Home Remodeling using FAUX PANELS

Carlton Faux Panels - Carlton Cobblestone Summer Tan
Exterior Oxford Faux Panels - Stacked Stone Light Tan

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FAUX PANELS™, is ensuring that consumers can remodel homes even with the bad economy by providing faux panels. These fake stone panels are reasonably priced to offer a home remodel that is economical while still giving a realistic stone finish to the home.

Spending money on a real stone finish for the outside or inside of a home is expensive these days. Not only do consumers have to purchase the stone needed to have the work done, but they will end up paying for a professional mason to do the job for them. With faux panels and siding, you get the same look for just a fraction of the cost.

Today’s new faux panels are not only a reasonably priced answer to remodeling during a bad economy, but they are also very durable. The latest advances in technology have been perfected and used to come up with a material known as high density polyurethane, which makes these panels virtually indestructible. These stone veneer panels are not affected by water either due to the closed cell structure of the polyurethane, which makes it great for outdoor use or even indoor rooms that may get wet, such as the bathroom or the kitchen. For consumers looking for value for their money in this tight economy, the idea of durability makes these panels even more attractive when dollars are tight.

The realistic look that they provide is due to the fact that the panels are actually molded from actual brick, stone, and rock. Consumers can install these panels and it is difficult to tell they are not real stone. The panels are designed to interlock with each other as well, which means the design will look seamless when it is completed.

Whether consumers today want to add a stone, brick, or rock look to their home exteriors, interior rooms, patios, to office buildings, or other structures, with faux panels they can do so at a reasonable price. With many different styles and options available, FauxPanels.com offers not only affordable pricing, but excellent choices to consumers looking to improve their home at a low cost.

To find out more about faux panels and how you can use them to remodel during a recession, visithttp://www.fauxpanels.com for more information.


Holy Rosary Church Complex / Trahan Architects


Architects: Trahan Architects, APAC
Location: Lousiana, USA
Project Architect: Victor F. “Trey” Trahan III, FAIA
Design team: Brad David, Kirk Edwards
Structural Engineer: Schrenk & Peterson Consulting Engineers
Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing Engineer: Apex Engineering Corporation
BUILDER: Quality Design and Construction, Inc.
Project Area: 1,586 sqm
Project year: 2004
Photographer: Tim Hursley / The Arkansas Office

014 043 084 1113

The design of the Holy Rosary Complex-comprised of an oratory, administrative building, and religious education building-for a rural Catholic Parish in South Louisiana, is an honest exploration of form, function, light and materials that results in an engaging and profound study in sacred space. Neither opulent nor austere, Holy Rosary Chapel presents a thoughtful meditation on sacred spaces and the spatial embodiment of spiritual experience.

plan 02

The masterplan for the rural campus creates a strong sense of place and draws a distinction between the program’s sacred and secular components. Secular components of the campus take form as linear or “edge” buildings-an administrative block, two linear classroom bars, a religious education building-which form the courtyard in which the oratory is located. The oratory, or chapel, is the focus of the otherwise orthogonal composition, but is itself skewed to further underscore its importance and to create a sense of expectation.


Working with a limited palette of poured-in-place concrete, plate glass and cast glass, the architects created a meditative environment that places a high importance on spatial characteristics and the play of light on these humble materials.

Design of the oratory stems from the concept of the womb-a universal, pure and sacred space. All six sides of the oratory cube sides are equal in size, color and texture. The result is an interior space that feels encompassing, protective and mysterious.


Light enters through a variety of openings carved from the wall thickness without revealing context or light source beyond. In addition to giving occupants a sense of orientation, the obscured presence of light is symbolic of the paschal mystery of Christ.



Paper your walls in splashy florals, tranquil leaves or bold abstract designs with Marimekko wallpaper. Whether you are looking to create an accent wall or an entire hallway, Marimekko has the wallpaper that will make your home someplace special.

Marimekko have come out with some of their most popular prints on wallpaper. At this stage they have 11 prints for sale but will be adding all 56 patterns. It you love their designs as much as I do, click here for a look. They are US$89 a roll (NZ$140) and ship worldwide. My favourite are the Stilla leaves and Bo Boo kids cars.


Green architecture - Melbourne Convention Centre

melbourne-convention-center-1When it comes to convention centers the Melbourne Convention Centre is a convention center like no other - Australia’s premier convention center. An innovative design concept by NH Architecture and Woods Bagot turns traditional convention center design inside out and presents a building that is distinctive and worthy of its prime riverfront location in the South Wharf precinct. It also managed to set a new world benchmarks as the first convention center to be awarded a ‘6 Star Green Star’ environmental rating by the Green Building Council of Australia.

The center is also raising standards to new heights in innovation, technology, imaginative catering and service options. The green building’s innovative sustainable design and operational features ensure the comfort of delegates and protection of the environment go hand-in-hand. Displacement ventilation takes care of low level air delivery and high level air exhaust in the plenary hall and foyer areas provide effective air flow with high indoor air quality at low energy consumption. The glass facade allows availability of natural light to the foyer and pre-function spaces. This reduces the need for artificial light and provides good thermal qualities during the winter.


can offset more than 40 percent of general hot water requirements and can provide 100 percent of public amenity hot water requirements. Light fittings have been selected and positioned in order to minimize resource and energy consumption. For instance, is achieved with daylight and motion detection control features.

A black water treatment plant collects building waste water and some storm water to provide treated water for toilet flushing, irrigation and cooling towers. Radiant slab heating and cooling in the foyer (with pipes in the concrete floor carrying hot or cold water to heat or cool the slab) provides a more comfortable internal environment with good thermal comfort levels. Carbon dioxide monitoring and control is part of air conditioning systems and ensures fresh air is continually delivered to the convention center.


And all of those features were achieved with usage of carpets, paints, adhesives and sealants that are low in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and the use of low emission building materials. They also used FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) timber, which is environmentally friendly, rather than non-renewable timber. Usage of sustainable furnishings and floor covering and substitution of PVC with more environmentally-friendly materials were also applied.

The Melbourne Convention Centre is fully integrated with the exhibition center, creating the largest combined exhibition and convention facility in Australia. Thirty-two meeting rooms of various sizes, a grand ballroom and a state-of-the-art plenary hall that can be divided into three self-contained, acoustically separate theaters, offers clients unlimited options in event planning.

The most sophisticated but simple to use audio visual, communications and information technology available is inbuilt into every meeting room of the new convention centre which significantly reduces the normal additional costs associated with the provision of this level of technology. New self prompting ‘smart lecterns’ offer event organizers and guest speakers unprecedented self-manageable capabilities all monitored in-house via centralized or satellite control rooms.

source: http://www.robaid.com/tech/green-architecture-melbourne-convention-centre.htm


History or Architecture



This is a short film about architecture in its broadest sense.


Architecture Association school unveils summer pavilion

Driftwood pavilion

6 July, 2009
By Laura Chan

“Driftwood” structure created from spruce plywood

The Architecture Association’s fourth annual pavilion, “Driftwood”, was unveiled in London’s Bedford Square last week.

AA Students were challenged to create an architectural space through the construction of a sustainable timber pavilion. Sponsored by HOK Architects and based on a concept by third-year student Danecia Sibingo, the wooden structure consists of layers of sustainable spruce plywood.

The pavilion is intended to remind viewers that the UK is an island, surrounded by sea. The concept behind its sinuous form is intended to represent “the motion of the water, carried by waves and coming to rest in busy central London.” Its undulating form evokes an image of a contoured landscape, or a wave frozen in time. The Driftwood team believes it is “neither art nor architecture, science nor ecological adventure, but a sculptural installation and prototype that defies classification.”

Materials were supplied by FinnForest, an ecological Finnish timber company that adheres to minimal material wastage.

Brett Steele, director of the Architectural Association school, said: “The annual summer pavilion competition provides a unique opportunity for students to work together to design, develop and ultimately fabricate a professional standard architectural structure for the public to enjoy.”

Other Driftwood team members include: Lyn Hayek, Yoojin Kim, Taeyoung Lee, Suram Choi, Kyungtae Jung, Jerome Tsui, Feras El Attai, Rama Nshiewat, Camille Steyaert, Hisashi Kato and Ryan Phanphensophon.

Driftwood is on show in Bedford Square until 25 July 2009.



Design Museum in London Remembers Jan Kaplicky ~ Architect of the Future

LONDON.- Jan Kaplický, who died earlier this year aged 71, was the Czech architect responsible for some of the most remarkable buildings that Britain has ever seen. This exhibition curated by Deyan Sudjic will celebrate Kaplický’s career, his influences and unique futuristic vision for building design.Kaplický was the driving force behind a new school of architecture and his buildings continue to stimulate, amaze and inspire. Kaplický pushed against the status quo, offering a unique personal vision.

This exhibition celebrates the work of a gifted architect and designer. On exhibition through 1 November, 2009.Arriving in London as a refugee after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, Kaplický worked with Denys Lasun, Richard Rogers and Norman Foster.

He established Future Systems with David Nixon in 1979 which worked initially as a kind of think tank. Astonishing drawings and plans for robot built structures spinning in earth’s orbit, weekend houses in the guise of space age survival pods and malleable interiors were just some of Kaplický’s visions.Amanda Levete joined Future Systems in 1989, and together Kaplický and Levete began to build some of the practice's best known work.

In 1994 Future Systems designed the Stirling Prize winning media centre at Lord's Cricket Ground and in 1999 designed the Selfridges department store in Birmingham, a sensuous iceberg like building that would win the 2004 RIBA Award for Architecture.Deyan Sudjic comments “Jan was a remarkable architect, and a brilliant artist. We can only now begin to understand his impact on the shape of the contemporary world”.

Visit the Design Museum London at : www.designmuseum.org/


Good architecture is an economic engine

That the arts are an important component of economic development for New Britain, especially its downtown, is recognized by virtually everyone actively involved in urban renewal here. But “the arts” are often understood too narrowly as exclusively places and performances that create economic activity, like the New Britain Museum of American Art, or Hole in the Wall Theater. The arts certainly do generate economic activity as hundreds of people in downtown New Britain for the theater, a gallery opening, or a performance at South Church or Trinity-on-Main attest. But art is not just things to see and do. Art needs to be involved with the design of the streets we walk and most especially the buildings where we work, eat, shop, and recreate.

Whether a piece of music, a play, a sculpture or a dance, art is about the relationship between elements and making these relationships about more than what is merely functional. Art brings pleasure. We are intrigued by a drawing, or stop to listen to a song, or appreciate a good book. Nowhere is art’s attention to relationships more key than in architecture. Great architecture is visually thrilling, but how buildings relate to what is around them is an essential part of that. Great or even simply good buildings make sense in their location. They fit in, they relate.

If you have not taken the opportunity to check out West Hartford’s new Blue Back Square, it’s worth the short ride to see what intelligent planning (and investors with deep pockets) can bring about. The first time I saw it I was unexpectedly stunned. Apart from the vintage cars, I thought I was stepping back into a John Fitzsimmons painting of 1950/60’s downtown New Britain. It’s not just the street life; it’s the scale, layout, and variety of the buildings. It’s the feel of a place where you live, and work, and shop, and eat, and catch a movie, or stop at the library. In other words, it’s the art thing. They got the relationships right.

A prime example of not getting the art thing right, and the subsequent waste of resources that results, is the recently departed failure of a building at the corner of Main and Chestnut streets in downtown New Britain. Half a block of historic structures, including the Strand Theater, were demolished to make way for a building that was never fully occupied and ended up being torn down 30 years after its construction. The worst part was that its empty hulk helped drag down New Britain’s downtown for decades. The merits of its design as a standalone building might be debated, its complete inappropriateness for its location cannot be. What is important now is to understand why that building was such a failure so that we don’t make the same mistakes again, not only at that site but elsewhere in our downtown.

It’s the art thing, i.e., relationships. Suburban buildings that serve the public are built as destinations. They are set back and surrounded by a sea of parking. They are by nature car friendly and hostile to pedestrians. Buildings in an urban downtown, by contrast, need to be pedestrian friendly and lead from one location to another. If they are to encourage pedestrian activity they need to be designed so that people feel comfortable walking near them. Blank walls and windows with blinds drawn are not very interesting and make people feel unsafe. Attractive storefronts with lots of doors and windows to look in, on the other hand, keep people’s interest as they walk and make them feel engaged and comfortable.

Downtowns represent cities whether for good or for ill. The fate of downtown New Britain affects all the residents of the city as well as the surrounding area. New Britain has an opportunity to get it right and to make it better. While we need to be vigilant and carefully evaluate proposals for our downtown, we also have every reason to be optimistic. We have a solid core of interesting and well constructed historic buildings, many of which have been completely or partially rehabilitated. We have market forces that favor urban living. We have leaders who appreciate the important role the arts can play in revitalizing our city. Very practically, in a sign of wonderful bipartisan cooperation, Mayor Timothy Stewart and the Common Council worked together to change our zoning laws for downtown to bring them in line with recommendations by experts in urban revitalization.

One of the great pleasures of working at the New Britain Downtown Visitors Center is to meet people from out of town and hear their reactions. While many New Britainites are acutely aware of how much of our historic downtown fell victim to the wrecking ball because of the highways and in the name of “urban renewal,” folks from elsewhere tend to notice how many of our historic building are left and they comment favorably on their experience. This gives them a reason to stay around, to want to come back, and especially for us who live here to be proud.

Stephen Hard is executive director of the Greater New Britain Arts Alliance.