If You’ve Ever Wanted to Live in a Church, Now Is Your Chance

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Saint Jakobus Church, a Christian sanctuary dating back to 1870 has been converted into a modern townhouse and is now for sale.

Known as “WoonkerkXL” or “The Residential Church XL“, this unusual home is located in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and is the only so-called “plasters” Gothic style church in the city. Once a soberly decorated church, Saint Jakobus became a beautiful, lively home, once the designers of ZECC Architects were done with it. Paying great attention to space, lighting and functionality, they managed to create a living space you’d actually want to live in, without messing with the exterior or the stained glass windows dating back to 1911.

While it doesn’t serve its original purpose, The Residential Church XL is an important municipal monument, due to the relationship to its surroundings. And apart from its unique design, it’s also very close to Utrecht main tourist attractions and nightlife venues.

Check out the wonderful photos below, and if you like what you see and can fork out 2.375 million euros, you can place a bid on The Residential Church XL, here.

 

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Quetzalcoatl Nest – Mexico’s Snake-Shaped House

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Quetzalcoatl Nest is an unconventional housing complex created by Mexican designer Javier Senosiain, and named after the Aztec snake/bird god of learning and knowledge.

After designing the amazing Nautilus House a few years back, Javier Senosiain strikes again with an even more ingenious architectural project. Located on an irregular piece of land, lined with oak trees and full of caves, some collapsed and some preserved, Quetzalcoatl Nest proved very difficult to complete. Especially if you consider that the designer wasn’t allowed to touch any of the plant life on the premises (which covered 98% of the terrain), and that the small flat surface had to be used as parking space. Under these conditions, Senosiain found an ingenious way of actually making great use of the ravine and came up with a snake-like design for the house.

While it looks like just an eccentric architectural prototype, Quetzalcoatl Nest is actually somebody’s home. Featuring an original design and sporting some really interesting features that allow its owners to live in perfect harmony with nature, Quetzalcoatl Nest is an architectural example to be followed.

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Artist Creates Weird Igloo from 322 Refrigerators

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German artist Ralf Schmerberg has created a bizarre-looking igloo, in the middle of Hamburg, to send a message about the country’s uncontrolled waste of energy.

Entitled “Wastefulness is the biggest source of Energy”, Schemerberg’s igloo aims to raise awareness to the amount of energy people are wasting nowadays. A huge electrical meter set up outside the igloo shows passers-by how much electrical energy the 322 old fridges would consume, and is meant to inspire them to think carefully about how much energy they are wasting every day. According to recent studies, Germany could save up to 40% of its energy, if everyday people would use electricity more efficiently.

The refrigerator igloo was sponsored by a German energy provider and will be exhibited in Hamburg’s Gänsemarkt until November 9th. The bizarre installation is 5.6 meters high and 11 meters in diameter, and was built using 322 old refrigerators and 1,718 meters of wire. On the inside, visitors can admire a funny electrical installations made up of colorful blinking lights.

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China Inaugurates Teapot-Shaped Museum of Tea Culture

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At 73.8 meters in height, and featuring a floor area of over 5,000 square meters, this unique teapot museum of Meitan is the world’s biggest teapot-shaped building.

China’s Meitan County is known as the “hometown of Chinese green tea”, and the reputation of Meitan green tea has surpassed national borders, so there was really no better place to build a museum of tea culture. As fascinating as visiting this place may be to tea lovers, we’re more interested in its unique architecture. Shaped like a giant clay teapot, and accompanied by a smaller building shaped like a tea cup, the Meitan tea museum is one of the weirdest looking museums in the world. Seen from a distance, it looks like just a strange teapot sculpture, but as you approach it, the windows give away its true purpose.

With a maximum diameter of 24 meters, and a capacity of 28,360.23 cubic meters, the Meitan tea museum is by far the world’s largest teapot.

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Russian Builds House Shaped Like Noah’s Ark

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Nikolay Orekhov, from the village of Kemerovo, eastern Russia, has built his house to look like a miniature replica of Noah’s ark. Not that he’s ever seen the real thing, but we’ve all been blessed with an imagination.

47-year-old Nikolay Orekhov has spent more than a year working on his unusual house shaped like some sort of ugly ship. According to Russian site Life.ru, the reason behind this modern version of Noah’s ark is Nikolay’s fear of floods caused by climate change. He says he’s not a fanatic but he does strongly believe in the possibility of a serious flood.

But according to the livejournal of Viktor Borisov, who also took some photos of Orekhov’s ship-shaped house, the weird craftsman actually dreamed about building the strange structure, and has really no fear of an actual flood. Regardless of his reasons, Nikolay Orekhov managed to create a truly unique piece of architecture, and he did it all without any blueprints. All the plans he needed were all in his head, and frankly, you can tell by the final result.

Located in his backyard, Nikolay Orekhov’s strange house measures 9 meters in height and 14 meters in length, and is three levels high. On the first floor, the Russian builder created a bathroom (complete with sauna and swimming pool) and a small kitchen, the second floor features two bedrooms and a nursery, while the third one is a greenhouse.

Nikolay began building his ship-shaped house on the “sacred” date of July 7, 2007, and is now living in it with his family. His neighbors have started referring to his weird creation as the “Ark of Nikolayev”.

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Russian Woman Builds Glass Bottle House

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The glass bottle house built by Olga Queen, from Novoshakhtinsk, Russia is a fine addition to our hefty collection of glass bottle architecture, which already includes various bottle houses and a unique bottle temple.

In an effort to build herself a house out of cheap and environment-friendly materials, Olga Queen spent six months collecting glass bottles, around her home town of Novoshakhtinsk. She managed to gather around 5,000 of them, which proved enough to build her very own little dream house. Using some wood for the framework and concrete to fix the bottles in place, she manged to finish construction and is now ready to move in.

Glass might not seem like the right material to use when building a house, especially in a place like Russia, but the air trapped in the bottles actually provides great insulation. We’ll just see if Olga makes it through the winter in her little glass home.

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Belgian Pavilion Built Out of 33,000 Beer Crates

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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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Shed of the Year Is a Regular Pirates’ Den

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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

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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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Trash Artist Builds the World’s First Garbage Hotel

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H.A. Schult, the designer behind the famous Trash People, has teamed up with beer-make Corona to create the world’s first hotel made of garbage.

The initiative to build the “Save the Beach” garbage hotel was started by Corona, in order to raise awareness to the huge amount of waste being washed up on our shores, every day. And who better that H.A. Schult, a designer who has used trash as art medium since 1969, to build a hotel out of the trash collected from various European beaches?

The doors of this bizarre hotel, made of garbage, have opened to the public, last week, in Rome and has already received the support of various celebrities, like Helena Christensen, the famous model, who agreed to spend a night in the Save the Beach Hotel.

H.A. Schult, the creator of the trash hotel said “The philosophy of this hotel is to expose the damage we are causing to the sea and the coastline. We live in the era of trash and we are running the risk of becoming trash ourselves. Do we really want this world?”

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Compact House Is Shaped Like a Compact Car

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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

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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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Public Toilets Never Looked This Good

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Looking at the photo, below, you’re probably thinking something like “that’s a nice looking villa”, only it’s really just a Chinese public toilet.

This luxurious public facility was built on Nanshan Road, Xiamen, near the city’s residential area. It covers 100 square meters, offering clean, spacious toilets, for both men and women. Realizing people would probably mistake it for a private villa, city authorities placed a big “Nanshan public toilets” sign, on the balcony.

Even so, passers by were reluctant to use the fancy toilet, so another sign was added, on the sidewalk. This one says “free, open, civilized service”. Both men’s and women’s toilets feature artistically designed signs, and the second floor of this public toilet villa houses the administrator’s office. Although hundreds of people use this fancy restroom, every day, he says he never sensed any foul smells.

via CRI Online

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Unique Architecture: Teapot Dome Gas Station

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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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British Couple Turn Public Toilet into a Comfy House

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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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