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Building and Construction

— Architecture

The Friend House ecohotel brings sustainable design to the Ukraine

By - April 17, 2012 23 Pictures
Nature (and its preservation) evidently played a major role in the unusual design of the Friend House, an innovative ecohotel situated on the banks of the Ukraine's Orel River, a tributary of the Dnieper. Actually in development for a number of years, the single story structure sits on 7.4 acres (3 hectares) of forested land about 19 miles (30 km) from the large city of Dnipropetrovs'k. Constructed exclusively of what its designers call "ecologically harmless" materials - clay, reed, wood and stone - this eye-catching edifice is also a contender for the World Architecture News (WAN) Awards 2012 Hotel of the Year. Read More
— Architecture

The Carapace – first building design by famous Italian artist Arnaldo Pomodoro

Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro, who created the famous "Sphere Within Sphere" located at the Vatican, has constructed his first-ever architectural sculpture. Titled “The Carapace,” the structure reflects its name by taking on the shape of a tortoise shell. The building, which will be inaugurated this June, is located on the Castelbuono Estate in Umbria, Italy. It marks the first time that the Italian master has created a work on such a grand scale. Read More
— Children

Free Universal Construction Kit connects LEGO to K'Nex to Tinkertoy and more

By - March 27, 2012 8 Pictures
If you ever had more than one type of toy for building things as a child (LEGO, Tinkertoys, Duplo, etc.), odds are you tried to mix the sets together at some point with creative, though disastrous, results. Apparently the folks at F.A.T. Lab and Sy-Lab had the same experience and have created the Free Universal Construction Kit to solve this childhood dilemma. By downloading free designs and using a 3D printer, you could have your very own pieces to connect ten different brands of building toys to each other and construct even more elaborate contraptions and structures. Read More
— Architecture

IBA_Dock: The green, floating building

By - March 25, 2012 4 Pictures
Germany’s IBA stands for “Internationale Bauausstellung,” which translates as international building exhibition. But the IBA_Hamburg site located on the Elbe islands of Hamburg isn’t just a place to showcase buildings, it also serves as a seven-year real-time research and development project aimed at delivering CO2-neutral city development. Central to the site is the IBA information center, known as the IBA_Dock, which is constructed upon a floating pontoon and integrates numerous renewable energy technologies. Read More
— Good Thinking

Delta Shelter provides almost indestructible living space

By - March 13, 2012 14 Pictures
What do you do when you want to build a worry-free home on land that also happens to be a 100-year flood plain? If you're smart, you'll do what the owner of Delta Shelter did and have Olson Kundig Architects build you a metal fortress to withstand the elements in style. The compact 1,000 sq ft (93 sq m) steel-walled hideaway with a footprint of only 200 sq ft (18.6 sq m) looks ready to handle whatever the Washington wilderness can throw at it - even, perhaps, a 1,000-year flood. Read More
— Good Thinking

D-Shape 3D printer can print full-sized houses

By - February 24, 2012 8 Pictures
The growing popularity of 3D printers, such as the Printbot or MakerBot's Thing-o-Matic, testify to the fact that additive manufacturing is slowly entering the mainstream. The devices are now small enough to fit on a desk and they can make all sorts of stuff, such as toys, chess figures, or spare door knobs. But what if you want to make something slightly bigger - say, a house? Then you need to turn to Enrico Dini, the founder of Monolite UK and the inventor of the D-Shape "robotic building system." Read More
— Architecture

UK's first amphibious house becomes a "free-floating pontoon”

By - February 20, 2012 9 Pictures
For the first time in the UK an “amphibious” home has been granted full planning permission and is set to be built on the banks of the River Thames in Buckinghamshire. The residential home designed by Baca Architects is an architectural feat that overcomes the threat of flooding by becoming a “free-floating pontoon” during a flood situation. “In an extreme flood, a 1 in 100 year event, the house can rise over 2.5 meters [8.2 feet],” Richard Coutts, director of Baca Architects told Gizmag. Read More
— Architecture

Innovative "lucky coin" building under way in China

By - February 19, 2012 12 Pictures
By this time next year, a walk along the Pearl River in Guangzhou, China, will come with an unusual bonus: a view of the completed Guangdong Plastics Exchange research center/warehouse. Far from being just another boxy building, this unique, 1 billion yuan (US$159 million) edifice is patterned after objects the Cantonese traditionally associate with luck and good fortune. One thing's for certain - at 138 meters (453 feet) in height, with a 47 meter (154 foot) diameter hole in the center, this is one landmark that will be difficult to miss. Read More
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