Tag Archives | Architecture

Millionaires’ Doomsday Shelter Being Built Below Kansas Prairie

doomsdayA new standard of luxury in apocalypse survivalism? Via the Daily Mail:

These luxury flats, deep in the shaft of an abandoned missile silo, are meant to withstand everything from economic collapse and solar flares to terrorist attacks and pandemics. So far, four buyers have thrown down a total of about $7 million.

Developer Larry Hall is installing an indoor farm to feed 70 people for as long as they need to stay inside. Other floors will be for a pool, a movie theater and a library, and when in lockdown mode there will be floors for a medical center and a school.

And, of course, an elaborate security system and staff will keep marauding hordes out. The condo elevator will only operate if a person’s fingerprint matches its system, Hall said. Cameras will monitor a barbed-wire topped fence and give plenty of warning of possible intruders. Responses can range from a warning to lethal force.

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Secret City: Illegal Architecture of Taiwan

TaipeiMany cities in Asia proper, have captured the imaginations of authors, specifically science fiction writers, due in large part due to their disjointed, chaotic, and multi-layered nature. These cities have a tendency to map their histories, migration patterns, linguistic groups and associated economic levels onto the very architecture and design of the city. In Taipei much of the building is done illegally, in ‘secret’ places all around the city, particularly by rural migrants, artists and experimental architects. This has resulted in some very dynamic and cyber-punk worthy designs that further colour the fabric of Taipei. Via Web Urbanist:

Beyond the ‘official city’ of Taipei, where modernization and beautification efforts are glossing over the city’s natural and historical origins, there’s Instant City. Using Taipei’s conventional modern architecture as a platform and energy source, this network of illegal architecture attaches itself ‘like a parasite’ to create unsanctioned urban farms, night markets and other social gathering places.

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Sifting the Rubble

Wang Shu

Wang Shu. Photo: Elekhh (CC)

A building, that uses historical rubble a main building component, is causing rumblings in the architecture community. What implications does this have on building a sustainable future? Via Inhabitat:

The 2012 Pritzker Prize was just announced this morning, and the winner is Wang Shu — the first Chinese architect to receive the honor. Wang Shu runs Amateur Architecture Studio with his wife Lu Wenyu out of Hangzhou and is also the head of the Architecture Department of the China Academy of Art.

Responsible for a number of large cultural and social projects in his native country, Wang Shu has become known for work that is “deeply rooted in its context and yet universal.” Some of Wang Shu’s most well known projects include the Library of Wenzheng College at Suzhou University, the Ningbo Contemporary Art Museum, the Ningbo History Museum, phase 1 and 2 of the Xingshan Campus of the China Academy of Art, and the Vertical Courtyard Apartments.

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The Therapeutic Singing House

To be unveiled in New Orleans -- a home equipped with a drone synthesizer that produces pleasing tones reflecting the surroundings. I hope this architectural innovation catches on everywhere:
Demonstration of latest Quintron invention called THE SINGING HOUSE. This is an analog "drone synth" can be installed into any building in order to provide its inhabitants with a pleasing chord that is constantly changed by the weather. Preliminary studies have show that these soothing sounds can bring mental relaxation and healing to the modern home or institution. The music is actually played by the skies above. No two days sound the same.
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Strange Rooms And Devices Inside Scientology’s Super Power Building

Via the Village Voice, unbelievable renderings of the chambers to be used for testing, training, and sensory enhancement of Scientology adherents:

The Voice has obtained hundreds of new renderings of Scientology’s Super Power Building in Clearwater, Florida. L. Ron Hubbard devised the “Super Power Rundown” in 1978. He envisioned it as a series of counseling routines with the use of elaborate and futuristic platforms and machines. In 1998, Hubbard’s successor broke ground on a massive new building project, “Flag Mecca,” known commonly as the Super Power Building, where the new rundown would be housed. Thirteen years and $145 million in fundraising later, the building is thought to be largely completed, but it is still not open for business.

scientology

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Are Skyscrapers Linked With Financial Collapse?

DubaiTowersSo says the BBC. On various continents, and going back for over a century, the construction of new record-nearing skyscrapers seems to be a consistent canary in a coal mine indicating that an economic bubble exists and a financial crash will soon occur in a given society:

There is an “unhealthy correlation” between the building of skyscrapers and subsequent financial crashes, according to Barclays Capital.

Examples include the Empire State building, built as the Great Depression was under way, and the current world’s tallest, the Burj Khalifa, built just before Dubai almost went bust. China is currently the biggest builder of skyscrapers, the bank said. India also has 14 skyscrapers under construction.

“Often the world’s tallest buildings are simply the edifice of a broader skyscraper building boom, reflecting a widespread misallocation of capital and an impending economic correction,” Barclays Capital analysts said.

The bank noted that the world’s first skyscraper, the Equitable Life building in New York, was completed in 1873 and coincided with a five-year recession.

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China’s Abandoned Fake Disneyland

CHINA/Just outside of Beijing lies a skeletal shell of paradise...sometimes I feel as if we're all living in an abandoned fake Disneyland. Via Architizer:
Construction on “Wonderland” began in 1998 with the intention of building the largest amusement park in Asia...The project was scrapped. A strange landscape of half-built structures amid corn fields and cracked pavement. The park is strewn with fragments of anachronistic landmarks, anchored by an unfinished fairytale castle whose inchoate construction dissolves into the smog.
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Mexico City’s 65-Story Inverted Skyscraper

earthscraper-11The Earthscraper is a conceptual design for a see-through 82,000-square-foot inverted pyramid proposed to be built underneath Mexico City. With space already filled in the world’s major cities, will the future be about building downwards? Via Ecomagination:

Earthscraper may have burst the bounds of the architectural world because it has taken a truly new approach to escalating megacity problems like planning for population growth, curbing sprawl, preserving open space, and conserving energy and water.

The inverted pyramid’s next 10 stories are intended for retail space, followed by 10 stories of apartments. The structure’s deepest, tapering 35 floors are pegged for office space. The interior design concept also incorporates a system of gardens occurring roughly every 10 stories, to help generate fresh air.

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The Georgia Guidestones

Available now in audio book, eBook and paperback from Disinformation Books. Read the first chapter on Scribd. More info at the official website www.guidestones.us:

The Georgia Guidestones are a collection of standing stones near Elberton, Georgia. Built in 1980, they are primarily composed of six slabs of granite: one central pillar, four “major” stones that fan out from the center, and a capstone. The capstone has engravings on all four of its sides in four different ancient languages, all of which read, “Let these be guidestones to an Age of Reason,” when translated. The major stones are each engraved on both sides, and each side contains text in one of eight modern languages asserting ten guidelines.

These guidelines have proven extremely controversial, causing speculation and rumors of conspiracy that go far beyond northeast Georgia.

The Georgia Guidestones are at once a Rosetta Stone, an astronomical observatory, and a road map for rebuilding civilization.

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A Nation Of Places Not Worth Caring About

The immersive ugliness of our everyday environments in America is entropy made visible. We can't overestimate the amount of despair we are generating with places like this...the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world...there's not enough Prozac in the world to make people feel okay about going down [these] blocks." In a classic TED talk, James Kunstler tears apart the architecture and public space design of post-World War II America, with pictorial examples of egregiously dismal cases, and explains why the suburbs are a sham:
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