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For some people it’s castles with their noble history and crumbling towers, for others it’s abandoned factories or lost cities. But for those who enjoy reading, a huge beautiful library is a place of endless pleasure. Meet 20 of the biggest and most beautiful libraries around the globe, as presented by . You can find this and more fascinating pictures on Candida Hofer's book. Abbey Library St. Gallen, Switzerland
This might be the coolest house design concept for urban dwellers and landscape lovers alike – a singular shining metal-and-glass structure divided into sections, each of which independently slides up story by story. With this marvelous motion comes stunning views on all sides, and the option to retreat, dropping back down to disappear in the surrounding environment. Just imagine: push a button and you could move your whole home or just part of it, changing your entire perspective, privacy level and relationship to other rooms at will.
Wood tree houses are rarely timeless, built as they are into the ever-changing natural environment and often constructed natural materials such as woods that surround them. The plan is often to make them play places more than permanent homes. Some are created as novelty buildings for rent to the public (such as hotels, inns and other vacation properties) while others are intended to be lofted restaurants, temporary homes or forts for children. A shack in the sky is somehow so much more compelling than the same run-down little lodge structure sitting on the ground below, but it also more susceptible to the elements through its exposure. These beautiful-but-shoddy tree houses had to be abandoned as the pictures above show.
It looks like a blimp that crash-landed in the forest, a luxury yacht or strange submarine washed ashore – that was modified, renovated and transformed into a habitable year-round home in the trees. Using engineering techniques employed in building strong rigid curves into the framework of wood boats and aircraft hulls, this unique tree house is at once cutting-edge and curiously eccentric.
Who wouldn’t run scared at the sight of such a thing?
It looks downright dangerous … yet its creator claims it is divinely inspired by a vision he received in which he was told to begin building a tree house for which he would never run out of materials. 15 years, 10,000 square feet and 250,000 nails and a lot of scrap wood later, this amazing structure towers up over the very trees that support it. Known as the Minister’s Treehouse (out of deference to creator Horace Burgess, de facto pastor of the forest) trange features of this phenomenal structure include: a third-floor basketball-court-and-sanctuary combination, a half-ton chime at the very top of the building on top of a penthouse suite Burgess built for his wife as an anniversary present. The structure itself seems to fluctuate between highly organized, regular and planned to completely haphazard, chaotic and unstable.
Patrick Dougherty is a builder and yet not an architect – he is perhaps best described as an artist and sculptor, a wood craftsman the likes of which most of us have never seen. Rather than cutting, planing, leveling and assembling rectilinear wood structures he shapes living trees into amazing natural tree buildings. What started as simple arbosculptures quickly become inhabitable spaces and entire built environments.
From building materials and construction techniques to room requirements and site restrictions, Terunobu Fujimori takes nothing for granted when designing a new home.
Treehouses are more popular than ever, as play spaces for children but also as luxury hotel (and even house) designs for adults.
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These days you can buy treehouse plans online or hire an architect to design (and contractor to build) your own custom contemporary home in the trees. However, many of us remember the tree houses and forts of our childhoods – those ones that were more about do-it-yourself construction without much of a plan. Beyond those though are the true tree homes built to be lived in all year round. In some parts of the world and periods of history, the make-your-own approach has been more about function than fun.
Live, work, and art – all in one place. Built for an art collector in New York City, this top-floor condo is filled with sweeping curves and subtle illumination – but these artistic moves are tempered with strategically flat wall surfaces for hanging artworks as well. UNstudio , like any museum designer, faced the challenge of optimizing the design for artwork without letting pieces become overwhelmed by the architecture and interior design strategies – particularly tricky with the added element of inhabitants.