Using thousands of permanent solar panels to harvest energy, the Solar Valley Micro-E Hotel is the largest solar-power hotel on Earth.
Built by Himin Group, China’s leading solar products manufacturer, the Solar Valley Micro-E Hotel opened its gates Dezhou City, eastern China. It covers 75,000 square-meters and features thousands of solar panels and solar heat pipe collectors that harvest and store enough energy to sustain 70% of the hotel’s needs.
The solar energy is used for a variety of functions, including air-conditioning and water heating.
Bruce and Melanie Rosenbaum have always loved steampunk and decided to turn their passion into a business. That’s how ModVic Home Restoration was born.
The couples offer home-design services to people who want to restore their Vicrorian houses to their original beauty and, to prove their skills, they turned their 1901 Craftsman-style home into a steampunk paradise. Combining antique pieces with modern gadgets, the Rosembaum’s managed to preserve the original charm of their Victorian residence as well as incorporate all the modern gadgets of our times.
If you’d like to know more about this amazing steampunk house, head over to Steampunk Workshop and learn every little detail.
The PL Peace Tower in Tondabayashi, a town close to Osaka, Japan is by far one of the most “bizarre yet cool” buildings I have ever seen.
One of the many structures located in the PL Holy Land, the PL Peace Tower was built back in 1970, using the newest construction technique at the time. It belongs to the Perfect Liberty Church, a religious movement founded in 1924 that teaches its followers that “Life is Art” and they should express themselves in everuthing they do.
The shape of the PL Peace Tower, resembling a single finger pointing at the sky, symbolizes one of the church founder’s revelation that ” the truth is one”. It’s also an international symbol of world peace. Inside the Peace Tower you’ll find an unlimited list of people who lost their lives because of human wars.
The PL Peace Tower is 180 meters high and thanks to a low center of gravity (only 12 meters above ground), it can tilt up to 45 degrees and swing back to its original position. This makes it extremely resistant to earthquakes. Its strange but fascinating shape was achieved through the use of shotcrete, spaying concrete onto wire netting.
By Spooky onNovember 11th, 2009 Category: Art, Pics
Whenever he wants to experience the luxury of the old Pan Am first class cabins, all Anthony Toth has to do is spend a little time in his garage.
The 42-year-old Redondo Beach resident has spent the last five years turning his old garage into a perfect replica of a 1970s Pan Am World Airways 747 first class cabin. The airplane enthusiast spent the last 20 years of his life looking for original parts for his project and he reckons he invested around $50,000 in it, so far.
At the entrance of Anthony Toth’s Airplane Garage visitors can consult an old departures board and as soon as they enter the cabin, they are welcomed with original in-flight audio recordings from the ’60s and ’70s.
Everything in the Airplane garage has Pan Am written on it, even the on-board peanuts come in Pan Am packaging. Congratulations for keeping the spirit of Pan Am alive, but I like Tony Alleyne’s Star Trek Apartment a lot more.
“I had in mind to do something big and I did it.” That’s what Simon Rodia said about his work.
Designed by Italian immigrant Sabato (Simon) Rodia, Watts Towers are a famous example of vernacular architecture, located in the Watts district, Los Angeles. The talented construction worker spent all his spare time, between 1921 and 1954, working on this collection of 17 interconnected steel towers. The amateur structures are made from steel rods wrapped in wire and coated in mortar.
Rodia decorated his architectural masterpieces with found stuff, like bottle caps, seashells, broken glass and pottery. Children from all over the neighborhood would search for pieces of glass and bring it to Simon Rodia, in hope their findings would be included in his project.
Unfortunately, the talented Italian didn’t get along with his neighbors and he’d often find his Watts Towers vandalized. One day, sick of all the abuse, he left and never came back. In the following years his work became more and more popular, but the towers were about to be teared down by the city, when community activists formed the Committee for Simon Rodia’s Towers in Watts and managed to save them.
I chose to name this post “the other upside-down house” because I wrote about a very similar house when I started this site.
Built in 2008, for an art exhibition, the “other upside down house” is located on Usedom, an island in northern Germany. It was financed and constructed by Polish partners Klausdiusz Golos and Sebastian Mikiciuk, who just wanted to make something different. Only, I wonder if they know a practically identical house already exists in their native country of Poland.
The builders said they were inspired by similar structures in America and Spain, that were upside down on the outside, but normal on the inside. Visitors of the “other upside-down house” said the weird interior make them feel dizzy and disoriented.
Although the house is perfectly safe, nobody is living in it right now.
There’s no questioning China’s economic boom, but although more and more impressive buildings are being constructed every day, there are some areas that don’t even have a proper school.
Dongzhong (literally translated as “in cave”) is a elementary school located in Miao village, China’s Guizhou province. The strange thing about this learning institution is that it’s housed by a giant cave, carved inside a mountain over thousands of years, by wind, rain and earthquakes. There is a small structure put together by the locals, but children attend classes protected only by the cold walls of the cave.
Photos were taken in November, 2007, but the school is till around today.
Adrian Reeman, a former Merchant Navy chef from Southampton, has spent the last 23 years of his life transforming his small apartment into a miniature Palace of Versailles.
His painstaking work began in 1986, when he moved in with his wife Annette, in the ninth floor flat of a tower bloc in Southampton. He hated the copper pebble dash wallpaper he found there and decided something had to be done. At first he just started panelling the walls, without having a clue of what it was going to turn into.
Although he has no training in constructions or design, and he has never once visited the real Versailles, Adrian Reeman managed to create an honorable small-scale replica of the popular French palace. He now sees no reason to visit the real thing, since he’s living in it himself, just on a slightly smaller scale.
Reeman says he’s not 100% happy with how the Versailles apartment came out, but he’s getting a little too old to keep working on it. He figures he’ll live in the unique flat for the rest of his life, since law states tenants have to deliver the apartments in the same state they received them. The Reemans couldn’t possibly restore their mini Versailles to its original condition.
I wonder if Adrian knows Tony Alleyne, owner of the Star Trek Apartment? I’m sure these two talented Brits would hit it off.
I’ve seen some pretty bizarre-but-impressive treehouses in my day, but the Minister’s House is by far the most impressive, if only through its sheer size.
Located in Crossville, Tennessee, the Minister’s House took Horace Burgess 14 years to build around an 80-foot-tall white oak tree, with a diameter of 12 feet. The wooden edifice itself is 97-feet-tall and it’s supported by six other strong trees that act like natural pillars.
Burgess says he started working on this giant treehouse after he had a vision back in 1993. God spoke to him and said: “If you build me a
treehouse, I’ll see you never run out of material.” And so he spent the next 14 years building God’s treehouse, using only salvaged materials, like pieces of lumber from garages, storage sheds and barns. So, as far as Horace is concerned, God did provide him with all the materials he needed.
Although he never bothered to measure Minister’s House (he estimates it must be about 8,000 to 10,000 square feet), he did count the nails he had to hammer into it, 258,000. It cost the 56-year-old landscape architect around $12,000 to construct the world’s biggest treehouse.
400-500 people visit Minister’s House every week, most of them tourists from out of state who heard about a 10-story-treehouse somewhere in Tennessee.
I found the photos on this obscure Hungarian site, but I doubt they actually own them. If you know who these belong to, let me know so I can credit them.
By Spooky onOctober 15th, 2009 Category: News, Travel
Forced by the downfall of the American housing market, Fred Milani had to put his backyard replica of the White House up for sale, for just $10 million.
American Iranian property developer, Fred Milani, says he doesn’t really want to sell his beloved replica of the iconic White House, but he has to. The mini-house is built in the backyard of his Atlanta residence and comes complete with its very own Oval Office and Lincoln Bedroom, as well as a backdoor pool.
If you’re expecting an interesting story about how Mr. Milani decided to have the White House replica built in his backyard, you’re in for a big disappointment. He just wanted a house and the architect just asked him “How about I build you the White House?”, he agreed and the rest is history.
The 16,500 square meter building was built seven years ago and has managed to split the neighborhood. There are those who feel lucky to be living next to such an impressive edifice, but most find it excessive and are annoyed by the high number of tourists flocking to their peaceful neighborhood to take pictures of the White House replica.
Who doesn’t want to live in a happy house, right? I bet that’s what designer James Rizzi thought to himself when he designed the Happy Rizzi House, inBraunschweig, Germany.
What is it with Germans and wacky-looking houses? After the famous Waldspirale of Darmstadt, I’ve discovered the Happy Rizzi House, where pop-art ant cartoons mix to form a very unique architectural design. Built by architect Konrad Kloster, Happy Rizzi House is one of the most important monuments in Braunschweig.
Located on the ruins of a ducal palace, Happy Rizzi House is a big hit with both children and adults.
By Spooky onOctober 8th, 2009 Category: Pics, Travel
In the hills near San Chih, northern Taiwan, lies the Seashell Temple, one of the most amazing architectural works in the world.
I’m sure many of you have seen photos of it before, it’s almost on every spam photo site on the internet, sometimes listed as being in Bagkok or Taiwan, but I thought it deserved a spot among the oddities on Oddity Central.Almost completely covered with seashells and pieces of coral, Pei Khe Miao (as its known by the Chinese) takes your breath away the minute you lay eyes on it.
Unfortunately there isn’t a lot of genuine information concerning the Seashell Temple and I don’t want to make stuff up, so for now you’ll just have to settle for some photos and a video.
Why spend your money on a boring apartment when you can live the rest of your life in a cool abandoned missile silo?
Bruce Townsley, a former social worker from Chicago, got the idea of turning a missile silo into a comfortable home in the mid ’80s, while watching the Johnny Carson Show. One of the guest had actually set up a home inside a nuclear missile base and Bruce just knew that’s he wanted for himself.
It wasn’t until 1997 that he actually got his hands on a missile silo, but since then he turned into real dream house. The living space is around 1,000 square feet and is basically a huge concrete bubble suspended from a central pole. He did a nice job decorating, but he also kept some of the old stuff around, like the massive blast doors.
the owner says his missile silo home couldn’t withstand a nuclear strike these days, but it handles the strong Texas storms just fine.
Head over to Wired for more info and pics on this truly unusual house.
By Spooky onSeptember 28th, 2009 Category: Art, Pics
It’s amazing how popular wine-corks are these days. Some people convert their cars into wine-cork trucks, others to make wine-cork costumes and even insulate their houses.
Check out this winecork-covered house, for example. There must be tens, if not hundreds of thousands wine corks on its walls. unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any info on this project, so I can’t yet tell you if it’s a tribute to wine, or just cheap insulation. Whatever the case may be, it’s obvious the owner had nerves of steel, in order to place every wine-cork manually. Maybe he’s a fan of Liza Lou.
Located in Fafe, Portugal, this unusual stone house bears a remarkable resemblance to The Flintstones House. Man, I loved that show!
I know what you’re thinking and you’re not the only one, but as fake as these photos may look, the stone house of Fafe is very real. I mean it’s even been featured in the Daily Mail. Ok, you’re right, that’s not a valid argument, but this house does exist.
The photos taken by Jsome1 have been causing quite stir on the internet, partly because he decided to improve the photos a little and make them look fake-ish. But other curious web-surfers have been digging around and found the stone house exists and it’s actually a local landmark of the Fafe region.
The last two photos were used to promote the Fafe biking marathon and feature the Flintstones-like house as background. That’s the best proof I could find, hope it’s enough.