Architectural Magic: Big Stone Building Breaks Free & Floats

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[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Installation & Sound. ]

architecture floating building magic trick

A work of art, genius and incredible effort, half of this replica structure appears to hang in mid-air, seeming at once a perfect aesthetic fit for its surroundings and completely disconnected from the laws of physics.

architecture covent garden installation

British artist Alex Chinneck and his crew spent over 500 hours and had to construct a 4-ton counterweight to balance this faux building in the sky – what appears to be solid stone is in fact a steel-framed copy of an historic structure also found at Covent Garden (the original is nearly 200 years old).

architecture floating building illusion

architecture draft plan model

Chinneck is well known for his architecture-centric optical illusions, with this particular piece created as a play on the area’s “performance culture” – its proximity to theaters and performance spaces.

architecture faux construction process

architecture cut slice pieces

The construction process required a painstaking attention to historical details and materials in addition to grafting the appearance of age, wear and tear onto the fake structure. Another significant challenge: the seemingly haphazard breaking and slicing of everything from stones to windows and their frames.

architecture hidden steel frame

architecture floating building magic trick

From the artist: “The hovering building introduces contemporary art to traditional architecture, performing a magic trick of spectacular scale to present the everyday world in an extraordinary way. My objective was to create an accessible artwork that makes a harmonious but breath-taking contribution to its historic surroundings, leaving a lasting and positive impression upon the cultural landscape of Covent Garden and in the minds of its many visitors.”


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Deserted Space: Photos Document NASA’s Abandoned Launch Pads

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[ By WebUrbanist in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

abandoned space graveyard photos

The race for space has shifted gears in recent years with the rise of private programs, leaving a series of amazing space-related graveyards around the United States, which this photographer has spent 25 years exploring and documenting.

abandoned nasa building sign

abandoned rocket room

abandoned flight ring rocket

In his upcoming book, Abandoned in Place, Roland Miller takes readers on a “photographic exploration of the American space launch and research facilities that played a crucial role in the early period of space exploration. The goals of this project are to preserve and portray these abandoned, deactivated, and repurposed sites through photography that surpasses the official government approach to documentation and to lend historical and artistic insight to the subject.”

abandoned secret nasa complex

abandoned space program complexes

abandoned space program facilities

With special permission (and an escort every time), Roland has managed to visit locations including the Marshall Space Flight Center in California, the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and the Kennedy Space Center as well as Cape Canaveral in Florida. His book features 100 full-color photos – the best and brightest of his extension decade-spanning collection.

abandoned nasa deserted spaces

abandoned nasa crane gantry

The photographs cover all kinds of incredible objects and details, from cranes and gantries to blast doors, flame deflector tracks, launch rings and even lunar modules. The book will be released by the University of New Mexico Press and contain poems and essays alongside its rich imagery.

abandoned control panel switchboard

Superstructure,Navaho Complex 9, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida1990

abandoned observatory dome exterior

This project is part guide book and part historical document – it “serves not only as a documentary body of work, but also as an artistic interpretation of these historic sites. The blockhouses, launch towers, tunnels, test stands, and control rooms featured in Abandoned In Place are rapidly giving way to the elements and demolition. By my estimates, fully half of the facilities I have photographed no longer exist. The costs involved in restoring, maintaining, and securing these sites are enormous. Most of these historic facilities are located on secure military or NASA facilities, which drastically limits access by the public. Therefore, photography is the only practical method to preserve and portray these historic locations.”


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Deserted Space: Photos Document NASA’s Abandoned Launch Pads

Bild

[ By WebUrbanist in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

abandoned space graveyard photos

The race for space has shifted gears in recent years with the rise of private programs, leaving a series of amazing space-related graveyards around the United States, which this photographer has spent 25 years exploring and documenting.

abandoned nasa building sign

abandoned rocket room

abandoned flight ring rocket

In his upcoming book, Abandoned in Place, Roland Miller takes readers on a “photographic exploration of the American space launch and research facilities that played a crucial role in the early period of space exploration. The goals of this project are to preserve and portray these abandoned, deactivated, and repurposed sites through photography that surpasses the official government approach to documentation and to lend historical and artistic insight to the subject.”

abandoned secret nasa complex

abandoned space program complexes

abandoned space program facilities

With special permission (and an escort every time), Roland has managed to visit locations including the Marshall Space Flight Center in California, the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and the Kennedy Space Center as well as Cape Canaveral in Florida. His book features 100 full-color photos – the best and brightest of his extension decade-spanning collection.

abandoned nasa deserted spaces

abandoned nasa crane gantry

The photographs cover all kinds of incredible objects and details, from cranes and gantries to blast doors, flame deflector tracks, launch rings and even lunar modules. The book will be released by the University of New Mexico Press and contain poems and essays alongside its rich imagery.

abandoned control panel switchboard

Superstructure,Navaho Complex 9, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida1990

abandoned observatory dome exterior

This project is part guide book and part historical document – it “serves not only as a documentary body of work, but also as an artistic interpretation of these historic sites. The blockhouses, launch towers, tunnels, test stands, and control rooms featured in Abandoned In Place are rapidly giving way to the elements and demolition. By my estimates, fully half of the facilities I have photographed no longer exist. The costs involved in restoring, maintaining, and securing these sites are enormous. Most of these historic facilities are located on secure military or NASA facilities, which drastically limits access by the public. Therefore, photography is the only practical method to preserve and portray these historic locations.”


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Dirty Camp 30: Canadian POW Camp Battles Neglect & Decay

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[ By Steve in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

abandoned camp 30 barracks
Camp 30, located east of Toronto, was one of Canada’s main World War II POW camps and although named a National Historic Site, continues to be neglected.

abandoned camp 30 entrance sign

abandoned camp 30 windows

The community of Bowmanville, Ontario, is home to just over 40,000 people, many of whom work in Toronto and commute daily via Highway 401. Only a tenth as many made Bowmanville their home in 1941, however, when the Canadian government ordered the Bowmanville Boys Training School (a “school for unadjusted boys who were not inherently delinquent”) to vacate the site. By the end of the year, the former school and its environs had been converted into Camp 30 and the first German prisoners of war arrived. (credit AlexLuyckx with the above images)

abandoned camp 30 sunset

abandoned camp 30 cafeteria red door

abandoned camp 30 turn around graffiti

Many of these prisoners were considered “high profile” – the reasoning being, the farther they were from Nazi Germany, the less chance of them returning there after a successful escape. Among the more notable Camp 30 prisoners were U-boat commanders Wolfgang Heyda and Otto Kretschmer, the latter credited with sinking 47 ships (totaling 274,333 tons) between the start of the war and his capture in March of 1941. (credit Courtney McIntosh with the above images)

Shallow End

Paint Chips

In stark contrast to the treatment doled out to Allied POWs in German prison camps, those prisoners sent to Camp 30 enjoyed a wealth of freedoms and amenities. As Camp 30 was a former boy’s school, prisoners were allowed to use the indoor pool as well as the soccer and football fields. If that wasn’t enough, authorities approved requests to build a tennis court and a mini zoo! (credit ckocur with the above images)

abandoned camp 30 pool blue

abandoned camp 30 electric

abandoned camp 30 pool graffiti

These perks and much more (read about Camp 30 in detail at the unofficial Camp 30 website) didn’t stop the prisoners from carrying out their duty to escape, and at least a half dozen attempts – some quite elaborate and well-planned – were foiled by guards. (credit Rick Harris with the above images)

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Dirty Camp 30: Canadian POW Camp Battles Neglect & Decay

Bild

[ By Steve in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

abandoned camp 30 barracks
Camp 30, located east of Toronto, was one of Canada’s main World War II POW camps and although named a National Historic Site, continues to be neglected.

abandoned camp 30 entrance sign

abandoned camp 30 windows

The community of Bowmanville, Ontario, is home to just over 40,000 people, many of whom work in Toronto and commute daily via Highway 401. Only a tenth as many made Bowmanville their home in 1941, however, when the Canadian government ordered the Bowmanville Boys Training School (a “school for unadjusted boys who were not inherently delinquent”) to vacate the site. By the end of the year, the former school and its environs had been converted into Camp 30 and the first German prisoners of war arrived. (credit AlexLuyckx with the above images)

abandoned camp 30 sunset

abandoned camp 30 cafeteria red door

abandoned camp 30 turn around graffiti

Many of these prisoners were considered “high profile” – the reasoning being, the farther they were from Nazi Germany, the less chance of them returning there after a successful escape. Among the more notable Camp 30 prisoners were U-boat commanders Wolfgang Heyda and Otto Kretschmer, the latter credited with sinking 47 ships (totaling 274,333 tons) between the start of the war and his capture in March of 1941. (credit Courtney McIntosh with the above images)

Shallow End

Paint Chips

In stark contrast to the treatment doled out to Allied POWs in German prison camps, those prisoners sent to Camp 30 enjoyed a wealth of freedoms and amenities. As Camp 30 was a former boy’s school, prisoners were allowed to use the indoor pool as well as the soccer and football fields. If that wasn’t enough, authorities approved requests to build a tennis court and a mini zoo! (credit ckocur with the above images)

abandoned camp 30 pool blue

abandoned camp 30 electric

abandoned camp 30 pool graffiti

These perks and much more (read about Camp 30 in detail at the unofficial Camp 30 website) didn’t stop the prisoners from carrying out their duty to escape, and at least a half dozen attempts – some quite elaborate and well-planned – were foiled by guards. (credit Rick Harris with the above images)

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Well Rounded: 7 Animal Murals on Abandoned Buildings in Africa

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[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

roa sea creature art

Using the unique regional shapes of structures to his advantage, street artist ROA has created a series of large-scale works as part of a neighborhood art project in Djerba, Tunisia, drawing 150 artists from 30 countries.

roa murals djerbahood

roa murals abandoned buildings

While a number of impressive and well-known painters and muralists contributed to Djerbahood, ROA’s work is particularly site-specific, drawing on the architectural details (like domes) present in the regional landscape, mainly in deserted buildings.

roa north africa graffiti

roa animal skull dome

roa abandoned building lizard

The artist’s signature creatures, as usual, vary with the locality as well – in this case his work features a combination of desert and sea animals, reflecting the water-surrounded space as well as the dry land of the area.

roa skull mural design

The largest island in North Africa, Djerba has become a true open-air museum, contrasting authenticity and tradition with a space for expression by artists of various cultures. This project was made in part to appeal to tourists, aiming to draw in additional visitors from Europe and around the world. Additional work by ROA includes urban street animals in Mexico and Panama City as well as London.


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Arcatecture: 12 Cat Homes Created by Architects for Charity

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[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Furniture & Decor. ]

space international cat home

Raising funds for an feline-focused area non-profit group, these architect-designed cat dwellings span the spectrum from adventure spaces to cozy nooks for your furry friends to explore or sleep within. If you also enjoy supporting canines, it is well worth checking out these 14 architect-designed doghouses likewise built to support a charitable purpose.

hok cat house

dsh architecture cat house

lehrer architects cat home

With proceeds going to FixNation, the Giving Shelter fundraiser (with photographer Grey Crawford) drew an impressive array for architects, firms and designers, including RNL, NAC, DSH, HOK, Wolcott, Lehrer, Space Int’l, Formation Association, Perkins + Wil, and Standard Architecture and Design.

standard architecture cat house

standard architecture modular concrete wood

With tunnels, tubes, ramps and platforms from wood, metal, fake grass and the materials used to make scratching posts, participating designers showed off the huge range of possibilities for catering to domestic cats, in some cases integrating elements of human functionality (with pieces doubling as furniture) as well.

nace cat house design

nace cat tunnel homes

Their robust materiality and construction is intended to make the shelters able to be placed outdoors. More photos from the live benefit can be found via Fixnation and Flickr.

rnl architecture cat house

perkins wil cat house

Architects for Animals “Giving Shelter” is an awareness raising initiative. “The one-night event in Los Angeles benefitted FixNation, a 501c3 organization dedicated to helping community cats in need. Participating architectural design firms designed, built, and donated creative outdoor shelters.”

formation association cat house

formation association cat bench

“These shelters were on display to the public at a one night event at the Herman Miller Showroom in Culver City. FixNation and Architects for Animals offered this unique exhibit and cocktail reception that combines the love of architecture with the love of animals. Attendees enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and wine from the open bar while viewing the original shelter designs.”

space international dynamic cat

space international cat seat

More on the non-profit benefiting from the series: “FixNation is a non-profit organization committed to cats, and to supporting Trap-Neuter-Return. We provide a free, full-time spay/neuter clinic for cats with two full-time veterinarians capable of sterilizing as many as 100 cats per day. We also provide low-cost, affordable spay/neuter services for tame pet cats. We loan out humane traps and equipment to the public free of charge, provide training on how to humanely trap feral cats and kittens, and offer guidance and information on long-term care and management for feral colonies. We are located in the heart of the San Fernando Valley and have been operational as a non-profit since 2007.”


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Blocked Out: 10 Closed & Abandoned Hat-Making Factories

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[ By Steve in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

abandoned hat factory tioronda 1
The golden age of hats – what George Costanza called a “bald paradise” – has long passed and along with it, so have hundreds of huge hat-making factories.

abandoned hat factory tioronda 2

abandoned hat factory tioronda 3

abandoned hat factory tioronda 4

Located on the eastern shore of the Hudson River in Beacon, New York’s Byrnsville neighborhood, the Tioronda Hat Works opened in 1879 and closed (as the Merrimack Hat Company) in 1949. The brick buildings were used sporadically as warehouses over the succeeding decades and since about 2010 have been undergoing an agonizingly slow demolition. Kudos to Flickr user Ron Johnson (Ron EJ) for these exquisite photos of the former Tioronda Hat Works taken on May 5th of 2013.

Canada: America’s Hat

abandoned hat factory Guelph 3

abandoned hat factory Guelph 2

abandoned hat factory Guelph 1

Hats were one of the chief reasons the European great powers sought to colonize northern regions of the New World: the place was practically overrun with beavers and beaver fur was essential for hat-making. Times and fashions change, and tri-cornered beaver fur hats are SO 18th century (or so 1966, if you’re a member of Paul Revere & the Raiders). This abandoned hat factory in Guelph, Ontario was visited by Flickr user Dave (creativephotography64) in early August of 2012. Not a hat in site, nor a single beaver. Dam.

Chillin’ In Chile

abandoned hat factory Villa Alemana Chile

Abandoned hat factories can be found almost anywhere in the world including Villa Alemana, Chile, a few minutes drive from Valparaiso. The abandoned building above contains a host of salvageable hat-making materials and equipment though the locals appear only interested in ‘boarding on the work tables.

British Beanies

Wilson & Stafford Hat Makers factory 1

Wilson & Stafford Hat Makers factory 2

Wilson & Stafford Hat Makers factory 3

Wilson & Stafford Hat Makers factory 4

Parts of the abandoned Wilson & Stafford Hat Makers factory in Atherstone, Warwickshire, UK date back to 1828 but the company only acquired full ownership of the site in 1896. From then on it was clear sailing: Wilson & Stafford eventually became the UK’s last remaining felt hat maker before finally slipping into liquidation in 1999. The factory buildings are mostly empty these days but still exude abundant character and the redolent atmosphere of good times past. A tip of the cap to Flickr user Ben Garratt (mookie427) for these outstanding images of a factory without a cause.

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Concrete Retreat: 100 Sq Ft Home in WWII Dutch Defense Bunker

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[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

bunker house underground design

Sleek and multi-functional custom wood, glass and steel elements are set against a little-modified industrial concrete and metal backdrop in this stunning subterranean conversion project, turning a dilapidated war bunker into a cozy contemporary vacation dwelling.

bunker house entry door

bunker house glass metal

bunker bunk beds view

With strategic insertions, additions and slight modifications by B-ILD (photography by Tim Van de Velde), efficiency was paramount in the transformation of this tight space into a retreat that easily sleeps four (or more if need be).

bunker house living sleeping

bunker house bunk beds

bunker dining room

bunker house floor plan

Bunked beds allow sitting during the day and help stack sleepers vertically at night, all with sliding drawer space below, while stools double as coffee tables, night stands or steps as needed – no piece of furniture has only one use.

bunker house concrete wood

bunker house exterior deck

Board-formed concrete and rusted metal add texture and character to the interior, a defunct coastal defense outpost, contrasting on the outside with a floating wooden exterior deck space for relaxing and entertaining.

bunker house door detail

bunker house minimal kitchen

bunker kitchen

A bare-bones kitchen along the entry hall features basic plumbing and cooking accessories, all tucked up against the wall with the bare minimum necessities included for simple meals and cleaning.


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Concrete Retreat: 100 Sq Ft Home in WWII Dutch Defense Bunker

Bild

[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

bunker house underground design

Sleek and multi-functional custom wood, glass and steel elements are set against a little-modified industrial concrete and metal backdrop in this stunning subterranean conversion project, turning a dilapidated war bunker into a cozy contemporary vacation dwelling.

bunker house entry door

bunker house glass metal

bunker bunk beds view

With strategic insertions, additions and slight modifications by B-ILD (photography by Tim Van de Velde), efficiency was paramount in the transformation of this tight space into a retreat that easily sleeps four (or more if need be).

bunker house living sleeping

bunker house bunk beds

bunker dining room

bunker house floor plan

Bunked beds allow sitting during the day and help stack sleepers vertically at night, all with sliding drawer space below, while stools double as coffee tables, night stands or steps as needed – no piece of furniture has only one use.

bunker house concrete wood

bunker house exterior deck

Board-formed concrete and rusted metal add texture and character to the interior, a defunct coastal defense outpost, contrasting on the outside with a floating wooden exterior deck space for relaxing and entertaining.

bunker house door detail

bunker house minimal kitchen

bunker kitchen

A bare-bones kitchen along the entry hall features basic plumbing and cooking accessories, all tucked up against the wall with the bare minimum necessities included for simple meals and cleaning.


Want More? Click for Great Related Content on WebUrbanist:

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