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AUTOMOBILE AUDI LUXURY CARS

For the luxury car shopper, there is a wealth of stylish spins to choose from and price is not the contention

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luxury on roll INDIRA LAUL THERE’S NOTHING more stimulating than zooming around in a souped-up sports car. But there are some cars that most of us can only dream about owning because of the hefty price tags they come with. And for most car buyers, price is almost always a deciding factor for buying. But for those lucky few who consider price as a mere number–and status everything–car shopping is an altogether different experience. For these chosen few, shopping could mean a drive to the airport for a trip to the Ferrari or Mercedez-Benz factory. And of course, there’s no bickering over prices. These hottest of wheels are in limited supply, yet in high demand, so buyers often pay a premium instead of haggling over a discount. Custom-made super cars roll off the production lines of such eminent car-makers as Mercedez-Benz and speciality shops such as Saleen in the US at $150,000 to almost ten times that amount. We showcase some of the most exciting and expensive cars in the world, cars that would do much more than just grab eyeballs when you do that forbidden 185 kmph on the road.

BUGATTI 16.4 VEYRON At a MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price) tag of $1,500,000, the Bugatti 16.4 Veyron is easily the most expensive sports car in the world. And the fastest too. By common consensus, it is the greatest automobile ever made and features the most recent automotive advancements in one package. The continent’s newest challenger for the title of world’s coolest car comes, not from Germany or Italy, but from France. The princely price tag comes with a reason– it might just be the fastest non-race car in the world, attaining a speed of around 400 kmph. The car is powered by a four-turbo-charged, 8litre, 16-cylinder engine that creates a whopping 10000 horsepower. The Bugatti’s interior is almost completely upholstered in leather, save the centre console, and its body is moulded with carbon fibre to balance the weight of the powertrain. Some unique features are a large rear spoiler that tips forward at elevated speeds to act as an air brake and a large interior cabin designed to accommodate giants. The Veyron is almost the

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AUTOMOBILE AUDI

same size as the Lamborghini Murcielago, but its exterior is much rounder and softer, and is set off by a black shell that covers much of the hood, roof and trunk area. The Bugatti 16.4 Veyron flies, there’s no other word to describe it, it can do around 407 kmph as well. That’s why UK’s favourite car journalist, Jeremy Clarkson, had this to say about the Bugatti’s speed, “253mph (around 407 kmph) means that in straight and level flight, this car is as fast as a Hawker Hurricane.” ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM Ian Cameron and his design team had an instinctive feel for what would go into making the unmistakable Rolls-Royce look when they started work on the first concept sketches of the Phantom. They studied the company’s greatest creations in order to discover the essence of Rolls-Royce. The iconic grille and Spirit of Ecstasy mascot are obvious identifiers of the classic Rolls-Royce, but there are numerous more subtle elements that have an equally powerful effect, such as the coach doors and the striking use of chrome. Also to be noted is the gentle, upswept line of the sill–known internally as the 'waftability' line–that creates a powerful, poised stance and makes the car appear to be moving when stationary. At closer inspection, other elements emerge. A long wheelbase, which is crucial

to achieve the classic Rolls-Royce look, as is the long bonnet. Large wheels add an essential sense of proportion: the Rolls-Royce rule of thumb being that the diameter of the wheel and tyre is roughly half the height of the car. Cameron and his team have fused classic proportions with striking modernity to create the definitive 21st century RollsRoyce. Sitting on top of the chrome-plated aluminium grille, the Spirit of Ecstasy is an iconic mascot recognised the world over. Sculptor Charles Sykes is claimed to have

used a woman by the name of Eleanor Velasco Thornton as his model, and the resulting sculpture has graced Rolls-Royce cars ever since. At the heart of the Phantom is its allaluminium 6749 cc, V12 engine. Using the most sophisticated engine technology available, including direct petrol injection, variable valve control and variable camshaft timing, it produces impressive maximum power and torque figures–453 bhp at 5350 rpm and 531lbs ft/720 Nm at 3500 rpm–with peerless refinement and unmatched drivability. Tuned to deliver Rolls-Royce's legendary 'waftability', Phantom gives 75 per cent of its maximum torque at just 1000 rpm, the remaining 25 per cent arriving in one, sustained, linear stream as the driver squeezes the throttle. The six-speed automatic gearbox is powered for optimal comfort and the Phantom’s performance is truly spirited, with a 0-60 mph (around 96 kmph) time of just 5.7 sec and an electronically governed top speed of around 240 kmph. BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GT David Beckham has one, Elton John bought one for a friend, and Gordon Ramsay (British chef, television personality and restaurateur) possibly received the first one to roll off the lines. The most talked about car of 2003, the Bentley Continental GT is fast in a new and

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GT l a t nen i t n Co y e l t Ben

slackeningly awesome driver’s car”.

exciting way. What’s the secret of Bentley’s oomph? It’s to do with its 6-litre, W12 engine, plus its twin turbochargers. The result is a very fast car, with a top speed of around 318 kmph. Most car aficionados know Bentley as a square, stately auto, but not the Bentley Continental GT. Ever since Volkswagen bought over the luxury carmaker, that image has changed perceptibly. Listed now at $199,990 (MSRP), the Continental GT is a twodoor coupe with a sweeping hatchback-like roof and rear deck, which makes it look somewhat like a Porsche. It’s a heavy car, at 5,258 lbs, and is taller and wider than most sports cars. It is powered with 15.9-inch front disc brakes, which are the largest in any car. The exterior is not typical Bentley, but the interior is. Its maker takes pride in the fact that it takes 28 hours to produce the wood trim for a single Continental GT interior. It’s little wonder that the Bentley Continental GT has been described as a “truly wonderful, jaw-

December 2008 | www.lifestyleliving.in

LAMBORGHINI GALLARDO Breathless is how you’d feel if you saw Lamborghini’s newest model, which is also its smallest. The Gallardo, nicknamed the baby bull, is a whole foot shorter and six inches narrower than the full-size Murcielago, Lamborghini’s flagship car. Priced at about $165,900, the Gallardo is all Lamborghini, with its all-lines, angles and sharp-edged aluminium body. This 5.0 litre, V-10 engine cranks out 500 horsepower and goes from 0 to 60 in 4.2 seconds. The speedstar comes with your choice of either a standard six-speed manual transmission, or a race-style paddle-shift system. ASTON MARTIN V8 There’s a long association of Aston Martins with Ian Fleming’s James Bond. Remember Goldfinger? Bond drove a DB 111 in the film, and thereafter, a tradition began, with Aston Martins featuring in many James Bond films, including Thunderball, Golden Eye, Tomorrow Never

Dies, etc, right up to the latest Bond flick, Quantum of Solace. That’s because Aston Martins are truly special, they combine three important elements, namely power, beauty and soul. The new Aston Martin V8 Vantage is an example of modern automotive design, a handcrafted sports car that offers exceptional performance, outstanding agility and everyday usability. At the heart of every great sports car is a great engine, and the V8 Vantage Roadster is powered by Aston Martin’s 313 kw (420 bhp) 4.7-litre V8, developed for both flexibility and outright performance. The V8 also sounds spectacular and is capable of propelling the car to a maximum speed of 288 kmph. This high-

Lamborghini

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AUTOMOBILE AUDI

artin M n Asto performance sports car has a smooth engine, the handling is so predictable, the visibility so good and the controls so easy to use that it is as comfortable in town as it is on winding country roads, or even on a demanding race circuit. The V8 Vantage epitomises Aston Martin’s approach to design: a commitment to engineering excellence without aesthetic compromise. Each model shares the same beautiful form, undeniably modern yet with a direct lineage to some of the great Aston Martin models of the past, such as the DB2, DB2/4 and DB4. As either a closed coupe with rakishly sleek lines, or a convertible of unmatched elegance, the V8 Vantage combines beauty with power and practicality. In general, all Aston Martin high performance models use the Vantage name, while convertibles are called Volante. However, the current V8 Vantage is an exception to this as it has a range of its own,

rather than a higher performance version of another car. MERCEDEZ BENZ F 700 Can any list of luxury cars be complete without a Mercedez Benz? In the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show, where other automobile masterpieces came together, the swish Mercedez Benz F700 was showcased amidst much fanfare. You don’t have to be an auto connoisseur to recognise the value and style of this car, with its smoothly flowing lines and its elegant contours. Its makers speak of its “magic carpet ride” in its “luxurious touring sedan skin.” Its length is almost similar to that of the Mercedes S-Class sedan, which is 5.7m. The USP of the Mercedez Benz F 700 is that in spite of its luxuriousness, it has been made environment-friendly with its low fuel consumption. It also addresses the issue of carbon dioxide emissions. It is powered by an

1.8-litre, 4-cylinder engine, which can generate up to 238 horsepower. The engine is called Diesotto and includes turbo charging, direct fuel injection and accurate combustion process that rivals the efficiency of diesel, but runs on gas. Its suspension system boats of the new pre-scan active suspension system that goes with two laser sensors for tracking the road ahead. The new Benz looks something like an SClass cross-bred with a Mazda RX-8, but it still managed to wow the assembled horde at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The debut itself was a wild fusion of the environment and the mechanical, with dancers emulating trees and geckos, who formed a vehicle out of tree branches and then sat inside. It was a clever way to show that green and machine can coexist beautifully. Sitting next to Lewis Hamilton (famous Formula1 racing driver) and all of the Mercedes brass made the event an even more interesting experience.

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ARCHITECTURE FRIEDENSREICH HUNDERTWASSER

the quirky genius Maverick painter, artist, architect, designer, Hundertwasser’s works draw hordes to Vienna

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INDIRA LAUL IN AUSTRIA’S city Vienna, there is a landmark house–the Hundertwasser House. What makes it unique? It is named after Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. It features undulating floors, a roof that is covered with earth and grass, and large trees growing from inside the rooms. The house has 52 apartments, four offices, more than 16 terraces and as many as 250 trees and bushes. It is one of Vienna’s most visited buildings and has become part of Austria’s cultural heritage. The man responsible for the design–Hundertwasser–was a master of unconventional architecture: houses without straight lines or surfaces, rounded corners and the signature plants and trees growing out of roofs and balconies. EARLY YEARS The early years alone exhibited the quirkiness inherent in Hundertwasser’s persona. At the age of 20, young Friedrich Stowasser decided to change his name to “Hundertwasser”, simply because the syllable “sto” meant “hundred” in Russian and other Slavonic languages, and the new name definitely had a poetic ring to it. He was born in Vienna on 15 December, 1928. By 1934, at the tender age of six, Stowasser had produced his first juvenile drawings. He achieved his school-leaving certificate in 1948 and spent three months at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, under Professor Robin Christian Andersen. The year 1949 was a significant turning point in Hundertwasser’s life. His extensive travels to Morocco, Tunis and North Italy brought the aura

and colour of the Mediterranean and Arab worlds into his first watercolour paintings in 1951: European Twirling His Moustache and Yellow Strips—Sea of Tunis and Taormina. His paintings exhibited at the Art Club in Vienna were very different from the geometric abstractions and outpourings prevalent at the time. The critics came down heavily on Hundertwasser and didn’t know whether or not to take him seriously. His first paintings radiated a world of happiness, in which existed a harmony of colours with a childlike innocence. In his own words, Hundertwasser describes why he painted the way he did, “We extinguish the last, true, pristine and many-faceted spark of life that stirs in our children and in ourselves, first with the poison of our educational system and then by conformist dictates.” THE HUNDERTWASSER HOUSE In December 1977, Hundertwasser received the best birthday gift ever—a plot of land from the Mayor of Vienna to build as he pleased. Out of this emerged Hundertwasser House (with 52 flats), its key elements being greenery on the roof, or “tree tenants,”windows of different sizes, varying proportions, asymmetrically placed along the façade, cap stones over the windows and columns. Diversity, variety and irregularity were design fundamentals close to Hundertwasser’s heart as opposed to geometry and symmetry. His love for nature and organic growth was paramount, his dearest wish being to bring urban legend and nature together in

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ordinary, everyday life. Major hotels in Vienna rank Hundertwasser House as one of the city’s wonders, not to be missed. During a visit to Austria, Prince Charles spent two hours here. In 1996, it was awarded the Viennese Business Community’s Tourism Prize, an extraordinary distinction for an artist. A GLOBAL BRAND Suddenly, the country was flooded with Hundertwasser watches, scarves, posters, coins, and even postage stamps. He moved from strength to strength–an exhibition of his works toured for nine years, visiting 40 museums in 27 countries, being seen by over two million people. He appeared on television shows, presented his “humus toilet” and his ideals as nobody had ever done before–in the buff. MAVERICK ARCHITECT Until the early 1980s Hundertwasser was known only as a painter and creator of graphics. By the end of the century, he was building in Germany, Austria, Switzerland,

Japan, Israel and California. He built new structures, or rebuilt existing ones, designing new facades and changing the outward appearances of buildings. Amongst his architectural achievements are residential complexes, an art museum, a church, a day care centre, a waste incinerator plant and a thermal spa, which had become an entire recreational village. HIS PHILOSOPHY Hundertwasser strongly believed that he could save cities from disaster by applying his doctrine of salvation, which was based on two premises, one ecological and the other aesthetic. One of the mainstays of his doctrine was to bring one’s life closer to nature and the other to proclaim that beauty is the key to deliverance from evil. To translate this into everyday life, Hundertwasser came up with the catchwords, “tree duty” and “window right”. The former concerned itself with man’s

relationship with nature, while the latter had to do with the right of human beings to be creative in their own surroundings. Only by making one’s peace with nature could one survive in this world. All of Hundertwasser’s works had one common thread running through them–they were eminently doable. They radiated a naïve charm which had an immediate appeal. He created a language readily understood by the people and the fact that he seemed to do this so effortlessly, made him suspect. He travelled widely–to Uganda, Sudan, Paris, London, Geneva and Berlin–where his works were

exhibited. Hundertwasser was also the first European painter to have his works cut by Japanese masters. In 1983, he designed six postage stamps for the United Nations and received a gold medal for the most beautiful stamp from the then President of Italy, Sandro Pertini. He was also awarded the Golden Medal of Honour of the City of Vienna and the Golden Medal of Honour of the State of Styria. His vast artistic repertoire includes incinerators, shopping malls, houses on an entire street in Vienna, service stations, textile factories, etc. On 19 February, 2000, Hundertwasser died of a heart attack, while travelling in Pacific waters, onboard Queen Elizabeth II. According to his own wishes, he was buried in harmony with nature in New Zealand, where he lived out his later years, in the Garden of the Happy Deeds, under a tulip tree. His life’s epitaph could best be described in his own words, “I would like to show people how to live and I do this quite instinctively– painting a paradise that everybody can have, he only needs to grab it.”

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SPORTS DANICA PATRICK

beauty in the fast lane The American auto racing driver has been acclaimed as one of the sexiest women on the track LL BUREAU IT’S DIFFICULT to describe in words what Danica Patrick, at just 26, has done for the world of women’s racing. The motor sports diary for year 2009 will certainly feature her name. It was really a season on-track for Patrick, who finished a career-high sixth in the IndyCar Series Points Championship, with one victory and ten top10 finishes, including a career-best finish of fifth at Infineon Raceway. But her victory at the Indy Japan 300 was the highlight of her season, marking her first IndyCar victory in 50 starts. The win ended years of frustration for Patrick. Despite a second-place finish last summer at Detroit and a stint as leader of the Indianapolis 500 in 2005, where she finished fourth, Patrick could never close the deal. "A lot of women hadn't really proved on a consistent basis that they could be a good driver and always run upfront. I think there had been times when they had done well but not consistently. I can't tell you that I blame them for not believing that we could do it. But I grew up with never really using guys as a reference, but using drivers as a reference, and if I wasn't fast enough, I wasn't fast enough," she said in an interview. To begin the 2008 season, her second with AGR, Patrick scored her best career Homestead finish of 6th. She followed that up with another Top 10 by scoring a 10th place finish at St Petersburg. Patrick won at Twin Ring Motegi in the Indy Japan 300 on April 20, 2008, becoming the first woman to win an IndyCar race, joining the ranks of drag racer Shirley Muldowney, who won three NHRA Top Fuel Championships, as a "first

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SPORTS DANICA PATRICK

female" winner in the top tier of American motorsports. Patrick took the Indy Japan 300, after the race leaders were forced to pit for fuel in the final laps. She finished 5.8594 seconds ahead of the Brazilian pole-sitter Helio Castroneves on the 1.5-mile (2.4 km) twinring Motegi Oval. Her team owner, Michael Andretti, commented, "I'm thrilled for her that the monkey is finally off her back." Interestingly, several male drivers have made negative comments about Patrick. Former driver Richard Petty stated, "I just don't think it's a sport for women, and so far, it's proved out. It's really not. It's good for them to come in. It gives us a lot of publicity; it gives them publicity. But as far as being a real true racer and making a living out of it, it's kind of tough." SHE’S GOT WHAT IT TAKES By being the first woman to win an Indy car race in the 2008 Indy Japan 300, Danica Patrick certainly showed the way to high-speed ladies. And now, she’s

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everywhere. She has appeared in a four-page photo spread in the February 15, 2008 Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue. She has topped golfer Tiger Woods, football stars Tom Brady and Eli Manning as AOL's most-searched athlete in 2008. She has her autobiography, Danica: Crossing the Line, as well as an equity stake in her #7 team. Patrick featured on the cover of the June 6, 2005 issue of Sports Illustrated, making her the first Indianapolis 500 driver on the cover since Al Unser, in victory lane, following his upset fourth victory in 1987. After her participation in the 2005 Indianapolis 500, she was even asked by Playboy for her pictures to be published in a future edition of its magazine. She declined the offer, but agreed to participate in a 20 Questions interview with Jason Buhrmester for the magazine's July 2007 issue. She has been on the cover of the September/October 2006 issue of Travelgirl magazine and the October 2006 issue of American Libraries. She appeared in commercials for Secret deodorant in 2005 and 2006; appeared in Jay-Z's music video Show Me What You Got, where she drives a Pagani Zonda Roadster. A spot for the Honda Civic Coupe features Patrick trying to avoid a speeding ticket. She also features in ESPN’s This Is SportsCenter commercial, which shows then-anchor Dan Patrick towing her IndyCar due to a reserved space misunderstanding (the space in question being reserved for ‘D Patrick’). She can also be seen in award-winning corporate training videos Four Weeks In May and T.E.A.M.W.O.R.K. She has also been voted sexiest athlete in Victoria's Secret’s What Is Sexy list and figured in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the World list for 2006 and 2007.

February 2009 | www.lifestyleliving.in


DANCE BALLET BALLET OGDEN HEATHER

belle of the ball I love the aspect of pushing my body to move in new ways and the experimental side of creation, says Heather Ogden

LL BUREAU HEATHER OGDEN was just six years old when the germ of ballet entered her pretty little head, courtesy a babysitter, who took dance lessons. Talk of making a good impression! Heather soon enrolled in ballet classes, and by the time she entered high school, she was taking two classes a day, six days a week, after school. High school over, Heather decided to seriously pursue her ballet aspirations. Ogden realised she had always wanted to be a ballerina when she saw the ballet Giselle on stage. As she later said in an interview, “The arts are so important; the arts help us to express originality; the arts touch us and are fundamental to inspiration and beauty.” After training at the Richmond Academy of Dance in British Columbia, she moved to Toronto to join The National Ballet of Canada as an apprentice in 1998. The National Ballet of Canada ranks as one of the world’s top international dance companies, with more than 70 dancers and its own orchestra. Established in 1951, it is the only Canadian ballet company to present a full range of traditional, full-length classics. In addition to its classical repertoire, the company embraces contemporary works and also encourages the creation of new ballets. The National ballet performed at the Eaton Auditorium (1951-1952), the Royal Alexandra Theatre (1953-1964), followed by the O’Keefe Centre—now called the Hummingbird Centre (1964-2006). The company moved to its new performance venue—the Four

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"Ogden is crisply elegant" –The Globe and Mail, 2008

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BALLET Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts— Canada’s first, purpose-built ballet opera house, in 2006. The National Ballet performs annual fall, winter and summer seasons, plus The Nutcracker, and also performs in other Canadian cities every season. The company has toured the United States, Germany, The Netherlands, Israel, Hong Kong, Japan, Italy and Mexico. Her first major break was in a production of Romeo and Juliet. Ogden also performed in famous ballets like Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, The Merry Widow, La Bayadère and Cinderella. In addition, Ogden has danced in varied works such as James Kudelka's Pastorale, Dominique Dumais' One Hundred Words for Snow, George Balanchine's Apollo, The Four Temperaments and Theme and Variations, Eliot Feld's Intermezzo, and Bournonville's La Sylphide. From representing the National Ballet at the Sixth International Competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize with Guillaume Côté in 2002, to dancing the role of Dulcinea in Suzanne Farrell's re-staging of Balanchine's Don Quixote at the Kennedy Center in Washington, or travelling with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet to perform in Edinburgh—she’s done it all. At the National Ballet's inaugural performance at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in 2006, Ogden performed Tchaikovsky’s Pas de Deux, a difficult role though tailormade for her. On the entire process of creating a role for herself in a ballet, she describes it as a very rewarding one. “To be able to

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see so much accomplished every day and to be in the studio with someone who is inspired and doing what they love, always creates a great atmosphere. It's also a treat to have a role made specifically for you and feel involved in the creative process, as it usually seems to sit just right on your body.” She also loves ballets woven around stories. “They are so romantic and dramatic. Like, Giselle is a story about forgiveness. I think those are the aspects that audiences enjoy about classics,” she says. Ogden is drawn to both classical and contemporary ballet. So, how does she manage both? Her answer: “I am really happy to be in a company that lets me explore both classics and new roles. I am a die-hard lover of the classics. I like the tradition and the challenge of accomplishing a ballet that has been done so many times before, but adding my own take on the character. As for new roles, I love the aspect of pushing my body to move in new ways and the experimental side of creation.” “I try to interpret and act in both forms. Even though contemporary pieces don't usually have a character, I still find one within myself to express the performance. I think that relays to the audience. I also find that the key to both contemporary and classical

ballet is the music. So, follow the music.” Guillaume Côté is both her on- and offstage partner. So, does the romantic couple find time for each other? “We recently moved into our first home in Leslieville and we love testing out all the great restaurants in the neighbourhood.” Explaining her special attachment to Romeo and Juliet, Ogden says, “Romeo and Juliet was my first principal role and Guillaume my first partner. I have always felt so comfortable being partnered by Guillaume and I love the connection we have on stage. I definitely have a special attachment to this ballet and to my Romeo.” She concludes, by saying, “This is such a hard career, both physically and emotionally, that you have to try to remember to love it and enjoy it. It is also short, so it's important to savour those moments on stage and those milestones along the way.” AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS 2008: The National Ballet of Canada’s website is a finalist in the Canadian New Media Awards. 2008: The National Ballet of Canada is nominated for two Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding Production and Outstanding Performance in the Dance Division for 24 Preludes by Chopin. 2008: The National Ballet of Canada’s 2008/09 season brochure won Best of Category in Web-Booklets at the Excellence in Print Awards 2008. The award was presented by the Ontario Printing & Imaging Association to St Joseph Print Thorn for their superb production of the publication. 2005: Michael Levine wins a New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) for Best Scenic Design for The National Ballet of Canada’s production of The Contract (The Pied Piper) at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. 2001: A commemorative National Ballet of Canada dollar was created by the Royal Canadian Mint. 1996: The National Ballet of Canada wins a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Choreography for The Nutcracker. 1973: The National Ballet of Canada wins an Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Programme (Classical Music) for the television production of The Sleeping Beauty. 1970: The National Ballet of Canada wins an Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety or Musical Programme for the television production of Cinderella. 1956: The National Ballet of Canada presented a ‘key’ to the City of Alexandria, Virginia, on a tour of the USA.

March 2009 | www.lifestyleliving.in


SWAN LAKE Choreographed in the late 19th century, Swan Lake was staged at Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre in 1877, but it wasn't until 1895, after the death of its composer Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky that it was finally seen in St Petersburg. The love story of swan princess Odette and Prince Siegfried soon became a universal classic.

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LIVING LOFT CUBE

mobile lifestyle Imagine a place where your spirit can fly and the windows are 360째 wide; a place where you can work, relax and share life with your friends; imagine the endless possibilities

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SIMRAN MISHRA WHAT YOUNG German designer Werner Aisslinger had in mind when he conceived Loftcube, we don’t know. But confesses Aisslinger, who is known internationally for his furniture designs for companies such as Cappellini and Interlübke, “This project started out as a vision for a new way of living, a beautiful idea that we all fell in love with and tried to find solutions to.” Aisslinger says, “Very few architects, except maybe for Gaudí or Le Corbusier, took advantage of the design potential on the top of buildings. This is an opportunity to create a wonderful ‘skyscape’. This started out as an experiment.” He explains. “As a creative person, it's necessary to push the limits now and then.” The LoftCube is an exclusive mobile loft providing an extraordinary living space that is attractive and convenient for temporary or everyday lifestyle. It features futuristic architecture, space enough for air and light, individual design options and high-quality materials. An innovation for the free spirited, the LoftCube has been conceptualised for those with the philosophy—here today, maybe for a while , perhaps, somewhere else tomorrow. The LoftCube accompanies you wherever you are. “Feel at home… even when you are a long way from home” is designer Aisslinger’s quintessence. A wide range of innovative ideas have gone into the development of the LoftCube in order to create this environment for you. It is lightweight and easy to instal. The result is a set-up time of only three days, including the interior. The inviting new living space can be used for working, living and relaxing. The LoftCube combines spectacular views, light-flooded spaces, cosy warmth and innovative technology. Step back from the world and still remain close to nature. A home for passionate individualists, it is customised according to individual desires. Sunrise or sunset, the sipo timber façade with floor-to-ceiling glass, provides 360° light entry, which is perfect for exceptional views and ambience. Each perspective provides a new experience. Lifestyle Living reveals LoftCube fables as experienced by the owners (whose

December 2008 | www.lifestyleliving.in

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LIVING LOFT CUBE

SUCCESSFUL ARCHITECTURE IS A FUSION OF LIGHT, VIEW, PROXIMITY AND INDIVIDUALITY: WERNER AISSLINGER As a designer, Aisslinger delights in making use of the latest technology and has helped introduce new materials and techniques to the world of product design. In the process, he has created striking designs and received awards from all over the world—from Milan’s Compasso d'Oro to the Design Prize of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Red Dot Award. Aisslinger’s aim of design is to invent things that will last physically as well as aesthetically. After presenting the first LoftCube prototype in 2003, the idea was born to make the vision of these extraordinary hideaways, a reality.

PRODUCT FEATURES bulthaup b3 + dupont corian | cooking space This kitchen is set up for entertaining with the white counter the centre of cooking, eating and chatting. Based on bulthaup b3 as the aesthetical and functional foundation with a new and innovative gap handle. The glacier-white Corian work surface forms a counter, creating a raised level between the kitchen and living area. Featured with a cooking area and a small wine bar facing the living room, it is the communicative link and centre in this living space. dupont corian+dorma | modular bath Warm and cosy atmosphere, combined with intelligent functional details, forms the light flooded bathroom. The glass panels provide a visual connection with the ensuite bathroom. Featured with a spacious shower and a separate toilet. The special patitioning panel, made of glacier white-Corian, features an eye-catching water tap, movable to both sides, and used both in the kitchen and the bathroom. smart house technology Operate the intelligent LoftCube with ease. The LoftCube welcomes its occupant with a sophisticated home management system—from light scenarios and air-conditioning to home entertainment. Loving attention to detail and beautiful surfaces characterise the LoftCube control elements and switches. The smart-house concept is based on the fact that all products are capable of ‘speaking’ to each other. With a single-touch control panel, a wide range of options is distributed to any place within the LoftCube. This is the basis for the integrated home management system.

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names have been changed to protect their privacy) in different walks of life. Smiling benignly, Robert Ridley talks about his private oasis, without revealing the exact location, “The island is so wonderful that our circle of friends just keeps on growing. We never invite anyone round. They just turn up. They are very welcome, of course. They really are friends. That’s the way it has always been, and that’s the way it still is today. When it got a bit too much with the visitors, rather, cramped in the house , we began looking for a guesthouse. My wife fell in love with the LoftCube straightaway. We immediately had a lot of ideas for furnishing the LoftCube. We took a long time to decide where to position it. Facing the sea? Hidden in the undergrowth? Close to the house or farther away? The hideout in the undergrowth won. The LoftCube was delivered by ship, and assembled in three days. Then they gave us the key and wished us a pleasant time. After testing it for a while, we gave the guests a run of the big house, and that’s how it still is today.” As a celebrity in the film business, Francis Davenport spends four to five months a year shooting in the most diverse places imaginable around the world. The obligatory luxury trailer on the set and the luxury hotel on location soon lost their appeal, if they ever had any appeal at all. She once said about the luxury suites, “Seen one, seen them all.” She immediately recognised her one-andonly chance to fulfil her desire for a more personal atmosphere while staying in a LoftCube with friends during the holidays. She was delighted by the idea of always being able to take her own personal space with her, regardless of where her profession required her to be. She bought two LoftCubes and had them fitted identically. That was the end of her life in large trailers and luxury suites. She now lives in one Cube while the other is already being assembled in the place she will travel to next. This functions perfectly because everything is identical, right down to the contents of the fridge. “As soon as I open the door, I am home, regardless of where today is and where tomorrow will be.” The officers at the Canadian Forest Authority wouldn’t budge on this one. You have no planning permission, they said. The

December 2008 | www.lifestyleliving.in


nature reserve is sacrosanct. No exceptions. Not even for him. The forests have belonged to his family for generations, but times have changed over the last 200 years. Even in Canada. Nowadays, the owners no longer make the decisions. It is his great fortune that the large lake is also part of his family’s traditional property, including the fishing and boating rights. The authorities have no grounds for forbidding non-motorised watercrafts. So, a pontoon serves as a floating foundation for a LoftCube in the middle of his ancestors’ wilderness. In the evening, the days spent hunting and fishing draw to a comfortable close in the Cube. When the wind blows in the right direction, he lets the pontoon drift and wakes up in the middle of nowhere. Other than him, there is usually not a soul to be seen far and wide, except for the Forest Authority’s helicopter that can occasionally be heard patrolling. John Brigham is a young and successful British surgeon who travels all over the world and belongs to Doctors Without Borders. He is in great demand. Regular work periods for Doctors Without Borders goes something like this. Three days in Paris: place of stay– a

December 2008 | www.lifestyleliving.in

five-star hotel. Two days in Geneva: place of stay–with friends. Two days in Lebanon: Place of stay - a tent. Brigham is domiciled in London. Place of stay in London–the privacy of his own home in an exclusive location, a flat roof above the eighth storey affording a spectacular view. The perfect location for the first LoftCube in the history of the LoftCube. “What I really enjoy is to sit with a glass of good red wine and let my gaze wander across London–without borders,” says Brigham. What can a musicians’ foundation do with an old, enchanted park, in which the ruin of a small, picturesque castle, in the middle of France, forms a beautiful setting, for example, as a film backdrop for romantic love scenes, when the goal of the funding is not to invest millions of euros in the renovation of a castle, but, rather, to promote young musicians? Owner Chris Wilbert placed five LoftCubes on the site—two sets of 39 sq m LoftCubes that are connected to each other and one LoftCube sized 55 sqm, which forms a solitaire. The two connected Cubes each form a living unit, including a music room. The central 55 sq m Cube has been equipped with a studio—the ideal ensemble for private study and joint

production. The cost of this ensemble is negligible when compared with the amount of money that would have been required to renovate the castle. Due to the Cubes, the original splendour of the park can be completely preserved, and, yet, it is able to serve the truly worthy cause of the foundation. Alice Gibson owns a modelling agency in California. Six months ago, she bought a piece of land with friends, right on the beach, with a direct view of the sea. After an intense, successful week, she leaves the city and heads for the coast, in the direction of the beach, where her friends and a LoftCube in the dunes are already waiting for her. Two days of being one with the waves, gazing at the horizon, cooking at the campfire, daydreaming, sleeping, breakfast on the veranda, beginning the day slowly, back into the waves, grilling the freshly caught fish in the evening and partying late into the night. Then she sets off towards the northeast, destination city, for five days, managing models, drawing on the energy from waves on the beach, from the LoftCube.

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