Businessman Build Taj Mahal Replica Home as Gift for His Wife

In a unique gesture of appreciation and love, an Indian man built a scaled-down replica of the iconic Taj Mahal as a “monument of love” for his wife of 27 years.

The original Taj Mahal, the most famous building in all of India, was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died while giving birth to their 14th child. It’s one of the world’s most iconic symbols of love, so one businessman from Madhya Pradesh decided that it was the perfect inspiration for his own tribute to his spouse. He paid a reported 20 million rupees ($260,000) to have a construction team build a four-bedroom replica of the Taj Mahal, complete with intricate latticework, minarets, and a luxurious interior fit for a queen.

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This New Restaurant in Russia Looks Like a Dilapidated Mansion

To say the “Le Courage” restaurant in Sankt Petersburg, Russia, has a vintage look would be a gross understatement. The place looks to be in a state of severe disrepair, but it’s all by design, as the place just opened a couple of years ago.

Located in  Sankt Petersburg’s newly-built Russian House residential complex, Le Courage is a modern restaurant with a very unique look. It’s stylized as a 19th-century mansion in serious need of repairs, with deliberately worn walls, chipped stucco moldings, antique furniture, and deliberately worn floorboards. During the “renovation” phase, designers used a hammer to chip away at the stucco molds they had just glued onto the walls, they washed out the plaster to make it look like the ceiling had survived more than one serious water leak, and the 19th-century pattern wallpaper was left unfinished in places.

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The World’s Thinnest Observation Tower Has a Diameter of Under 4 Meters

The English seaside city of Brighton is home to the world’s thinnest observation tower, a structure only 3.9 meters in diameter, with a height-to-width ratio of over 40:1.

Conceived and designed by Marks Barfield Architects, the same firm behind the famous London Eye wheel, the i360 coastal observation tower in Brighton, UK looks like a giant needle pointing at the sky. It’s not the only observational tower in the world, but it is the thinnest one ever made. It has a diameter of only 3.9 meters, or 12.8 feet, at its widest point, and stands 162 meters tall. Although it is often described simply as a vertical cable car because of the technology it uses to drive a tourist-filled pod up and down, the i360 is actually an engineering marvel.

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Farmer Spends Over $2 Million Constructing One of the Strangest Buildings in China

A small town in Guangxi is home to one of the strangest-looking buildings in all of China, a 10-storey behemoth combining an assortment of architectural styles from all over the world.

In recent years, Xinxu Town, a small settlement close to Beiliu City, has become known for a strange edifice towering over the dozens of predominantly commercial buildings in the area. Not only is it much taller than most other structures in the area, but it also doesn’t adhere to any particular architectural style. Most of its several spire-like towers feature Russian-inspired domes, the central spire is a Western-style bell tower, and there’s even a teapot-shaped fountain that doesn’t make any kind of sense. Still, the building’s creator, a local farmer, is willing to spend a fortune to see it completed.

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This Old Russian Monastery Was carved Into a Chalk Mountain

The Church of John the Baptist, an old monastery carved into a white mountain of chalk in Russia’s Voronezh region, is one of the world’s most visually-striking Christian places of worship.

Russia is home to some of the most beautiful and intricately decorated religious buildings in the world, but very few of them manage to impress by blending into their natural surroundings. One such rare edifice is the Church of John the Baptist, part of the Divnogorye Museum-Reserve in Voronezh. First mentioned in historical documents dating back to the 17th century, this unique monastery is carved in the side of a mountain of chalk, with its decorative bell tower sitting on the mountain itself.

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Chinese Company Erects 10-Storey Apartment Building in Less Than 29 Hours

China’s Broad Group recently showcased its innovative Living Building, a new type of modular building system, by erecting a 10-storey apartment building in Changsha City in only 28 hours and 45 minutes.

The Living Building concept developed by Broad Group sounds like it could truly revolutionize the construction industry, and the Chinese company’s recent feat of erecting a 10-floor building in just over a day was meant to emphasize just how disruptive its new system can be. Technically, the building was just assembled on a site in Changsha, by three cranes and a large workforce, as all the components were built in a local Broad Group factory and transported by truck. But that’s one of the features of the Living Building system, it consists of pre-made container-size modules that only need to be bolted together at the “build” site and have their electricity and plumbing connected.

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Mirrored Ceiling Makes Bookstore Look Like an Infinite Library

Dujiangyan Zhongshuge, a bookstore in Dujiangyan, China, relies on strategically placed mirrors and gleaming black tile floor to create a stunning illusion that makes the place look like an infinite bookworm’s paradise.

The roughly 10,500-square-foot bookshop was designed by Li Xiang, founder of Shanghai-based architecture studio X+Living, and inaugurated in the Fall of 2020. Using clever elements like spiraling staircases, curved archways and strategically-placed mirrors, the designers of this unique bookstore were able to create a downright stunning illusion of infinity. One need only look at photos of Dujiangyan Zhongshuge’s interior to experience the otherworldliness of the place.

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North Carolina’s Can Opener Bridge is Famous for Scalping Trucks

Most bridges in North Carolina have a 15-foot clearance, but the one at the intersection of Gregson and Peabody streets in Durham is over 100 years old, so it has a clearance of 11 feet 8 inches. That’s pretty rare, so many drivers don’t really pay attentions to the warning signs and they become a victim of the famous can opener bridge.

Over the years, Durham’s 11’8″ bridge in damaged well over 100 trucks. It has become such a problem that state authorities went out of their way to mark it as an unusually low clearance bridge, in the hope that most overheight truck drivers would turn back. But the thing is a lot o them don’t pay attention to the signs, and by the time they realize they may not fit, it’s too late. In the end, the state had no choice but to break the piggy bank and lift the old train bridge by 20 centimeters, to avoid accidents, but that doesn’t seem to have done much good, as the can opener recently claimed its 167th victim.

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The Unique Cast Iron Church of Istanbul

The Bulgarian St. Stephen Church in Istanbul, Turkey, has the detailed ornaments of an Orthodox stone church, but it’s actually made of prefabricated cast iron elements.

Sometimes referred to as ‘The Iron Church’, St. Stephen Church is considered the largest prefabricated cast iron building in the world. It consists of thousands of prefabricated pieces of cast iron, from large walls, to small, intricate decorations, all of which weigh over 500 tons. As almost the entire structure and its exquisite décor are cast out of iron, a close inspection reveals the heads of the large screws holding it together everywhere you look.

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Swim 115 Feet Above London in the World’s Only See-Through Sky Pool

Suspended 35 meters above the ground, between two new residential buildings in London’s Nine Elms business district, the highly-anticipated Sky Pool makes you feel like you’re swimming through the sky.

Measuring 25 meters in length, the transparent outdoor pool was designed by HAL Architects. It is made out of acrylic and can hold up to 148,000 gallons of water. The impressive sky pool is the centerpiece of Embassy Gardens, a new 2,000-home development in the Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station regeneration zone. When it opens, next month, Sky Pool will become the most exclusive place to take a dip in all of Britain.

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The Line – Saudi Arabia’s Controversial 170-Km-Long Linear City of the Future

In early 2021 Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince unveiled the concept of a futuristic urban development called The Line, which basically consists of a linear, 170-km-long city without roads of cars and built around nature.

During his presentation of The Line, back in January, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman described the future smart city as a direct response to growing challenges like human congestion, pollution, traffic and outdated infrastructure. Linking the coast of the Red Sea with the mountains and upper valleys of the north-west of Saudi Arabia, The Line will be powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), continuously learning predictive ways to make life easier for both residents and local businesses. It will be powered by 100% clean energy and will feature an underground hyper-speed transportation system, instead of roads and cars.

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The Unique Oval Community Gardens of Copenhagen

The Naerum  suburban district of Copenhagen, in Denmark, is home to one of the most visually appealing allotment gardens in the world – the “round gardens”, which are actually oval.

Søren Carl Theodor Marius Sørensen is considered one of the greatest landscape architects to have ever lived, and the oval gardens of Naerum are one of his most famous projects. In 1948, 40 oval allotment gardens, each measuring approximately 25 × 15 m, were laid out on a rolling lawn, between public housing on one side and more traditional allotments on the other. Owners were free to position their cottages, select the surrounding hedges, and lay out the interior of their plots, but Sørensen provided some directions, stressing that they were meant as a guide, not rules. Seven decades later, the oval gardens of Naerum are still one of the most beautiful attractions in the Danish capital.

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This Quaint Vermont House Comes With Its Own Seven-Cell Jail

If you’re in the market for a unique kind of house, this $149,000 Vermont property may spark your interest. It doesn’t look like anything special from the outside, but it actually comes with its own creepy jail.

Located in Guidhall, a small Vermont town, this 2,190-square-foot white and green home has been listed on online real-estate marketplace Realtor for two months, with an asking price of $149,000. It has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, wood floors and high ceilings, a nice backyard, as well as its own adjacent seven-cell jail. That’s right, an actual jail, the kind where people used to be locked-up in up until a few decades ago. This used to be the town jailer’s home, and even though the property has changed hands several times since then, the jail has remained intact.

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Cousins Turn Old Water Tower They Used to Play In as Kids Into Cozy Family Home

Two cousins from the Dutch town of Nieuw-Lekkerland recently received an award for turning an old water tower into a modern and stylish home for their respective families.

Sven and Lennart de Jong grew up in a house right next to the old water tower of Nieuw-Lekkerland, and used to paly in it as kids, so in 2011, when they heard it was being put up for auction, they decided to place a bid. The approximately 200,000 euros they bid proved to be enough and the two became the owners of an abandoned building from 1915. Sven and Lennart knew that they had their work cut out, but they dreamt of making the water tower their home in a decade’s time, and managed to pull it off. For their achievement, the two received the 2020 Water Tower Award, a distinction for the best conversion of a historic water tower.

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Entrepreneur Builds 600-Square-Meter Floating Sea Mansion

A Chinese entrepreneur spent a year and only 400,000 yuan ($61,000) building himself an awesome, 600-square-foot floating home on the coast of Fujian province.

The protagonist of our story is a young entrepreneur known only by his nickname, “Coastline”, who grew up near the sea, spending most of his time fishing and taking in the beautiful sunsets of Dongshan County, a large island in the South China Sea. Coastline spent most of his free time sea fishing, and always drove his friends crazy with his praise of the sea and the carefree lifestyle of the fishermen of Dongshan. One night in 2018, while drinking with his good friend, architect Dong Xinmeng, he started talking about how great it would be to have a floating home, so he could fish and drink beer all day. One drink led to another, and by the end of the night, they had decided to make his dream a reality.

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