Bosco Verticale – Living in a Vertical Forest in the Middle of an Urban Jungle

Bosco Vericale is a unique residential complex in the center of Milan, Italy. It consists of two towers that stand 80 and 112 meters high and are covered in plants and trees giving them the look that inspired their name – vertical forest.

Designed by a team of architects at Boeri Studio, Bosco Verticale was designed as a “home for trees that also houses humans and birds”. It was inaugurated in October 2014, in Milan’s Porta Nuova Isola area, as part of a wider renovation project. The two towers are home to a total of 800 trees (480 first and second stage trees, 300 smaller ones), 15,000 perennials and/or ground covering plants and 5,000 shrubs. That amounts to 30,000 square meters of woodland and undergrowth, concentrated on 3,000 square meters of urban surface. And the vegetation is not just for show, it serves a purpose that the residents themselves acknowledge.

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You Can Buy This Pharaoh-Themed Apartment in Moscow for Just $1.7 Million

If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a pharaoh without having to build your own lavish palace, you can settle for this unique Moscow apartment designed to make you feel like a ruler of ancient Egypt.

Over the last two decades, the Khamovniki district of Moscow has turned from a simple working-class district, into one of the most expensive living areas in the entire Russian capital. There are plenty of luxurious apartment complexes to choose from if you have the funds, but if you’re looking for something truly unique, you may want to consider this $1.7 million apartment in the “Opera House” residential complex on Ostozhenka street. It’s literally fit for a king, an Egyptian king, that is…

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CopenHill – A Waste Powerplant That Doubles as an Urban Ski Slope and Hiking Trail

CopenHill isn’t just the world’s largest waste-to-energy powerplant, it’s also a masterpiece of architectural design, incorporating a giant ski slope and hiking trail on its winding roof, and a massive climbing wall on one of its sides.

Waste processing powerplants don’t usually make great tourist attractions, but Copenhagen’s newest achievement in its quest to become the world’s first carbon-free city is something that has to be experienced. Not only is CopenHill capable of converting 440,000 tons of waste into clean energy every year, but it’s also an exciting entertainment for people looking to engage in outdoorsy activities near the center of Denmark’s capital city. During the summer, its winding roof doubles as a green hiking trail, while in the winter season it becomes an artificial sky slope. Did I mention that it has the “tallest artificial climbing wall in the world” on its facade?

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Robot Legs Help 7,600-Tonne Building “Walk” to New Location

Chinese Engineers have successfully moved an 85-year-old historical school building in Shanghai to a new location with the help of 198 robotic legs.

Moving older buildings to make room for new construction projects is nothing new in China, but what makes this particular case interesting is the method used to move the 7,600-tonne building. Usually, side rails or flatbeads are used to relocate structures, but the irregular shape of the Lagena Primary Schoool posed quite a challenge to engineers. After weighing their options, experts opted for an innovative “walking” system made up of 198 hydraulic legs that lifted the giant building and helped it “walk” a total of 62 meters over 18 days.

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These Moth Caterpillars Build Tiny Log Cabins for Themselves

The caterpillar of the bagworm moth is known as somewhat of a gifted architect, building impressive and durable cocoons out of twigs, leaves, seeds and other organic materials.

As larvae, bagworm moths look for a place to settle down and feed, such as a leaf or the branch of a tree. Once they’ve found a suitable location, they go out looking for building material to reinforce their cocoons with. Materials like twigs, dead leaves, seeds and even dirt are most often used, and depending on the species of bagworm moths, the cocoon can end up looking like a pile of leaves or a carefully planned miniature log cabin.

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‘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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Mexican Bank Builds Branch in the Middle of Nowhere

Photos and videos of a functional Banco del Bienestar branch seemingly located in the middle of nowhere have been getting a lot of attention on Mexican social media this week.

Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador was one of the very first people to get blamed for wasting government money on useless buildings after the photos and videos of a Banco del Bienestar branch located a long way from any human settlement, somewhere in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The building was used to mock Obrador’s “Fourth Transformation” of Mexico initiative, but a representative of the bank was quick to explain that although bizarre, the location of the branch actually makes sense.

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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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Massive Road Bridge Built Around Tiny House of Very Stubborn Owner

A newly opened highway in China’s Guangdong province has been making news headlines for a very peculiar reason: it’s built around the tiny home who refused to move.

China is well-known for its “nail houses”, properties of homeowners who reject compensation from a developer for their demolition, but while most such examples are encountered within new residential complexes, the one we’re featuring today stands in the middle of a highway bridge. Footage released by Chinese media shows the property tightly squeezed between the lanes of the newly opened Haizhuyong Bridge, in the city of Guangzhou. It is located in a pit in the middle of the four-lane road bridge and has become somewhat of a local attraction.

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Vietnamese Man Decorates Home With Almost 10,000 Porcelain Dishes

A Vietnamese man obsessed with traditional porcelain dishes and antiques has spent the last 25 years of his life decorating his house with almost 10,000 porcelain bowls, plates and urns.

Nguien Van Truong first fell in love with porcelain antiques in 1986, a year after being discharged from the army and returning to his home village of Kieu Son, in Vietnam’s Vinh Phuc province. He was making a living as a carpenter at a time and got the chance to paint the table and chairs of a local antique collector who first introduced him to the beauty of traditional porcelain dishes. Truong was so impressed that he decided to become a collector himself, and scoured all of Vietnam’s northern provinces in search of traditional porcelain objects, and spent all of his money trying to acquire as much of it as possible.

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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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Russian Couple Build Pyramid of Giza Replica in Their Rural Backyard

A couple from Istinka, a small village located 12 kilometres outside St Petersburg, Russia, have built a concrete replica of the Great Pyramid of Giza right in their own backyard.

Measuring 9 meters above ground and 9 meters deep, and consisting of about 400 tonnes of concrete blocks, the pyramid of Istinka is 19 times smaller than the structure that inspired it – the Great Pyramid of Giza, in Egypt. But, according to its owners, Andrey Vakhrushev and his wife Victoria, apart from the size difference, the two imposing structured are actually quite similar. The couple claim that attention to detail was crucial for this project, adding that they spent years studying the design of the Pyramid of Cheops and visited it many times just to get everything right.

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