Boing Boing 

Massive steel labyrinth

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Belgian architects Pieterjan Gijs and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh built this phenomenal steel labyrinth in Genk, Belgium at the C-mine arts center located on the site of a former coal mine. The 37.5 square meter maze has a kilometer of corridors.

A series of Boolean transformations create spaces and perspectives that reinterpret the traditional Labyrinth is a sculptural installation that focuses on the experience of space. These Boolean transformations convert the walk through the labyrinth into a sequence of spatial and sculptural experiences.

More at Deezen and Gijs Van Vaerenbergh. (via Juxtapoz)

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Gorgeous geometric reimagining of a stained-glass chapel

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This Rainbow Chapel at the Shanghai Museum of Glass was created for events like weddings, but a visit might make any day feel special.

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WATCH: Bricklaying robot ushers in semi-automated masonry

Construction Robotics developed this bricklaying robot SAM (Semi-Automated Mason) after addressing two key challenges: mortar application and onsite variables that can hinder precision.

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Watch an excavator prepare a hot dog

According to this commercial, Europe's Statoil filling stations are selling delicious-looking hotdogs. Unfortunately, I doubt they are all made with excavators. (video link)

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Company to 3D print a steel pedestrian bridge in mid-air

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By 2017, Dutch designer Joris Laarman plans to use his company's MX3D metal printing technology to 3D print a 24-foot-long steel pedestrian bridge over an Amsterdam canal.

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Photos of the Golden Gate Bridge grand opening (1937)

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Seventy-eight years ago this week, the Golden Gate Bridge opened across the San Francisco Bay.

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Holdouts who refuse to sell their "nail houses" to developers

Angry with Chinese homeowners who refuse to sell out, the country's eager and rapacious developers call their houses "stubborn nails" that can't be pounded into wood. Read the rest

Smart Bricks: Giant Lego-like blocks for buildings

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The idea behind Smart Bricks is that giant Lego-like blocks could be used to build houses, building, and bridges. Video below. (via Smithsonian)

Video: forklift lifts forklift

Forklift lifts forklift to new heights.

Chinese factory 3D prints 10 houses' worth of slabs in one day

A Chinese R&D shop has 3D printed 10 buildings' worth of prefab slabs using enormous fused deposition modelling printers that extrude concrete.

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Shadows from NYC supertowers are a bummer

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Some New Yorkers are upset about the shadows cast by the new supertower skyscrapers near Central Park and other public hang-outs. Above, the shadow of One57, an 85-story skyscraper currently under construction, on Central Park. At a community meeting on the issue, the president of Extell Development, the firm behind One57, responded that "the shadows cast by tall, slender buildings, which is what most of the buildings going up are, are very brief — maybe they're 10 minutes in any one place — and cause no negative effect on the flora or fauna of the park." According to City Councilman Corey Johnson, the apartments in the superpowers "are being sold to foreign investors, who have tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars, who are not making this their primary home." Central Park receives 40 million visitors annually. "New Yorkers Protest Long Shadows Cast By New Skyscrapers" (NPR)

How engineers freeze soil to create structurally sound solid walls of earth

In Japan, engineers are attempting to contain radioactive contamination from the Fukushima power plant by freezing the ground around it into "ice walls" that will remain frozen for years. At Nova, Jessica Morrison writes about this weird technique, which has been around for over half a century and is more commonly used as part of massive construction projects with large underground components, including Boston's Big Dig.

Artificial mountain outcrop and picturesque villa added to top of Beijing skyscraper

A privately-built villa, surrounded by imitation rocks, is pictured on the rooftop of a 26-floor residential block in Beijing. Construction on the residence took six years, and the huge dwelling offers 1,000 square meters of living space. Residents in the building complained about the villa and its perch, according to the Xinhua News Agency, fearing that the agglomeration's weight may cause the building beneath it to collapse. The local bureau of city administration attempted to investigate the allegedly illegal construction, but the owner "has not shown up so far." (Photo: Jason Lee, Reuters)

Building the prefab Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World


Imagineering Disney has a great gallery of construction shots of the Contemporary Resort, a huge, modernist A-frame structure whose rooms were all prefabbed offsite and crane-lifted into place.

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Carving an artificial cavern under NYC

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New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority is digging an artificial cavern for a future Second Avenue Subway stop below 86th street. Patrick Cashin is photographing the massive operation. Fortunately, the tunnel has been blessed by a Catholic priest. Check out more of Cashin's photos on Flickr and a brief riff on the project by Geoff Manaugh at BLDGBLOG.

Building a better Bay Bridge

San Francisco will get a new Bay Bridge this summer. The New York Daily News has an interesting story about that bridge's creation — and the earthquake-resistant engineering behind it.

Defeating earthquakes, and more free videos from the American Geophysical Union

Remember when you had to build a bridge out of popsicle sticks in high school science class? The goal was to construct the miniature bridge that could withstand the most physical stress. Your materials were just sticks and glue. So the real challenge was to find strong shapes.

On the day of testing, we all learned very quickly what those shapes were. Bridges built out of lots of squares collapsed almost instantly. Bridges built out of triangles made the finals.

This is a pretty basic lesson, but it's not one that the global construction industry has learned yet, says the US Geological Survey's Ross Stein. Last week at the meeting of the American Geophysical Union, he began a talk on "Defeating Earthquakes" by demonstrating the difference between the cube-centric structures we build all over the world and how much stronger those structures can be if you just add triangles in the corners. It's a powerful demonstration of how simply having the technology to solve a problem isn't enough. You have to get people to use it.

This whole video is worth watching and easy for laypeople to follow. And it's just one of a huge collection of lecture videos from AGU 2012 that are now available online. They cover everything from the chemistry of lighting to the geology of volcanoes to the effects of space storms and solar flares. Very cool stuff!