For two decades, a statue of Buddha sat alone at the Makomanai Takino Cemetery in Sapporo, Japan. More recently, architect Tadao Ando built a man-made covering all but the top of the statue’s head, hiding the rest of the religious icon inside an observation gallery beneath a lavender-covered hill.
At a height of 2717 feet, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa is the tallest building on Earth, towering over its nearest competition. TED-Ed takes a look at the engineering innovations that made it possible. Though its rapid, 5-year construction didn’t come without a cost for those who toiled to build it for low wages in poor working conditions.
Artist Ekow Nimako celebrates African culture through his incredible LEGO brick constructions. His most recent works are constructed entirely from black bricks, revealing their details through light and shadow. His epic Kumbi Saleh 3020 CE, pays tribute to West Africa’s medieval kingdoms through the lens of Afrofuturism.
Despite being made almost entirely out of bamboo, this unique handmade home has a contemporary aesthetic. The guys from Primitive Survival Tool spent about 60 days in the woods building this villa from scratch. It’s not obvious at first glance, but it actually has a basement with a bedroom hidden inside.
How’d you like to spend your weekends in a lunar lander? Catamaran designer Kurt Hughes turned his skills towards building an earthbound structure inspired by the iconic space vehicle. His 250 sq.ft. “fishing shack” sits along the banks of the Columbia River, and is made from carbon fiber panels, plywood, and epoxy.
Every time we see a cool tiny house, it makes us want to downsize and live a more spartan and economical life. Living Big in a Tiny House introduces us to Jason and Summer, who built themselves a modern and pragmatic house on her parent’s land and filled it with art. We love that indoor/outdoor kitchen passthrough.
Marc Hagan-Guirey – aka “the dark king of kirigami” – creates marvels with paper, a ruler, a sharp blade, and an equally sharp eye. For Le Corbusier Paper Models, he created templates and step-by-step guides so patient crafters can cut and fold their own mini-models of 10 iconic buildings by modernist architect Le Corbusier.
There’s something so comforting about staying in a tiny house. Everything just seems more manageable. Latvian firm Brette Haus shows of their design for a prefabricated house that arrives partially assembled, then unfolds from its box shape to reveal its structure. Prices for the homes start at €22000 (~$26,700 USD).
Need a getaway from the daily grind? We’ve always wanted a custom-built cabin in the woods to escape the world. This 256-page book by Sofia Borges and Sven Ehmann offers a visual catalog of some of the world’s most bucolic hideouts. It’s a great source of architectural inspiration and relaxing thoughts.
Ready for the biggest production LEGO set ever? Bring Italy to your tabletop with this model of Rome’s ancient Colosseum. Creator set #10276 includes an incredible 9,036 bricks – most of which are the same sandstone color. The elliptical stadium was once the largest amphitheater in the world, seating up to 80,000 spectators.
The Bobby Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee created a truly special centerpiece for their rooftop pool area. The hotel teamed up with the Hemphill Brothers Coach Company to turn an old Greyhound bus into a lounge. The bus features custom hydraulic doors by Schweiss Doors to protect its interior from the elements.
Escape from the world in this off-grid tiny house, located in the woods of Fall Creek, Wisconsin, just 10 minutes from Big Falls County Park. It offers a cozy getaway for two adults, with a queen-size bed, a kitchen with an electric stove, sink, and mini-fridge, and a bathroom with an electric toilet and high-efficiency shower.
14-year-old LEGO builder Alex Bailey created this 6-foot-long model of New York City’s skyline. The freestyle brick builder was inspired to build the miniature Manhattan after a surprise helicopter tour he took of the city for Christmas 2019. His proud mom posted video and photos of this amazing LEGO creation. Great job, Alex!
Bcompact’s hybrid bamboo staircase is hinged and attaches to one wall, so it can fold up flat when not in use. They feature an aluminum handrail on one side that folds along with the stairs. Each one is custom-fitted for the specific installation. The video shows off a few other folding items from designer Zev Bianchi.
Boutique rental company Lodgewell offers the coolest properties in Austin and the Texas Hill Country, and nothing keeps Austin weird like The Bloomhouse. Built in the ‘70s as a hippie dream – and renovated by ex-mayor Dave Claunch – the whimsical white meringue is 1,100 square feet but nothing else about it is square. Nothing.
Model builder Crouzier Benjamin is back with another amazing work of wooden architecture. This time, he and two friends painstakingly arranged 22,000 Kapla planks to create a massive coliseum and an accompanying tower. Then in seconds, it all came tumbling down – on purpose.
For hundreds of years, architects and construction teams have tried to one-up each other with the tallest buildings on the planet. FilmCore’s comparison video uses 3D models of famous structures to show just how far we’ve come, from the skinny tower atop Philadelphia’s City Hall to the sky-high Burj Khalifa and beyond.
We’re pretty sure The Beatles envisioned a much larger ship when they proclaimed “We all live in a yellow submarine.” But as Living Big in a Tiny House shows us, you don’t even need to live beneath the waves to dwell in such a golden vessel. If you happen to be visiting New Zealand, you can even stay there.
Vancouver, BC firm BLA Design took home First Prize in the 2019 Bee Breeders Microhome Competition for their nifty sustainable housing concept. Using vacant urban lots, they propose that the land be used for low-cost, tiny homes, each packing in zones for resting, bathing, cooking, living, dining, and farming.
The Anthénea offers the ultimate getaway. The solar-powered pod floats on water, offering 360º views both above and below the surface. Its interior is decked out with luxurious fixtures and finishes, along with smart home technology. While it’s meant mostly as a hotel room, you can buy one for yourself if money is no object.
The Zen Work Pod provides a modern space that’s perfect for getting away from the kids while you work. It’s made from wood, aluminum, and tempered glass, and comes with built-in shelving, a SmartDesk 2, and a Kinn Chair. Assembly takes about 3 days. MSRP is $15k, but if register your interest now you could get a big discount.
Swedish home decor company Vipp has designed a compact, ultramodern home designed to showcase their furnishings. The 592 sq.ft. home is built from steel and glass, and can sleep four people. It’s available to rent as a weekend getaway, or you can buy one for your own lot for $585,000. More on If It’s Hip, It’s Here.
Designed by Enrica Martiné, these unique playing cards feature imagery inspired by the traditional mechanical drawing style of blueprints. Each card is printed in an indigo blue with fine white line art, while the face cards, backs, and boxes will have accents of metallic silver ink thanks to already reaching a stretch goal.
Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite was arguably the best movie of 2019, blending tense storytelling, moody cinematography, social commentary, and the darkest of humor. Great Big Story explains how the house at the center of its story never really existed, and was entirely created as a series of sets by Production Designer Ha-Jun Lee.
Architect Mohamed Radwan took home a 2020 DNA Paris Design Award for his concept for a new kind of cubicle. Each of his hexagonal pods would have an airtight acrylic door and skylight, along with its own ventilation and air filtration system, reducing the likelihood of spreading germs within an office, while improving privacy.
Designed and built by architect Aigars Lauzis, this unique mobile home combines an electric tricycle, a boat, and a tiny living space in one. Its motors propel it up to 25 mi on land or 19 mi on water, and its wheels fold up when floating. Its interior has removable bench seating and a small sleeping area for two.