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Author: staff

Spitbank Fort

Wars have a powerful effect on the development of our society, and this is true for buildings as much as any other area of life. The need to protect what you have or attack the other side drives innovation and design. In the 1860’s the English were at war with the French (again!) and needed fortifications along the Channel that separates the two nations. Prime Minister Lord Palmerston wanted to protect the naval fleet, so commissioned a series of forts near to Portsmouth to this end. The idea behind it is that they could intercept the French fleet and...

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Hundertwasser Haus – Vienna, Austria

When we are children, we draw pictures of houses that start as a box with windows. Over time, as our imagination develops, we make these pictures less and less like the norm. Imagine what would happen if you kept on drawing pictures of homes throughout your adult life and your mind just kept on coming up with more and more outrageous ideas. In the Austrian capital of Vienna, you will find a building that is the ultimate in this concept. The more you develop ideas, the more fun you can have with them. But that’s just on paper. How...

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Inversion House – Houston, Texas

When a building gets towards the end of its useful life, the natural instinct is to tear it down and start again. This happens with buildings all over the world, because we want to start out with something new and fit for purpose. A building may be in poor repair or what it was built for has gone, so we start again. Urban renewal is often in the news. It is an important part of keeping the towns and cities we live in fresh and vibrant. But at times, there are buildings that we might want to protect –...

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World’s Slimmest House – The Keret House, Poland

It is expensive to find a place to live in the city, no matter which city you are talking about. And the Polish capital of Warsaw is no exception to this. Warsaw is famous for its beautiful architecture, bustling city centre and the fact that it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is home to over 3 million people and this causes a problem when it comes to finding your own spot in the city. So, with property prices at a premium, how do you counter this? Building small is one thing, but building slim is quite...

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Kakslauttanen Hotel – Saariselkä, Finland

One of the base instincts of the human race is to explore. We want to find places that are closer to the edge of our boundaries and see how other people live. The package vacation was supposed to be the start of a revolution in how we connected with the world. But it didn’t have that effect. It wasn’t until bespoke trips could be managed, that people could truly wonder in the amazing planet we live in. The buildings are an essential part of this connection with the rest of the world. Rather than slap up a faceless hotel...

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