‘Vertical Forest’ in Chinese Residential Complex Becomes Mosquito-Infested Jungle

The Qiyi City Forest Garden residential complex in Chengdu, China, was supposed to be a green paradise for its residents, but two years on, the vertical forest concept has turned into a nightmare.

Back in 2018, the idea of living among dozens of exotic plants proved very exciting for the people of Chengdu, one of China’s most polluted cities, and by April of 2020 all 826 units in the Qiyi City Forest Garden complex had been sold. Each unit had up to 20 types of plants growing on the balcony, and filtering the city’s air and noise pollution. However, instead of an urban paradise, the eight-tower complex looks like a scene out of a post-apocalyptic film, with balconies overrun by sprawling greenery and plagues of mosquitoes.

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Mushroom House Built Atop Narrow Staircase Baffles Internet

Photos of a so-called “mushroom house” sitting on a narrow concrete staircase have been doing the rounds on Japanese social media and leaving viewers scratching their heads in disbelief.

The viral photos were originally posted by Japanese Twitter user Yuko Mohri, but have since been shared over 20,000 times on the popular social network alone. They show what looks like a one-storey house perched on a very narrow concrete staircase, somewhere in Japan. Such a sight would raise a few eyebrows anywhere in the world, but even more in the island country, where powerful earthquakes occur fairly often.

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The Genius Behind Japan’s New Transparent Public Toilets

Most people are apprehensive about using public restrooms as it is, so making them completely transparent would just boost their anxiety, right? Well, apparently, the exact opposite is true.

Japanese public toilets generally have a higher standard of hygiene that other public restrooms around the world. I distinctly remember posting about Benjyo Soujer, a Tokyo social club whose members gather every Sunday morning to voluntarily clean public toilets around Japan’s capital. But even in this country, some people dread the thought of having to walk into a dark, smelly, dirty and possibly unsafe facility to do their “business”. But what if you could see how clean or safe this facility was before walking in?

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Chichen Itza Chirp – Clapping at Base of Ancient Pyramid Echoes the Call of Sacred Bird

Chichen Itza, the pre-Colombian archaeological site built by the Mayans in northern Yucatan, Mexico, is home to many architectural and cultural wonders, one of which has baffled acoustics experts for decades.

The Temple of Kukulkan is one of the most visually-striking structures at Chichen Itza, but perhaps its most intriguing characteristic is acoustic, not visual. Clapping at the base of the Mayan pyramid causes an echo that closely resembles a bird’s chirp. Do it repeatedly, or in a group, and the echos will sound like a chorus of ghostly chirps rolling down the steps of the impressive structures. It’s one of those tricks tour guides use to impress visitors, but it’s actually no gimmick. Acoustic experts have been fascinated by the “Chichen Itza Chirp” ever since it was documented by an acoustic engineer in the late 90’s, but so far no one has been able to demonstrate if the architects of the pyramid designed it with the specific echo in mind, or if it was accidental.

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The Famously Narrow ‘Pie House’ of Deerfield

A suburban Chicago home has become known locally as the “Pie House” because of its resemblance to a wedge-shaped slice of pie.

Built in 2003, on an oblong plot of land in Deerfield, Illinois, the Pie House has become somewhat of a local tourist attraction, with people stopping by regularly just to take pictures of the unusually narrow building. Famous for its unique shape, the Pie House was born out of necessity, as developer Greg Weissman of Advantage Properties tried to make the best of an oblong piece of land only 0.09 acres in size, which is unusually small for the suburbs. Despite one of the walls being only 3-feet-wide, the Pie House turned out quite cozy, and ended up selling for little over $284,000 in 2007.

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This Japanese Building Has a Highway Passing Right Through It

The Gate Tower Building is one of the many several tall office buildings that make up Osaka’s impressive skyline, but there is something about it that makes it unique in the world – it has a functional highway going right through it.

Photos of this architectural anomaly have been doing the rounds on social media for over two decades now, and it’s easy to see why. 16-storey buildings don’t usually have highway off-ramps going right through them, but the Gate Tower Building does, and the traffic doesn’t affect the people working inside it one bit. The elevators are located on the side of the building, and the highway itself doesn’t touch the tower, which is properly insulated against traffic noise and vibrations anyway. It’s still quite a sight to behold, and if you’re ever in Osaka you should definitely pass by, or rather, through.

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Spanish Company Specializes in Building Pools That Look Like Sandy Oasis

Piscinas de Arena is a Spanish pool company that can build you a realistic-looking oasis with a sandy beach and turquoise water right in the comfort of your own backyard.

With the Covid-19 pandemic causing havoc around the world, vacations to tropical paradises may have to take a back-seat this year, but that doesn’t men you can’t bring their sandy beaches and crystal clear waters to you. That’s where Piscinas de Arena comes in. Literally translated as Sand Pools, the Spanish company uses patented technologies and materials to turn your average-looking backyard into a stunning tropical paradise complete with a sandy beach and tranquil, turquoise water.

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Vietnam Takes On Dubai With the World’s First 24K-Gold-Plated Hotel Exterior and Interior

Globetrotters looking for the world’s most exclusive accommodations will soon be able to add a new line on their list of must-visit  locations – a Hanoi 6-star hotel with a 24K-gold-plated exterior and interior.

After over a decade of development, the Hanoi Golden Lake hotel will be completed by the end of this year. The exterior is already almost one hundreds percent completed, with just the final details left to be added, and the building is already attracting attention because of its unusual decor. This 6-star hotel is completely covered in Japanese-imported ceramic tiles infused with real 24K gold, and according to developers, patrons can expect more shiny gold decor on the inside as well.

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Indian Mogul Builds His Own White House Atop a Skyscraper

The Indian city of Bangalore is home to one of the most lavish, over-the-top luxury mansions in the world – a replica of the White House built atop a skyscraper.

Vijay Mallya, the chairman of United Breweries Group, has always been one of India’s most flamboyant tycoons, but in 2010, when he announced plans to have a mansion modelled after the White House built atop a luxury skyscraper in Bangalore, people thought it was too much, even for him. He didn’t let that deter him from building his dream home, and by 2016, his mansion atop Kingfisher Tower in the heart of Bangalore City was taking shape. Unfortunately, by that time his financial woes were the talk of India, and it wasn’t long before he fled the country for the UK, leaving his dream home unfinished.

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Property Developer Promises Homebuyers “Park Views”, Delivers “Plastic Lake” Instead

A property developer in the Chinese city of Changsha has been slammed by homebuyers for deceiving them by promising “high vegetation cover” and “park views”, and delivering a public area covered in a blue plastic material to look like a lake.

To say that homeowners in a new residential complex in central China were less than impressed when they picked up their keys earlier this week would be an understatement. Having been drawn in by developer Changsha Shiji Yujing Real Estate with promises of natural vegetation and a “park lifestyle”, they were expecting the public area to look like an idylic paradise. However, all they got was a fake lake made out of a blue, plastic material, complete with a small timber bridge. The pavement decoration does in fact create the illusion of a lake when seen from above, but it’s not exactly what residents were hoping for.

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Man Builds His Dream Home Out of Shipping Containers

Stacking 11 metal shipping containers on top of each other doesn’t sound like the idea way to build your dream three-story house, but in designer Will Breaux’s case that’s exactly what it took, and the result is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

Why would anyone build a house out of shipping containers, especially one so big as the one located on McGowen Street, in Houston? Well, owner Will Breaux has the perfect answer – ‘why not?’ He had been thinking about it for a while, and after using 3D rendering software to make it a reality, he started working on a real-life version of it at the edge of downtown Houston. Believe it or not, all the 11 metal containers were set in place in a single day, back in 2017, using a giant crane, and Breaux has been working on it every week since. As he puts it, if he had all the money required, he would have surely finished it by now, but as it stands, two thirds of the three-story house is incomplete, so it’s still a work in progress.

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Construction Company Will Turn Your Backyard into a Tropical Oasis

Why travel to a tropical seaside resort when you can have a turquoise oasis complete with golden sand right in your backyard? That’s the question one Louisiana construction company hopes will make its custom backyard oasis a bestseller.

Having a pool or a small pond in your backyard is great, but if you could choose between those and a tropical-looking swimming pond, and they all cost about the same, which one would you choose? Louisiana-based Zydeco Construction, LLC hopes it’s the latter, and it’s willing to create the most spectacular custom oasis to prove it’s worth the investment. 33-year-old Eric White, the founder of Zydeco, claims his beautiful swimming ponds feature crystal turquoise water and are surrounded by fine sandy beaches to recreate the look and feel of a tropical summer destination. They can be made as small or large as the client’s property allows and prices start at around $20,000.

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Rather Than Cut It Down, Family Builds House Around 150-Year-Old Tree

When the Kesharwani family in Jabalpur, India, decided to expand their home back in 1994, they pondered what to do about the giant fig tree growing in their garden. Rather than cut it down, they decided to build a four-storey house around it.

Today, the Kesharwanis’ residence is one of the most stunning sights in Jabalpur – a concrete villa with a giant tree trunk growing through its multiple stories and thick branches coming out through the windows, walls and roof. Yogesh Kesharwani, whose parents built the house 25 years ago, said that the fig tree is about 150 years old but still blossoms into leaves and fruits every year. Even though they have to navigate around its thick trunk when moving through the house, the Kesharwanis have gotten used to it and even grown to consider it a member of the family.

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Vietnamese Businessman Builds Himself a Magnificent Palace Worthy of a King

The last thing you’d expect to find in the center of a Vietnamese rural district is a spectacular European-style palace, complete with a gilded roof, stunning facade and intricately decorated walls, and yet that’s exactly the sight you’re treated to in the heart of Gia Vien, in Vietnam’s Ninh Binh province.

I know what you’re thinking, Vietnam was a French colony for more than six decades, so this European-looking marvel must be a well-preserved relic from that period. But Thanh Thang Palace has nothing to do with French colonialism or Vietnamese history in general. This opulent complex is merely the residence of a local billionaire who reportedly spent between 300 and 400 billion dong ($12 – $17 million) to fulfil his dream of living in an actual palace. While the interior has yet to be completed, the outside is finished and it looks absolutely stunning.

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Hong Kong’s Tiniest Apartments Are Smaller Than a Parking Space

Hong Kong is famous for its expensive nano-flats, but one property developer recently made international headlines for selling apartments smaller than the average parking space.

Just when you thought homes in Hong Kong couldn’t get any smaller, a local real-estate developer unveiled the T-Plus, a new type of so-called “shoebox flat” measuring only 128 square feet, which makes it smaller than the average Hong Kong parking space (130 square feet). Despite its shockingly small size, the T-Plus housing unit includes all the amenities a person might need, including a kitchen, a toilet, storage space, a refrigerator, a bed and a dining table. That’s pretty impressive, considering that this apartment is so small that you only need to take a total of five steps to get from one end of it to the other.

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