Newly-Opened Chinese School of Arts Is a Real-Life Hogwarts

0 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Young Potterheads in China are in for a real treat – they have the chance to study at their very own Hogwarts! Well, it isn’t really a school of magic – the building is a part of the Hebei Academy of Fine Arts and will house the school’s animation students. But who cares as long as you get to spend hours inside a magnificent castle that strongly resembles Harry Potter’s famous school, right?

Images of the impressive school went viral as more and more netizens began to notice that its various turrets and towers are a lot like Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But the designers of the structure insist that they weren’t inspired by J. K. Rowling’s magical world; they simply modelled the castle after European architecture in general. They actually prefer to call it ‘Cinderella Castle’, since it features a gigantic clock tower.

Sadly, there won’t be any shifting staircases or talking portraits inside the castle. But it still is a pretty awesome place for a college. “We want our students to be inspired and this impressive fairytale architecture is exactly what they need for working in a creative environment,” a spokesperson for Hebei Academy said. “It’s important for the students and for the staff that they feel part of something special, and that is enough magic to ensure what we have created is a fine institution for furthering interest in the study of arts.”

Chinese-Hogwarts ..

Macabre Restaurant in Mexico Is Decorated with 10,000 Animal Bones

0 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

A new Mexican restaurant in Guadalajara is making waves for its highly unusual interior. The concept restaurant is named ‘Hueso’ (Spanish for ‘bone’), and true to its name, it uses animal bones as the mainstay of its decor.

Mexican architect Ignacio Cadena is the brains behind the beautiful yet haunting design that plays with the sculptural elements of deconstructed skeletons. The exterior or ‘skin’ of the renovated 1940s building is made up of handmade ceramic tiles with zigzag patterns that resemble stitches and sewing patterns.

Hueso-bone-restaurant

..

Lack of Building Space Inspires Chinese School to Build Running Track on Its Roof

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

An elementary school in Tiantai, in China’s Zhejiang Province, has a 200-meter running track built on its roof. It’s a strange place to have children running, but the school’s authorities didn’t have much of a choice. There wasn’t any construction land available on the campus grounds, so they figured a track on the roof is better than no track at all.

“Under the circumstances that limited land cannot provide enough space for students to exercise in, we chose to challenge the concept that playgrounds and tracks have to be on the ground,” said chief architect Ruan Hao. The unique design has received worldwide recognition – it represented China at the 14th Venice Architecture Exhibition this year.

rooftop-running-track ..

Luxury Bunker Condominium Helps the Rich Survive the Apocalypse in Style

5 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

The ‘Survival Condo Project’ is a luxury bunker complex located in a missile silo 15 storeys below ground level in Kansas. It is designed to help the rich survive any disaster – including health pandemics, weather calamities, or nuclear terror attacks – without having to relinquish opulence and style.

The missile silo was originally built in the 1960s by the US Army Corps of Engineers for the Atlas F missile. Its 9-foot thick walls, built out of epoxy-hardened concrete, are capable of withstanding a direct nuclear attack. The dome structure that covers the silo can also tolerate winds of over 500 mph.

Recently, the silo was purchased by real estate developer Larry Hall, who has been in the business of building advanced survival condos since 2008. He claims that the dwellings his company builds can make it possible to lead an uninterrupted life of luxury underground.

survival-condo-project ..

English Company Sells Zombie-Proof Log Cabins

4 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

If you believe a zombie apocalypse is imminent, then you probably should be doing everything you can to protect yourself. Luckily, a British firm called Tiger Log Cabins has just the product for you. They’ve created the world’s first zombie-proof log cabin, designed to withstand the worst zombie attacks imaginable.

The cabin is called ZFC-1 (ZFC stands for Zombie Fortification Cabin), and it is guaranteed to protect you from the walking dead for at least 10 years. It is surrounded by barbed wire and is equipped with an escape hatch, a storage unit for weaponry, and an upper deck with a 360-degree vantage point to keep an eye out for approaching zombies.

The ZFC-1 consists of three sections, all of which are independent from each other with two lockable doors securing each area. So if a zombie were to breach the main large section, it would have to get through three very securely locked doors. The material used to build the cabin are supposed to be of the highest quality, with glazing that is factory siliconed and internally beaded to all doors and windows. Zombies wouldn’t even be able to climb on to the roof, thanks to the square cut logs at the edges of the cabin.

zombie-proof-cabin

..

Man Spends Two Years Covering Every Inch of His House with Seashells

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Xiao Yongsheng is the owner of a small beach and a traditional Chinese house on Lingshan Island, off the coast of Qingdao city in eastern China’s Shandong province. When he decided to renovate his large home, he wondered if it was worth spending money on expensive designers and architects. Ultimately, he decided to save up and do it for free – he spent two whole years covering every inch of his 1,500-square meter house with seashells that he collected from his own beach.

“I’d always liked shells but it never struck me to use them until I was walking on a beach one morning and came across a very unusually colored clam shell and then it hit me,” said the 58-year-old. “I realised I was sitting next to a huge, free supply of beautiful building material – so why not use it?” So he began collecting every kind of shell he could find – right from tiny 3-millimeter ones to giant conches that weighed over four kilograms.

seashell-house

..

Impressive-Looking Gothic Castle in Connecticut Can Be Yours for $45 Million

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Gothic castles aren’t commonplace in America, so this impressive real-life Hogwarts in Woodstock, Connecticut, definitely stands out. ‘Chrismark Castle’ is only a decade old but with its moat and turrets, it has all the markings of a genuine medieval castle.

Chrismark Castle presents itself as a perfectly preserved medieval structure on the outside, with all sorts of modern amenities and technology concealed on the inside. It stands on a 354-acre property, encompassing 22,000 square ft. and consists of a massive lower-level garage, eight bedrooms, ten bathrooms, 12 fireplaces, a maid’s room, a library, a pool, and several massage rooms.

The star of the castle’s opulent interiors is perhaps the 1,200 square ft. circular kitchen – it has windows all around the walls, offering a 180-degree view of Lake Porter. The dining room spells grandeur as well – it has a unique ceiling design and can accommodate a huge dinner party. The master bedroom also offers gorgeous views of the grounds, and the granite-fitted master bathroom has its own whirlpool. All the doors in the castle are custom-fit and handmade, as are the hardwood floors.

Chrismark-Castle8

..

Chinese Entrepreneur Turns Industrial Concrete Tube into Popular Low-Cost Hotel

2 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

While some people enjoy luxurious travel, others are more than happy to make do with the bare minimum. A clever Chinese hotelier has used this fact to his advantage – he constructed a highly unusual, low cost hotel by reusing industrial grade concrete tubing.

The ingenious young man, from Henan Province, managed to acquire several meters of recycled concrete tubing and sliced it into 15 separate mini structures. Each sturdy structure, designed to accommodate two people, is equipped with a double bed, a restroom, and a few ‘extra touches’ like air conditioning and sound proofing. The exteriors of the circular dwellings have even been decorated with some street art to make them look more appealing.

concrete-tube-hotel

..

Costa Rican ‘Mole Man’ Spends 10 Years Digging Large Underground Home by Hand

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Manuel Barrantes, fondly known as ‘El Hombre Topo’ or ‘The Mole Man’, has spent the last 10 years building himself a unique underground home. The 62-year-old Costa Rican did it all by hand, using only picks and shovels for tools. He now uses the large tunnel as a residence and a museum, welcoming tourists and teaching children about archeology and geography.

The underground dwelling is located in Perez Zeledon, a canton of San José Province in Costa Rica. Popularly known as ‘Topolandia’, the unique dwelling features over 400 square meters of tunnels. The walls and corridors of the caves are adorned with a variety of hand-carved sculptures of turtles, dinosaurs and even TV characters like the Flintstones. The largest tunnel inside the house is at least 16 meters deep, with a comfortable lounge to welcome visitors.

Topolandia

..

Kindhearted Artist Turns Trash into Tiny Mobile Homes for the Homeless

6 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Gregory Kloehn is an artist who uses his skills for a really worthy cause – building homes for the homeless. Making use of recycled and reclaimed materials found on the street, he creates small mobile homes, each about the size of a sofa. These homes come with pitched roofs to keep out the rain and wheels at the bottom, for mobility. So far, he’s built about 10 shelters through the ‘Homeless Homes Project’, and hopes to create more in the future.

Although they’re not made of much, the tiny homes are more than enough for someone with no other place to sleep. They are painted in bright colors and have a few quirky elements – like washing machine doors for windows and minivan tops for roofs. Gregory, 43, is a sculptor by profession, but he went on a construction spree after building his five-unit live-work condominium from scratch. Originally from Denver, he now lives in Oakland, California, where he carries out his philanthropic construction project.

“Before, I was all about sculpture, but I realized it just sits there,” he said. “And you’re just peddling it to rich people. I kind of think if you’re putting so much effort into something it would be nice if it did something.” So with his new-found fascination for architecture, Gregory began to study homeless shanties in his neighborhood. He wrote a book called ‘Homeless Architecture’ at the time, admiring how they were able to recycle all day and make homes out of almost nothing.

homes-for-homeless

..

Colombia’s Flintstone House Is Made Entirely from Baked Clay

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

64-year-old architect Octavio Mendoza literally baked the house that he lives in. He calls the 5,400 square foot house ‘the biggest piece of pottery in the world’. Casa Terracotta, or Casa Barro in Spanish, was built exclusively by hand using clay and baked in the sun. Located in Villa de Leyva, a colonial mountain village in Colombia, it is also known to locals as the ‘Casa de Flintstone’ or Flintstone House.

From the outside, Casa Terracotta looks like a huge mound of clay, loosely fashioned to resemble a cottage. It is surrounded by lush green farmland, set against a breathtaking backdrop of the mountains. Inside, the rooms curve and flow into each other, as though the entire house was cast in a single mold. Rustic as it seems, the clay cottage does offer a few modern conveniences – solar panels for hot water, toilets and sinks covered in colorful mosaic tiles, two floors with lounge and sleeping areas, and a fully functional kitchen. Of course, the kitchen table and all the utensils are all fashioned out of the same material – clay. The beer mugs that adorn the kitchen are made of recycled glass and the lighting fixtures from scrap metal.

Mendoza, who spent most of his career designing homes, commercial buildings and churches, calls the clay house his ‘project for life’. He started to work on it over 14 years ago – his goal was to demonstrate how soil can be transformed into habitable architecture by simply using the natural resources at hand. So Casa Terracotta doesn’t contain an ounce of cement or steel. Mendoza, who is also an environmental activist, said: “Think of it this way. In desert places (which exist all across the planet), soil is perfect for this type of architecture. This means that for all those regions, a system like this could bring housing to millions of families.”

Casa-Terracota

..

The Tower of David – Venezuela’s Skyscraper Slum

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

The Tower of David is a 45-storey skyscraper in Caracas, the capital city of Venezuela. From the outside, there’s nothing too special about the tower, but on the inside, it’s hardly what you’d expect. In the past seven years, the abandoned building has been become the tallest slum in the world and home to over 3,000 homeless people in the city. It is greatly feared to be a hotbed of crime, drugs and gangs.

When construction began in the early 1990s, the Tower of David (locally known as Torre de David) was intended to be one of the most prominent structures of the new financial district. But when the developer died in 1994, the project was abandoned. By the year 2007, squatters had completely taken over the incomplete concrete skeleton. This actually isn’t too surprising, given the fact that Caracas is a city in need of almost two million homes.

For now, the residents seem to have made themselves very comfortable inside the tower. They enter the structure through an attached parking garage, and motorcycles are used to transfer residents up the first 10 floors. The first 28 floors are inhabited by families, but there are no elevators in the tower, just a single flight of stairs that they have no choice but to climb.

Tower-of-David

..

Korean Photography Enthusiasts Build Awesome Camera-Shaped Cafe

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

‘Dreaming Camera’ is a quaint little coffee shop located in the breathtaking countryside of Yangpyeong County of South Korea. The spectacular café was built by a photography enthusiast, which is quite obvious, seeing as how the building is shaped like a gigantic vintage camera.

I’m not sure who the owners are, but here’s what I could gather from the website: it’s a mom-and-pop type café, run by a family of three. The husband is a former air-force helicopter pilot with a huge passion for photography. He lives in a beautiful bungalow just next to the café with his wife and adorable daughter. The camera-shaped coffee shop had been his dream for many years before he finally got the chance to make it a reality.

Café Dreaming Camera is designed like a Rolleiflex camera – it is two storeys high with panoramic, round windows. The first floor is decorated with miniature and toy cameras. A few real ones are displayed as well, on a shelf beside the large window. On the website, the owner’s wife writes that all the real cameras are her husband’s area of expertise; she just knows that ‘everything is working’. The second floor has a photo exhibition on display, in which patrons are encouraged to participate.

Dreamy-Camera-cafe

..

World’s Most Amazing Home Railroad System Can Be Yours for Only $3.5 Million

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

The suburb of Sherwood, just outside of Portland, Oregon, is home to one of the most spectacular properties in the world. Not only does it have all the regular stuff – a 5,000 Square Feet house, professional landscaping, a garden, a barn and a shop – it also has a fabulous world-class personal railway system with real steam-engine trains.

So if you lived at 18055 SW Seiffert Road, you’d be able to go on train rides every single day. You don’t need a ticket, you don’t have to deal with crowds and the best part – you can never miss a train! All that costs a measly $3.5 million.

Todd Miller, the owner of 18055, spent a large part of his life building the trains and tracks that spread across the 20-acre property. Miller has built handmade steam locomotives, 11,000ft of track, a 30ft railroad trestle and a 400ft-long tunnel. “My passion for railroads started when I was about five years old,” he says. “I got an American Flyer train set for Christmas and it kind of got out of hand from there.”

18055-Seiffert-railroad2

..

Take a Look inside a $11.5 Million Doomsday-Proof House

3 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

If I had a house like this, maybe I wouldn’t mind an end-of-the-world type scenario at all. I’m talking about a 4,200 sq. ft. mansion located in Yellow Jacket, a deserted town in Colorado, U.S. I call it a mansion only for its interiors. From the outside, it looks every bit like the disaster-ready, Armageddon-proof house that it’s supposed to be.

The walls of this house are made of reinforced concrete and are lined with thick steel. This makes the structure so strong that it has been declared ‘nuclear rated’ by its online listing on Curbed.com. From the outside, it seems like a desolate and boring building in the middle of nowhere, but on the inside it’s a luxury home, complete with designer furniture and beautiful interiors. The only proof that the house is a ‘luxury survival bunker’ are the overhead metal air ducts that traverse almost every room. The ducts are meant to close off in the case of emergencies, like if the air gets contaminated from a gas leak.

doomsday-prrof-house

..

Page 1 of 712345...Last »