This modern Zurich Hotel sports hundreds of years of history

"Swiss hospitality" is a phrase that you hear every now and then, but rarely in the country where it was born. Possibly because in Switzerland, making guests and visitors feel as comfortable as they would at home is second nature. Even in a city like Zürich, best known for colder elements (steely watches, gold & silver and, of course, the weather), hotels like Marktgasse effortlessly demonstrate why the Swiss have earned such a stellar reputation.

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Sandwiched between Europe’s most prominent countries (Germany, France, Italy, Austria and let’s not forget Liechtenstein), Switzerland’s cultural identity is an amalgamation of different languages, foods, customs, and environs. Zürich’s relative proximity to Germany means it benefits from the crisp alpine air and a greater sense of industriousness than the laissez-faire attitude to the west. There’s a high quality of life in the city, but financiers do greatly outnumber creatives.

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That intersection used to be part of the Silk Road, and the building that houses the hotel has served as some sort of lodging since the fifteenth century. Your local Marriott Courtyard’s got nothing on history that deep.

You’ll notice holdovers from the structure’s former life and it’s the combination of little design quirks and Swiss minimalistic furniture (Le Corbusier was Swiss, so go figure) that give the hotel its personality. Aesop amenities inhabit every room and the complimentary coffee and tea in the lobby are top-notch. One hotel staffer went so far as to suggest it was the best chai tea she’d had west of the Ganges: she was actually from India, so we’re taking her word for it. Like the rest of the staff, she’ll only need one interaction before retaining your name and greeting you with a genuine smile for the rest of your stay.

While the lobby has breakfast beverages covered and the aforementioned Delish is the ultimate snack or lunch spot, the hotel’s main culinary offering is the refined Baltho

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There’s several truly exceptional cocktails on the menu and don’t overlook the classic entrées like the Bang-Bang Chicken. The restaurant space is ideally illumed and there’s a cozy bar up the stairs with perch-perfect stools for striking up conversation with one of the gregarious bartenders.

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You’ll probably find yourself in Zürich next on business, but aim to mix in a bit of pleasure. While the buttoned-up inhabitants can initially give off a stuffy impression, the atmosphere is refreshing and the people couldn’t be more pleased to receive you. You’ll find this, along with great food, immaculate rooms and an ideal location, in spades at the Marktgasse Hotel. 

Assouline honour the Ritz Paris with this beautifully crafted coffee table book

Luxury book publisher Assouline is back with another read worthy of the finest coffee tables and home libraries: Eternally Ritz, a beautiful volume honoring the legendary Ritz Paris on the Place Vendôme.

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Home of high-society, outrageous luxury and Bar Hemingway, one of our favorite watering holes in all the world, the book captures the elegance of the hotel with historic imagery of esteemed guests (everyone from Churchhill to Chanel and beyond) as well as architecture and design documents alongside everything you need to know about its painstaking, recent restoration.

Curl up with a glass or two of Bordeaux and get lost in this for hours....

Experience Visuals Metaphors of Everyday Running with Air Max

Known for awesome and innovative work in design, and also for collecting awards like Cannes Gold Lion and D&AD Black for the Versus video for Maxon , the design and motion studio ManvsMachine – whose list of big clients includes Apple, Audi, or Honda — produced a new creative ad for Nike Air Max. Inspired by a casual day running, the design studio devised a “metaphorical exploration of air and the negative space it occupies,” that promotes Nike’s new campaign “Go Lighter, Go Longer“. The studio is referring to their work as a “series of visual metaphors inspired by scenarios encountered on an everyday run.”


Based on their well-known experience in visual modeling, ManvsMachine succeeded to present the new Nike Air Max 2017 in a revolutionary way — the 30-second video describes a succession of unique images of the upgraded shoe, which is able to change its materials by reacting to the environment. The music video by Zelig Soundsummarizes an unusual everyday run, and it is filled with foot rhythms, runner’s breath, airflow, and even some sort of traffic noises.


This isn’t the first Air Max project that ManvsMachine worked on: in 2015, the strong collaboration between Nike Sportswear and the design studio brought to life a campaign that celebrated Air Max Day and 30-year-anniversary of the iconic shoes, by releasing a video full of digitalized bubbles and balloons. Although it was full of pretty, and colorful images as well, the following campaign for 2016 Air Max Day is clearly a lot different – it presents unique mechanics of minds of three Nike designers by captivating a series of kinetic sculpture of movement and energy: Hiroshi: The Editor of Air. Tinker: The Architect of Air. Mark: The Visionary of Air.

All three videos have a clear ManvsMachine signature, that keeps evolving with every piece of their work with the latest one focusing on “metaphorical exploration of air and the negative space it occupies.”

Involved in various projects – like their latest mesmerizing advert by English singer, songwriter, and director, FKA TWIGS, that presents Nike’s new Spring Zonal Strength Tights — the sportswear giant managed to captivate its customer’s attention, by using augmented reality technology. Nike found a unique way for its clients to create a pair of sneakers that fits their style and personality. The process of shoe personalization can be done in selected Nike stores, using a mounted display and an editing program that allows you to create your own, stylish, and unique shoe design, based solemnly on your preferences.


Foster + Partners to masterplan new sustainable city in India

Foster + Partners is masterplanning the new state capital of Andhra Pradesh in India, which will centre on a governmental building with a needle-like roof.

Set on the banks of River Krishna, the new city of Amaravati will cover 217 square kilometres and is set to be one of the most sustainable cities in the world, according to Norman Foster's architecture firm.

"The design brings together our decades-long research into sustainable cities, incorporating the latest technologies that are currently being developed in India," said Norman Foster in a statement.


A governmental complex will run through the centre of the city, stretching 5.5 kilometeres long and 1 kilometre wide, with ribbon-like lakes weaving around tree-lined boulevards. The urban grid and central expanse of greenery are nods to both New York's Central Park and Edwin Lutyen's designs for Delhi.

Over 60 per cent of this core area will be occupied by greenery or water, with cycle paths, water taxis and routes for electric cars providing green transport options. Shaded streets and squares have been designed to encourage people to walk.

In this mixed-use quarter, 13 plazas will represent the 13 state districts. Amaravati itself was created when the state boundaries between Andhra Pradesh and the newly formed Telangana state were redrawn.

Square in plan, the public entry will be to the south and the ministerial entrance to the west. The assembly chamber for ministerial debates will be place on the southwest corner, which is considered the most auspicious according to Vaastu principles.

An assembly chamber will be on the southwest corner and a council hall on the northeast. At the centre will sit a courtyard-like void accessible to the public for most of the year, with a spiralling ramp leading to a cultural and a viewing gallery over the debate chamber.


The high court complex will have a stepped roof designed like the stupas of ancient India

More publicly accessible parts, such as the administrative office and lower courts are arranged on the outer edges, with more private spaces including the Chief Justice's court to be found at the centre. A courtyard and roof garden will bring greenery to this inner sanctum.

In Norway, Haptic Architects and Nordic Office of Architecture are also building a "sustainable city of the future" with their masterplan for a city next to Oslo airport.

Meanwhile Saudi Arabia is investing in Neom, a £382 billion fully automated city that will be powered solely by renewable energy.

Visualisations are by Foster + Partners.

Original Article