Visit Hay Castle, Schmooze With the King

English: Hay Castle, Hay-on-Wye The castle has...

Next time you visit Wales, be sure to drop in on Richard Booth, the self-proclaimed King of Hay-on-Wye. His title is well-earned.  Thanks to the eccentric British bibliophile, this sleepy Welsh village has become a world-famous literary center and the site of the famous Hay Festival held every spring in Wales and various times of the year in a dozen other countries, from Nigeria to Bangladesh.

The transformation of Hay-on-Wye began with the town fortress.


Houses You Can Hardly See

The Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe
Oh, to live in a house made of glass, floating above field and marsh. In the mid-twentieth century, architects Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson dazzled the world with their crystal creations, and contemporary architects have built upon the idea.

These practically invisible houses merge daily living with the great outdoors. Its occupants are liberated from walls—and from privacy. But, let’s get down to basics. Yes, glass houses do have bathrooms, and even closets. It takes a clever architect to hide these things so well!

Whether you love the beauty of glass or are simply curious about the logistics of living transparently, you really must see these amazing homes:

The Farnsworth House designed by Mies van der Rohe, Plano, Illinois

The Glass House designed by Philip Johnson, New Canaan, Connecticut

The Miller House designed by Richard Neutra, Palm Springs, California

11 Amazing Glass Houses designed by modern-day architects

[Photo Above: Farnsworth House, copyright Steve Estes, all rights reserved]

Disney World Architecture

Swan Hotel at Disney WorldSome people go to Disney World for the rides. I go for the architecture. Crazy sculptures! Outrageous fountains!  History re-imagined!  The restaurants, hotels, and attractions are all designed to entertain.

But architecture isn’t all fun and games at at Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort. Some of the country’s top designers have contributed to the imaginary kingdoms, fanciful hotels, and the nearby Celebration village. Next time you visit, take time out from Cinderella’s Castle to look for whimsical yet sophisticated buildings by Michael Graves, Cesar Pelli, Robert A.M. Stern, Philip Johnson, and other famous architects.

Start here: Disney Architects >

[Photo above: Enormous swans and shells perch on the roof of the Swan Hotel at Disney WorldSwan & Dolphin Media]