For Sale: Offshore fortress and gun tower built in 1851

This incredible offshore fortress and defense gun tower at Pembroke Dock, South West Wales, UK is for sale. Read the rest

Wild design for incredible infinity pool that takes up entire roof of skyscraper

Infinity London is a planned 220-meter skyscraper topped with a wild infinity pool that completely covers the roof. There's a new video explainer from the designer below, but let's quickly answer the obvious question of how one gets in and out of the pool.

“The solution is based on the door of a submarine, coupled with a rotating spiral staircase which rises from the pool floor when someone wants to get in or out – the absolute cutting edge of swimming pool and building design and a little bit James Bond to boot!" says designer Alex Kemsley.

The details of who will pay for the building and exactly where in London it'll be located "is yet to be confirmed."

From Compass Pools:

The pool is made from cast acrylic rather than glass, as this material transmits light at a similar wavelength to water so that the pool will look perfectly clear.

The floor of the pool is also transparent, allowing visitors to see the swimmers and sky above...

Other advanced technical features include a built-in anemometer to monitor the wind speed.

This is linked to a computer-controlled building management system to ensure the pool stays at the right temperature and water doesn’t get blown down to the streets below.

Boasting an innovative twist on renewable energy, the pool’s heating system will use waste energy from the air condition system for the building.

Read the rest

Can there be a mile-high skyscraper?

In 1956, Frank Lloyd Wright proposed the Illinois Sky-City, a skyscraper taller than one mile (~1,600 meters). That's more than twice the height of Dubai's Burj Khalifa, currently the tallest structure in the world. In the video above, Dutch architest Stefan Al asks "Will there ever be a mile-high skyscraper?"

If it happens, there should be a rooftop bar named... the Mile-High Club.

Read the rest

Here's the 2017 Carbuncle Cup winner for the UK's ugliest building

London's Nova Victoria development includes two office buildings that just won the non-coveted Carbuncle Cup for the UK's ugliest building. Via BD magazine: Read the rest

A few pokes in the right place and this decrepit building crumbles to the ground

Posted on /r/nonononoyes with the headline "Press button 12 times to delete house." The location is Stamford Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, England.

Read the rest

Shot in the '70s, North African Villages shows medieval villages unchanged by modernity

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

North African Villages: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia

by Norman F. Carver

Documan Pr Ltd

1989, 200 pages, 9 x 10.5 x 0.5 inches (softcover)

$24 Buy a copy on Amazon

In the 1970s an architectural student drove a VW van around Italy, the Iberian peninsula, and northern Africa, recording the intact medieval villages still operating in their mountain areas. The hill towns at that time in Italy, Spain, Morocco and Tunisia kept a traditional way of building without architects, using indigenous materials, without straight streets, producing towns of uncommon attractiveness. The architect, Norman Carver, later self published a series of photo books documenting these remote villages which had not yet been interrupted with modernity. They looked, for most purposes, like they looked 1,000 years ago. All of Carter’s books are worthwhile, but my favorite is North African Villages. Here you get a portrait of not just the timeless architecture, but also a small glimpse of the lives that yielded that harmony of the built upon the born. It’s an ideal of organic design, that is, design that is accumulated over time. Read the rest

Woman unhappy that this new high-rise is an inch from her balcony

Hellen Barnaby used to enjoy a view of Perth, Australia from her apartment balcony. Now she sees a wall from a new high-rise that almost touches the balcony. Read the rest

Live in your very own haunted mental asylum

For $1.5 million, you can be the proud new owner of Westland, Michigan's Eloise Complex, a building that started in 1839 as a poorhouse and has served as a tuberculosis ward and insane asylum before closing in 1984. During the Great Depression, it had as many as 10,000 residents. Oh, did I mention that it's haunted?

The main five-story building is 150,000 square feet wile the site contains a 19th century fire station, decommissioned power plant, and two maintenance building. Bonus, it backs up to an eighteen hole championship golf course!

Here's the real estate listing.

"Own a former mental asylum" (MLive)

"Haunted Former Mental Asylum For Sale in Michigan" (Mysterious Universe)

Read the rest

Building looks like couple doing it doggy style

Atelier Van Lieshout constructed this delightful building, titled "Domestikator," as the centerpiece of their large festival installation, "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," at the Ruhrtriennale music and arts festival in Bochum, Germany. Read the rest

Watch Stewart Brand’s 6-Part Series How Buildings Learn

In 1995 Stewart Brand, founder of The Whole Earth Catalog (described by Steve Jobs as “Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along”) wrote a book about how buildings adapt to the changing world around them, called How Buildings Learn. Brand also made a 6-part documentary with the same name as his book, which was produced in 1997 by the BBC. Open Culture has posted the series on its website. Music is by Brian Eno.

Read the rest

Smart Bricks: Giant Lego-like blocks for buildings

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

Read the rest

Soviet Ghosts: photographing the abandoned USSR

Photographer Rebecca Litchfield's gorgeous and haunting photo series and book, Soviet Ghosts: A Communist Empire in Decay, documents abandoned towns, factories, prisons, hospitals, theaters, and military bases in the Soviet Union and former Eastern Bloc.

Whilst some may look at the decay in these places as simply reflecting the destruction of the Soviet Union and the moral bankruptcy of a flawed ideological system. In reality they will cease to exist very soon and as the memories fade, these places and the communities who once gave life will be forgotten and deserve to be recorded for posterity too. This book documents the strange interval caught between modernity and antiquity.

(via Huh) Read the rest

Sunlight reflected by building melts car

A London man blames a new 37-story skyscraper under construction for melting his Jaguar. Apparently, sunlight reflected off the building, known as the "Walkie-Talkie," and melted parts of the car. According to the BBC News, the construction company left a note on the man's car and paid for repairs. The City of London has closed three parking spots as a precaution while the situation is under investigation. This reminds me of the Mythbusters' "Archiemedes Death Ray" episode which I happened to have just watched again yesterday! Read the rest

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) Read the rest

De-frosting a building-sized refrigerator

Architects are turning an old cold storage facility into modern office buildings. But first, they have to thaw it out.

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

What construction crews could learn from your high school science class, and more great earth science videos.

Insane, true energy fact of the day

Exit signs are so ubiquitous that they're almost invisible. Every public building has them. In fact, they are so common that, taken together, these little signs consume a surprisingly large amount of energy.

Each one uses relatively little electricity, but they are on all the time. And we have a lot of them in our schools, factories, and office buildings. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that there are more than 100 million exit signs in use today in the U.S., consuming 30–35 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually.

That’s the output of five or six 1,000 MW power plants, and it costs us $2-3 billion per year. Individual buildings may have thousands of exit signs in operation.

To put this into a bigger context: This is just one small part of what makes buildings, in general, incredibly energy intense. In the United States, we use more energy powering our buildings—from the lights, to the heating, to the stuff we plug into the walls—than we use to do anything else. Because of that (and because of the fact that electricity is mostly made by burning coal or natural gas) buildings produce more greenhouse gas emissions than cars.

Read more about the energy consumption of exit signs and how we can use less energy, while still getting the same services, at Green Building Advisor

Take a look at some stats on energy use in buildings at the Architecture 2030 website

Via Jess McCabe

Image: Exit Sign, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from mtellin's photostream

Read the rest

More posts