Piano House in An Hui, China

Piano house fotoExcerpt from original article:

 This unique piano house was built recently in An Hui Province, China. Inside of the violin is the escalator to the building. The building displays various city plans and development prospects in an effort to draw interest into the recently developed area.This unusual Piano and Violin shaped building built in 2007 serves as showroom for exhibiting the plans for newly created district of Shannan in Huainan City, China.The transparent Violin houses the escalators and the staircase for the main piano building which displays various plans and development prospects for newly developed area.

 Very interesting. Check out the other fotos!!

http://factsstop.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-piano-house-china.html

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Beer can house in Houston, TX

Excerpt from article:
At first, all John Milkovisch wanted in 1968 was a covered patio where he could drink his beer at the end of the day. But a bigger idea was brewing. For years, he had been saving his empty beer cans.

“While I was building the patio I was drinking the beer,” in an interview in 1983. “I knew I was going to do something with them aluminum cans because that was what I was looking for … but I didn’t know what I was going to do.” (Milkovisch died in 1988.)

Over time, Milkovisch’s love of beer and work with his hands — he was an upholsterer — fused into one project. In his retirement, he covered his entire home with beer cans — all different parts, in various shapes and functions. It’s that more than 50,000 cans were used.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/07/31/207384768/for-the-love-of-beer-how-empty-cans-made-a-house-a-home?utm_source=npr&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=20130731

My comment: This would be a tough appraisal!!!

Flintstone House in Burlingame CA

Excerpt:
The Flintstone House is a free-form, single-family residence in Hillsborough, California[1] overlooking, and best seen from the Eugene A. Doran Memorial Bridge on Interstate 280.[2][3] It was designed by architect William Nicholson and built in 1976 as an experiment in new building materials, in the form of a series of domes. It was constructed by spraying shotcrete onto steel rebar and wire mesh frames over inflated balloons. Originally off-white in color, it was repainted a deep orange in the mid-2000s. The house contains three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Known popularly as “The Flintstone House”, it derives its name from The Flintstones, a Hanna-Barbera Productions animated cartoon series of the early 1960s about a Stone Age family.

My comment: it is very strange in an upscale neighborhood, visible from the freeway. I don’t think the neighbors like it ;>

Link to Wikepedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Flintstone_House

The conic "Trulli" dwellings in (Apulia / Italy)

Excerpt:
Trulli (trullo in singular) are round or square dwellings or storebuildings with cone shaped roofs found in the Itria valley in the Apulian region of southern Italy. They are traditionally built completely without mortar – to avoid taxation, it’s been said. Allthough some foundations can be traced back to the Neolithic period, really ancient trulli don’t exist, because people used to tear them down when they became rickety and rebuild them or build new ones using the material from the ones they tore down. New trulli are still being constructed the traditional way.

Traditional symbols of good luck and protection against the evil eye are painted on the roofs. They can be pagan, Jewish, Christain, Hellenic, magical – some are so old nobody remembers their origin or exactly what they mean.

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Cave dwellings (Sassi di Matera / Italy)

Excerpt:
This awesome place in the town of Matera in the region of Basilicata, Italy, is carved out from the soft tuff rock mountain (sassi = rocks). In 1952 the inhabitants were forcefully relocated by the government due to breakdown of the dwellings’ complicated ecosystems and lack of sanitary systems, but that’s changing now that they have entered Unesco’s World Heritage list (1993). One of the main reasons for the inclusion on the list is the enormous rainwater collection system, another reason is of course the age – the oldest inhabited parts date from the Palaeolithic period, and are thought to be among the first human settlements on the entire peninsula. Several caves have been carefully restored, parts as museum, but most as proper homes, or as holiday homes, small businesses, hotels, and B&Bs.

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Doomsday shelters

Excerpts: You know all about the real-estate market. But what about the “underground” real-estate market — the secretive efforts of homeowners to install doomsday shelters at home?

If suppliers’ reports are a gauge, the market is small but growing. Unlike 1950s-era fallout shelters and newer aboveground “safe rooms,” meant to protect against storms and home invasions, bunkers are buried at least 6 feet under, in part to shield occupants from nuclear radiation.

You can buy a bare-bones shelter for $38,000 uninstalled or spend tens of millions of dollars — and a surprising number do — on a lavish, custom-made subterranean sanctuary.

And yet, the fears are powerful. About 30% of Camden’s clients are into “2012 stuff, the-world-as-you-know-it-coming-to-an-end type stuff,” he says. “I’d say at least half, if not 55%, is all geared for economic collapse and anarchy.” The remaining 20% involves the military, data storage and EMP mitigation.

“Our typical client is a wealthy, white Republican, highly educated, usually with a minimum of a master’s degree,” Camden says. Typically, the shelter is attached to their primary residence. These clients, he says, fear that economic collapse is near.

My comment: Yes, I have watched a few episodes of Doomsday Preppers on TV. Very interesting, but somewhat strange. And I am a big fan of sci-fi post-disaster survivor movies and tv shows.

Click here for more info

Safe House: For when security cameras just don't cut it (Poland)

Excerpt: With its drawbridge and various mechanically operated moving parts, this 6,100-square foot concrete cuboid compound in the country was designed by for clients whose “top priority was to gain the feeling of maximum security in their future house.” Either that or they wanted to live in what’s essentially an aboveground Batcave with a swimming pool.

The house is situated in a small village at the outskirts of Warsaw. The surroundings are dominated with usual „polish cubes” from the sixties and old wooden barns.

Click here to read the article

Lord of the Rings – Hobbit houses from the movie

Hobbit Homes

Excerpt:

The Hobbit scenes from Lord of the Rings Movie Trilogy were filmed on a hillside lot in Matamata, New Zealand. Now the little Hobbit Homes have become a tourist attraction, but also they became homes for some of the sheep from a nearby farm. The interiors of these white structures were never finished because the scenes shot inside were actually filmed on a studio set.

Although the place where these Hobbit houses rest under the sun are not an intimidating fun Disneyland-like  amusement park, one can visit the countryside and get a chance to learn more about the sheep raised here and even pet the lambs. From inside the little houses the scenery opens to a beautiful valley with trees scattered here and there. The panorama is almost untouched by humans and it gives one the feeling of being in the right place at the right time. Round entrances and windows blend beautifully with the green grass creating a surreal environment that could give Lord of the Rings fans an exquisite travel experience.

http://freshome.com/2010/10/25/cute-lord-of-the-rings-hobbit-houses-in-new-zealand/

Hobbit House of Montana

Excerpt:

The Hobbit House, in northwest Montana, about a three-hour drive from Spokane, Wash., is a guesthouse. Number of units: one. But it is a large unit. The Web site, which the reporter studies before arriving, shows a 1,000-square-foot structure built into a hill, on a 20-acre site dotted with structures that range from small to perfect for squashing with your foot: a four-foot stump-shaped troll house, a few round-door hobbit houses with chimney pipes and several shoe-box-size fairy houses.

But what is a visit to the Hobbit House without a tour of the shire? Into the RTV we go, accompanied by Mr. Michaels’s dog, Libby, a collie-shepherd mix. Here is a tiny sod-roof house belonging to Frodo, a Baggins relation; there, in the trunk of a tree, is a mother-son fairy abode (complete with two doors). Not everything is hobbitically accurate: there is a two-foot-tall hairy-back frog, because Mr. Michaels figured that if hobbits were hairy, their frogs should be, too.

“And look,” he says, steering the cart toward the sod-covered roof of the life-size guesthouse. “You can drive over the house, because it’s built into the ground. Right now, we’re 30 feet over your bedroom.”

Link to a story written by a New York Times reporter with a photo slide show
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/11/garden/the-hobbit-house-in-montana.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

2,300 sq.ft. House built in 2hrs 52 mins 29secs – a record!!

Excerpts:
embed [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2HqW-AAb20?rel=0&w=420&h=315]

A new World Record was set in 2005, as the 2 Hour House was constructed in 2hrs 52 mins 29secs. The event took place in Tyler, Texas, where volunteers from various building trades came together in an unprecedented show of team spirit. In July 2006, the 2 Hour House project donated $30,000 back to the East Texas community, through six non-profit charitable organizations. This clip is an excerpt from the 60-minute documentary. For information and to purchase the full-length DVD, visit http://www.2HourHouse.com

Scroll down the page to see the stats – here are a few:
•It takes a day to set the forms, dig footings and set steel.     8 min
• It takes a half a day to rough-in the plumbing.                    7min
• It takes a day to pour and finish concrete.                         40min

I love the music!! I shoulda been there drumming!!

Thanks to Brad Stinson of Zaio for this great link!!