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Structure

The new fuel station and McDonald’s is located in the seaside city of Batumi, Georgia

Designing a fuel station and fast food outlet may not seem to be the most thrilling of projects, but for Georgian architect Giorgi Khmaladze, his design may just put the Eurasian town of Batumi on the map. Khmaladze is currently in the final construction phase of building a new fuel station and McDonald’s premises in the seaside city of Batumi, Georgia.  Read More

Charles Wright Architects have created a unique visitor center in Cairns, Queensland which...

Australian firm Charles Wright Architects has created a unique visitor center in Cairns, Queensland which was inspired by the science-fiction film Predator. The center’s facade features a series of reflective glass panels which almost resemble some sort of armor, while at the same time reflecting the surrounding botanical garden landscape.  Read More

The Bastard Hogberry was one of the inspirations for the color-changing fibers

Materials scientists at Harvard University and the University of Exeter have invented a new class of polymer fibers that change color when stretched. As is often seen in nature, the color is not the result of pigments, but rather comes from the interference of light within the multilayered fiber. Inspired by Margaritaria nobilis – also known as the Bastard Hogberry – the new fibers may lead to new forms of sensors, and possibly to smart fabrics whose color changes as the fabric is stretched, squeezed, or heated.  Read More

Roost and Inhabit are both designed to blend fully into their natural surroundings

An increasing number of homes are being built to blend in with their location more fully and offer a way of life in tune with nature. However, two concept homes designed by Antony Gibbon go further than this, by promising a comfortable and elegant dwelling which doesn’t just blend in, but almost becomes part of the local surroundings.  Read More

A multipurpose Hobbit Hole that can be used as a playhouse, or a storage shed for gardenin...

The Hobbit is a story that has endured for more than seven decades, with children and adults alike drawn into the fantasy realm created by J.R.R Tolkien. Thanks to Peter Jackson, who previously brought The Lord Of The Rings to the big screen, a whole new generation of fans is likely to be created. Reading the book and watching the movies is one thing, but having your own real-life Hobbit Hole in the back garden is quite another ... one that's now possible thanks to Wooden Wonders.  Read More

Taghkanic House at dusk (Photo: T. Phifer and Partners)

What do you do if your client wants a glass house but is also afraid of thunderstorms? If you are award-winning architect Thomas Phifer, you design Taghkanic House on a 200 acre (81-hectare) plot in New York's Hudson Valley. Presently for sale at US$6.75 million (or with an additional 150 acres/60.7 hectares for US$8.5 million), the house is cleverly designed to combine openness and security.  Read More

Vignettes from the Hubble Ultra Deep Field image. 'Space is big. You just won't believe ho...

In mankind's attempts to gain some understanding of this marvelous place in which we live, we have slowly come to accept some principles to help guide our search. One such principle is that the Universe, on a large enough scale, is homogeneous, meaning that one part looks pretty much like another. Recent studies by a group of Australian researchers have established that, on sizes greater than about 250 million light years (Mly), the Universe is indeed statistically homogeneous, thereby reinforcing this cosmological principle.  Read More

Sneeoosh Cabin at twilight (Photo: Zeroplus Architects)

The best cabins have an special aura – separate from civilization without roughing it, and immersed in nature without drowning therein. Cabins that hit this precise balance must be designed and built in harmony with their surroundings. Sneeoosh Cabin is such a place, built on a wooded shoreline in the beautiful fjords of Puget Sound in Washington state. Located within the Snohomish Indian Reservation, this modern cabin combines a glass-enclosed great room with stunning views of the woods, the waters, and the Olympic mountains in the distance with a sleeping loft whose comfort, quiet, and darkness insure a night of the soundest sleep.  Read More

Hill House is an urban family home in Melbourne that appears as if it is riding a wave of ...

Australian architect Andrew Maynard has come up with an unorthodox approach to capturing the sun in winter and excluding it in the summer. One of his latest creations, Hill House, is an urban family home in Melbourne that appears as if it is riding a wave of grass. The family home extension has been built upon the footprint of what once had been the back yard, without obstructing or losing the original building. Seemingly perched above a rolling hill, the new building faces the sun and the box-shaped structure above acts as a passive solar eave, cutting out summer sun, while letting the winter sun flood in.  Read More

SmartShell is a wooden structure that uses hydraulic drives to compensate for structural l...

When things like bridges or stadium roofs are built, they’re designed to withstand not just the stress that they will experience on a frequent basis, but also the maximum stress loads that they’ll only be subjected to once in a while – these could take the form of things like snowfalls or wind storms. This means that much of the heavy, costly materials that the structures are made of will only occasionally prove necessary. Researchers from the University of Stuttgart, however, have come up with an alternative. They’ve designed a lightweight structure that actively adapts to increased loads via built-in hydraulics.  Read More

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