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Architecture

Bizarre By Design: The Top 10 Weirdest Japanese Buildings

Japan may be the place where conformity is king but their architects never saw the memo. These 10 weird, wild and even wooly Japanese buildings take the concept of multistory strangeness to a higher level, albeit one that the elevator will still stop at.

Chinese Starbucks Coffeehouse Serves Lattes of Luxury

Starbucks' success in China owes much to the global coffee company's strategy of harmonizing their stores and menu with local culture and customs. Take the new Starbucks Coffeehouse in Fuzhou, for example, which channels the ambiance of a classic thousand-year-old Song Dynasty garden.

How to Select a Home Automation Provider, From Vivint to HAI

If you've taken all the information we covered about home automation earlier and decided that you want to install one in your home, then the next (and obvious) thing you need to do is figure out which provider to go with. Vivint appears to be a prime contender, seeing as they've just recently got the Central Station of the Year Award.

Tower of Power: Tokyo Sky Tree Officially Completed on Leap Day 2012

Tokyo Sky Tree, the world's tallest free-standing broadcasting tower, was officially completed on Leap Day of 2012. The 2,080 ft (634 meter) tall tower soars almost twice as high as the 1958-built Tokyo Tower and will take over most of the orange & white downtown landmark's digital broadcasting duties.

Beijing's Tallest Skyscraper Takes Energy-Saving Technology to New Heights

The 108-story China Zun building will soar 510 meters (1,673 ft) into the sky over Beijing, China, when it's completed in 5 years time. The distinctively shaped, skyline-changing building has been planned from the ground up as an eco-friendly structure featuring the latest energy-saving technology.

Calling All College Students: The Biomimicry Institute Student Design Challenge

For the third year in a row, the Biomimicry Institute, a non-profit organication that promotes the study and imitation of designs found in nature, is sponsoring the Biomimicry Student Design Challenge.  This year the Challenge, which is open to college students world-wide, is to use biomimicry to design a solution that results in more efficient use of energy and ultimately reduces greenhouse gases.  No small feat, but the Institute provides students with plenty of resources on biomimicry....

 

Freedom Tower Will Tower Over NYC's Skyline

When the World Trade Center landmark twin towers were completed in May, 1973, they rose 1450 feet to become the tallest buildings in the world, surpassing the Empire State Building. Its demise as the result of the horrific devastation of September 11, 2001 has launched a decade of debates as to what type of architecture could possibly replace its iconic imagery remembered by so many.

China's 'Dead Sea Water Park' is a Human Froot Loop Soup

China's largest indoor waterpark, or Godzilla's breakfast bowl of Froot Loops? Sorry big guy, the “Dead Sea of China” resort in Daying County, Sichuan Province, was visited by over one million people this summer. From the looks of it, they all came on the same day!

Panoramic, Igloo-Like Tents: Kinda Cool, Kinda Weird, Kinda Ridiculous

An odd solution for tent camping that provides seamlessly integrated shelter.

China's 'Most Awesome Wall of Air Conditioners' Building

The "coolest" building in China stands in the city of Fuzhou, though not for much longer if the force of gravity has anything to say about it. Tenants frustrated by the lack of central AC in the modern office tower have festooned the 25-story building's exterior with over 500 window AC units.

China's Xinhua News Agency to Shine Out from Times Square Sign

Call it a sign of the times: China's Xinhua news agency has leased a 60 by 40 ft space at 2 Times Square, the most prominent advertising spot in New York City. Landing the prestigious LED-lit block, called a “spectacular”, signifies China's arrival at the crossroads of the world.

ICU In A Can - Emergency Disaster Relief Delivered Anywhere, Anytime

Natural disasters often occur in the world's most remote regions, where emergency care is impossible to deliver at the level necessary to save the lives of the survivors. Or as in the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, the devastation is so complete as to incapacitate many hospitals. Kukli Han has designed a fully-functioning, mobile hospital that can be delivered via helicopter, within hours of disaster, to even the remotest regions.

Helter Shelter: A Cheap Portable House made from Packing Materials

The problem of temporarily housing refugees from natural disasters is being addressed by students from Nanjing Forestry University in Nanjing, China, who have created a cheap, lightweight house made from common packing materials.

Macau Makes Like Manhattan with a Spectacular Central Park

Call it "Central Park East" if you like. Macau's exciting new Taipa Central Park will take a bite out of the Big Apple by providing city dwellers with an unexpected oasis of pastoral charm.

Japan's Power Plan: Solar Panels for All New Buildings

What's your roof done for you lately? If you're in Japan, it just might be collecting the Sun's most useful renewable resource, solar power. Even better, if a plan due to be announced by Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan at the upcoming G8 summit in Deauville, France, is carried out, by 2030 every new house and building in the country will be fitted with solar panels.