Copycat Tower Bridge in China sparks controversy

March 2, 2017 by  
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China is infamous for copying famous architecture from other countries – according to The New York Times the country boasts 10 White Houses, a couple of Great Sphinxes, four Arcs de Triomphe, and at minimum one Eiffel Tower. Now in the city of Suzhou, a Tower Bridge based on London’s iconic landmark is drawing attention, although the New York Times says it’s unclear why the bridge , which was completed in 2012, has suddenly been garnering international notice. Images of Suzhou’s Tower Bridge have drawn awe – one news outlet described the Chinese bridge as even more magnificent than the original. Suzhou’s bridge certainly is much larger; it accommodates a five-lane highway and flaunts four towers instead of two. Pedestrian walkways and observation platforms allow people to enjoy the views and architecture of the bridge. Related: China officially bans ‘weird’ architecture But not everyone is enamored with the Chinese Tower Bridge. Suzhou, which has been called the Venice of the East, has its own architectural traditions, such as whitewashed courtyard houses and ancient gardens. Some of China’s most beautiful traditional architecture can be found in the city. Li Yingwu, president of Beijing-based firm OAD Group , called Suzhou’s Tower Bridge plagiarism. He said, “I was really surprised that it got built in Suzhou, because it has preserved its culture really well. It shows that local officials lack confidence in their own culture. They don’t understand that architecture essentially is about culture. It’s not merely an object.” One news outlet, JSChina.com.cn , even suggested the copycat bridge would hinder promotion of the country’s traditional culture. Suzhou has 56 other copycat bridges, according to The New York Times, imitating international bridges like Australia’s Sydney Harbor Bridge or Paris’ Alexandre III Bridge. Architect Cheng Taining of the Chinese Academy of Engineering told Beijing News in 2015 some officials believe foreign-style structures bestow status on an area, making it look more modern or sophisticated. Via ArchDaily and The New York Times Images via CCTV Facebook

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Copycat Tower Bridge in China sparks controversy

World’s oldest fossils discovered in Canada – and they’re 4 billion-years-old

March 2, 2017 by  
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Around four billion years ago, bacteria formed tiny tubes and filaments, likely in deep-sea hydrothermal vents. An international team of scientists lead by the University College London (UCL) recently discovered those microorganism remains, preserved for billions of years, which the scientists think could be the oldest fossils humans have ever unearthed. The discovery might even hold clues to life on other planets like Mars .

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World’s oldest fossils discovered in Canada – and they’re 4 billion-years-old

San Francisco artists form human chain across Golden Gate Bridge in peaceful demonstration

January 20, 2017 by  
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Donald Trump ’s inauguration might be unstoppable, but that doesn’t mean people are about to sit around and normalize hate and bigotry. Across the nation, communities are seizing January 20th as an opportunity to demonstrate the power of unity in overcoming darkness, and from inspiring Post-it-covered walls to the eleven-year-old offering “emotional-advice therapy” in the NYC subway, many are doing so in creative and unprecedented ways. To prove that #LoveTrumpsHate and that we are #StrongerTogether, a group of San Francisco artists called “ satoriteller ” organized “ Bridge Together Golden Gate ” – the first human chain across the Golden Gate Bridge. Rain or shine, 25,000 people pledged to wear purple and link hands across the iconic landmark. It took 3000 people to stretch across the bridge itself, and even more linked hands on either side. https://youtu.be/ARsCu2MMKCk The artist collective is rallying locals to hold hands across the bridge to form a “shining beacon of inclusiveness and democracy” and hopes to demonstrate that “the hateful rhetoric of the in-coming president & his administration will not be tolerated.” The group emphasizes that the event is a “community-based demonstration and performance art piece” and not a protest or march. There are no plans to obstruct traffic or cause disturbances of any kind. So far, satoriteller has raised over $20,000 in donations, part of which is being used to fund event necessities like porta-potties and EMTs. The remaining funds will be donated to Southern Poverty Law Center , Planned Parenthood , and The Trevor Project . According to satoriteller, the color purple is a symbol of unity and anti-bullying. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the one of the world’s most famous bridges, Bridge Together Golden Gate is an inspiring reminder of the power of peace and the need to remember that only love can drive out darkness. + Bridge Together Golden Gate + satoriteller Photos via Bridge Together Golden Gate

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San Francisco artists form human chain across Golden Gate Bridge in peaceful demonstration

Mystical cantilever Tintagel Footbridge connects visitors to the legendary ruins of King Arthur castle

November 9, 2016 by  
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Paying homage to the lore surrounding Tintagel Castle, Ney & Partners and William Matthews Associates came up with a design symbolizing the myths. According to the project description from William Matthews Associates , “Our winning proposal is based on a simple concept: to recreate the link that once existed and filled the current void. Instead of introducing a third element that spans from side to side, we propose two independent cantilevers that reach out and touch, almost, in the middle.” Related: Spectacular Lucky Knot bridge in China twists and turns like a Möbius Strip The significant space between the two cantilevers symbolizes the transition between past and present, according to William Matthews Associates, as well as between “reality and legend” and “the known and the unknown.” According to Ney & Partners , the materials with which they aim to build the footbridge will be “simple, durable, and appropriate to the context of the site.” Steel, slate, and oak are among the materials they named for the Tintagel Castle Footbridge. When English Heritage chose the two firms’ design, founder of William Matthews Associates William Matthews said in a statement , “Tintagel Castle attracts visitors for many reasons: the dramatic landscapes and geological formations, the Dark Age remains, the ruined 12th century castle and the legends of King Arthur and Tristan and Isolde. Together, they breath an undeniable and powerful sense of life into the place – to be invited to contribute to that is a rare privilege and honor.” According to Ney & Partners, the bridge could be finished in 2019. + Ney & Partners + William Matthews Associates Images via Ney & Partners/William Matthews Associates/Hayes Davidson/Emily Whitfield-Wicks

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Mystical cantilever Tintagel Footbridge connects visitors to the legendary ruins of King Arthur castle

Spectacular Lucky Knot bridge in China twists and turns like a Mbius Strip

October 27, 2016 by  
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Located in the megacity Changsha’s rapidly developing New Lake District, Lucky Knot spans the Dragon King Harbor River and serves as an auspicious icon for the region. The steel-framed bridge stretches 185 meters in length and 24 meters in height and is painted red—a color symbolizing good luck and happiness in Chinese culture. The bridge’s unusual shape combines the principles behind the Möbius Strip and Chinese knotting, a decorative handicraft art typically made with red rope, and often used as auspicious wall hangings. The Lucky Knot’s eye-catching design isn’t the only way it stands out from most pedestrian bridges . Public engagement was a big focus of the design, which was crafted with recreational, ecological, and tourist activities in mind. Multiple landing platforms and cutouts, as well as the bridge’s multiple swooping levels that connect to different heights like the riverbank and the elevated park, encourage a sense of play. An LED light show brings the bridge to life at night. The undulating bridge offers stunning views of the river, Meixi Lake, the city of Changsha, and the surrounding mountains. Related: Bat bridge provides shelter for our winged friends in the Dutch town of Monster “The Lucky Knot is more than a bridge and a connection between two river banks. Its success lays in bringing cultures together, and in the fusion of history, technology, art, innovation, architecture and spectacle,” said NEXT architects Beijing partner Jiang Xiaofei. + NEXT architects Images © NEXT architects / Photography: Julien Lanoo

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Spectacular Lucky Knot bridge in China twists and turns like a Mbius Strip

World’s tallest and longest glass bridge closes after only 13 days

September 6, 2016 by  
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The hype surrounding the world’s tallest and longest glass bridge was was intense when it opened on August 20. Located in China , the record-breaking Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge is 984 feet high and 1,410 feet long. But only 13 days after opening, the bridge has closed due to “the volume of visitors” – and there’s no word on when it might open again. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFoWV8malws A spokesperson told CNN , “We’re overwhelmed by the volume of visitors.” Around 800 people can be on the bridge at once, and 8,000 can visit a day, but according to the spokesperson, 80,000 people had tried to visit the glass bridge every day. The spokesperson said there were no “accidents,” and that “there was no problem” when asked about the glass breaking or cracking. According to a statement on the management’s Weibo account, the government decided to close the bridge because of the “urgency to improve and update.” Related: World’s highest and longest glass bridge in China whacked with a sledgehammer Designed by Haim Dotan , the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge is part of the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. The bridge is comprised of a steel frame with glass panels that offer dizzying views of the ground below. When it opened, Dotan referred to the bridge as the “Bridge of Courageous Hearts.” He said , “The Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge was designed to be as invisible as possible – a white bridge disappearing into the clouds. As the designer of this bridge located in an incredible and magical national park, I believe in nature, harmony, balance, and beauty. Nature is beautiful as is. One wants to make the least impact upon it.” There were plans for the bridge to include three swings and a bungee jump. In addition to being a destination for tourists and thrill-seekers, there was talk of the bridge serving as a runway for fashion shows. Via CNN and Dezeen

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World’s tallest and longest glass bridge closes after only 13 days

Indian man creates a free school under a bridge to educate New Delhis poorest children

August 21, 2016 by  
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Indian grocery store-owner Rajesh Kumar Sharma has an unusual but inspiring side gig—providing free lessons for hundreds of New Delhi’s poorest children in an open-air school beneath a Metro bridge. Sharma, whose philanthropic story went viral on the Internet in 2012 , founded the “Free School: Under the Bridge” where he teaches basic Hindi and English. Volunteer teachers Laxmi Chandra and Shyam Mehto who teach mathematics assist him. As many as 200 students attend the free school on a regular basis.

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Indian man creates a free school under a bridge to educate New Delhis poorest children

Penda unveils interlocked double-helix bridge for the Beijing Winter Olympics

July 25, 2016 by  
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The architecture studio , based in Beijing and Vienna, proposed this design as part of the larger infrastructure projects Beijing is undertaking in preparation for the Olympic Games. The bridge ’s name—San Shan—means “three mountains” in English, which is meant to describe the three peaks seen when looking at the bridge from either side. The elliptical shapes connect and link together to create the bridge’s overall shape, dressed in stark white against the forested background and the muddy river water. Related: Beijing selected to host 2022 Winter Olympic Games  The bridge’s helix-shaped arches were designed and engineered by ARUP , the British structural engineering firm. Their contribution enabled the bridge’s design to use the thinnest supports possible (without sacrificing strength), lending to the bridge’s delicate aesthetic. The surrounding area will be transformed into a hub linking bustling Beijing with its surrounding lands, gearing up for the Beijing Horticultural Expo 2019 and the Winter Olympic Games three years later. Austrian architect Chris Precht founded Penda with Dayong Sun in 2013 after working together for several years. In the intervening time, the duo have elevated their international firm to global acclaim, winning awards for several designs along the way. This bridge demonstrates the epitome of their combined talent. + Penda Via ArchDaily Images via Penda

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Penda unveils interlocked double-helix bridge for the Beijing Winter Olympics

Longest cable-stayed bridge in Africa lit up with Philips LEDs

July 21, 2016 by  
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The Mohammed VI Bridge was inaugurated just two weeks ago by its namesake. The bridge spans a section of desert connecting Rabat to the city of Salé with 3,116 feet (950 meters) of roadway, making it the longest bridge of its kind on the African continent. The bridge carries six lanes of vehicle traffic and spans between two 650-foot (200-meter) tall towers. Some 160 cables lend strength to the bridge as well, and provide the perfect support for the Philips LED lighting system that illuminates the bridge’s cables and pillars high above the roadway. Related: Philips announces the most affordable LED light bulb ever, yours for under $5 The futuristic lighting system employs Philips Color Kinetics technology. It allows bridge officials to change up to 16 million colors and can be programmed to display elaborate light shows. In addition to the wow factor of the sight of the illuminated bridge, the LED lighting system can keep costs under control, operating at a level up to 75 percent more energy efficient other existing lighting systems. + Philips Lighting Images via Philips Lighting

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Longest cable-stayed bridge in Africa lit up with Philips LEDs

Tesla announces plans for world domination: includes trucks, buses and solar power

July 21, 2016 by  
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This week the world noticed that Tesla officially dropped the “Motors” portion of its name, but we had no idea why. Now we may have a reason – Tesla has just unveiled its new master plan, which will see the automaker branch out from just producing electric cars. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has revealed that Tesla will soon start building heavy-duty trucks and buses, which will be unveiled as early as next year. In the ” Master Plan Part Deux “, as Elon Musk described it on his website, he also outlines his plan for combining battery technology with solar infrastructure to move the world away from unsustainable fossil fuels. 10 years ago, Elon Musk revealed his master plan for Tesla , which involved first creating a pricey low volume car, the Roadster, which would be followed by a cheaper medium volume car at a lower price, the Model S, ending with an affordable, high volume car, the upcoming Model 3. 10 years ago Tesla even had ambitions to enter the solar power segment, which was solved recently when Tesla announced plans to buy SolarCity . Now Elon Musk has revealed its second master plan in an article on the Tesla blog . Related: Elon Musk aims to build clean energy giant with Tesla’s $2.8 billion bid for SolarCity The new plan sees the expansion of Tesla’s current models, more expansion into the solar segment and even producing heavy-duty trucks, and buses fit for public transit. With the upcoming arrival of the Model 3 , which will be followed by a compact SUV and even an electric pickup, Tesla feels that it will have an electric vehicle in every consumer segment that it needs. Tesla has no plans to build anything cheaper than the Model 3 and instead plans to focus its efforts on a completely different segment as it seeks to promote a sustainable future that is not reliant on fossil fuels. By next year Tesla plans to reveal its first heavy-duty truck and even a high-passenger bus. Tesla says that both vehicles are in the early development stages, but the Tesla Semi will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety. The Tesla bus will be able to hold more passengers than today’s buses, by eliminating the center aisle and putting seats where there are currently entryways. The bus will also be fully autonomous , which will be able to match the acceleration and braking of other vehicles, thus avoiding the inertial impedance to smooth traffic flow of traditional heavy buses. Elon Musk also details his company’s plans to improve autonomous driving technology to allow for car sharing on a large scale. Here’s how he sums it up in the detailed blog post announcement: So, in short, Master Plan, Part Deux is: Create stunning solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage Expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments Develop a self-driving capability that is 10X safer than manual via massive fleet learning Enable your car to make money for you when you aren’t using it You can read more about Tesla’s plans here > + Tesla All images @ Tesla

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Tesla announces plans for world domination: includes trucks, buses and solar power

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