Friday, October 21, 2011

The Patient Gardener

Visiondivision was invited as guest professors by Politecnico di Milano for their week-long workshop MIAW2.
The workshop, playing with the metaphor of forests, aimed to generate new visions to explain the contemporary and immediate future ways of being in the spirit of green design, resilience, recycling, and ethical consciousness.
Our intention with our project was to construct a study retreat at the campus with patience as the main key for the design. If we can be patient with the building time we can reduce the need for transportation, waste of material and different manufacturing processes, simply by helping nature grow in a more architectonic and useful way. The final result can be enjoyed at Politecnico di Milano in about 60 years from now.

Treetop level perspective

Ground level perspective

Initial sketch for workshop - section and project evolution

Plan ground level & treetop level

Initial sketch for workshop - ground level

During the workshop we gave nature all the guidance and directions to help it grow into useful structures and objects.
There are different methods and tools to guide and control the growth of trees and plants; bending, twisting, pruning, grafting, braiding, weaving and to control the amount of water and light the trees get are just some examples of these.
We used almost all of these techniques in our creation, which involved creating a structural system for the building and also stairs and furnitures, all made out of trees, plants or grass.

Project components - structure, some of the furnitures and the stairs

Different techniques for guiding the trees

Our structural frame for this project became ten japanese cherry trees that was planted in a circle with a diameter of eight meters with a six meter high temporary wood structure in the center that is acting as a guidance tower for the growing structure.
The trees were planted with an equal spacing from each other, except for four of them that became two pairs of stairs to the future upper level.
The cherry trees was ideal to plant at that time of year and also had great features for achieving the desired structure.
Thin ropes were tied around the plants and were slightly bent towards the temporary tower.
As time passes the trees will form a dome when they reach the tower, and then designated by to change its direction so the final form will be an hourglass, a suiting shape for the project and also a very practical form as we now have two rooms with different modes in the building.

Planting the trees and initial guidance of the stairs

Tree guidance and stairs

The temporary tower for guiding the building

The temporary tower and growth diagram

The small branches on the plants that will grow into stairs are guided with wires to each other and will hopefully be useful later on. The rest of the stairs can later be grafted in the stair trees.
On the ground level we designed furniture out of grass, trees and plants.
There are a dining group consisting of a table with four chairs.
The chairs are plum trees where one sit at the lowest fork and the branches are guided into canopies so the future visitor can sit in the chair while at the same time eating delicious fruits.

The dining furnitures; four plum trees and a hedra table

The table is made out of slender wooden pieces with strings in the structure, which forms a skeleton where hedras can grow and later take over the structure completely.
A comfortable chair made out of grass are located on the other side of the ground floor.
The grass chair is put together with the use of a custom made cardboard structure, shaped for maximal relaxation and that is painted with a protection coating and that is later filled with soil on site and draped with grass.

'The grass armchair with the structural cardboard frame

A grass puff is also made and placed in the tower where the floor of the upper level will be.
The puff is a big potato bag filled with straw, soil, fertilizer and grass seed.
An organic rope is placed with a third of its length inside the bag, and the bag is later sewn together.
The rest of the rope is placed in water so the puff gets water and will later be covered in grass, so when the trees finally reaches this level and becomes the floor, it will already be furnished.

The puff - soil, straw, grass seed and rope in a potato bag

Together with the students we worked out a maintenance plan and instructions to future gardeners that is simple enough to actually work.
On the structure, we instructed that a pattern of wood will be grafted in, leaving two spaces between the trees as entries/exits and the rest is closed in ornamental patterns with branches.
On the upper level which is reached by the two staircases with exquisite handrails, is different fruit trees grafted into the cherry trees so the visitor can have a variety of fruits while relaxing in the canopy. Branches are also grafted in for security reasons between the tree trunks.
In about 80 years from now the Politecnico di Milano campus will have a fully grown building and the students will hopefully have proud grandchildren that can tell the story of the project for their friends and family.

General view of fully grown project

Upper level and ground level of fully grown structure

The end of the workshop and the beginning of

The team

Many thanks to our excellent students:

Rachele Albini
Giada Albonico
Jacopo Biasio
Sara Caramaschi
Elisa Carraro
Desislava Dimitrova
Cristina Gatti
Elisa Gulino
Mariya Hasamova
Nina Mikhailova
Ottavia Molatore
Joao Molinar
Azadeh Moradiasr
Mohyedin Navabzadeh Navabi
Giuseppe Maria Palermo
Riccardo Somaini
Bogdan Stojanovic

and thanks to the curators:

Oscar Bellini
Laura Daglio

and the organizers:

Luca Maria Francesco Fabris

Efisia Cipolloni

and all the other people at Politecnico di Milano that we came in contact with during the workshop.

See you in 60 years from now.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

VD Guide XII

The VD Guide XII gives you an interesting selecion of projects and phenomenon around the world.
Pharaoic machines, crafty animals, magic tricks and avant-garde pavilions are just some of the things you will see in this packed guide.
If you are holding on to an impressive piece that hasn't been featured yet, feel free to drop us a line (
As always, enjoy!
/the vd team

Hotel Iveria - A luxury hotel turned into a refugee camp
Birth: Built in 1967, turned into a refugee camp in 1990 and then made into a hotel in 2004 again
Location: Tblisi, Georgia
Architect: O. Kalandarashvili
VD says: A great story and an impressive visual result

The Iveria Hotel is a hotel in the city center of Tbilisi located on Rose Revolution Square. The hotel was built in 1967 as the premier luxury hotel of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic and was named Hotel Iveria after the ancient kingdom of Iveria. As a result of the war in Abkhazia the hotel became a refugee camp housing more than 800 refugees. In 2004 the refugees were removed from the hotel and offered $7000 per room. The hotel was renovated and in 2009 reopened as the Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel.


Nasa Crawler - Huge vehicle/building that moves the NASA's space shuttles
Birth: 1981
Location: Florida, USA
Architect: Marion Power Shovel & NASA
VD says: Wonderful, especially with a space shuttle on top.

NASA's Crawler-Transporters are the largest tracked vehicles in existence.
Although the crawlers pack over 5,000 horsepower, their top speed is less than two kilometers per hour when fully loaded. Eleven people are needed to drive a single crawler.
Diesel fuel mileage is about 350 liters per kilometer.
The crawler's function is to move NASA's space shuttles, complete with launch platforms, from the Assembly Building to the Launch Pad at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA.
Two of these massive machines have operated since the Apollo era and have now crawled over 4,000 kilometers, all the while keeping their contents perfectly upright.


Moses splits the Red Sea - Moses miraculously manage to split the Red Sea so the Israelites could pass dry and unharmed
Birth: 1000 BC
Location: Red Sea
Architect: Moses
VD says: Perhaps the greatest trick in the book

“And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and Jehovah caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all the night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left” (Exodus 14:21-22).


Cormorant Islands - Wasteland looking islands due to bird shit
Birth: A long time ago
Location: Stockholm Archipelago, Sweden
Architect: The Cormorants
VD says: Always interesting with animals that changes their surrounding habitat

The cormorants nests in colonies, often with other species. The colonies usually cover between 10-500 pairs, and in extreme cases up to 1000 pairs. The habitats, which consists of seaweed and sticks, is placed on steep rock ledges or in trees. Cormorants lay 3-4 eggs which are whitish, without spots, and is relatively small.
Cormorants droppings consist largely of caustic ammonia, which makes it difficult for vegetation near cormorant colony to survive. Cormorants takes often completely over small islands where it settles down. It is easy to recognize these islands on the dead trees with large black birds, and the lack of other vegetation.


Tianzi Hotel - A hotel in the form of three old men
Birth: Around 2000
Location: Hebei Province, China
Architect: Unknown
VD says: Try the peach suite next time your in the area

To begin, this incredible hotel seems to have a few different names depending on what you read, as far as I can tell it has been known as: Tianzi Hotel, The Emperor Hotel and the Son Of Heaven Hotel. The hotel is located in Hebei Province and built some time around 2000/2001, The building is 10 storeys/41.6m high and was designed to represent Fu Lu Shou (good fortune, prosperity and longevity). The hotel won a Guiness World Record for being the world's 'biggest image building'.
Finally, you'll notice that Shou, the man on the left as you face the hotel, is holding what is apparently a peach. That peach is actually a suite within the hotel, the two holes in its front being windows.


Montreal Biosphere - Buckys largest realization of his geodesic spheres
Birth: 1967
Location: Montreal, Canada
Architect: Buckminster Fuller
VD says: A great architect and nice that his theories came into practice

The building originally formed an enclosed structure of steel and acrylic cells, 76 metres in diameter and 62 metres high. The dome is a Class 1, Frequency 16, Icosahedron. A complex system of shades was used to control the internal temperature.
Visitors had access to four large theme platforms divided into seven levels. The building included a 37-metre-long escalator, the longest ever built at the time.
In the afternoon of the 20 May 1976, during structural renovations,a fire burned away the building's transparent acrylic bubble, but the steel truss structure remained.The site remained closed until 1990.

Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller (July 12, 1895 – July 1, 1983 was an American engineer, systems theorist, author, designer, inventor, futurist and second president of Mensa International, the high IQ society.
Fuller published more than 30 books, inventing and popularizing terms such as "Spaceship Earth", ephemeralization, and synergetics. He also developed numerous inventions, mainly architectural designs, the best known of which is the geodesic dome. Carbon molecules known as fullerenes were later named by scientists for their resemblance to geodesic spheres.


Goat Tower - Vertical housing for goats
Birth: 1981
Location: Fairview, South Africa
Architect: Charles Back
VD says: A superb idea

The Goat Tower at Fairview Wine and Cheese farm is a landmark in the Paarl winelands of South Africa. It is the first of four documented structures of this kind. The Goat Tower was built in 1981 by Fairview owner Charles Back and has become the farm's most identifiable symbol and aspect of their brand.Fairview has more than 750 Saanen goats on their farm, the milk from which is used to produce a range of cheeses under the farm's label. A select group of these goats have the privilege of living in the tower.


Wrapped Coast - A complete wrapping of a coastal landscape
Birth: 1969 Death: 1969
Location: Little Bay, Australia
Architect: Christo and Jeanne-Claude
VD says: Simple idea and visually interesting

Little Bay, property of Prince Henry Hospital, is located 14.5 kilometres southeast of the centre of Sydney. The cliff-lined shore area that was wrapped is approximately 2.4 kilometres long, 46 to 244 metres wide, 26 metres high at the northern cliffs, and is at sea level at the southern sandy beach. 90 000 square metres of erosion-control fabric (a synthetic, woven fibre usually manufactured for agricultural purposes) was used for the wrapping, along with 56.3 kilometres of polypropylene rope, 3.8 centimetres in diameter. Ramset guns fired 25 000 charges of fasteners, threaded studs and clips to secure the rope to the rocks. Ninian Melville, a retired major in the Army Corps of Engineers, was in charge of the workers at the site. Over four weeks, it took more than 100 workers (including 15 professional mountain climbers) and 11 volunteers (architecture and art students from the University of Sydney and East Sydney Technical College) in excess of 17 000 hours to complete the work. Opened on 28 October 1969, many thousands of visitors travelled to the coastline to see the project during the weeks the coast was wrapped.


Niagara Falls - A great waterfall, enhanced with light effects by men
Birth: A long time ago and also enhanced in the 20th century
Location: Niagara Falls, Canada & USA
Architect: Earth, USA & Canada
VD says: A nice enhancement of an already superb sight.

The Niagara Falls, located on the Niagara River draining Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, is the collective name for the Horseshoe Falls and the adjacent American Falls, which combined form the highest flow rate of any waterfalls in the world and has a vertical drop of more than 50 meters. Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful waterfalls (vertical height along with flow rate) in North America.
The Niagara Falls are renowned both for their beauty and as a valuable source of hydroelectric power. Managing the balance between recreational, commercial, and industrial uses has been a challenge for the stewards of the falls since the 19th century.
Peak numbers of visitors occur in the summertime, when Niagara Falls are both a daytime and evening attraction. From the Canadian side, floodlights illuminate both sides of the falls for several hours after dark (until midnight). The number of visitors in 2009 was expected to top 28 million tourists a year.
The observation deck of the nearby Skylon Tower offers the highest overhead view of the falls, and in the opposite direction gives views as far as distant Toronto. Along with the Tower Hotel, it is one of two towers in Canada with a view of the falls.


Enghien Gardens - A spectacular park with different parts
Birth: 1620
Location: Enghien, Belgium
Architect: Le Père Charles de Bruxelles
VD says: A tour de force of landscape architecture

The famed Renaissance-Baroque garden configuration at Enghien, evolved during the 1620s to 1650s, guided by the elaborate landscape and architectural design choices of Le Père Charles de Bruxelles (Arenberg family member and architect). They were an amalgam of French and Italian influences. Elements were grouped around a central axis (French feature). They included formal parterres adorned with classical statuary, tree-lined avenues, an orangery, a large viewing mound (an Italian feature), a grand pavilion on an island surrounded by imitation bastions, an ornate sculptured fountain in the middle of a reservoir, a small terraced garden on an artificial island (another Italian feature), and a series of more traditional gardens surrounded by hedged tunnels.


Bagger 288 - world's largest land vehicle
Birth: 1978
Location: Currently in the mine Garzweiler, Germany
Architect: Thyssen Krupp
VD says: Kick ass on wheels

The Bagger 288 is the world's largest land vehicle an weighs in at 13,500 tons.
It was created by the German company Thyssen Krupp, in 1978 to work in the coal mine Tagebau Hambach in Germany. It took five years to build and had a cost of about $ 100 million. It has a height of about 95 meters and is 240 meters long. It has a maximum speed of 10 meters per minute (0.6 km / h) through 12 caterpillar tracks systems powered electrically. It takes five workers to operate, and can excavate about 240,000 tons of coal or 240,000 cubic meters of sterile daily.

In February 2001, the bagger 288 completed his work on Tagebau Hagbach mine, and was no longer necessary to use them. In three weeks, ran 22 kilometers, to the mine Garzweiler, crossing the motorway Autobahn 61, the river Erft, a rail line and several highways. The movement costs 15 million DM needing a team of 70 workers. The rivers were crossed placing large steel pipes for water to flow through them and providing stones and gravel on them to create a smooth surface. A turf special was planted on his way to soften the ground. Move the Bagger 288 in a piece is cheaper than disassemble and move it piece by piece.


Jindo Island Miracle - A phenomenon created by low tide, and has become a great festival
Birth: A long time ago
Location: Jindo Island, South Korea
Architect: Earth
VD says: A divine natural phenomenon

Jindo Island, in South Korea, is host to one of the world’s most amazing natural phenomenons, called the Moses Miracle. Two times a year, during a low tide, a land path 2.8 kilometers long and 40 meters wide is revealed, uniting the islands of Jindo and Modo for a period of one hour.
A festival is dedicated to this natural wonder and people from all around the world attend every year.
However the Moses Miracle was largely unknown until 1975, when a French ambassador visited South Korea and wrote about in a French Newspaper.
The legend behind this Korean phenomenon goes like this:
a Jindo village was attacked by tigers and all the villagers ran to Modo island for shelter. All, except for a helpless old woman who was left behind, out of despair she prayed to the Sea God, who split the sea and helped her escape the bloodthirsty animals.


Auroville - A hippie city in India
Birth: 1968
Location: Tamil Nadu, India
Architect: Roger Anger
VD says: Its always interesting to see what the hippies are up to

Auroville (City of Dawn) is an experimental township in Viluppuram district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India, near Puducherry in South India. It was founded in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa (called "The Mother" within Auroville) and designed by architect Roger Anger.
As stated in Alfassa's first public message about the township, "Auroville is meant to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realize human unity."


The vanishing of The Statue of Liberty - World's largest magic trick
Birth: 1983
Location: New York, USA
Architect: David Copperfield, Jim Steinmeyer and Don Wayne
VD says: A different approach to architecture

In 1983 on live television, the magician David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty seem to disappear. In the illusion, Copperfield raises a giant curtain on Liberty Island before lowering it again a few seconds later to reveal that the space where the statue once stood is now empty. A helicopter hovers overhead to give an aerial view of the illusion, and indeed the statue appears to have vanished and only the circle of lights surrounding the statue remain. To prove that it is really gone, Copperfield then passes two searchlights through the space where the statue stood, to show there is nothing blocking the way. A live audience sits in an enclosed viewing area, and most of the camera shots are from the same area.

Unknown to the audience, they (along with the home audience cameras) are seated on a large rotating stage. After the curtain is brought up to obscure the view, the stage is rotated into a new position overlooking empty water. The movement is very small as the statue is to be hidden behind one of the brightly lit towers. Moreover, the lights are extinguished from the Statue of Liberty, which now cannot be seen in the darkness. The helicopters fly into a new position while a second ring of lights, identical to the ones around the statue, are lit in the open water. The curtain is then lowered, allowing the audience to observe the empty ring of lights, completing the illusion.

Mr Copperfield also did other stunts that relates to architecture; for example he walked through The Great Wall of China and flew over Grand Canyon.
He also dated Claudia Schiffer.


Petra - Rock cut church
Birth: 6th century BC
Location: Petra, Jordan
Architect: Unknown
VD says: Masterful, even with today's standards

Petra meaning rock; is a historical and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma'an that is famous for its rock cut architecture and water conduits system. Established sometime around the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited tourist attraction.It lies on the slope of Mount Hor in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. Petra has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.


Dutch Pavillion 2000 - Layers of different landscapes
Birth: 2000
Location: Hannover, Germany
Architect: MVRDV
VD says: The stacked landscapes put into reality

From the architects site:
Nature arranged on many levels provides both an extension to existing nature and an outstanding symbol of its artificiality. It provides multi-level public space as an extension to existing public spaces. And even by arranging existing programs on many levels it provides yet more extra space, at ground level, for visibility and accessibility, for the unexpected, for “nature.” Dividing up the space in the Dutch entry and arranging it on multiple levels surrounds the building with spatial events and other cultural manifestations. The building becomes a monumental multi-level park. It takes on the character of a happening.


Mariendom - A concrete pilgrim church
Birth: 1963-72
Location: Neviges, France
Architect: Gottfried Böhm
VD says: A concrete endeavour

When a miraculous engraving in copperplate of the Immaculata was brought to Neviges in the seventeenth century, it became a pilgrimage center for the religious. Around 1960, the church decided that they wanted to construct a new building, starting a competition which would result in a new church amidst a Franciscan monastery and other late-baroque architecture. This led to a series of competitions, eventually won by architect Gottfried Böhm, although initially his design was not accepted as the judges thought it to be exaggerated and manneristic.
Even with the lack of other new architecture surrounding the pilgrims as they begin to approach the church, the facade of Mariendom humbles visitors just the same. With its jagged and furrowed mass, it remains as one of the most monumental manifestations of a modern church building as a casted crystal mountain. In the secular context of the culture during the designing and construction periods, the church offered a promise of safety.
The invariable nature of the extensive interior caves of both the main and lower churches, the chapel niches formed by jointless folds of concrete, the piers either free-standing or formed by the edges of the walls, and the folded sections illuminated only by small rooflights that peak just above the altar give a sense of protection to the pilgrims.


Devil's Garden - Patches of lemon trees surrounded by rainforest, all due to ants
Birth: A long time ago
Location: Amazon Rainforest
Architect: Lemon Ants
VD says: Highly coordinated and intelligent landscape alteration

In myrmecology and forest ecology, a devil's garden (Kichwa: Supay chakra,[1] Spanish: Jardin del Curupira) is a large stand of trees in the Amazon Rainforest consisting almost exclusively of a single species, Duroia hirsuta. Devil's gardens are immediately recognizable because the dominance of a single tree species is dramatically different from the biodiversity of the forest as a whole.

According to Deborah Gordon devil's gardens got their name because locals believed that an evil forest spirit Chullachaki (meaning "uneven foot, single foot" in Kichwa) lived in them.

The ant Myrmelachista schumanni creates devil's gardens by systematically poisoning all plants in the vicinity except D. hirsuta, the tree in which it nests. The ant poisons the plants by injecting formic acid into the base of the leaf. By killing other plants, the ant promotes the growth and reproduction of D. hirsuta which has hollow stems that provide nest sites for the ants; A single ant colony might have more than 3 million workers and 15,000 queens, and may persist for more than 800 years.Although the ants fend off herbivores, the size of the garden is restricted by leaf destruction increasing as it expands, as the ants are unable to defend the trees beyond a certain point.


L'Habitacles - Sculpturesque architecture
Birth: 1964-66
Location: Meudon, France
Architect: Andre Bloc
VD says: Nicely done

I can say that it is the sculpture that helped me understand the architecture and urbanism. This may be weird and surprising, yet true. "André Bloc, now No. 59-60, Special André Bloc, in December 1967.

Andrew Block (1895-1966) was first engineer and worked in a factory until he met in 1921 with Le Corbusier's influence and the fact that many look to the architecture.
Editor, in the beginning, technical journals, he was the founder of the indispensable magazine "L'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui" and "Art of Today" which brought him close to many artists and architects such as Frantz Jourdain, Henri Sauvage and Auguste Perret.
In the garden of his villa in Meudon, built in 1949 and where is the family for 20 years Seroussi, there are two "sculptures interiors": - The Habitacle No. 2 of 1964 - The Habitacle "The Tower" 1966
The whole house interiors and sculptures has been classified a historical monument in 1983 and is open to the public one day per month.


Tours Aillaud - Paris Projects with an artsy approach
Birth: 1977
Location: Paris, France
Architect: Emile Aillaud
VD says: Consequent and dreamy

The Tours Aillaud (also known as Tours Nuages) is a group of residential buildings located in Nanterre, in the inner suburbs of Paris, France.

Built in 1977 at the outskirts of La Défense business district, the Tours Aillaud are named after their main architect, Emile Aillaud. The housing project represents 18 towers including 1,607 apartments all together. The tallest of those are the Tours 1 and 2 with 39 floors and a height of 105 meters. The Tours 3 to 10 have 20 floors and the Tours 11 to 18 have 13 floors.

Despite the differences in height, the towers share the same shape, consisting of the superposition of several cylinders. Their cladding is made of frescos representing clouds in the sky (in French nuages), which is the origin of their nickname.


Swiss Pavillion 1970 - Made out of 32,036 40-watt electric bulbs
Birth: 1970
Location: Osaka, Japan
Architect: Willy Walter
VD says: A lot of lights is a good start to make something great

"Radiant Structure" is the name of the Swiss Pavilion at Expo '70, Osaka, Japan. The steel and aluminum structure resembles a plant as it branches into ever-smaller parts, culminating in 32000 glass bulbs that light at night.


Qeswachaka Hanging Bridges - Handwoven bridge that is remade every year
Birth: 15th century
Location: Cuzco, Peru
Architect: Local farmers
VD says: Quite amazing to make a bridge 500 times at the same place, stupidity or an eager to refine their techniques?

The Qeswachaka hanging bridge, of Cuzco, Peru, is handwoven every year, from a local grass called Qoya.
Located approximately 100 km from Cuzco, Qeswachaka bridge was once part of a network of bridges, built in the time of the Inca empire, but is now the only one of its kind, in the world. Spanning 40 meters over the Apurimac river, at around 4000 meters above water, Qeswachaka is built using the ancient Qhapaq nan technique, used by the Inca people.

Qhapaq nan bridges were built from grass, and were wide enough for only one person to pass, at a time. In ancient times these bridges were constantly under surveillance and everyone crossing them was monitored. When Pizzaro began his march for Cuzco, Qeswachaka was destroyed, to slow his advance, but was reconstructed, many years later.
Made from a local herb, known as Qoya, the fibers of Qeswachaka bridge deteriorate rapidly, and local communities have to reconstruct the bridge every year. Around 1,000 men and women, from various Andean communities gather at Qeswachaka bridge, every second week of June, for the rebuilding ceremony. Long blade of Qoya grass are woven into six long cables, which are bound and secured by eucalyptus trunks, buried at each end of the bridge.
It’s not that building a more modern bridge would be impossible, but this is a way for the Andean people to celebrate and honor their Inca ancestors, and keep their centuries old traditions alive.


Kelimutu crater lakes - Three crater lakes with different colors
Birth: A long time ago
Location: Flores, Indonesia
Architect: Earth
VD says: Crater lakes are cool, three-colored crater lakes are cooler

Kelimutu is a volcano close to the town of Moni in central Flores Island of Indonesia, containing three summit crater lakes of varying colors. Tiwu Ata Mbupu (Lake of Old People) is usually blue and is the westernmost of the three lakes. The other two lakes, Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai (Lake of Young Men and Maidens) and Tiwu Ata Polo (Bewitched or Enchanted Lake) are separated by a shared crater wall and are typically green or red in color, respectively. The lake colors do vary on a periodic basis. Subaqueous fumaroles are the probable cause of active upwelling that occurs at the two eastern lakes.
The scenic lakes are a popular tourist destination. Keli Mutu is also of interest to geologists because the three lakes are different colors yet reside at the crest of the same volcano.


Russian Pyramids - 44 Pyramids built in Russia for scientific purposes
Birth: 1990s
Location: Around Russia
Architect: Aleksandr Golod
VD says: Even today, the pyramid continues to fascinate

Inventor Aleksandr Golod believes that the two dozen pyramids he has built harmonize their surroundings. The largest of his pyramids is 44 meters tall and built completely out of fiberglass. This pyramid, named the Golden Section Pyramid, is located just outside of Moscow and is a major tourist attraction as many flock to view the spectacle and absorb the healing energy it is claimed to generate.

Golod has teamed with other researchers in studying the positive effects of the energetic field surrounding the pyramids. Russian radar discovered a column of energy beaming up from the Golden Section Pyramid. It is thought this energy column could be an ionic field radiating beneficial effects up and outward and possibly even healing holes in the ozone layer. Other research has found possibilities for improved immune system functioning, reduction of radioactivity, increasing oil viscosity to improve output and higher crop yields. Crystalline structures placed in the pyramids have been taken to the MIR space station and used in jails for further research. Russian scientific institutions are researching the pyramid's effects as they explore ancient roots of what could be modern healing practices.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hill Hut in 1000x European Architecture

Hill Hut is published in the prestigious book "1000x European Architecture" which is now in stores.
Order it here or visit your local distributer for a delightful read.

From the publisher:
The selected works in this volume provide a cross-section of contemporary European architectural culture in the current context of the building boom, financial crisis and economic recovery. These diverging developments combined with significantly increased ecological awareness have sustainably and creatively influenced the world of architecture between the North Cape and the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and the Ural Mountains during the past five years.

It is therefore time for a new edition of 1000 x European Architecture. The 1000 buildings featured, of all types and sizes, are a comprehensive overview of how differently architects and building owners have reacted to the challenges. This compendium brings together on 1000 pages the latest works of the world’s leading architects as well as great projects by up-and-coming future stars. Across all countries there are fascinating examples of a wide variety of buildings types and sizes that substantially enrich the exciting diversity of European architecture.