When you design a city around a car, you end up with a sprawl — just look at Los Angeles or Houston. The architects at SOM are designing a green-minded city for China that will still let cars in, but the focus of the city is such that you won't really even need one, even if you're traveling all over China.
The Kingdom Tower, the world's largest tower planned hasn't even had its foundation laid down yet and it's already going to have to surrender its record to the new Azerbaijan Tower that will be built in Azerbaijan's capital Baku.
Come 2014, the world's tallest building — the Ghost Protocol-famous Burj Khalifa — will no longer be able to also claim that it has the world's fastest elevators. That honor will go to the Shanghai Tower in China, which will stand 2,073 feet with 128 floors, and have bullet-shaped elevators built by Mitsubishi that zip around as fast as cars.
Austrian architecture firm SOMA has this radical design for the skyline of a city in Taiwan: the "Multiple Natures" fibrous tower, a 1,080-foot spire that twists up into bulbous pods from a base of eight support stalks. Believe it or not, the concept isn't as far-fetched as it looks up front, either.
Twisted steel columns somehow manage to reflect an open, airy base as they rise 1000 feet into the sky, holding a forest garden. The ambitious architectural design, though made of modern material will mimic the look of a classic Taiwanese Banyan tree forest rising above the cityscape.
I'm not entirely sure what Tron does for a living. Plays video games and rides expensive motorcycles, I guess. And if I were Tron, I'd insist on a working environment like this one.
Yaohua Wang Architecture's single-family "Beijing House II" can only be described as alien. Its organic-like structure and the fact that it looks like some kind of Matrix machine of war from another galaxy smashed into the side of a building makes it all the more stimulating.
If you ever thought it would be cool to work in a place that looked like the sets in 2001: A Space Odyssey or Star Trek, then it's time to move to Atlanta and get a job with The SuperGroup. Working in their offices must be as close to working on Discovery One or the USS Enterprise as you're likely to get.
Modern engineering techniques have given architects the freedom to go absolutely nuts as they run around cities and towns experimenting with all manner of crazy new structures. Like any artists given access to a wholly new set of artistic tools, the line between aesthetic choice and horrible mishap can prove somewhat fuzzy at first glance. Here we present some truly amazing buildings from around the world that — at first impression — appear to have either 1) suffered a big "uh-oh don't tell the foreman" moment in the construction process, or 2) come into contact with a devastating natural calamity. These are the amazing architectural mistakes that weren't. (Note: while there's a whole world of crazy buildings for the public attraction industry — we're specifically looking at architectural techniques used in everyday buildings that may/will slowly find their way into everyday use.)
Meet Lucasfilm Animation's new Sandcrawler offices. You may remember seeing it back in April when it was all just a blurry render. New details have trickled out and surprisingly, the office building with the 100-seat theater and state-of-the-art digital production facilities only looks like a Sandcrawler from one angle. Peak on throughout he other side, and it's a whole different story.