Storytelling through Architecture

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By Marina Correa Photography: Philippe Ruault; courtesy the architects

The Giraffe Childcare Centre designed by Hondelatte Laporte Architects introduces a dollop of fantasy into the routine lives of suburban Parisian townsfolk-

Niched between a towering structure, next to a neighbourhood built in the 70s and a newly constructed area, it was imperative that the healthcare centre did not -get lost’ within the urban landscape – hence the building is composed of three tiers and each is identified by a unique concrete animal sculpture.

The facades of the building are made out of white corrugated iron that provides a minimal background to the animal sculptures.

Interestingly, each of the south-facing playgrounds is in continuity with the interior spaces; while the urban landscape is animated using a child’s imagination. The wild animal sculptures appropriate a space: a giraffe appears to be peacefully eating the leaves of the trees from the neighbouring park; a polar bear tries to clamber up the steps, while a family of ladybirds climbs the faade in an attempt to reach the interior patio.

Architecture turns into storytelling. The building changes its identity and becomes a landscape in its own right; a metaphor for the urban jungle. The animals and the trees link the building to nature and motion.

Besides infusing a playful and poetic element, this building has also been awarded a green, zero energy efficiency label, making it not just aesthetically appeasing but also one that respects its environment.

Becoming a prominent landmark for the nursery, the affable animal forms transport us to a make-believe world. When pondered upon, definitely a project that goes way beyond the surface to attribute human characteristics and ethos to the emotional, functional routine of a child daycare centre.

to view images click on globalhop.indiaartndesign.com

Homes In Places That Are Defying The Housing Slowdown

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According to CNN Money, there are currently five projects in development that are defying the housing slowdown. These projects are located in and around the areas of Coppell, TX, Jupiter, FL, Charlotte, NC, San Francisco, CA and Sunsites, AZ. Take a look at listings in these areas on REALTOR.com:

4 bedroom, 5 bath Coppell, TX home listed for $565,000
Texas is one state where the housing market never really peaked; thus it also never crashed. Coppell, located just outside of Dallas, is developing a handful of medium to high-end, single-family homes priced at $549,000 and up. The suburban area is home to mostly upper-middle-class individuals. This traditional Lake Park home is a massive 3,838 square feet. It has a stunning foyer and staircase, high vaulted ceilings, a huge balcony, two-car garage and a swimming pool.

3 bedroom, 2 bath Jupiter, FL home listed for $469,900
Jupiter is Florida’s silver lining when it comes to Real Estate. A satellite city of Miami, the area will have 500 new, medium-priced homes ranging from $240,000 to $600,000. Not to mention, Jupiter is an extremely family-friendly area with great schools and low crime. This beautiful Victorian model home is 2,966 square feet and surrounded by the Abacoa Golf Club. It has a covered porch, large screened patio and two-car garage as well as a community clubhouse and swimming pool.

4 bedroom, 5 bath Charlotte, NC home listed for $1,850,000
Similar to Texas, Charlotte also lacked a strong Real Estate boom. Home prices have only decreased by 7 percent, rather than 18.2 percent like the rest of the nation. And right now, a community in Charlotte is developing 120 very high-end, single-family homes ranging between $1.5 million and $2 million. This stunning 6,776 square-foot home is lcoated in Montreux. It has several community amenities including a clubhouse, pool, tennis courts and recreation facilities.

2 bedroom, 2 bath San Francisco, CA condo listed for $995,000
Surprisingly, San Francisco is building. However, the Hawthorne Street Condominiums are the only participants in this effort. Since the city’s amount of new homes is rapidly decreasing, it is highly likely that these condominiums may be the only places available in 2010. This 1st Street high-rise condo in South Beach has close proximity to The Embarcadero. It is 1,238 square feet with new appliances, hardwood floors, stunning views, and numerous community features.

3 bedroom, 2 bath Sunsites, AZ home listed for $205,000
A very brave family from Wisconsin has moved to Sunsites to build their own home. Perhaps more people will catch on to this trend and move to smaller, more affordable areas. The couple’s budget is $150,000, even though the area’s home prices range from $79,000 to $2.2 million. This Southwestern-style home is located in Sunsites Heights, right beside the Shadow Mountain Country Club. It is 1,554 square feet and has a covered patio, two-car garage, jogging path and mountain views.
– Alisa Manzelli, Move Staff Writer
E-mail: Alisa

Garden Gnome Statutes Bringing A Bit Of Luck And Whimsy To Your Outdoor Decor

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The history of Garden Gnomes Statues has it’s start in folklore and fantasy. Long before the first gnome appeared in that first English Garden in the 1800s these little people were the subject of various stories that were told and retold.

It seems that according to legend gnomes lived underground where they would protect various buried treasures. Of course they sometimes did appear above ground and having a gnome visit your property was thought to be extremely good luck. So, as the story goes a landowner in England decided to purchase a statue of a gnome and put it in his garden for good luck. This first charming little fellow struck a cord with other property owners and soon these little people were popping up all over. Many of these original garden gnome statues were handmade of clay and so each had their own distinct personality which made them all the more appealing to those who sought the luck of these little fellows.

While the gnomes in the stories were never described in any great detail, the garden gnome took on a distinct look. The male gnomes all had white beards, red hats, and simple clothing. The women were dressed pretty much the same, with long hair and they originally looked very much like a witch.

Then along came the 1960s and the manufacturing of cheap plastics which resulted in the mass production of rather bright colored and garish looking garden gnomes. For awhile, these cheap imitations were popular, but they soon died out as those who owned original gnomes found these cheaply made plastic creatures something of an affront to the statutes of old.

However, with the advancement of technology and new resins hitting the market, the manufacturing of garden gnomes once again began to take on a more polished and appealing look. However, these newer garden gnome statues do not simply sit or stand around in the garden but, seem to be quite active. While some hold watering cans or nap among the tomatoes or beans, others moon passerby or even take a bath in the middle of the yard.

While those who are set in their ways still turn up their noses at these newer more brightly colored little people and their various activities, a new generation of gnome lovers find these gentle little visitors a complete delight and a way to add a little color, personality, luck and whimsy to their yard and garden.

With the resurgence of their popularity these little fellows are popping up in all sorts of interesting places. You might find one sleeping in a hammock, peeking from behind a tree or simply sitting on a rock reading the latest adventure or fairy tale. Wherever you find them and whatever they may be doing these little garden gnomes are sure to bring a delightful smile to your face and a lot of charm to outdoor decor. And who knows, they just might bring you a bit of luck as well.

The Housing Market Recovery with Gary Allen

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Back in 2008, the financial situation in the US and around the world almost collapsed. Thanks to controversial but fast action by the financial industry and the government, a total collapse was avoided. One of the major factors involved in the financial troubles was the housing market. It took a drastic drop during the crisis. Thousands of people were forced out of their homes due to foreclosures and other problems. Gary Allen remembers that time well.

The crisis was a huge problem, and the housing market was sinking very far down. Luckily, in the years since the financial troubles of 2008 and 2009, the housing markets have made somewhat of a recovery. Gary Allen Developer has worked in real estate for over forty years, so he is very supportive of anything that helps to improve the housing market and any other market related to real estate.

Some of the current news about the housing market isn’t extremely encouraging. There are signs of improvement though. It is predicted that there will be about five million homes sold in 2013. Added to that, the median price on housing has a chance to rise by about seven percent this year as well.

The inventory of listed homes at the end of February came in around 1.5 million. Throughout a majority of cities, the housing inventories have fallen, but that doesn’t mean the housing market is doing fine. There is still disagreement as to whether the housing market is recovering in a healthy manner. The entire system is fairly complicated, and for the general population it is hard to follow what exactly determines whether the market is recovering in a healthy manner or not.

Today there are institutional investors in the markets, although traditionally the housing market is driven by individuals. Because of all of the changes and problems of the last few years, institutional investors have become more influential in the housing markets and are contributing to the price recovery.

Fortunately, when looking into the data and information, the recovery in the housing markets appears to be a sign of an improving economy, and it seems that institutional investors are the ones driving home purchases and sales. They are rehabbing and renting the homes. They are causing the upturn in home prices and providing homes for those who can’t qualify for a mortgage. Gary Allen Developer hopes that the housing market continues to improve as it is usually a strong barometer of economic performance for the US.

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A Garden Full Of Unique Logo Design Templates

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A varied range of choices, effective visibility, amazing designs, high reliability and reasonableness these all aspects make Templatesgarden.com a finest corporate web design templates provider. As an indivisible part of web development web templates are in high demand in the IT industry. Serving this mounting need of professionally designed and resourceful templates is what it best does.es.

Corporate web templates are the first and major choice for an effective branding campaign. The corporate design section of it is loaded with products relating graphic aspects to enhance the branding campaign. From logos and icons to logosets and corporate identities you can find here everything that suffices your corporate design requirements. The best part of Templatesgarden’s corporate web design templates is that they are fully customizable which means you can easily change or modify the designs the way you desire it to be.

Templatesgarden.com has its name as a premium WordPress theme templates provider as well. For the most popular blogging software in the world we provide templates that are attractive and elegant looking. Great functionality, easy installation and high quality designs these are the assurances that our customers are endowed with. We make our WordPress themes really easy to install and perfectly designed for all kinds of online blogs. From a huge collection of WordPress templates you can choose your unique one. Our WordPress templates are easy to customize and will let you have an amusing blogging experience.

Another important factor in templates designing for online blogs is CMS web templates. The soaring popularity and high visibility of blogging worldwide has accelerated the demands of unique and attractive web templates. CMS or Content Management System templates are generally required by the customers for a professional beautification of their blogs. There’s nothing to worry even if you do not have any idea about HTML and other languages. Now managing your website more efficiently and professionally have become easier than ever with the help of CMS platforms.

The vista of template designs is broad and full of various amazing avenues. Apart from corporate, WordPress and CMS templates designs we at Templates garden lend our skilled hands in logo design templates also. Logo is no more considered as a fancy graphic to accessorize your website. Over the years it has changed itself as the face of your business representation, visions and attitude towards your clients. Keeping that mind we design the logo templates that would best showcase your business ideas. Absolutely exclusive logo template design at an affordable price- this is the thing that you can get only fromit. Changing company names, colors and other customizations are also available with our logo templates designs.

The market has grown highly competitive compare to last five years. In this competition it becomes really vital that you possess a great visibility or representation of your business through your own website. Hence, it is here to offer you end-to-end solution in templates designing with its garden full of remarkable template designs.

A Simple Guide To Buying Bedroom Furniture Sets

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Too little and too much options often leads the buyers overwhelmed making the shopping a dilemma to overcome. But before finally saying yes to a salesman, considerable thoughts must be made first. Questions such what kind of bed one wants to buy, the style, do headboard and footboard are necessary? Such queries must be satisfied first before buying bedroom furniture sets.

Shoppers need not to be alarmed with the seemingly terrorizing queries mentioned above as there is no right or wrong when it comes to shopping bedroom furniture. As the choice of the shoppers reflect each and everyones unique preference and style. If the choice does not have a big impact but when it comes to the size of the bedroom, the space will dictate the type of bedroom furniture one must buy.

Sure cheap bedroom furniture are selling like hot pancakes online, but then one must be wary from buying this type of marketing pitch. But for bedroom furniture being sold in sets, then this is another avenue to look forward to, as buying in sets usually just cost a fraction compared when one buy each piece separately.

Bedroom furniture usually consists of a bed, a dresser and at least a single nightstand In addition to basic bedroom furniture set; furniture manufacturers offer other standard pieces of bedroom like nightstands, dressers, mirrors or even wardrobe armoires as part of a package or at discount when the basic bedroom furniture set is purchased.

A standard bed consists of a mattress, a box spring (for box spring type of bed) and a wooden platform for the platform beds. The standard bed and mattress sizes are categorized as: twin, full, queen, king and California king. Select a bed size that is appropriate to the bedroom size.

Instead of buying each bedroom furniture piece separately, bedroom furniture sets offers shoppers an easy and convenient decoration solution. Since bedroom furniture sets are typically been matched and selected by their color, design, style and scale this will definitely save the shopper more time money in blending and matching bedroom furniture sets. If you are the type who is not really confident with your design capabilities then by simply buying bedroom furniture set will solve your predicament all at once.

Feng Shui Tips For A Better Life

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Ever walked into a house that felt like home? Ever reminisced about the best year of your life, and wondered why everything came together for you? It could be Feng Shui.

Simply put, Feng Shui is about creating a harmonious environment. Its the ancient Chinese Science and Art of placement, intended to improve our health, harmony, longevity, career and wealth.

Pronounced, Fung Shway, it was a jealously guarded secret for thousands of years. Now, the benefits of Feng Shui can be enjoyed by anyone. In fact, Feng Shui is a part of everyday life for many Australian businesses, home owners, decorators, and architects.

June from June Turner Designs and Lifestyles has been an expert Feng Shui practitioner for 13 years. Feng Shui can be simple or involved whatever youre comfortable with. Decorate a room or buy a home that is perfect for your family.

The key is energy (or Qi Chee). June offers ten quick tips that can improve the flow, transformation, and containment of Qi in your life:

1) Remove shoes before entering a home. Dont take your problems in with you.

2) Cook at least one meal a day and eat at the table as a family.

3) Never have knives on show even in a block.

4) Always sit or stand facing the door (or its reflection).

5) Keep the toilet lid down and bathroom and laundry doors closed.

6) Don’t sleep under white blankets or doonas.

7) Don’t sleep with your feet facing the bedroom door.

8) Don’t sleep next to the wall that has the metre box on it.

9) If your front door is in line with a tree or the door of the house opposite, place a Ba Gua mirror above the outside of the door.

10) Never have a Ba Gua mirror in the house. They are far too powerful.

Its no coincidence that some of these tips are just common sense. Youve probably been practising Feng Shui for years without even knowing it!

According to June, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Just a few little changes can make the world of difference. But most solutions are specific to the individual.

For more information, contact June Turner Designs and Lifestyles on Sydney +612 43992018.

Corporate Serviced Apartments Amsterdam, Corporate Housing In Amsterdam

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Corporate Serviced Apartments in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is one of the most spectacular cities in Europe attracting visitors from all parts of the world. It is renowned for its interesting history, impressive architectural monuments, amazing canals and bridges. There are few cars and more bicycles; and the peaceful environment makes it a perfect and delightful holiday location. Organizations regularly transfer or deploy employees to chosen destinations as per their business needs. Such migrants also come to Amsterdam for a project of several weeks or months; while some are relocated for several years. In both cases, they can either reside in an Amsterdam hotel or stay in corporate serviced apartments in Amsterdam.
Corporate housing in Amsterdam

Corporate housing is a furnished apartment, rented on a temporary basis for short or long durations; to individuals or corporations as an economical alternative to a conventional hotel. The corporate housing segment of the real estate industry has grown tremendously in past few years due to this need for interim housing. Expatriates require temporary housing for short stay or longer periods when they move into a new city. Corporate housing in Amsterdam provides a cost effective solution regarding this demand for temporary accommodation; during short assignment, extended business trips and while awaiting permanent residence.
Apart-hotels in Amsterdam

When you are travelling for business aims or just for pure pleasure, deciding where to stay is vital; and can really make a big difference to your visit. A serviced apartment is the right option during your visit to a new city; maybe for a day, few weeks, several months or even longer.

Serviced apartments, also known as apart-hotels are best suited for temporary, relocation and corporate housing needs. Apart-hotels in Amsterdam offer significant financial savings, additional space, privacy, luxury and convenience of a home; as compared to equivalent traditional hotels.

World Fashion Apartments is a leading corporate serviced apartment provider in Amsterdam. We offer a fashionable range of fully equipped, furnished apartments in Amsterdam; located in prime areas of the city, near the central business district and leisure zones; for corporate executives with superb amenities and professional service. Our serviced apartments are well-designed to match your specific needs based on the length of stay and size of accommodation. We provide high quality, customized solutions that include flexibility, commitment and support to suit your corporate expectations. Avoid costly hotel bills and room service charges; by selecting our elegant serviced apartments that ensure remarkable cost savings, hassle-free business accommodation and peace of mind.

Fm0-304 Developer Essentials For File Maker 10

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About the FM0-304 Exam:
The FM0-304 Exam is for those IT professionals who want to explore asset management and database management in the organizations.

Industry value of FM0-304 Exam:
After passing this exam certification you not only demonstrate your technical expertise with File Maker
9 product line, you also earn the only credential sponsored by File Maker Inc. Due to very wide acceptance of this exam certification all over the world industry value of this exam for certified professionals is very high.

Job benefits of FM0-304 Exam:
After passing this FM0-304 Exam you will enjoy several job benefits in your professional career, such as:
Boost your career efficiency and be recognized industry wide as a file maker certified developer
Evince your technical leadership with skill in the organization.
Gain the expertise to improve larger and more complex projects.
Develop credibility of your company with customers.

FM0-304 Exam course:
There are some authorized training centers across the world where you can take training courses for FM0-304 Exam. These courses can be led by instructor or self software. These training courses and mock tests really help you to pass successfully in the exam.

Study tip for the FM0-304 Exam:
An important study tip is giving more and more mock tests. The more mock tests you give in test-exam sites the more you become eligible to take the real FMO-304 exam easily. Above all, your skill and knowledge will help you grow as certified professionals in high grow. Just keep in mind that you search for the right test and other things before you appear for the exam. One best option is to look over online, for the right details of the course that you are planning to do.

Recommendations for the FM0-304 Exam:
In order to do best in this exam it is highly recommended that you should be surfing all study materials in the net for better knowledge about what type of questions can come and what will be the answers. It is because all supporting test takers usually give guarantee of 100% success rate.

Estate Tax – The 2010 Step Up Basis Nightmare

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The old saying is the best laid plans of mice and men so often seem to go wrong. When it comes to the government, this is a statement that is used the vast majority of the time since the bumbling of politicians creates some situations that are simply head shakers. This is exactly the case with the step up basis in estate tax for 2010.

This can get confusing, so let’s start off with the basics. The step up basis is simply the value of some asset at a date in time from which a gain is calculated. Let’s say I buy a share of Microsoft in 1990 [I wish!] and I sell it today. I would pay rather large capital gains taxes on the gain in value of that share of stock between 1990 and 2010.

The passing of an asset from a deceased person to their heirs triggers a bit of a different calculation. Let’s assume the same situation as above. Instead of selling the stock in 2010, I die after being attacked by a bear [might as well make it exciting] in 2002. At that point, my stock is transferred to my daughter per my written will. This transfer constitutes a taxable event. Historically, she would pay tax on the gain from the date of my death till she sold the item. The use of my date of death allows her to -step up- the value of the stock instead of pay taxes on all the gains since 1990.

The Bush tax cuts were designed to reduce a number of taxes, but they went a step farther with the estate tax. They were designed to phase it out. In fact, there is no estate tax in 2010. That is nice and all, but the problem is the step up basis for capital gains above is now gone for the year. Instead of paying capital gains on the increase in value from the date of my death, she will have to pay them on the gains from 1990. That is a huge difference and constitutes a massive amount of money going out of my family and to the government. What did the government do for this money? Nothing, I just died!

Is there anything one can do about this mess with the step up basis? Unfortunately, there is not. It is simply another example of the government creating a mess with the best of intentions.

Barry Milton writes about tax planning and other financial planning subjects for UFCAmerica.com.