenzie

Location: Jack's Point, Queenstown, New Zealand

Winner of the World Architecture unbuilt houses section for 2017 was the X house designed by New Zealand architecture firm Monk Mackenzie. The house was intended to sit within the landscape and bridge across a floodplain. See here for more info.


8. Throwback to week #8. Is this real life? 


Last week's newsletter in the "is this real life?" section featured SOM's Poly International Plaza in Beijing, China; that the awesome Anthony Gianini helped to design in the San Francisco office. See below for the render from last week. 


9. Let's wind it back with a golden oldie. 

We interrupt this newsletter with a Billy Joel special, I think my favourite BJ song. "The Longest Time". 


10. An Architectural Model

Pun 100% intended. This architectural babe and girl crush Neri Oxman is a digital design whizz who is a professor at MIT. Her art and architecture combine, biology, material engineering, computing or also known as morphogenesis.


11. From the gram

For you archy nerds out there I highly recommend the_donnies as a gram you'll want to follow. Facade designer and kiwi expat, Troy Donovan who now works for Grimshaw, Sydney produces some awesome drawings, shares detail pics and architecture book recommendations.


12. undercover celebs

So Seal our "Kiss From a Rose" friend studied architecture for two years in London and received an associates degree. After graduating he worked at several architecture firms whilst continuing his interest in music. 


13. architectural Spotlight - This is...

Skidmore Owings & Merrill

Was formed in Chicago in 1936 by architects, Nathanial Owings and Louis Skidmore. One year later they opened and office in New York and three years later, John O Merrill (an engineer) joined the team. Over its history SOM has completed more than 10,000 projects around the world. They have offices in San Francisco, Washington DC, Shanghai, London, Hong Kong, Mumbai and Dubai. Their practice prides itself on the integration of architecture and structure. 

So you're probably thinking who are they? and what are they responsible for? Well a lot more than you probably think!

The Burj Khalifa, Dubai completed in 2010.

The Burj Khalifa, Dubai completed in 2010.

John Hancock Center, Chicago, USA, was the world's second highest building when it was built in 1969. It was a collaboration between Fahzul Khan (engineer) and Bruce Graham (architect). 

John Hancock Center, Chicago, USA, was the world's second highest building when it was built in 1969. It was a collaboration between Fahzul Khan (engineer) and Bruce Graham (architect). 

One World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower, New York, USA, completed in 2013.

One World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower, New York, USA, completed in 2013.

Pepsi-Cola Building Headquarters, Park Avenue, New York, USA, built in 1960. Designed by Partner Gordon Bundshaft and Natalie de Blois. 

Pepsi-Cola Building Headquarters, Park Avenue, New York, USA, built in 1960. Designed by Partner Gordon Bundshaft and Natalie de Blois. 

Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai, India, completed in 2014. 

Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai, India, completed in 2014. 


1. A Canine friend

This phenomenal canine (Aspen, the mountain pup) who just gets well into the wilddddd. A recommended follow for you grammers out there. 



2. Babe

The gorgeous Blake Lively, who's now pregnant with child no. 2? Rocking the "preggers second time round, chic" style in photo no.2.


3. Space invader of hnson's glass house

That thing must be an ice box right now.

Found in Connecticut.

Found in Connecticut.


4. Boy

And in appropriate fashion, who could leave out Blake Lively's celeb husband. I must say Deadpool was actually pretty good. Reynolds has been hitting the headlines for a while with his witty tweets, not forgetting his most recent featured below. 

A post shared by LADbible (@ladbible) on


5. stair porn

I remember seeing this a few years back on Dezeen. That's right, "I'm so bougey I have a slide in my house." This New York apartment, designed by architect David Hotson features a polished stainless steel slide.

Good luck keeping the fingerprints off it! 


6. Art

I've always been a fan of this kiwi artist; Henrietta Harris. A few years ago I was introduced to her work through my friend Fran, but at the time it was mainly her drawings and illustrations. Harris's work is a display of great artistry through her depiction of faces, hands, brains, glaciers, you name it. 

7. object

And all I wanted for Christmas is...

(not you). These awesome lights by designer Dan Layden! Well somewhere to the put them is probably a better place to start...

8. Wanderlust

A dreamy pic of nature's brilliance. Shot by James Relf Dyer, this is the Monument Valley in Arizona, USA.


9. Lost in Translation

Togs (NZ) (not undies) = Bathers/Swimsuit (Everywhere else)

A unique item of New Zealand slang. For correct use of terminology please refer to this fantastic ad by Tip Top (ice cream makers). It's really quite outstanding, and I can assure that it will put a smile to your face. 

10. harsh realities

So guys, I guess climate change is real. Saw this heart-wrenching video by Nat Geo a couple of weeks ago. Take care of your environment! Recycle when you can and be conscious about your daily habits and the impacts they might be having on the world. Whenever I walk into those $1, $2, $3 stores. I always think, damn, this is why we have climate issues.


11. Meanwhile...

This cute friendship between a penguin and a human. Click the photo to the article link and video. 

12. doodle

Somewhere in Cuba...



13. LOL

In light of my recent trip back home, where I get haunted by the landline. Which, in my mind;, is a truly outdated piece of technology where you're racing from one end of the house to get to the phone, because the first two rings you were hoping that someone else would pick up. 

A post shared by LADbible (@ladbible) on


My last supper for 2018, consisted of this delicious German meal of pork schnitzel, spaetzle and mushrooms, coupled with a glass of Glühwein from Doma Na Rohu, West Villa, New York. Enjoyed this meal with outstanding company aka my New York fam. 

15. and that's a wrap! here's some 'new' music.

The one and only cheeseball country song that brainwashed me during my time at Hudson Yards. Holy moley I'm so embarrassed about it, but the truth's out! The video is also extremely extremely corny. (For the record I have a strong dislike for country music).



Till next week my friends. #dab-out.

I hope that I have credited everything. If not images are not mine unless stated, please click on the images and hyperlinks to their original sources :)