Surrealist Disaster-Proof Structures for Dangerous Locations

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[ By Steph in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

Surrealist Disaster Proof Architecture 1

Some spots are such beautiful potential locations for a home, yet repeated natural disasters make them inhospitable for all but the strongest and most durable of dwellings. Architect Dionisio Gonzales imagines just how creative we could get in building disaster-proof structures with ‘Architecture for Resistance,’ a series of surrealist fantasies that often take their cues from natural shapes like shells.

Surrealist Disaster Proof Architecture 2

Individual collections envision architecture for a particular location. ‘Dauphin Island’ is a series of hurricane-resistant designs for the island of the same name, located just south of Mobile, Alabama. The island has been hit by one hurricane after another. Gonzales believes that sustainable architecture could stop nature’s cycle of destruction with a dramatic change in the way our houses look.

Surrealist Disaster Proof Architecture 3

Surrealist Disaster Proof Architecture 4

The Dauphin Island creations are “real futuristic forts made of iron and concrete,” with shapes that call to mind sea shells, crustaceans and other marine organisms. It’s easy to imagine these structures closing up like forts to guard against high winds and flooding.

Surrealist Disaster Proof Architecture 5

Gonzales also designed bizarro-world versions of Brazil’s favelas and the shabby settlements in the hills of Busan, South Korea, making a commentary on the coexistence of the wealthy and the very poor. The designs bring visually disjointed, futuristic structures into neighborhoods that are already chaotic in an attempt to legitimize the architectural vernacular of each location.


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Surrealist Disaster-Proof Structures for Dangerous Locations

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[ By Steph in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

Surrealist Disaster Proof Architecture 1

Some spots are such beautiful potential locations for a home, yet repeated natural disasters make them inhospitable for all but the strongest and most durable of dwellings. Architect Dionisio Gonzales imagines just how creative we could get in building disaster-proof structures with ‘Architecture for Resistance,’ a series of surrealist fantasies that often take their cues from natural shapes like shells.

Surrealist Disaster Proof Architecture 2

Individual collections envision architecture for a particular location. ‘Dauphin Island’ is a series of hurricane-resistant designs for the island of the same name, located just south of Mobile, Alabama. The island has been hit by one hurricane after another. Gonzales believes that sustainable architecture could stop nature’s cycle of destruction with a dramatic change in the way our houses look.

Surrealist Disaster Proof Architecture 3

Surrealist Disaster Proof Architecture 4

The Dauphin Island creations are “real futuristic forts made of iron and concrete,” with shapes that call to mind sea shells, crustaceans and other marine organisms. It’s easy to imagine these structures closing up like forts to guard against high winds and flooding.

Surrealist Disaster Proof Architecture 5

Gonzales also designed bizarro-world versions of Brazil’s favelas and the shabby settlements in the hills of Busan, South Korea, making a commentary on the coexistence of the wealthy and the very poor. The designs bring visually disjointed, futuristic structures into neighborhoods that are already chaotic in an attempt to legitimize the architectural vernacular of each location.


Want More? Click for Great Related Content on WebUrbanist:

Underwater and Oceanic Oddities

Most of the planet is covered in water and many of the world's strangest stories and most amazing mysteries surround the vast expanses of it that cover the ... Click Here to Read More »»


Architecture Gone Wild: Surrealist Designs by Victor Enrich

Buildings split down the middle, sprout slides, bend over in strange ways and send stairs into the sky in these fantasy architectural designs by Victor Enrich. Click Here to Read More »»


Erupting Stability: Tornado-Proof Suburb Inspired by Turtles

An entire neighborhood of houses could instantly retreat into the ground like a turtle protecting itself in its shell in this neighborhood concept, 'Erupting ... Click Here to Read More »»


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Surrealist Disaster-Proof Structures for Dangerous Locations

Bild

[ By Steph in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

Surrealist Disaster Proof Architecture 1

Some spots are such beautiful potential locations for a home, yet repeated natural disasters make them inhospitable for all but the strongest and most durable of dwellings. Architect Dionisio Gonzales imagines just how creative we could get in building disaster-proof structures with ‘Architecture for Resistance,’ a series of surrealist fantasies that often take their cues from natural shapes like shells.

Surrealist Disaster Proof Architecture 2

Individual collections envision architecture for a particular location. ‘Dauphin Island’ is a series of hurricane-resistant designs for the island of the same name, located just south of Mobile, Alabama. The island has been hit by one hurricane after another. Gonzales believes that sustainable architecture could stop nature’s cycle of destruction with a dramatic change in the way our houses look.

Surrealist Disaster Proof Architecture 3

Surrealist Disaster Proof Architecture 4

The Dauphin Island creations are “real futuristic forts made of iron and concrete,” with shapes that call to mind sea shells, crustaceans and other marine organisms. It’s easy to imagine these structures closing up like forts to guard against high winds and flooding.

Surrealist Disaster Proof Architecture 5

Gonzales also designed bizarro-world versions of Brazil’s favelas and the shabby settlements in the hills of Busan, South Korea, making a commentary on the coexistence of the wealthy and the very poor. The designs bring visually disjointed, futuristic structures into neighborhoods that are already chaotic in an attempt to legitimize the architectural vernacular of each location.


Want More? Click for Great Related Content on WebUrbanist:

Underwater and Oceanic Oddities

Most of the planet is covered in water and many of the world's strangest stories and most amazing mysteries surround the vast expanses of it that cover the ... Click Here to Read More »»


Architecture Gone Wild: Surrealist Designs by Victor Enrich

Buildings split down the middle, sprout slides, bend over in strange ways and send stairs into the sky in these fantasy architectural designs by Victor Enrich. Click Here to Read More »»


Erupting Stability: Tornado-Proof Suburb Inspired by Turtles

An entire neighborhood of houses could instantly retreat into the ground like a turtle protecting itself in its shell in this neighborhood concept, 'Erupting ... Click Here to Read More »»


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Algorithmic Architecture: 14 Complex Math-Based Structures

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[ By Steph in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

Algorithmic Architecture Main

Mathematics are more integral to architecture than ever before, and as the methods of designing structures grow more complex, so do the calculations. As these fractal and parametric designs – both built and fantasy – prove, the only limit to architecture based on mathematical algorithms are those of physics and materials, and with the advent of 3D printing and other advanced construction techniques, the world of amazingly complex architecture just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Parametric Party House

Fractal Architecture Parametric Party House

Built for Copenhagen Distortion, a summer festival that draws thousands into the city’s streets and clubs for all-night dance parties, this mobile parametric pavilion aims to “give architectural expression to this Dionysian experience.” Designed and built by experimental technology and acoustics programs from three universities, the pavilion rotates and moves like a piece of fabric despite the fact that it’s made up of 151 hinged plywood triangles finished in a reflective copper.

Intricate Fractal Fantasy Architecture by Tom Beddard

Fractal Architecture Fantasy

Tom Beddard’s fantasy architecture is far from realistic; instead, it’s an exploration of just how complex structures derived from algorithms can get and still be recognizable as potential human habitations and cities. Beddard makes some of the scrips he uses to create his works available on his website. Says the artist, “For me the creative process is writing my own software and scripts to explore the resulting output in an interactive manner. The best outcomes are often the least expected!”

L-Systems by Michael Hansmeyer

Fractal Architecure L Systems

“For centuries architects have been inspired by nature’s forms and geometries,” says Michael Hansmeyer, a designer who produced the world’s first 3D-printed room as well as some amazingly complex fractal columns. “It is only in the past decade that much of the underlying logic, mathematics and chemistry of nature’s forms has been better understood. In the late 1960′s, the biologist Aristid Lindenmayer proposed a string-rewriting algorithm that can model simplified plants and their growth processes with an astounding ease. This theory is now known as L-Systems. This project examines whether this algorithm can open up possibilities in the field of architecture.” See more L-Systems in architecture at Hansmeyer’s website.

SOM Mumbai Airport Canopy

Fractal Architecture SOM Canopy

A fractal roof canopy tops off a terminal at Mumbai’s Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport, modernizing a complex that accommodates 40 million travelers every year. The design visually references the form of vernacular Indian pavilions with thirty mushrooming columns. The kaleidoscopic canopy extends across the arrivals roadway and is embedded with small disks of colorful glass to catch the light.

Fractal-Based Sky Habitat for Singapore

Fractal Architecture Sky Habitat 1

Fractal Architecture Sky Habitat 2

This fractal design by Moshe Safdie makes the absolute most of a small land footprint with a high-density 38-story sky habitat integrating stepped balconies that democratize views and private outdoor space. Envisioned for Singapore, the tower is porous to light and air to maximize air movement in the tropical climate, and features a series of sky bridges containing parks and swimming pools.

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Forgotten Cities: 7 Unbuilt Urban Wonders of the World

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[ By Steph in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

Unbuilt Urban Wonders Main

Hundreds of outlandish architectural proposals envisioned for cities around the world are rejected every year, but some are notable for their vision, controversial nature or sheer scale. Berlin, for example, would be a very different place if Hitler had won World War II, and massive cities designed by Buckminster Fuller could be floating on the seas just off American shores. These seven unbuilt urban wonders of the world range from feasible concepts and almost-built developments to utopian pipe dreams.

Welthaupstadt: Hitler’s Vision for Berlin

Unbuilt Urban Wonders Hitler's Berlin

If Hitler had won World War II, as he expected, this is what he planned to do to Berlin: turn it into ‘World Capital Germania,’ filled with monuments honoring himself and the Third Reich. The photograph depicts a miniature model Hitler created along with Albert Speer, the “first architect of the Third Reich.” Among the massive planned structures were an Olympic stadium that would remain the largest in the world today if it had ever been completed, a large open forum, and a triumphal arch based on Paris’ Arc de Triomphe (only much larger, naturally.)

The city would have been reorganized around ‘The Avenue of Splendours,’ a north-south axis serving as a parade ground with traffic diverted into an underground highway. Sections of the tunnels were started but never completed, and remain in place today.

Project X: Disney’s EPCOT as a Real City

Unbuilt Urban Wonders Project X Disney 1

Unbuilt Urban Wonders Project X 2

Walt Disney wanted EPCOT (the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) to be a real, functioning city, and had every intention of making it so when he first began working on ‘Project X,’ the basis of what would eventually become Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Walt wanted EPCOT to be the opposite of 1950s Los Angeles, where he lived and worked. Plans for the project were designed in the special ‘Florida Room’ at Disney Studios. With a thirty-story hotel as its centerpiece, EPCOT was meant to be “a utopian environment enriched in education, and in expanding technology. A perfect city with dependable public transportation, a soaring civic center covered by an all-weather dome, and model factories concealed in green belts that were readily accessible to workers housed in idyllic suburban subdivisions nearby.”

Walt made a film showcasing the new city and showed it to a few friends shortly before his death. Walt’s brother Roy was skeptical, however, and shifted the plans to create ‘Disneyland East,’ or Walt Disney World. EPCOT isn’t exactly what Walt imagined, but vestiges of his ideas can be seen in the city of Celebration, Florida, located on the Disney World property.

Dongtan, China: The First Mega Eco-City That Almost Was

Unbuilt Urban Wonders Dongtan City China

Dongtan was to be an eco-friendly utopia, the worlds first large-scale sustainable city producing 100% of its own energy from wind, solar, bio-fuel and recycled city waste. Public transit was to be powered by clean tech like hydrogen fuel cells, though the city was designed to be walkable and bikeable. Organic farms within the city limits were to produce most of residents’ food. Developers imagined that Dongtan would serve as a shining example for cities across China and the developing world.

Plans called for the city to be partially constructed by 2010, with accommodations for 10,000 residents, and fully functional for 50,000 by 2020. They began to fall apart in 2006 when Shanghai’s former mayor, the most enthusiastic supporter of the project, was arrested for property-related fraud, and reporters visiting the site found that ground hadn’t even been broken.

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Alternative Landmarks: 12 Monuments As They Almost Were

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[ By Steph in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

 

Alternative Monuments Main

The Sydney Opera House might have been little more than a squat concrete building resembling a factory, and a visit to the statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial could have required scaling a massive stepped pyramid. Ranging from close second-place finishes in design competitions to proposals that were little more than pipe dreams, these alternative designs for 12 major iconic landmarks around the world represent radical departures from the monuments we’re accustomed to.

Sydney Opera House

Alternative Monuments Sydney Opera House

(images via: new world wonders, wikimedia commons)

The Sydney Opera House is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world, with a dramatic series of vaults rising from the ground along Sydney Harbour. But Danish architect Jørn Utzon’s now-iconic design was controversial when it was first proposed in 1957, and the design that came in second place may have been more palatable to the public. American architect Joseph Marzella’s design was rather industrial in its appearance, but didn’t seem quite so out there.  It’s hard to imagine the magnificent performing arts venue looking so squat and dull.

Triumphal Elephant in Place of Paris’ Arc de Triomphe

Alternative Monuments elephant 2

Alternative Monuments Arc de Triomphe Real

Alternative Monuments Elephant 1

(images via: wikimedia commons)

In place of one of Paris’ most famous monuments, the Arc de Triomphe, could have been a three-story elephant monument with a spiral staircase in the underbelly leading to the pinnacle. 18th century architect Charles Ribart offered this monument for the Champs Élysées, complete with a cross-sectional drawing showing the intricate rooms within, but was turned down by the French government.

This isn’t even the only massive, ridiculous elephant statue envisioned for Paris. Originally conceived by Napoleon, the imposing Elephant of the Bastille (third photo) was meant to be cast of bronze and placed in Paris’ Place de la Bastille on the site of the old Bastille prison, which was the birthplace of the French Revolution. A stairway set into the legs would give access to the top, and the base would be surrounded by a fountain. However, only a plaster model was built, as memorialized by Victor Hugo in the novel Les Miserables, and eventually the July Column took its place.

Unbuilt Design for the Golden Gate Bridge

Alternative Monuments Golden Gate Bridge

(images via: pbs newshour, wikimedia commons)

Now 76 years old, the Golden Gate Bridge is an iconic symbol of San Francisco, coated in literally millions of gallons of orange paint. The Art Deco-style bridge is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world, beating many experts’ predictions that it wouldn’t last against gale-force winds in the straight where the San Francisco Bay opens to the Pacific Ocean. But this wasn’t engineer Joseph Strauss’ first design. The original proposal is markedly different, with a heavier look combining cantilevered and suspension designs. It was rejected by the planning committee.

Lincoln Memorial Pyramid

Alternative Monuments Lincoln Memorial

(images via: i own the world, wikimedia commons)

Highlighted at Unbuilt Washington, an exhibition at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C., John Russell Pope’s Lincoln Memorial Proposal replaces the columned rectangular building honoring the 16th president with a pyramid. Anyone who wanted to get up close to Abraham Lincoln’s statue would have had to climb that entire thing to reach it. Some historians believe that this proposal was ridiculous on purpose; Pope wasn’t a fan of the swampy location chosen for the memorial, and may have created this and other absurd designs in an effort to encourage the committee to seek a new setting. Pope went on to successfully design the Jefferson Memorial.

Pyramid Necropolis for London’s Primrose Hill

Alternative Monuments Primrose Hill Necropolis

Alternative Monuments Primrose Hill Real

(images via: andrew gough, wikimedia commons)

Infused in the Victorian preoccupation with melancholy and inspired by the Egyptian spoils of traveler and tomb-raider Giovanni Battista Belzoni, London architect Thomas Wilson proposed a massive, 15-acre pyramid-shaped necropolis for the city’s Primrose Hill. The granite pyramid would have towered into the air with 94 tiers of tombs in honeycomb shapes and a base measuring 18 acres, casting a gargantuan shadow over the hill many Londoners use for picnics and looking out over the city. Churchyards were so crowded at the time, that graves were bursting out of the ground – but concerns about what to do with London’s dead weren’t enough to convince the public that a necropolis was a good idea.

White House Alterations for President Harrison

Alternative Monuments White House

Alternative Monuments White House Real

(images via: loc.gov, wikimedia commons)

While he’s not nearly as forgettable as his grandfather, ninth United States President William Henry Harrison – who died after just 32 days in office – many Americans will struggle to recall any of twenty-third President Benjamin Harrison’s achievements during his tenure in the White House. However, Harrison could have made quite a mark. The first President to reside in the White House after it was wired for electricity, Harrison and his First Lady, Caroline Harrison, proposed significant changes to the complex that were never carried out. However, ten years later, Theodore Roosevelt made plenty of changes of his own, including the addition of the West Wing.

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Mobile 3D-Printed House Factory in a Shipping Container

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[ By Steph in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

Dutch 3D Printed House 1

Yet another candidate has entered the race for the world’s first 3D-printed house, with a mobile 3D printing factory in a shipping container that can produce the components on-site. Dutch studio DUS Architects plan to use the ‘KamerMaker‘ machine to print a full-size canal house in Amsterdam, one piece at a time. Work will start within the next six months.

Dutch 3D printed House 2

The other two other concepts currently in the works, ProtoHouse 2.0 and Landscape House, also aim to get started on their own 3D houses by this summer.  What sets the DUS Architects concept apart is the fact that its printer is mobile. The KamerMaker is 3.5 meters high and easy to transport from one place to another.

Dutch 3D Printed House 3

The house, which will be built in a developing area along the Buiksloter-canal, will act as a hub for 3D printed architecture. DUS aims to print the entire facade this year, as well as the first room; other rooms will come later. Once complete, the first floor will become a ‘welcoming room.’ The entire construction site will be an event space to show off the capabilities of this technology.

Dutch 3D Printed House 4

The KamerMaker can print structures out of recyclable materials available on location, including biodegradable plastics, giving it great potential for emergency relief architecture. DUS plans to use polypropylene as well as plastic recycled on-site to build the facade and first floor of the house. Each room in the house will be dedicated to a certain type of research, including a ‘cook room’ where researchers will experiment with 3D printing in potato starch, and a ‘policy room’ where permits for printed structures will be discussed.

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Architecturally Literate: 13 Built Alphabets Spell Design

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[ By Steph in Design & Furniture & Decor. ]

Built Alphabets main

For those in love with letters, typography is – or should be – virtually everywhere, from furniture to office buildings. These 13 designs indulge typophiles with three-dimensional typefaces in functional objects including hand fails, bookcases, chairs, pavilions and fun concept architecture.

Alphabet Building, Amsterdam by MVRDV

Built Alphabets Amsterdam MVRDV

Architecture firm MVRDV has given their Alphabet Building a facade of 24 unusually-shaped windows that spell out most of the alphabet (curiously, I and Z are missing.) The building provides office space for small to mid-size creative agencies in Amsterdam, with a series of spacious loft-like units.

Negative Space Alphabet

Built Alphabets Buildings Photography

Berlin-based photographer and illustrator Lisa Reinermann captured the entire alphabet in the negative space between buildings in Barcelona. “I loved the idea of the sky as words, the negative being the positive. If I could find a ‘Q’, other letters should be somewhere around the corner.”

3D Font by Bank Associates

Built Alphabets 3D font

A single neon tube can be manipulated in three dimensions to look like any letter of the alphabet in this project by Adam Slowik of Bank Associates. Just turning it in various directions to face the camera produces the effect.

Bauhaus Concept by Chris Labrooy

Built Alphabets Bauhaus

A typeface and its architectural namesake are united in this Bauhaus concept, a digital illustration by designer Chris Labrooy.

Jumble of Letters Shelf by Pieter de Leeuw

Built Alphabets Jumble

Haphazardly jumbled together, the letters of the alphabet form a creative shelf unit that can hold books and other objects in its random niches.

Handrails, Shelves & Tables by Andrew Byrom

Built Alphabets Byrom 1

Built Alphabets Byrom 2

Typography enthusiast Andrew Byrom creates his own three-dimensional typefaces with physical objects, including shelves, chairs, tables and metal hand rails.

Alphabet City by Scott Teplin

Built Alphabets Teplin

Letters make for interesting building shapes in designer Scott Teplin’s ‘Alphabet City’ series of illustrations. Each letter provides a residential, commercial or industrial function, and the shapes work better than you might imagine – even W and Q. See them all at X-ing Books.

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Vertical Landfill: Monument to Civilization Honors Our Trash

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[ By Steph in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

Monument to Civilization Vertical Landfill 1

Nearly all of our most majestic architecture reflects pinnacles of achievement for our species, and one architect aims to call attention to yet another way in which we are ‘spectacular:’ our unmatched ability to produce incredible amounts of waste. ‘Monument to Civilization‘ is a vertical landfill tower that offers both a serious solution for urban waste management and a commentary on our unsustainable habits.

Monument to Civilization Vertical Landfill 2

Monument to Civilization Vertical Landfill 3

The third place winner in eVolo’s 2012 Skyscraper Competition, ‘Monument to Civilization’ is not just a sobering daily reminder of how wasteful we can be, and the pressing need for new solutions. It’s also a power plant, harvesting methane gas from all that rotting trash and using it to help keep the city running.

Monument to Civilzation Vertical Landfill 4

Lin Yu-Ta envisions a narrow tower reaching high into the sky. Noting that we often “build towers for towers’ sake,” the Taiwanese designer puts some meaning behind the spectacle: the 1,318-meter (4,324-foot) height of this tower proposal represents the space that would be needed to store just a single year worth of trash from New York City alone.

Monument to Civilization Vertical Landfill 5

“The ever-growing Monument may evoke the citizens’ introspection and somewhat leads to the entire city’s waste-decreasing and better recycling. Perhaps all metropolitan cities would inverse the worldwide competition from being the tallest to the shortest.”

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Vertical Landfill: Monument to Civilization Honors Our Trash

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[ By Steph in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

Monument to Civilization Vertical Landfill 1

Nearly all of our most majestic architecture reflects pinnacles of achievement for our species, and one architect aims to call attention to yet another way in which we are ‘spectacular:’ our unmatched ability to produce incredible amounts of waste. ‘Monument to Civilization‘ is a vertical landfill tower that offers both a serious solution for urban waste management and a commentary on our unsustainable habits.

Monument to Civilization Vertical Landfill 2

Monument to Civilization Vertical Landfill 3

The third place winner in eVolo’s 2012 Skyscraper Competition, ‘Monument to Civilization’ is not just a sobering daily reminder of how wasteful we can be, and the pressing need for new solutions. It’s also a power plant, harvesting methane gas from all that rotting trash and using it to help keep the city running.

Monument to Civilzation Vertical Landfill 4

Lin Yu-Ta envisions a narrow tower reaching high into the sky. Noting that we often “build towers for towers’ sake,” the Taiwanese designer puts some meaning behind the spectacle: the 1,318-meter (4,324-foot) height of this tower proposal represents the space that would be needed to store just a single year worth of trash from New York City alone.

Monument to Civilization Vertical Landfill 5

“The ever-growing Monument may evoke the citizens’ introspection and somewhat leads to the entire city’s waste-decreasing and better recycling. Perhaps all metropolitan cities would inverse the worldwide competition from being the tallest to the shortest.”


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