Floating on Dry Land: 17 Derelict Houseboats Find New Home

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ceuvel project lifting place

Located in the north of Amsterdam, the recently-opened De Ceuval (conceptualized by Space&Matter) is a radical redevelopment project featuring homes, offices, restaurants and gardens, all accessed via elevated winding platforms that connect renovated houseboats.

houseboat space matter diagram

houseboats on dry land

A former shipping wharf, this brownfield site is being transformed from a polluted wasteland into a temporary ten-year creative haven, all designed to revitalize and rehabilitate the land it occupies and leave it cleaner at the end of its lease.

houseboat winding wood pathways

houseboat brick wall exterior

The complex is made up of an array of formerly-floating homes that are no longer seaworthy but can still be fixed up and find a second life on land. As PopUpCity reports, “The imaginatively retro-fitted houseboats that make up the creative quarter are all placed around a winding bamboo walkway and the surrounding landscape consists of plants that clean the soil.”

houseboat brownfield site renovation

houseboat axon diagram

An incredible array of sustainable strategies are being employed in the development, both for the benefit of the site and to educate the public,  showing off “new technologies that can transform how we produce and consume resources and public services in cities. Throughout the site, solar technologies will convert energy from the sun into heat and electricity. Green roofs and water collection systems are designed to collect, purify, and store rainwater for when it’s needed. Sanitation systems will extract energy, nutrients, and water from the waste produced for on-site food production. A network of sensors provide information on performance and user behavior.”

houseboat renovated interior design

houseboat gathering people party

One of the central features of the program is the Ceuvel Café, designed as a gathering and eating space for tenants and visitors alike, featuring “lectures, workshops and tastings. In the future, it will also be possible to buy locally produced vegetables [and attend] guided tours and events. Ceuvel Café will also act as a stage for artists, musicians, theat[rical performers] and filmmakers.”

houseboat finished pedestrian diagram

aerial view micro town

The entire complex is meant to serve not only the designer and architects who occupy it, but the environment around it, using green tactics of all kinds including  “high-tech systems like sensors, monitoring devices, solar panels, and high-efficiency electric boilers. Low-tech systems also play an important role, including biological waste processing, water filtration, smart insulation methods, vegetation, and solar tubes that provide more natural light to indoor spaces.”


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All Terrains: 3 Futuristic Land, Sea & Air E-Vehicle Designs

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[ By WebUrbanist in Technology & Vehicles & Mods. ]

land sea air vehicles

This amazing all-terrain land variant is just the first of three compelling electric vehicles conceptualized with lightweight materials and green technologies and designed, respectively, for overground, aerial and underwater travel.

nimbus concept e car

nimbus offroad concept car

nimbus electric vehicle design

First of this series by Eduardo Galvani, the Nimbus features an electrical engine powered by a lithium-ion battery that works in parallel with a combustion micro-generator for recharging.

nimbus interior dashboard view

nimbus all terrain vehicle

nimbus on the road

Its structure is composed of carbon-fiber, titanium and aluminium, lightening its load. It also features rooftop solar cells and a regenerative brake mechanism helping it recover and save kinetic energy. Panoramic wraparound windows allow for views out in all directions, while key design elements are picked up in the dramatic sky and sea variants shown below.

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No Mirage: Unlock a Secret Pool Hidden in the Mojave Desert

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[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Installation & Sound. ]

desert pool installation project

An art installation with a side of rugged adventure, the Social Pool is a project open to the public but locked and with a location only revealed via coordinates that lead visitors on a long trek to its discovery.

desert secret hidden pool

Seekers must first travel to the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in West Hollywood and retrieve one of four keys that open the pool, and will be tasked with taking one gallon water to help refill it as well. Los Angeles area travelers do not stumble upon it by accident – it is not on any road, trail or path.

social pool uncovered sand

Keys are to be returned within 24 hours, whether or not you find the secret spot and uncover the cool pool of filtered water, powered by solar panels. You cannot reserve a key in advance – you must show up and see if one is available. Uncertainty is part of the experience, like it or not.

social pool remote desert

Designed by Austrian artist Alfredo Barsugli, LAist describes it as something “meant to reflect on the lengths humans would go to in the pursuit of luxury,” but also as a good excuse to spend some time exploring an amazing desert landscape.

underground beauty resort installation

underground desert spa sand

Barsugli is not new to strange desert installations – a previous piece, the Oderfla Beauty Resort, featured a spa building semi-submerged in desert sand.

social pool art installation

It is also worth stocking up on gas, food and water and watching out for snakes, lizards and hares along the way. Hint: the pool is not close to the MAK. Its position is only given broadly to the public: somewhere in the southern Mojave Desert between Joshua Tree and Apple Valley. Images by Alfredo Barsugli and Juliet Bennett Rylah of LAist.


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Metro Koi: Thousands of Fish Occupy Abandoned Bangkok Mall

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[ By WebUrbanist in Travel & Urban Exploration. ]

fish mall floor views

Built, closed, partially demolished, boarded up and ultimately deserted, the New World Mall in the capital city of Thailand has become home a strange and unexpected attraction.

fish mall vertical shot

Abandoned nearly two decades ago after violating building codes, the roof of the structure collapsed in a subsequent fire, leading the building to be partially filled with rainwater.

metro colorful wild fish

metro koi closeup picture

Standing pools throughout the place gave rise to a serious mosquito infestation, which the locals sought to combat by introducing fish that, in turn, bred, spread and inhabited the ruins.

fish mall front facade

fish mall outside vendors entrance

Since then, the mall has turned into a kind of alternative tourist destination where visitors flock to feed the fish, now occupying over 5,000 square feet of space originally intended for retail. Vendors have even sprung up in the area to sell scraps of food – throwing anything else into the standing water is strictly forbidden. More images of the building and its context can be found here.

fish mall escalator level

fish mall closeup columns

fish mall occupation habitat

RenegadeTravels explains how to get to this centrally-located abandonment: “The mall is only around 5 minutes’ walk from Khao San Road. Walk to the end of Khao San Road where the small glass police station is and turn right onto Chakrabongse Road. Then walk straight ahead until you come to the junction with Phra Sumen Road. This intersection is known as Bang Lam Pu Junction. You will see the main entrance to New World Mall here, but you can’t get in from the front.”


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16 Cap Redesigns Give 2nd Lives to 40,000 Used Cola Bottles

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coke bottle cap reuse

Aimed at promoting the creative reuse of plastic bottles, Coca-Cola has launched a project to give away caps that convert discarded drink containers to fun and practical alternative functions.

These so-called Second Lives adapters can turn waste vessels into everything from bubble blowers and squirt guns to night lights, shampoo dispensers, pencil sharpeners, paintbrushes and water-filled weights.

coke cap guerrilla marketing

The plan, hatched by Ogilvy & Mather China, is to distribute these caps for free in Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam, with the company encouraging people to take off the Coke labels to avoid confusion. The larger idea is to inspire alternative uses for old plastic bottles, getting people to think outside of the box about what is disposable and what could, in fact, have some sort of second life waiting within it.

coke cap alternative examples

“We are always looking for better solutions to reduce the use of plastic and increase recycling around the world,” said Leonardo O’Grady, ASEAN Director Integrated Marketing Communications, Coca-Cola. “The variety of our ‘2nd Lives’ caps shows that there are many creative ways to re-use plastic simply and practically, and also supports our global sustainability program.” 

second lives cola project

The project was piloted in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in March, with an expected 40,000 bottle caps to be gifted throughout the country this year. The campaign is set to launch in Thailand and Indonesia at a later date. Still, it is worth wondering whether adding more plastic to the world is worthwhile. As neat as some of these designs are, will they ultimately reduce waste or contribute to it?


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