With all of the focus on digital books these days, it's easy to forget that so much of the world's collective knowledge is still only available from good old fashioned paper books. This public library aims to spice up the image of the dusty old archives by making it into a place you'll want to visit.
Like Apple's iconic cube-shaped Fifth Avenue store, Santambrogio's cube house overdoses on the glass with style. That's not the only striking feature of this glass house: it's got glass stairs, glass furniture and lots of glassware inside. Better be careful!
Did you think Christian Schallert's "tiny" 258 square-foot apartment was cramped? Wait until you get a load of Bo Le-Mentzal's 10 square-foot (one square-meter) box house. It's the most barebones house ever created and could be the world's smallest one, too.
Beyond the athletes from nations worldwide, the Olympics also bring out the world's most talented architectural designs. Beijing had its Bird's Nest and now London has the Coca-Cola Beatbox, a building that can be played like an instrument triggered by gestures, touches and movements.
We were impressed by the guts it took to knockoff an Apple Store, but this time the Chinese have definitely raised the bar on "recreating" originals. China has successfully cloned an entire village, recreating the scenic village of Hallstatt, Austria in a location of the same name about one hour outside of Huizhou in the Guangdong Province.
Borrowing the shape of the long, twisting bodies of China's iconic dragons, "Sity" is a building concept we're still trying to wrap our heads around. It's designed to snake through a swathe of Shanghai and includes a man-made river and park underneath it. While the structure looks impossible to navigate, the designers have actually put some thought into how you could live and work in this thing, too.
Here in California, there are huge tracts of land so desolate that nobody in their right mind would ever want to live there. Commonly known as "Fresno,"* these areas might be made slightly more palatable with the inclusion of hyper-modern eco-friendly prefab housing like the this design, called California Roll.
Several millennia from now, future archeologists will excavate through to our level of Earth strata and brush aside the layers of cigarette butts and Capri Sun pouches to uncover the remains of an architecturally schizophrenic civilization. These future Indiana Joneses will be forced to reconcile the lives of an ancient people who left behind humble, mostly square-shaped dwellings, but also erected gigantic asymmetrical behemoths that defy the very laws of physics and practicality. Were these towering multi-planed dwellings from the third millennium a tribute to some ancient war god, a misguided attempt to harness the Earth's magic, or just a terrible mess of engineering? Perhaps they will never know. Here we present 14 designs for brain-meltingly unique buildings from around the world that will be coming to a cityscape near you.
The beauty about Hong Kong's modern landscape is that it's an architect's dreamland for vanguard design. Nearly all of the city's new structures sprouting up are very untraditional. Naturally, the world's largest underground high-speed rail station is also filled with character.
This is the Phare Tower — also known as the Lighthouse Tower — a skyscraper designed by an American architecture firm for Paris's La Défense business district, which is already home to some pretty interesting architecture. One glance at this thing suggests it'll fit in just fine, as it's sporting quite a crazy design itself.