Posts tagged ‘Building’

March 19, 2018

Sheats Goldstein Residence

Jackie Treehorn

The Sheats Goldstein Residence is a house designed and built between 1961 and 1963 by American architect John Lautner in Beverly Crest, Los Angeles, just a short distance from the Beverly Hills border. The building was conceived from the inside out and built into the sandstone ledge of the hillside; a cave-like dwelling that opens to embrace nature and view.

The house is an example of ‘American Organic Architecture’ that derives its form as an extension of the natural environment and of the individual for whom it was built. Lautner, an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright, sought to create unique structures that solved the challenges of their sites.

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September 22, 2015

X-Seed 4000


The X-Seed 4000 is the tallest building ever fully envisioned, meaning that the designs for construction have been completed. Developed by architect Peter Neville, its proposed 4-km height, 6-km wide sea-base, and 800-floor capacity could accommodate 500,000 to 1,000,000 inhabitants. Requiring over 3,000,000 tons of reinforced steel, the construction was estimated to cost US$300–900 billion, in 2006 dollars. It was designed for Tokyo by the Taisei Corporation in 1995 as a futuristic environment combining ultra-modern living and interaction with nature.

Unlike conventional skyscrapers, the X-Seed 4000 would be required to actively protect its occupants from considerable air pressure gradations and weather fluctuations along its massive elevation. Also, the proposed area is situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire, which is the most active volcano range in the world so the structure would be subject to tsunamis and earthquakes. The X-Seed 4000 ‘is never meant to be built,’ says Georges Binder, managing director of Buildings & Data, a firm which compiles data banks on buildings worldwide. ‘The purpose of the plan was to earn some recognition for the firm, and it worked.’

November 6, 2014



In American suburban communities, McMansion is a pejorative for a type of large, new luxury house which is judged to be oversized for the parcel or incongruous and out-of-place for its neighborhood. Alternatively, a McMansion can be a large, new house in a subdivision of similarly large houses, which all seem mass-produced and lacking in distinguishing characteristics, as well as appearing at odds with the traditional local architecture.

The neologism seems to have been coined sometime in the early 1980s. It first appeared in print the ‘Los Angeles Times’ in 1990. Related terms include ‘Persian palace,’ ‘garage Mahal,’ ‘starter castle,’ and ‘Hummer house.’ Marketing parlance often uses the term ‘tract mansion’ or ‘executive home.’ An example of a McWord, ‘McMansion’ associates the generic quality of these luxury homes with that of mass-produced fast food by evoking the McDonald’s restaurant chain.

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March 14, 2013


Sarly Adre Sarkum

A seascraper, also known as a waterscraper, is a proposed large building which will function as a floating city. It would generate its own energy through wave, wind, current, and solar energy, and produce its own food through farming, aquaculture, and hydroponics. Architect Koen Othuis of the Netherlands specializes in ‘amphibious’ buildings, some floating and some using other systems to adapt to wet environments.

In 2010 Sarly Adre bin Sarkum of Malaysia proposed a building about the size of the Empire State Building which would float in the ocean with only the top few stories out of water. It would house thousands of people and be self-contained, growing its own food and generating its own energy. Another design concept for a mostly submerged structure is ‘The Gyre,’ which would stretch 400 meters deep and over a kilometer across. It is designed to house over 2000 people, and be completely self-sufficient, producing its own food and electricity. It was designed by the firm Zigloo, as a submission to eVolo’s Skyscraper Design Competition in 2009.

May 14, 2012



The Integratron is a dome-shaped structure built by American ufologist George Van Tassel in Landers, California. Van Tassel was a former aircraft mechanic and flight inspector who moved to the Mojave Desert to operate an airport and inn. During his time there, he supposedly began meditating under Giant Rock, which the Native Americans of the area held to be sacred. In 1953, he claimed that he had been contacted both telepathically and later in person by Venusians, who gave him a technique to rejuvenate human cell tissues.  Acting on these instructions, he began constructing the Integratron in 1954. Construction costs were paid for by an annual UFO convention, the ‘Giant Rock Spacecraft Conventions,’ which continued for nearly 25 years (Howard Hughes was a contributor). Van Tassel was clearly inspired by earlier 1950s contactee George Adamski.

Following Van Tassel’s death in 1978, the building was owned by a series of individuals (and was left in various states of disrepair) before being purchased by sisters Joanne, Nancy, and Patty Karl in the early 2000s. The sisters now promote The Integratron as an ‘acoustically perfect structure’ and say that it is currently being ‘explored in the areas of Science, Architecture, Neuroacoustics, Music, Energy healing, Alternative health and Spirituality.’ The building is currently open to the public at select times, with the sisters regularly performing ‘sound baths’ (meditation-like sessions accompanied by tones from quartz bowls) at certain points during the week.

September 7, 2011

Kingdom Tower

kingdom tower

Kingdom Tower is a supertall skyscraper approved for construction in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia at a preliminary cost of US$1.23 billion. It will be the centerpiece and first phase of a US$20 billion proposed development known as Kingdom City that will be located along the Red Sea on the north side of Jeddah. If completed as planned, the tower will reach unprecedented heights, becoming the tallest building in the world, as well as the first structure to reach the one-kilometer mark. The design, created by American architect Adrian Smith, incorporates many unique structural and aesthetic features.

The creator and leader of the project is Saudi Arabian Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, the wealthiest Arab in the Middle East, and nephew of King Abdullah. Talal is the chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), the largest company in Saudi Arabia, which owns the project, and a partner in Jeddah Economic Company (JEC), which was formed in 2009 for the development of Kingdom Tower and City. Reception of the proposal has been highly polarized, receiving high praise from some as a culturally significant icon that will symbolize the nation’s wealth and power, while others question its socioeconomic motives, and forecast that it will actually have negative financial consequences.

April 12, 2011


simcity arco

Arcology, a portmanteau of the words ‘architecture’ and ‘ecology,’ is a set of architectural design principles aimed toward the design of enormous habitats (hyperstructures) of extremely high human population density. These largely hypothetical structures would contain a variety of residential, commercial, and agricultural facilities and minimize individual human environmental impact.

They are often portrayed as self-contained or economically self-sufficient. The concept has been primarily popularized, and the term itself coined, by architect Italian-American architect, Paolo Soleri, and appears commonly in science fiction.

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March 10, 2011

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum


The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is an art museum located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City, United States. It is the permanent home to a renowned collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern, and contemporary art and also features special exhibitions throughout the year.

Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, it is one of the 20th century’s most important architectural landmarks. It is located at the corners of 89th Street and Fifth Avenue (overlooking Central Park). It opened in October of 1959, ten years after the death of Solomon Guggenheim and six months after the death of Frank Lloyd Wright.

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February 10, 2011

Spite House

hollensbury spite house

A spite house is a building constructed or modified to irritate neighbors or other parties with land stakes. Spite houses often serve as obstructions, blocking out light or access to neighboring buildings, or as flamboyant symbols of defiance. Because long-term occupation is at best a secondary consideration, spite houses frequently sport strange and impractical structures. Spite houses are much rarer than spite fences. This is partially attributable to the fact that modern building codes often prevent the construction of houses likely to impinge on neighbors’ views or privacy.

Probably the most famous spite house was the Richardson Spite House in New York City at Lexington Avenue and 82nd Street. Built in 1882 and demolished in 1915, it was four stories tall, 104 feet (31.7 m) long, and only five feet (1.5 m) wide. Joseph Richardson, the owner of the plot of the same dimensions, built it after the owner of the adjacent plot, Hyman Sarner, unsuccessfully tried to purchase the land. Sarner considered the plot useless by itself and offered only $1000; Richardson demanded $5000. After the deal fell through, Richardson had an apartment building constructed on his land. It was a functional (albeit impractical) apartment building with eight suites, each consisting of three rooms and a bath.

February 7, 2011



Antilia is the name of a twenty-seven floor personal home in South Mumbai belonging to India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, the billionaire Chairman of Reliance Industries (India’s largest private sector conglomerate). The home is staffed by 600 full time employees and houses Ambani, his wife Nita, their three children, and Ambani’s mother. Indian media frequently reported that Antilia is the world’s most expensive home costing US$1 billion. It is named after a mythical island in the Atlantic Ocean. The building is situated on a 4,532 m2 (48,780 sq ft) plot at Altamont Road on the famed Cumballa Hill South Mumbai, where land prices are upward of US$10,000 per square meter.

The structure was designed by U.S. architects using principles of Vaastu, Indian traditional geomancy akin to Chinese feng shui, to maximize ‘positive energy.’ No two floor plans are alike, and the materials used in each level vary widely. The home includes: 400,000 square feet (37,000 m2) of living space; parking space for 168 cars; a one-floor vehicle maintenance facility; 9 elevators in the lobby; 3 helipads and an air traffic control facility; a health spa; a theater with a seating for 50; multiple swimming pools, three floors of hanging gardens, and a ballroom.

February 7, 2011

Ryugyong Hotel


The Ryugyong Hotel is a 105-floor skyscraper under construction in Pyongyang, North Korea. Construction began in 1987, but was halted in 1992 due to the economic disruptions that afflicted the country following the fall of the Soviet Union.

The hotel stood topped out but without windows or interior fittings for the next sixteen years. Construction resumed in April 2008, under the supervision of the Orascom Group of Egypt, which has invested heavily in the North Korean mobile telephony and construction industries.

January 26, 2011

The Shard

the shard

The Shard is an 87-story skyscraper in London that forms part of the London Bridge Quarter development. The Shard’s construction began in 2009 and finished in late 2012. Standing approximately 306 metrs (1,004 ft) high, it is currently the tallest building in the European Union. It is the second-tallest freestanding structure in the UK, after the concrete tower at the Emley Moor transmitting station.

It was designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano, and replaced Southwark Towers, a 24-story office block built on the site in Southwark in 1975. The Shard was developed by Sellar Property on behalf of LBQ Ltd, and is jointly owned by Sellar Property and the State of Qatar.