By Julia De Laurentiis Johnson - Monday, January 14, 2013 - 0 Comments
Check out the starchitect-designed structures available for your next vacation
Frank Lloyd Wright called it Still Bend, because the nearly 3,000-sq.-foot house overlooks a marsh on the East Twin River in Wisconsin. Completed in 1940 and funded by local businessman Bernard Schwartz, the house has a main floor unfettered by walls, which measures 63 feet from front door to back wall. It also boasts an interior balcony and a soaring, two-storey ceiling typical of Wright’s designs.
Michael Ditmer, co-owner of what is now called Bernard Schwartz House, wants to share that experience. For US$295 to $425 a night, depending on the season, you can rent the four-bedroom house and warm yourself in front of one of the three fireplaces centred around a massive brick chimney, including one in the outdoor sunken court. Continue…
By Leah McLaren - Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 11:15 AM - 1 Comment
High prices mean that many younger Brits will flat-share well into their adult lives
After arriving in London in 1896, the German architect Hermann Muthesius observed in a letter home, “There is nothing as unique in English architecture as the development of the house. No nation is more committed to its development, because no nation has identified itself more with the house.”
Judging by the number of home improvement programs clogging the TV dial in contemporary Britain (picture an endless parade of middle-aged couples expending their savings and sanity renovating medieval thatched cottages in Wiltshire), his words hold true today. From the enclosure riots of the 16th century to Margaret Thatcher’s “right to buy” scheme, which in the 1980s and ’90s encouraged tenants of government-subsidized housing to buy their council homes at a discounted rate, the issue of property—who owns it, who doesn’t, and who gets to lord it over whom—has become a national obsession, and in times of economic uncertainty, a class-based sore point.
Today it’s both. As beleaguered Britain wrestles with a shortage of affordable housing (1.5 million are on social housing waiting lists in England), many young urbanites are losing hope they will ever achieve the middle-class dream of owning—in some cases even renting—their own private space. The rise of what the media here has now dubbed “Generation Rent” is highlighting a whole new class divide: the one that exists between the land-rich older generation and their priced-out offspring.
By Alex Ballingall - Friday, June 17, 2011 at 11:15 AM - 2 Comments
A new start-up is connecting people who want to rent their homes to strangers
Ever wish you could find a perfect stranger willing to pay for the opportunity to crash in your spare bedroom? Well, Airbnb, Silicon Valley’s most talked about start-up, has created a billion-dollar business out of connecting people online from all over the world who want to rent out their homes to strangers.
Although the company won’t comment on “rumours,” reports have emerged saying Airbnb’s net worth was driven up by a recent surge of investment worth more than $100 million. On top of this, CEO Brian Chesky told the New York Times that Ashton Kutcher has joined the firm as a “significant” investor and social media adviser. “We realized that Airbnb needs to leverage pop culture and social media,” he said. It’s enough to have some convinced it’s the next rising star of the online world, much like Groupon and Twitter before it.
Airbnb operates as a mediator between people seeking out a place to stay and others who want to rent out their own living space. Those hoping to find lodgers post their digs on the website, airbnb.com. Travellers looking to find a place to stay can search the site until they find something that fits their price range. Both temporary lodgers and those offering their quarters are invited to post reviews of their experience, informing others about what to expect. The lodgings posted on the site vary considerably, from a seven-bedroom flat in London for over $1,600 a night to more modest single-room apartments like one in Buenos Aires for $60 a night. So far, Airbnb offers listings in over 14,000 cities in 183 countries.