the history of Afghanistan: bitter lake, a film by BBC’s adam Curtis tracing the story of Islamic state


this is the 3rd time we are embedding this film and it keeps getting taken down (!) you may want to search it on youtube if and when this 3rd copy is taken down again

although “bitter lake”, a film by adam curtis, was produced by the BBC, the content of the film was rather too much for its audience to publicly promote. therefore the film remained in the back logs of  their press efforts, and therefore seldom seen.

here is your chance to delve into the history of afganistan, the taliban, and the role saudi arabia and north america played in their faiths. its the story of how the islamic state (IS) was created and why. how fixing one problem, like the spread of communism, could cause to spearhead another one, like the spread of an extremist sect of wahabism (a version of islam created by the saudi elite).

this was achieved by exporting, funding and supporting this ideology to afganistan and beyond. it was done at a time when an evil entity was supported to bring down yet another enemy. of course today we are left to manage the monster we helped create. a good film to see for anyone interested in world affairs, beyond what fox news has to offer. by ac

next destination


at ts, we are always looking for the next unique place to introduce you to. we are excited to introduce our readers to one of our new favorite blogs/sources, mood of living. a norwegian friend of ours has penned a fine piece about a hidden hotel and natural oasis, the juvet hotel.


“nestled in a valley close to norway’s most stunning fjord “geiranger”, you can find juvet, norway’s first landscape hotel featuring unique architectural design. in a local farmyard, this west coast treasure has seven detached guest rooms that at first appear shy as the minimalistic chalets stand in harmony with the nordic trees. yet, the panoramic signature windows of the rooms invite the massive mountains, fresh waterfalls, and distinct characteristics of the seasons into your indoor environment.


experience the finest of luxury and natural simplicity as the beauty of the surrounding nature awakens your senses. while the fresh air renews your lungs, indulge in local foods served in the rustic barn and pamper yourself in the spa. through outdoor activities offered by the heart-warming owners, enjoy the outstanding views painted by nature while skiing, rafting, hiking and more. the rivers that weave through the mountains of norway provide some of the purest water in the world. locals say that taking a dip in the cold mountain river is good for your heart, and simply brushing your teeth in it’s waters will boost your wellness and give you a sensation out of the ordinary. juvet’s magnificence continuously shines throughout the year, but for you summer travelers, remember to venture to the neighbor’s strawberry fields–they are the best in the world!”- charlotte søia rustand 


photography credits to: knut bry and sverre hjørnevik 

architecture: jensen & skodvin architects

by kgb

if it is going to snow, then go

we are sitting here at the ts headquarters in nyc thinking about the kind of winter we have already been greeted with this year; snow and below freezing temperatures. but there is not much beauty to it unless we get play in it. so if you aren’t a blogger and you can get away, we highly advise finding yourself in following situation. oh, and while you’re out there, feel free to send us a thank you email at

“this is the fireside resort in wilson, wyoming just outside jackson hole and grand teton national park. convenient central location 10 minutes from the slopes at jackson hole mountain resort, less than 15 minutes from jackson and about an hour from yellowstone. super-mod cabins are a contemporary take on the area’s historic homesteader cottages. situated on eight wildlife-filled acres where moose, elk, red-tailed hawks, bald eagles and deer roam and nest, you’d never know fireside resort was a mere seven miles from jackson’s bustling town square. just south of grand teton national park with views of the grand teton mountain range from the property, fireside resort offers the intimacy of a boutique hotel, the atmosphere of a wooded campground and the ambience of a cozy vacation home.
walk into your personal one-bedroom cabin, designed in a modern rustic style, and any ideas of cowboy kitsch disappear. constructed from recycled wyoming snow fence, the sleek structures have gas fireplaces, plush chocolate leather couches and bright contemporary art, all softened by the gnarled exposed wood beams overhead. each comes with a furnished deck, a full kitchen, and a tempurpedic pullout couch (in addition to the comfy king-sized bed in the bedroom). HD flat-screen tvs and rain showers add to the contempo-cozy charm.
there is no restaurant or even a central building; most guests cook in their kitchens or eat in nearby restaurants. but the staff can guide you to the top local pros-in-the-know who will assist you in biking, rafting and fly fishing trips in the summer, or skiing and snowmobiling in the winter. the fireside resort experience is simple: it’s a comfortable, tucked-away haven to relax, rejuvenate and set up headquarters for all your jackson adventures. and while it might be tempting to hole up by the fire in your homey pied-à-terre, yellowstone national park, jackson’s saloon-filled downtown and the world-renowned jackson hole mountain resort are all an easy drive away.” – sam storms for jetsetter.comby ad

cozying up

this is the maza house by chk arquitectura located in valle de bravo, mexico and spearheaded by eduardo hernández ch. this 5,623 sqf lodge-like home is surrounded in elements of nature. the living room, with its open fireplace, is where the ts team would like to be cozied up in, thinking up our next blog topics. nevertheless, we will not be able to travel to mexico, yet we have invested in personal space heaters for our less grandiose new york city apartments. please read more here and photo creds go out to yoshihiro koitani. by kgb

wirra willa


a design by matthew woodward architecture in somersby, australia.

the wirra willa pavilion is a miesian-inspired glass pavilion situated in a vibrant and fertile, rural landscape setting not dissimilar to that seen in a claude monet painting.

the aim was to create a multifunctional space that provided an experiential opportunity for the visitor so they could appreciate, to the full extent, the inherent beauty of the landscape. the specific site is situated remotely on a private property that totals 80 acres and was originally established as a stone and citrus fruit orchard. there are well established gardens intertwined throughout.



the pavilion cantilevers over the natural spring fed dam to connect the inhabitant to a sublime environment that is pulsing with an abundance of life and natural beauty. it is essentially used as a private and remote spa house and guest retreat that compliments the existing residence on the property.

simplicity is essential to the success of the project. the approach was to maintain simplicity through each stage of the design process in order to create an elegant, unobtrusive incision into the landscape setting that allows for both prospect and refuge.

the use of the pavilion is multifunctional. the design needed to be flexible and adaptable to accommodate for various uses during the changing seasons throughout the year.

site selection was critical from a sustainability perspective; the location was selected for its remoteness, opportunity for prospect, and orientation to the sun and prevailing winds.



the orientation of the pavilion in the northeast captures the sun and responds to prevailing winds. in the warmer summer months, the sliding glass panels can open up to allow for natural cross ventilation by inviting the prevailing breezes, while in the cooler winter, thermal mass of materials conduct heat from the sun to allow for a relatively constant internal climate.

the materiality was selected for the inherent tellurian characteristics to harmonize the building to the natural setting. the geometry itself is simple; the building is essentially two bisecting rectangular prisms, one created from composite steel, concrete and glass, and the other a sandstone cladded core. the structural solution was derived from a rationalized ‘grid’ system.

it is a special place that one can escape to find peace and solitude.

(source: contemporistby kgb

the ipês house


the design of a floating box with well-defined edges and perfect symmetry seems to be popular with designers across the globe as we are seeing homes with similar design take shape in most of europe, latin america and the us. that does not mean that each of them stops adding their own individual touch as the ipês house in sao paulo, brazil showcases. while the home itself looks like a beautiful floating box cast in concrete and wood, there is a lot more to it than meets the eye.

ipes-house-sao paulo- brazil-modern-architecture-pool-daytime

designed by marcio kogan’s StudioMK27, the home is pretty much a perfect template for anyone who wishes to build a contemporary house that is both sophisticated and an absolute dream to live in. the ipês house looks like a giant concrete block floating over a dreamy glass base and this is achieved by the balanced use of concrete, wood and glass on the exterior, while the interiors remain spacious and light.

ipes-house-sao paulo- brazil-modern-architecture-interior

ipes-house-sao paulo- brazil-modern-architecture-best-wine-cellar

ipes-house-sao paulo- brazil-modern-architecture-pool-dusk

ipes-house-sao paulo- brazil-modern-architecture

the wooden folds that can be opened and closed at your will give the bedrooms in the top floor all the privacy that they need and also allow for ample natural ventilation during daytime. neutral shades and the use of grays ensure that the interiors are chic and fashionable, with décor being kept uncomplicated and elegant. the design of the pool also complements the basic structure beautifully, while the ample patio space allows you to kick back and put your feet up after a long day’s work. (source: decoist)  by kgb

prefabulous: charlotte perriand beach house

this is a previously unrealised prefab beach-house designed by modernist architect charlotte perriand in 1934. the project was initially conceived for an architecture competition to design cheap holiday lodging, held by french architecture magazine l’architecture d’aujourd’hui. it was never conceived or built until now… by the french “cheap holiday lodging” company louis vuitton. the charlotte perriand la maison au bord de leau by louis vuitton at design miami 2013 is currently located in the beach-side garden at the raleigh hotel on miami’s south beach. by ra+dd

Chinese lights over Florence

Firenze, Chinese restaurant
firenze, chinese restaurant

nothing interesting about the food here (although we are in italy).  despite that, i love the lettering of these chinese ideograms in contrast with the old walls of florence. direct from via dei servi, vicino al duomo. by nk