The Cloud is coming to London for the 2012 Olympics

Posted by on November 15th, 2009

From the BBC:

A giant “digital cloud” that would “float” above London’s skyline has been outlined by an international team of architects, artists and engineers.

The construction would include 120m- (400ft-) tall mesh towers and a series of interconnected plastic bubbles that can be used to display images and data.

The Cloud, as it is known, would also be used an observation deck and park.

Its designers plan to raise the funds to build it by asking for micro-donations from millions of people.

“It’s really about people coming together to raise the Cloud,” Carlo Ratti, one of the architects behind the design from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) told BBC News.

“We can build our Cloud with £5m or £50m. The flexibility of the structural system will allow us to tune the size of the Cloud to the level of funding that is reached.”

The different spheres would act as structural elements, habitable spaces, decoration and LCD screens on which data could be projected.

We could provide a custom feed of… searches made by Londoners during the Olympics to give a real time ‘barometer’ of the city’s interests and mood,” said Google, one of the supporters of the project, which has also offered to provide the information feeds.

The structure would also be used to harvest all the energy it produces according to Professor Ratti.

“It would be a zero power cloud,” he said.

As well as solar cells on the ground and inside some of the spheres, the lifts would use regenerative braking, similar to that in some hybrid cars.

That way, the designers say, potential energy from visitors to the top of the tower can be harnessed into useful electricity.

Way up to the Light

Posted by on October 12th, 2009

Via EXurban’s photostream.

A View from Beyond

Posted by on September 28th, 2009

Via’s photostream.

Hot Nightclub Designs

Posted by on September 23rd, 2009

Nightclubs designed by Alexa Nice:

“Cloudland’s interior design almost defies description. [It's] like a film set for a futuristic Garden of Eden, operating as an architecturally brave bar, restaurant and function space. Patrons are visually stunned by: 5,000 plants climbing and sprawling over a 14-metre interior wall; a 10-metre waterfall; a solid hand-carved ‘China white’ marble bar; and a glass bar made from 19,000 glass balls threaded by hand.”

Gorgeous! Words and photos from

Ryugyong Hotel – Ziggurat of North Korea

Posted by on September 15th, 2009


The Ryugyong Hotel was named after the historic name for Pyongyang, “capital of willows”.. more like a pyramid that would be every skater’s dream, it towers over the city of Sojang-dong; the whole country in fact.

Construction of the ambitious project began in 1987.. went on for five years but ceased due to lack of funds, electricity and building materials. It was abandoned for 16 years, but construction resumed in 2008 and the hotel is now being readied to open its doors in 2012 for the 100th anniversary of Kim II Sung’s birth. With 360,000 sq m (3,900,000 sq ft) of floor space and 105 stories, it would be the world’s tallest hotel. It is currently the world’s 28th tallest building.

Just one of The Tallest Abandoned Structures on Earth.

Sydney by Night

Posted by on September 10th, 2009

From Gregory Bastien’s flickr stream, my favorite version of the shot.

London gets more science-fictional with The Shard

Posted by on August 28th, 2009

London, England.. soon to be home to a city within a city, thanks to The Shard.

As Inhabitat describe it:

The 72-storey building in the London Bridge Quarter will contain premium office space, a world-class hotel, luxury residences, a spa, restaurants & cafes, retail space and a 15-storey public viewing gallery. On the ground level, public piazza, restaurants and cafes will be open to the public with places to rest and changing art installations. Access to public transportation via bus line, train and underground will be directly on site.

How very pretty and science-fictional is that cityscape?  And for once this isn’t design-pr0n, they’ve actually started construction on it.  Of course, whether they finish it is another thing entirely.  Worst case, future-London gets a 72-storey squelette.

The Chemical Pools of Osarizawa Mine

Posted by on August 23rd, 2009

Beautiful photos of the Osarizama Mine, taken by Michael John Grist. Here’s a video given a close up view:

Thanks to VertigoJones for the link!

Beetle Shell Ceiling

Posted by on August 18th, 2009

Heaven of Delight, a fantastic ceiling art created in four months using 1.6 million beetle shells:

The beetles:

The patterns:

The ceiling:

From, via with photos from

Berlin Central Station II

Posted by on July 24th, 2009

Not the train station at Heavenside, but:

Via’s photostream.

Tunnel Digging as a Hobby

Posted by on June 22nd, 2009

Far from a Apocalypse Bunker, a Smithsonian employee builds a tunnel structure beneath his house in the 1930s as a way to relax his eyes from hours staring through the microscope. Via

Thanks to LBA for the link!

Downtown View

Posted by on June 5th, 2009


All Around

Posted by on June 2nd, 2009

Via EXurban’s photostream .

Louvre Abu Dhabi

Posted by on May 26th, 2009

From LATimes:

Today, construction officially began on the cultural complex on the Persian Gulf city-state’s Saadiyat Island. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi, presided over the ceremony.

Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, the civic area will span 260,000 square feet and comprise  pavilions, plazas, canals and alleyways. (About 65,000 square feet will be dedicated to exhibitions.) A dome 590 feet in diameter will hover over much of the complex.

thanks for the tip-off b1ndychld!

Zeche Hugo (De)

Posted by on May 22nd, 2009

Showcasing an abandoned colliery:

These cages are called Kaue. It was used by the miners to put their clothes, shoes and private belongings in. They could lever the cage by a chain, and lock it. Each chain had its unique number, counting up to 4700 and more. Gives you an idea of the size of this place.

Impressive and surreal scenery. I’ve never seen anything like it before.

Words and picture via suspiciousminds flickrstream.

Future Sea Cities

Posted by on May 21st, 2009

Not designed to be built, but interesting to look at:

Intentionally or not, it’s a fitting name–”Refusion”–for a winning example of a futuristic homesteading concept based on refusal: refusal to be constrained by established governments or social mores or even by the fundamental desire for solid ground underfoot.

People’s-choice award winner in a design competition for “seasteads”–oil rig-like, sovereign settlements in international waters–this proposed research facility by a group of Las Vegas-based 3-D artists includes “a number of environmental systems, such as greenhouses and renewable energy sources, which would enable absolute independence,” according to a Team 3DA statement. “The aesthetic that emerged from this realization became influenced by a mixture of organic and mechanical systems operating in a symbiotic relationship.”

Photo and words via


Posted by on May 17th, 2009

Via Veronika von Volkova‘s flickr stream.

How to Print a Building

Posted by on May 7th, 2009

3-D printing, unlimited potential. Via

Decayed Mansion

Posted by on April 30th, 2009


Sky-Terra – cities in the skies

Posted by on April 23rd, 2009

From Inhabitat:

To cope with the growing need for green urban space, San Francisco-based designer Joanna Borek-Clement has envisioned these eye-popping Sky-Terra skyscrapers – not just a single building, but a network of interconnected towers that are inspired by the shape of neuron cells. This skyscraper superstructure provides a new city layer – one covered in public parks, amphitheaters, fields, and public pools and bathhouses.