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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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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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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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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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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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The PL Peace Tower – World’s Coolest Tower?

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.

Photos via Juergen Specht

PL-Peace-Tower

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