X

The Castle of Childhood – Russia’s Fairy Tale Kindergarten

For 150 lucky preschoolers in Moscow, Russia, every day is a fairy tale. Instead of the usual kindergarten, they go to the Castle of Childhood, a real-life fantasy castle where they can play and live out their dreams of being princes and princesses.

The Castle of Childhood is often called the coolest-looking kindergarten in the world, and for good reason. It’s an amazing complex consisting of a large, colorful medieval castle and numerous play areas, including the usual swings and slides, as well as several playhouses, a soccer field, running track and flower gardens. The castle itself houses all kinds of wondrous areas designed to keep children busy and entertained at all times.

Read More »

Chinese Woman Spends $900,000 Building Her Very Own “Palace of Ceramics”

Yu Ermei, and 86-year-old woman from Jingdezhen, Eastern China, has spent around $900,000 and five years of her life building a “palace” completely decorated with ceramic pieces. Most people consider her insane for spending so much time and money on this project, but she says that her life would be incomplete without it.

When Yu came up with the idea for her unique porcelain palace, six years ago, her family thought she had become senile, but she tried to explain that this was her life’s dream. Jingdezhen is considered “China’s porcelain capital” and having lived here since age 12, the woman wanted to leave something behind in honor of the city that had shaped her existence. She had worked in the ceramics business for most of her life, first as an apprentice in a porcelain workshop, then as a worker in two state-owned factories, before gaining enough experience to open her own kiln and porcelain factory, which ended up making her a sizable fortune. This palace would be her way of giving back to Jingdezhen and a tribute to ceramics.

Read More »

Five-Storey Building in China Has a Road on Its Roof

Photos of a five-storey building in the Chinese city of Chongqing have been going viral on social media, for the simple fact that the building in question has a flat roof that also doubles as a road that cars actually drive on.

Before we go into details about this particular architectural oddity, it’s worth mentioning that Chongqing has a reputation for unusual architecture and infrastructure. Its terrain is mainly made up of hill slopes, and this lack of flat building space has basically forced architects and urban planners to think outside the box in order to come up with feasible solutions. Some of their most famous creations include a sprawling road interchange with 15 ramps going in eight different directions, 13-storey-high pedestrian bridges and the world-famous apartment building that has a train passing straight through it.

Read More »

Russian Craftsman Builds Galleon on Top of His Workshop

Walking through the picturesque village of Kupino, in Russia’s Belgorod region, the last thing you would expect to see is a large wooden replica of Sir Francis Drake’s legendary galleon, the Golden Hind. And yet, that’s exactly what a local carpenter has been building on top of his small workshop.

Growing up on the coast of Crimea, close to a naval base, Valeriy Vasilevich Kiku dreamed of one day building his own ship and going on a long voyage around the world. Along with other boys in the village, he would spend hours just watching the ships sailing in and out of port, and fantasying about life as a sailor. He never got to fulfill his dream, as he went to study at the Agricultural Institute and became an agronomist, but he never lost his passion for naval engineering.

Read More »

Japan’s Earthquake-Resistant Dome Houses Are Made of Styrofoam

When they hear the word “Styrofoam”, most people think about disposable food containers or packaging material, but for one Japanese modular home manufacturer, it is the building material of the future. Its increasingly popular Styrofoam dome houses are highly earthquake-resistant, super cheap and quick to build, and have very high thermal insulating properties. What’s not to like?

Japan Dome House has been selling Styrofoam houses in Japan for the last 15 years, but it was last year that demand for the ultra light housing skyrocketed. In April 2016, Japan’s Kumamoto prefecture was hit by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that killed 49 people and injured another 3,000. Over 44,000 people were evacuated from their homes, after they had collapsed or caught fire, with thousands of them still living in temporary housing. Structural damage to conventional buildings was reported both in Kumamoto and the neighboring Oita prefecture, but one place that didn’t suffer any damage was Kyushu’s Village Zone, a housing complex made up of 480 closely-packed dome-shaped houses built by Japan Dome House.

Read More »

Get Your Wallet Ready, $200,000 Dog Mansions Are Coming

As man’s best friends, dogs deserve the best in life, and when it comes to housing, a UK company is ready to offer them just that. Hecate Verona is all set to launch the world’s first line of luxury dog mansions, with the most expensive models costing up to $200,000.

Hardwood floors made from beech, oak and larch, walls, columns and balconies carved from marble and dolomite, indoor and outdoor lighting, automated food and water systems, treat dispensers, TV and sound system, these are just some of the things you can expect when paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for a luxury dog house for your beloved, pampered pet. They are the best pet homes money can buy, but with prices starting at around $40,000 and reaching up to $200,000 for the high-end models, you’re going to have to spend a lot of it.

Read More »

Seoullo 7017 – A Seoul Overpass Turned Pedestrian Sky Garden

Constructed in 1970, the Seoul Station overpass connected the eastern and western halves of the South Korean capital for over three decades. Closed in 2015, due to safety concerns, the iconic suspended highway was reopened this month, as a pedestrian sky garden.

The old overpass was created as a solution to the growing traffic congestion in Seoul, and eventually became a symbol of the Asian country’s economic growth in the 1970s. However, concerns regarding its safety were first raised by experts during the 1990s, prompting the local government to conduct periodic inspections. In 2012, engineers reported that the 1,024-meter-long structure could only support heavy traffic for three more years, and the city announced that it was going to be demolished by 2015. However, in 2014, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, came up with a different plan.

Read More »

Bolivian Man Builds Transformers-Themed Houses for the Rich

Santos Churata has been a fan of the Transformers universe since early childhood. Now a licensed home builder in the Bolivian city of El Alto, the 34-year-old uses his passion for autobots and decepticons as inspiration for the design of eye-catching houses for the rich.

The city of El Alto, located at 4,070 meters above sea level, has become well-known for a unique architectural style called “chola architecture”. Sometimes described as psychedelic baroque, it incorporates symbols of native Andean culture, Chinese design elements and all the colors of the rainbow. For the new wealthy indigenous Bolivians, who have made millions in recent years, these modern-day palaces are a reflection of both their social status and their proud Aymara heritage. In 2015, there were over 170 unique chola houses in El Alto, enough for the city to set up a tourist route for the most impressive ones.

Read More »

This Living Building in Bogota Is the World’s Largest Vertical Garden

Edificio Santalaia, a plant-covered building in the middle of Bogota, Colombia, is considered one of the most amazing urban gardens ever created. With over 33,000 Sq. feet of plants covering the building’s 11 stories (9 above ground and 2 underground), this is the world’s largest vertical garden.

The result of a collaboration between Spanish green designers Paisajismo Urbano and Colombian company Groncol, this stunning vertical garden was completed in December 2015, after eight months of planning, and another eight months of hard work. Today, it is often referred to as “the green heart of Bogota”, and acts both as an icon of sustainability, as well as a reminder of the important role that plants play in our daily lives.

Read More »

Cheapest House in San Francisco Costs $499,000, Is Uninhabitable

You know housing prices in San Francisco are absolutely insane when the cheapest house on the market costs half a million dollars and is virtually uninhabitable.

It’s no secret that buying a house in the Bay Area is next to impossible for the average person. According to Zillow real estate experts, the median listing price for a detached home in San Francisco is $1.15 million, and the median monthly rent is around $4,000. That’s a lot more than most people can afford, but if you keep an eye out, you can sometimes find better deals. Like this house in the Excelsior District of San Fran currently on sale for “just” $499,000. Half a million bucks is not pocket change, but compared to most of the houses listen on real estate sites, it’s practically a steal. The only problem is that you can’t really live in it.

Read More »

Crowded Chinese City Has Train Passing Straight Through 19-Floor Residential Building

Due to the unique topography and high construction density of Chongqing, one of the most populated cities in China, architects and city planners had to come up with a unique way of developing a vital monorail line. Their solution – having the train pass straight through a 19-floor apartment building.

With the Daba, Wushan, Wuling, and Dalou Mountains to its north, east and south, most of Chongqing’s terrain is made up of hill slopes. That coupled with the lack of space due to the high building density and a population of around 49 million people, makes working on infrastructure a real challenge for architects and city planners. In 2004, when the Rail Transit No.2 was approved, they only had two choices – either tear down the whole apartment building to make room for the monorail, or clear up two floors and make a tunnel, so the train can pass through it. As unconventional as it seems, experts went for the second option, and 13 years later they are still convinced it was the right thing to do.

Read More »

Architect Turns Old Cement Factory into Awe-Inspiring Work/Living Space

Covered by climbing plants and surrounded by a garden of eucalyptus, palms, olive trees and cypresses, this old cement factory on the outskirts of Barcelona looks like an abandoned industrial complex reclaimed by nature. In reality, it’s a bustling work/living space designed by Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill.

Bofill discovered the closed down World War I cement factory in 1973, and was immediately drawn to it. He and his team bought the entire complex consisting of over 30 silos, subterranean galleries and huge machine rooms and convert it into the head of office of Taller de Arquitectura. They spent two years demolishing dilapidated structures and remodeling those worth converting. When the dust settled, only eight silos remained, which became offices, a models laboratory, archives, a library, a projections room, a gigantic exhibition space known as “The Cathedral” and a residential space for Bofill.

Read More »

Rent Is Too Damn High So This Family of Five Moved into an Old School Bus

Three years ago, Brian Sullivan and his wife Starla lived in a rented apartment that cost them $1,500 a month plus utilities. At one point they decided it wasn’t worth it anymore, so they bought an old school bus and turned into a comfy home for their big family.

It was in March 2014 that 29-year-old Brian and his wife Starla, 26,  of Renton, Washington, got tired of wasting so much money on rent. The apartment was over an hour away from Brian’s workplace, and he had to work overtime just so they could afford the rent. Plus, they wanted to be homeowners and spent a lot of time watching YouTube videos of people building their own tiny houses, or converting all kinds of things into comfortable living spaces. It was one of these videos that convinced them to take a leap of faith, so in April 2014, they bought a disused school bus for $2,800, and spent another $30,000 turning it into a home for their three kids.

“The apartment was about an hour away from Brian’s work and the commute was awful,” Starla says. “He would work overtime trying to pay the rent, then he would sit in a car for three hours and we would never see him, so we decided to make a change. We pay a third of the cost now and we have money to pay off debts and student loans!”

Big-Bertha-bus-home Read More »

This Normal-Looking House Is Actually A Modern Hobbit Hole in Disguise

You might not be able to tell by the photo below, but this seemingly average two-storey colonial brick house, in Clinton Maryland, is actually a giant Hobbit hole dug into a small dirt mound. It just happens to have a cleverly-designed facade.

Popularly known as the “coolest house in Maryland”, this unusual dwelling was built in 2006, by Formworks Buildings Inc., a company that has been designing eco-friendly earth-sheltered homes for the past 30 years. The 3,300-square-foot property features three bedrooms, including a main-level master suite, two large bathrooms, and an attached garage outback. The brick facade does a good job of concealing the fact that this is in fact an underground house, or, more specifically, dug into a small mound.

hobbit-house-Maryland Read More »

The Mansion-Like Mausoleums of Mexico’s Drug Lords

From the outside, the Jardines del Humaya Cemetery, in Culiacan, Mexico’s Sinaloa state, looks pretty ordinary, but the deeper you go, the more you get the impression that the place is actually a rich suburb full of over-the-top mansions. These are actually the world-famous mausoleums of some of the most ruthless “narcos” in Mexico.

They say you can’t take your money with you when you die, but that doesn’t mean some people don’t try, or at least take it all the way to the doorstep into the afterlife. Even in death, members of the dreaded Sinaloa cartel love nothing more than to flaunt their ostentatious lifestyle in the form of elaborate mausoleums that cost a lot more than an average family home in Mexico. Jardines del Humaya has become famous for its impressive villa or chapel-like tombs, with people from all over Mexico, and sometimes from abroad, traveling there just to see them in person.

jardines-del-humaya Read More »

Page 1 of 912345...Last »