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Belgian Pavilion Built Out of 33,000 Beer Crates

If the world needed any more proof Belgians love beer, this temporary pavilion, built out of 33,000 plastic beer crates should clear all doubts.

Set right in front of the iconic Atomium building, the beer crate pavilion of Brussels was designed and built in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the 1958 Universal World Exhibition. Beer crates were chosen for the project, because the architects decided their work should evoke the concepts of universality and reusability, and nothing did that better than an ordinary item from the daily life of an ordinary consumer.

An exercise in how a normal item can transcend its normal purpose and become architecture, the beer crate pavilion is made up of approximately 33,000 beer crates. It may seem like a tough structure to build, but designers actually said the chosen material made assembly easier and allowed them to explore architectural features like columns, arches and domes.

As soon as the temporary pavilion is taken down, the beer crates will go right back to transporting bottles of delicious Belgian lager. I wonder if the designers had the “terrible” task of emptying all the 33,000 crates of beer, before using them…

 

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50,000 Milk Cartons Make a Great Castle

Built back in May, during an event that took place in Granada, Spain, this recycled castle was made of 50,000 empty milk cartons.

Designed by the students of the Facultad de Arquitectura de Granada (Granada’s Architectural College), the milk carton castle of Granada was built exclusively out of  tens of thousands of empty milk cartons, gathered by over 5,000 primary school children. The three schools that gathered the most number of milk cartons had the privilege to attend the unveiling ceremony and see the end result of their efforts.

The 29-meters-long, 14.07-meter wide and 7-meter-high milk carton castle was acknowledged by the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest sculpture ever made with recycled materials.

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Environmentalist Builds Floating Island with 100,000 Plastic Bottles

Eco-pioneer Richard “Rishi” Sowa designed and built an artificial island kept afloat by 100,000 plastic bottles.

Spiral Island II is actually Rishi Sowa’s second artificial island. He built the first one in 1998, near Puerto Aventuras, using 250,000 plastic bottles to keep it afloat. Sadly, his recycled island was destroyed in 2005, when Hurricane Emily passed through the area. Most of Spiral Island was washed up on the beach, but Sowa decided to build a whole new island, in a safer area.

And that’s how Spiral Island II came to be. With the help of volunteers, Rishi Sowa gathered around 100,000 plastic bottles and hand-built his second recycled island, in a lagoon that offers protection from bad weather. The new island features a house, beaches, 2 ponds and a solar-powered waterfall, but its creator says Spiral Island II is and always will be an eco-work-in-progress. Although smaller than its predecessor (only 20 meters in diameter), you can expect the new Spiral Island to increase in size, significantly.

One of the most impressive DIY projects ever attempted, Spiral Island has inspired volunteers to come to Mexico and help Rishi Sowa improve his creation. But while some believe it a perfect environmental design, built entirely of recycled materials, there is some controversy surrounding Spiral Island. There are those who believe that if the island gets destroyed by a hurricane, again, the materials used to build it (mainly plastic bottles, sand, mangrove plants) will litter the waters of the Atlantic.

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The Turf-Covered Houses of Norway

Norway, like all Scandinavian countries, has always taken pride in trying to live in harmony with nature, instead of conquering it, and its old turf roofs are a perfect example.

Houses with their roofs looking like small meadows may seem a little strange in these modern times, but until the late 19th century, turf roofs were the most common type of roofs in rural Norway. Nowadays, inhabited turf-roof houses are very rare, as the Norwegians have turned most of them into museum exhibits.

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Now This Is Real Advertising

A bike shop owner in Germany attached over 100 bicycles to his shop’s façade in order to draw attention to his business.

Alreadythe owner of  one of the most popular bike shops in Atlantsberg, north-east Berlin, offering over 1,000 bicycle models from both children and adults, Christian Petersen came up with an original advertising idea to get even more exposure. Somehow, he managed to get 120 bicycles attached to the front of the shop. Now, bike lovers can spot his business from a mile away.

It’s a good thing this bike shop is in Germany, if someone did something like this in my country, those bikes would probably get stolen in one night.

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The Architectural Experiments of Terunobu Fujimori

Some of his works may not even look like real houses, but Terunobu Fujimori is one of the world’s most acclaimed architectural designers. His unconventional works have been displayed all around the world, and, believe it or not, people actually want to live in his houses.

A historian by trade, Terunobu Fujimori started designing buildings late in his life, when he was 44. He was asked to design a history museum for a family from his local village, near Nagano, who had ancient ties to that place. He decided to build something completely uncobventional, in order to avoid being criticized for lack of originality, and his creation was a success.

Since then, Terunobu Fujimori has been delivering one fascinating house after another, at a rate of a house per year. Using his knowledge of Japanese architectural history and his designer talents, Terunobu Fujimori manages to create unique buildings that are ecologically sensitive and energy efficient.

The way Terunobu Fujimori designs and builds his houses is as unconventional as they look. He simply takes a tree stump and starts hacking away at it with a chainsaw, until he gets a rough model of what he plans to build. Then he invites his clients to his Too-High Tea House, standing 20 meters into the air, on two forked tree trunks, and shows them his designs. If they don’t like them, he simply shakes the house until he gets a positive answer. Galleries have offered to buy his tree stump models, but he always refused to sell them.

Although he relies on professionals for the structural and electrical installations on his houses, he handles most of the interior design, with a team of friends. He never pays them for their work, as that would be labor.

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Shed of the Year Is a Regular Pirates’ Den

Inspired by the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, Reg Miller transformed his old shed into a pirate themed retreat that earned him the title of winner in the Shed of the Year 2010 contest.

Reg Miller, or Jolly Reg, as he’s come to be known, built his impressive pirate shed from scratch. He has some old muskets and swords, and since his partner didn’t want them in the house anymore, he figured the best place to store them was the shed. After seeing his first “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie, he decided he was going to build his very own pirates’ den.

Jolly Reg did it all himself, using anything from recycled pieces of wood to fixtures and fittings he found at car trunk sales. He spent years working on it, but his pirate shed is still a work in progress, as he is always adding new things. So far he has set up a Koi fish pond, complete with palm trees, and decorated the shed with barrel seats, pirate flag pole and even a real life parrot.

The 65-year-old would-be pirate managed to beat over a 1,000 other candidates and snatched the grand prize at  UK’s Shead of the Year 2010 competition. He’s now 1,000 pounds richer and has a hefty supply of wood-maintenance products from the contest’s sponsor.

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Vienna’s Gas Tank City

Constructed in1896, and used to store the gas that supplied Vienna, these four giant gasometers are now used as modern and original living spaces.

Remnants of the industrial age, gasometers all over the world have been demolished, or simply abandoned and left at the mercy of the elements. But the people of Vienna thought it would be a shame to just wipe these once useful structures off the face of the earth, and came up with a way to give them new meaning.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Vienna’s gasometers were the largest in the world, each 70 meters tall and 60 meters across. Now, they are some of the city’s most coveted living and office spaces. After natural gas started being used to power Vienna, the interior of the gasometers was completely removed, leaving only their brick shells The idea of transforming them into living quarters appeared as the result of a design contest, calling for new ideas on how to reuse old structures. Now, the gasometer apartment buildings incorporate the ideas of four architects, including the translucent roofs, the interior garden and the eco-friendly terraced structure.

There are currently 1,500 people living in this gas tank city within a city. They are known as the Gasometer community.

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Compact House Is Shaped Like a Compact Car

On the border of a nature preserve, near Salzburg, Austria, lies one of the weirdest looking homes in the world – the Voglereiter Auto Residence.

Designed by Markus Voglereiter, this unusual home looks a lot like an old Volkswagen Beetle. It might look funny to some of you, but transforming a 70’s style suburban home into car-shaped house was no joke, especially sine it required creating two separate dwelling for parents and children, while implementing efficient heating and insulation techniques. Not to mention respecting legal building and design codes.

But in the end, Markus Voglereiter managed to create a unique residence, both on the outside and on the. The interior of the car-shaped house also features auto-themed styling, like the springs on the metal staircase. All in all, a fascinating structure, the Volgereiter Auto Residence has already become somewhat of a tourist attraction.

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The Stacked House Hotel of Zaandam

The newly opened Inntel Hotel, in the Dutch town of Zaandam is now the main eye-catcher of the town center, due to its bizarre design, resembling a number of stacked houses.

Inntel Hotel is the brainchild of Dutch designer, Wilfried van Winden. Many of us see hotels as temporary homes, so he tried to emphasize this idea by designing it to look like a bunch of traditional Zaan houses, stacked over each other. The result of his vision is both unique and familar, and definitely stunning.

One can identify almost 70 houses in the design of Inntel Hotel, most of them green and one blue, right at the top.

via Dezeen

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Unique Architecture: Teapot Dome Gas Station

When it comes to architecture, one thing is for sure: you don’t have to build something like Burj Khalifa to draw attention. That definitely helps, but this lovely teapot gas station proves you can do it for cheap.

Known as the Teapot Dome, this architectural jewel is located in Zillah, Washington, and was built almost 100 years ago, as a monument to the Teapot Dome Scandal, which involved a number of important American figures.

Until a few years ago, before it went out of use, the Teapot Dome was considered the oldest gas station in America, but now it’s just a local monument that definitely needs preserving.

via InteractiveArchitecture

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Russian Craftsman Builds Himself a Castle

Ever since I started this blog I’ve been amazed at what amazing things ordinary people can achieve, if they put their minds to it. And this old Russian craftsman is just another perfect example.

Vladimir Filippovich must have really wanted to be a king, and live in a palace. His desire was so strong that he used his exceptional craftsmanship to transform his home into a breathtaking castle, worthy of being compared to actual royal residences. But human subjects are often traitors who stab you in the back, when you least expect it, so Mr. Filippovich chose to rule over 13 subjects, from the animal kingdom, 11 dogs, and two cats.

His amazing-looking palace is rather noisy, with all his courtiers barking most of the time, but their loyalty and selflessness more than makes up for that. This goes to show you that, with the right skills and a lot of patience, pretty much anyone can be a king and even build their own little kingdom.

via PhotoPolygon

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British Couple Turn Public Toilet into a Comfy House

Opened in the early 1900s, this Victorian toilet has served visitors of Scarborough Beach, for decades, but it’s now become one of the most popular houses in the area.

Tracy Woodhouse and Graham Peck decided the public toilet would make a great house, as soon as they heard the lease for the building was available, five years ago. They found an architect who’s housing design maintained the original design and character of the building, so the authorities gladly approved the project.

They’ve spent around $53,000 reconditioning and refurbishing the old public toilet, and even worked on it themselves, in their spare time. After top-to-bottom rebuilding, their house is now the talk of the town. Their lounge is where the men’s bathroom used to be, and their bedroom stands where there once was the ladies room.

Friends often make fun of the couple, saying they live in a lavatory, but they don’t mind, and actually become amused themselves. But what matters most is they now have a cozy house of their own, with a spectacular view over the North Bay.

The two expected people to be amused, or even shocked, but one thing they didn’t expect was to receive offers for their toilet house. So far, they have three.

via Daily Mail

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Britain’s Amazing Seed Cathedral at Shanghai Expo

If you thought Miguelin, the giant baby at the Spanish pavilion was awesome, than the British pavilion’s Seed Cathedral will blow your mind.

By far the most popular structure, at the Shanghai Expo 2010, even before it was officially opened, the Seed Cathedral is a six storey high cube-shaped structure, pierced by 60,000 thin acrylic rods. Each 7.5 meter long rod sways at the slightest wind movement, adding the dramatic effect of the design.

Just like fiber optics, the acrylic rods draw in the light from the outside, and illuminate the inside. At night, the artificial light, on the inside, is projected to the outside, making the Seed Cathedral glow.

But Britain’s awe-inspiring building isn’t called Seed Cathedral, for no reason. On the inside, each rod has one or more seeds encased in it. Designed by Thomas Heatherwick, this architectural wonder has already won the hearts of its visitors, who have nicknamed it “The Dandelion”.

Photos via QQ

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Man Builds House out of 6 Million Glass Bottles

Tito Ingenieri, from Quilmes, Argentina, claims he has spent the last 19 years collecting bottles and using them to build an environment-friendly house.

Now, we’ve seen impressive bottle-made structures before, like the Bottle Temple of Thailand, or the house of plastic bottles, near Iguazu Falls, but none as impressive as Tito Ingenieri’s bottle house. I know it doesn’t look very stylish, but the man did spend almost two decades of his life working on it. During this time he collected 6 million non-returnable glass bottles, and asked his neighbors to save their bottles for him.

Mr. Ingenieri says his unusual home also acts as an alarm, when the waters of a nearby river are rising. The southern winds blowing into the necks of the glass bottles, makes a whistling sound. He also adds that he can teach anyone who’s interested in building a bottle house like his. If that’s you, check out his website for contact information.

via Treehugger

house-made-of-6-million-bottles

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