Tag Archives: Monaco

Monaco $400 Million Penthouse Secrecy Booms: Real Estate

Monaco, the tax haven on the French Riviera, is experiencing a luxury-housing boom that includes the world’s most expensive penthouse as developers prepare for an influx of millionaires and billionaires escaping higher taxes or a loss of banking privacy.

A “flow” of new residents is emigrating from Switzerland, where financial-secrecy laws are crumbling, said Jean Claude Caputo, managing director of brokerSavills Plc’s French Riviera unit. They’re drawn by the principality’s “security, sophistication and climate,” he said — as well as for financial reasons. The Swiss government signed an accord in May to automatically share bank data across borders.

Continue reading Monaco $400 Million Penthouse Secrecy Booms: Real Estate

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24 Illusionary Architecture Examples

#1 Optical Illusion Structures

The Reframe Art Installation Features Multiple Perspectives Full Article

Optical Illusion Structures
#2 Secluded Sanctuary Hotels

The Songjiang Hotel is Built Straight into an Abandoned Quarry Full Article

Secluded Sanctuary Hotels
#3 Luxurious Hill-Covered Houses

The Villa Vals Switzerland Vacation Homes are Inside the Alps Full Article

Luxurious Hill-Covered Houses
#4 Eco Urban Tree Houses

These High-Tech Tree Houses Bring Green Shelter to Urban Areas Full Article

Eco Urban Tree Houses
#5 Cramped Apartment Captures

1972 by Noritaka Minami is Depressingly Futuristic Full Article

Cramped Apartment Captures
#6 Energy Efficient Egg Boats

The Exbury Egg is a Floating Self-Sustaining Home or Workspace Full Article

Energy Efficient Egg Boats
#7 Fabulously Futuristic Boutiques

The Stuart Weitzman Boutique Aesthetic is Futuristic Minimalist Full Article

Fabulously Futuristic Boutiques
#8 Touchscreen Skyrise Apartments

Monaco’s Odeon Tower Will Feature Advance Architecture and Services Full Article

Touchscreen Skyrise Apartments
#9 LEGO-Inspired Architecture

Turkish Company Designnobis Presents the D-Eco Brick Full Article

LEGO-Inspired Architecture
#10 Buddhist Wooden Constructions

The Khor I temporary theatre by TAAT Looks Sliced and Avant-Garde Full Article

Buddhist Wooden Constructions
#11 Crystalline Urban Landscape Projects

The BRDGLab Top Down Design is a Stunning View of Toronto Full Article

Crystalline Urban Landscape Projects
#12 Minimalist Infinite Installations

Unidisplay by Carsten Nicolai Has Guests Gazing Into Infinity Full Article

Minimalist Infinite Installations
#13 Temporary Honeycomb Architecture

The Shellstar Pavilion Features a Super Lightweight Construction Full Article

Temporary Honeycomb Architecture
#14 Pumpkin-Inspired Pop-Up Shops

Yayoi Kusama Collaborates on the 12 Louis Vuitton by THEVERYMANY Full Article

Pumpkin-Inspired Pop-Up Shops
#15 Undulating Ceiling Installations

Paper Chandeliers by Cristina Parreno Architecture is Spectacular Full Article

Undulating Ceiling Installations
#16 Underwater-Simulating Installations

Aquatic Colors Focuses on a Breathtaking Bloom of Jellyfish Full Article

Underwater-Simulating Installations
#17 Wooden Geodesic Pavilions

The Peoples Meeting Dome Has a Geometric Organic Aesthetic Full Article

Wooden Geodesic Pavilions
#18 Pleated Architectural Projects

Deep Facade Explores the Overlap of Indoor and Outdoor Structures Full Article

Pleated Architectural Projects
#19 Abstract Expressive Facades

Granular Spa Haus’ Sculptural Cladding is Indicative of its Interior Full Article

Abstract Expressive Facades
#20 Otherworldly Eroding Architecture

The Oxymoron Skyscraper Explores the Paradox of Solidity Full Article

Otherworldly Eroding Architecture
#21 Sun-Blistering Buildings

The Bloom Pavilion Reacts to Solar Exposure Like a Living Thing Full Article

Sun-Blistering Buildings
#22 Perforated Accordion-like Pavilions

The Bowooss Bionic Optimized Wooden Shell is Eco-Conscious Full Article

Perforated Accordion-like Pavilions
#23 Sweeping Strawlike Structures

Fresh Hills Integrates a Wind Farm with a Park on a Covered Landfill Full Article

Sweeping Strawlike Structures
#24 Spellbinding Metallic Installations

The Zaha Hadid ‘Arum’ Installation Explores Ethereal Structure Full Article

French police arrest daughter of assassinated Monaco heiress

A police officer investigates car – Pastor
Hélène Pastor, a friend of the Monegasque royal family, was shot and killed last month along with her driver

French police are reported to have arrested the daughter of a Monaco heiress fatally injured in a shooting in May. Officers picked up 19 suspects on Monday in raids in Nice and Marseille in the south of France and Rennes in the west, as part of their inquiry into the assassination of the wealthy property owner Hélène Pastor, a friend of the principality’s royal family.

Among those believed arrested is the murdered woman’s daughter, Sylvia, and her businessman son-in-law. A possible contract killing is among the theories being investigated.

Pastor, 77, so well known in Monaco that she was nicknamed “the vice-princess”, was shot on 6 May in what police described as an ambush as she left a hospital in Nice where she had been visiting her son Gildo, who had suffered a stroke.

In the attack, a gunman wielding a hunting rifle and a sawn-off shotgun opened fire twice on Pastor’s Lancia Voyager car, injuring her and her chauffeur, Mohamed Darwich, 64. Darwich died four days later. Pastor was taken to hospital with face, neck, chest and abdomen injuries, and died a fortnight after the attack.

CCTV images showed the gunman running off with a second man. The car continued a further 20 metres before crashing into a parked vehicle and coming to a halt.

Afterwards a French judge opened an official inquiry into “attempted murder and assassination by an organised group”. Police said they were looking into whether the attack had been carried out by Italian crime gangs.

Pastor was the sister of Michel Pastor, a former chairman of Monaco football club who died in February. She was described by shocked friends as a “model of wisdom and discretion”.

The Pastor dynasty has a huge portfolio of property and land in Monaco estimated at 50,000 sq metres established by Pastor’s grandfather, Jean-Baptiste, an impoverished Italian stonemason from Liguria, who arrived in Monaco in the 19th century.

After constructing Monaco’s first football stadium, Pastor’s was taken over by his son Gildo who snapped up Mediterranean seafront real estate at bargain prices after the second world war. When Gildo died in 1990 his three children, Hélène and her late brothers, Michel and Victor, inherited his fortune.

There are three branches of the Pastor family said to own between them as many as 3,000-4,000 flats of a total of 20,000 in the 0.8 square mile (2 sq km) principality. Their property is worth an estimated €20bn (£16bn) .

After the attack, Monaco’s ruler Prince Albert said he was “deeply upset” and offered the Pastor family his “very deep support”.

Police, who first described the attack on Pastor’s car as an “ambush” and an “attempted execution”, admitted they had no idea whether it was Pastor or her chauffeur who was the target, and said the choice of weapons did not suggest a professional assassin or the Mafia.

New Yacht Creates a Mini Monaco on the Ship’s Deck

Have your own floating city if you have a few hundred million to spare. Photo © Yacht Island Design
Have your own floating city if you have a few hundred million to spare. Photo © Yacht Island Design

“The Streets of Monaco” is a brand new concept yacht, designed by Island Yacht Design to bring Monaco’s most recognizable landmarks, including the Grand Prix track, Port Hercule, and Hotel de Paris to a ship.

© Yacht Island Design
© Yacht Island Design

While people on the ship will not be able to race around the replica Grand Prix track in Formula One cars, they will be able to attempt to drive like the pros in go-karts. Swimming pools, a mini submarine, speedboats, miniature hotels, and a helicopter pad will also be included on the yacht.

© Yacht Island Design

“The Oasis” makes up the inside of the ship and is modeled after the gardens outside the Monaco Casino. The owner of “The Streets of Monaco” yacht will have lavish amenities, including a private sundeck, Jacuzzi and pool, as well as double-high ceilings.

The staterooms are capable of housing 70 crew members and 16 guests and aren’t too shabby either:

The designers are excited about the large amount of buzz their incredible yacht has generated, yet are actively seeking out potential clients.

It is possible “The Streets of Monaco” could cost upwards of $401 million to complete.

1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Sports Saloon

1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Sports Saloon by Franay 1-wide

One of the most rare and celebrated Bentleys ever produced is racing toward the auction block next month in Monaco.   The 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Sports Saloon by Franay is a one-of-a-kind classic, a car that represents a collaboration between some of the greatest coachbuilders in the post-war era.

Rolls Royce, General Motors and Franay, the “coachbuilder of kings”, each played a part in this unique Bentley fastback, and it is about to change hands to the highest bidder in Monaco.

1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Sports Saloon by Franay 2

In the early 1950s, Bentley was a Rolls Royce subsidiary undergoing a transition to post-war design and manufacture processes.  Bentley was still a luxury boutique manufacturer at the time, having produced little more than 100 Bentley R-Type Continentals between 1953 and 1955.  Of those R-Type Continentals, less than half featured the sleek fastback design, and only a handful of those offered a left-hand drive option.

A select group of 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastbacks were constructed with custom coach designs by Franay, a grand Parisian coachbuilder who crafted some of the most celebrated vehicles of the early-to-mid 20th century.  Of the five that Franay constructed, only one featured left-hand drive, making it a unique Bentley R-Type for an American driver.

1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Sports Saloon by Franay 4

Franay had a pretty specialized clientele in their prime.  They were the coachbuilder of kings, designing and constructing custom coaches for the kings of Morocco, Sweden, Romania and Egypt– not to mention England’s Edward VIII and France’s Charles de Gaulle.

Led by founder Jean-Baptiste Franay, this group turned the finest cars of the day into rolling works of art.  From Delahaye to Hispano-Suiza, Rolls Royce to Bentley, their portfolio was a veritable museum of automotive design history.

1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Sports Saloon by Franay 3

The 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Sports Saloon was powered by a General Motors Hydra-Matic, a cutting-edge transmission system in its day.  That was mated to an enlarged six-cylinder engine with 4,556cc of displacement.

For the heavy 1954 Bentley R-Type, this produced top speeds of up to 105 mph and a 0 to 50mph take-off in just over 9 seconds.  That might not impress today, but for a luxury fastback in the 1950s, it was an engineering feat.

1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Sports Saloon by Franay 6

This one-of-a-kind Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback will be auctioned off in Monaco on May 10th by RM Auctions.  It is expected to fetch $1.5M or more under the gavel at the Le Sporting event that precedes the Monaco Grand Prix.