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.
Tag Archives | Architecture
The 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 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.
Gawker says what we’re all thinking (aside from the architects perhaps):
“AAAAAGH! YOU HAVE ERECTED A TERRIFYING MONUMENT TO THE NIGHTMARES OF 9/11!!!” was probably not the reaction that Seoul-based Yongsan Dream Hub corporation had in mind when they unveiled their plans today for an ambitious new construction project: Two high-rises connected by a “pixelated cloud” structure that, tragically, calls to mind the kinds of images you don’t really want to call to mind when looking at a new set of twin towers…
Full story at Gawker.
Inhabitat takes a tour of Europe’s historic churches built out of bones, including Poland’s Czermna Chapel below. Why was this a recurring trend? Either because clergy and architects imagined that vast, towering walls comprised of human remains would put people in the right humble mindset, or they simply were short on building materials yet had loads of human skulls handy.
Bodies from victims of the Thirty Years’ War and the Silesian Wars adorn the Czermna Chapel in Poland. Built in 1176 by a local priest, bones surround visitors on the walls, and stretching in skull and crossbones over the ceiling- only they are real bones and not pirate décor. Builders of the chapel are especially honored- their skills can be found in the center of the chapel and placed on the altar.
For years, it has been reported that standard homesizes (with the US being the glaring exception) are shrinking. How small is too small? And what is the relationship between liveable space, architecture, community, and sustainability? In this article from the Independent, RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) “slams” the (non) architectural standards of suburban house building.
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Architects have criticised the “shameful shoe-box homes” being built in Britain today, saying many are too small for family life. Research by the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) found the floor area of the average new three-bedroom home in the UK is 88 sq m, some 8 sq m short of the recommended space.
One-bedroom properties, at an average of 46 sq m, are 4 sq m smaller than the recommended size, the Case For Space study found. This is the equivalent of a single bed, a bedside table and a dressing table with a stool, the report said.
Normally architects organize space to make the experience as efficient as possible. At IKEA though, however, the (almost 'urban') designers deliberately set out to confuse people. See this phenomenon analyzed [with] various (heat)maps, 3D reconstructions and other illustrations, in a talk (the IKEA case in starts at the 24:30 mark), by Alan Penn (University College London). The presentation focuses on how architects use space to sell things, by demonstrating how space creates patterns of movement, bringing people into contact with goods. It starts off with how spatial quality influences spatial behavior, which is then applied on urban environments, retail and shopping spaces in general.
Architecture and design made specifically to control and easily subdue populations is nothing new; architects and urban planners have long recognised the inherent ability of design to affect mood, temperament, and even the physical and social properties of people. Prison design is one such exercise that directly engages the dialogue between space and social control. Via Web Urbanist :
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Should architecture be used as a punishment in itself, made as harsh and cruel as possible in a bid to make inmates sorry for what they’ve done, or should it uplift and rehabilitate them, showing them that there’s more to the world than a life of crime?
While some architects boycott prison design altogether so as not to participate in what is often seen as a corrupt and immoral system, others produce (often controversial) designs that revolutionize prisoners’ relationships with their environment, each other and the world at large – for better or worse.
The landscape of our post-recession country is littered with the carcasses of abandoned malls — fallen, ghostly temples of twentieth-century consumerism and suburbia. In an interesting two-year-old piece, Design Observer wonders what to do with them. Utopian schemes from wild-eyed planners abound:
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Dead malls, according to Deadmalls.com, are malls whose vacancy rate has reached the tipping point; whose consumer traffic is alarmingly low; are “dated or deteriorating”; or all of the above. A May 2009 article in The Wall Street Journal, “Recession Turns Malls into Ghost Towns,” predicts that the dead-mall bodycount “will swell to more than 100 by the end of this year.” Dead malls are a sign of the times, victims of the economic plague years.
The multitiered, fully enclosed mall (as opposed to the strip mall) has been the Vatican of shiny, happy consumerism since it staked its claim on the crabgrass frontier — and the public mind — in postwar America.