Elon Musk is reportedly planning to dig tunnels and build his own Hyperloop

August 4, 2017 by  
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Back in 2013, Elon Musk detailed his vision for a futuristic mode of transportation called the hyperloop . Musk graciously shared his research with the public, because he had no intention of developing the invention – but that’s all changing now. Last month the Tesla Inc. CEO revealed that he received “ verbal government approval ” to build a hyperloop that can transport passengers between New York and Washington D.C. in a mere 29 minutes – and according to a confidante, Musk is planning to build the entire hyperloop system himself — from the physical infrastructure to the tube-encased train. The news came as a shock to startups that have been developing Hyperloops to Musk’s specifications. After all, Musk holds a trademark for the “Hyperloop” through SpaceX which could be used to prevent other companies from building them, according to U.S. public records. Musk acknowledges that his vision is now a direct threat to other start-ups which have raised hundreds of millions from venture backers. However, he is not discouraging other companies from developing underground tunnels. Musk said in a statement, “While we’re encouraged that others are making some progress, we would like to accelerate the development of this technology as fast as possible. We encourage and support all companies that wish to build Hyperloops and we don’t intend to stop them from using the Hyperloop name as long as they are truthful.’’ Among the three startups that publicly welcomed Musk’s involvement was Hyperloop One, whose chairman is Shervin Pishevar. Pishevar said on Wednesday that the company recently completed a second phase testing in Nevada, where a pod reached speeds of 192 miles per hour and traveled a distance of 1,433 feet. The company’s ultimate goal is to match Musk’s plan for the hyper loop to travel 700 mph. “It’s going to take many, many brilliant minds and commitment from many people to push it forward,” said Pishevar. “I’m a huge believer in him.” Related: Elon Musk-inspired Hyperloop Hotel could be the future of travel Musk and SpaceX have a huge advantage over other companies striving to develop a high-speed hyperloop. Not only does SpaceX own @Hyperloop on Twitter, it also owns the website Hyperloop.com . SpaceX was also granted registration for the Hyperloop trademark in April. For this reason, other start-ups are considering adopting a new company name whilst utilizing Musk’s plans — or improving upon them. For now, Musk is focused on bringing the hyperloop to the East Coast whereas competitors are honing in on different regions. While it is more than likely the companies will find agreeable ways to coexist, all bets are off now that Elon Musk and his team are part of the race. Via Bloomberg Images via Shutterstock , Linkedin , TED

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Elon Musk is reportedly planning to dig tunnels and build his own Hyperloop

‘Provocative’ RIG eco-lodge designed to conserve Louisiana’s vanishing marshes

July 25, 2017 by  
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The Louisiana Coastal Marsh loses a football-field-size of land every hour. Architect Robert Obier, who was raised in Louisiana, designed an eco-lodge for volunteers who want to help with restoration efforts as local groups – and even oil and gas companies – scramble to save this disappearing ecosystem . His design for The RIG, which stands for Restoration Initiative in the Gulf , caught our attention, and Inhabitat spoke with Obier to get the story behind its distinctive shape – which is reminiscent of an offshore oil rig . If nothing is done to preserve the Louisiana Coastal Marsh – Earth’s fastest disappearing landmass – it will be gone by 2050. Capitalizing on the growing trend of volunteerism, The RIG would offer accommodations for 26 volunteers, who would work on wetland restoration led by community facilitators. Related: Louisiana Flood Board Sues 97 Oil and Gas Companies Over Damage to Coastal Wetlands Obier is seeking LEED Platinum certification for The RIG, which will be comprised mainly of steel . Wind and solar power will help energize the building, which will also have its own water and sewer treatment facilities. Part boutique hotel , part research operations launching point, The RIG will be raised 25 feet above the ground, offering views of the Gulf of Mexico . The hotel will feature local Louisiana cuisine and will offer activities like kayaking and fishing excursions. On one hand, the industrial oil rig-like design is practical. Obier told Inhabitat, “Here the indigenous architecture that survives are the oil platforms. They’ve made it through the storms. And it’s a harsh salt environment down here that’s very hard on structures over time. From an architectural standpoint, if you ask, ‘What is the contextual architecture?’ That’s it.” But the symbol of the oil platform is one Obier hopes to reclaim through The RIG as well. He said, “As we try to figure out ways to save the marsh, oil companies are going to have to play a very important role because they are the landowners. They’ve had a lot to do with the problem, but they’re also doing a lot to try and save it as well. So it’s complex. I think the symbol begins that dialogue, and the answer to the question, ‘Why is it designed resembling an oil rig?’ begins to explain to people who are not familiar with our region what it’s really like, and how it really is an area where industry and environment are integrated for good or bad. The solution is going to be one that does not negate the fact that there is this interaction between the industry and the marshes.” Obier explains the marshes are disappearing in part because of the channels oil and gas companies dug to bring equipment in and out, but that’s not the whole story. The levee system, built in the 1920’s, has played a role as well. The wetlands used to be able to rebuild themselves, but now the Mississippi River prevents sediments from being redeposited, and the land is subsiding . Sea level rise from climate change has had some effect, but Obier said his understanding is if levels rise slowly enough, the area would still be able to rebuild itself if it were restored. Volunteers will be able to help with the work by planting marsh grass or trees. Obier said, “Marshes are not pristine wilderness. So it’s a very different kind of location for something you would call an eco-lodge, but at the same time, it’s still one of the most productive ecosystems in the world. It’s in big trouble, and we’re having to make a massive effort to try to save it, but it’s an extremely important ecosystem.” The RIG is crowdfunding on Kickstarter . You can contribute here . + Restoration Initiative in the Gulf + The RIG Kickstarter Images courtesy of The Restoration Initiative in the Gulf and via Wikimedia Commons

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‘Provocative’ RIG eco-lodge designed to conserve Louisiana’s vanishing marshes

Worlds first MUJI hotels to open in China and Japan

July 11, 2017 by  
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If you’ve ever dreamt of sleeping in a MUJI showroom, your retail wishes may soon become reality. The Japanese lifestyle brand is building their first-ever MUJI hotels in China and Japan designed in their beloved minimalist style. The hotels are planned for the cities of Shenzhen and Tokyo , with the first hotel expected to open in former later this year. Though it might come as a surprise, MUJI’s plans for its first hotel will be in the Chinese city of Shenzhen , not Tokyo. Creative studio Super Potato will design the MUJI development in Shenzhen that will rise to a height of four floors and include a store, restaurant, and hotel. The hotel will be located on the top two floors and comprise 79 rooms in five different layouts. The designers will furnish the rooms in a clean and minimalist style with MUJI products, from the toothbrushes to the bed sheets. Related: MUJI unveils trio of tiny prefab homes that can pop up almost anywhere Hotel guests will also have access to the fitness room, conference room, and other hotel facilities on the third floor. Retail and restaurant space will be located on the lower two levels. The world’s first MUJI hotel will be located in Shenzhen’s Futian Central District as part of the Shenye Shangcheng project. Japan’s first MUJI hotel is planned for the upscale Ginza district in Tokyo and when complete, will replace the nearby MUJI Yurakucho , currently the world’s largest MUJI store. The new MUJI development will be housed in a 10-story building, where the lower six levels will be used for retail and the remaining floors used for the hotel. Like the Shenzhen location, Tokyo’s MUJI hotel will be decked out in MUJI furnishings in an aesthetic iconic of the minimalist “no-brand” brand. The MUJI hotel in Japan will open Spring 2019. + MUJI Via Spoon & Tamago , ??

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Worlds first MUJI hotels to open in China and Japan

Elon Musk-inspired Hyperloop Hotel could be the future of travel

June 22, 2017 by  
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Imagine zipping between cities in mere minutes—all from the comfort of your hotel suite. That’s the futuristic vision of the $130 million Hyperloop Hotel, a proposal built upon Elon Musk’s Hyperloop One high-speed train system currently in development. Designed by University of Nevada, Las Vegas graduate architecture student Brandan Siebrecht, the Hyperloop Hotel envisions seamless transport between 13 cities with a proposed flat fee of $1,200. The visionary Hyperloop Hotel won the student section of this year’s Radical Innovation Award , an annual competition for futuristic hotel designs. Siebrecht’s winning design uses reclaimed shipping containers as mobile, customizable hotel rooms that zip between cities at near-supersonic speeds through tubes and dock at designated hotels. Guests could travel across the U.S. without leaving the comfort of their pods and handle the entire process, from reservation to travel arrangements, with their smartphone. Siebrecht created the design for America’s 13 largest cities including Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Denver, Sante Fe, Austin, Chicago, Nashville, Washington, D.C., New York City, and Boston. He drew inspiration from Musk’s Hyperloop test track, the DevLoop, located just outside Las Vegas. If successful, the high-speed train could zip travelers from Philadelphia to New York in 10 minutes. Related: Elon Musk reveals boring tunnels are for the Hyperloop Guests can customize the layout of the repurposed modular shipping container hotel rooms. Each hotel room includes areas for sleeping, bathing, living, and flex. Siebrecht estimates that the construction cost of each docking hotel between $8 and $10 million, and believes construction of his hotel concept feasible within the next five to 10 years. + Radical Innovation Award Via Business Insider

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Elon Musk-inspired Hyperloop Hotel could be the future of travel

This bubble hotel gives you front-row seats of Icelands northern lights

June 6, 2017 by  
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If you’ve ever dreamed of watching the northern lights from the comfort of your bed, here’s a chance to turn your dreams into reality. To the delight of stargazers and nature lovers, the 5 Million Star Hotel installed eight unique bubbles in a hidden Icelandic forest, with each bubble offering perfect and private outdoor views. Equipped with heating and a comfortable bed, these transparent bubbles give guests magical front-row seats to the dancing northern lights. Founded in November 2015 by Robert Robertsson, the 5 Million Star Hotel was created to fulfill childhood dreams of sleeping beneath the aurora borealis. Tucked away on private farmland, the location is only disclosed to those who make reservations in order to preserve guest privacy. The eight inflatable bubbles—only five are currently open for booking—are named after different women in the owners’ family and are available in two styles: fully transparent igloo -shaped bubbles and partially transparent spherical bubbles. Built with sturdy translucent plastic, each bubble comes with a double bed, nightstand, space heater, outlet, and a lamp. The bubbles are inflated with a constantly running noiseless ventilation system. Air blowers keep the bubble warm and toasty all winter long. Related: Thermal Glass Igloos Offer Views of the Northern Lights at Finland’s Hotel Kakslauttanen The bubble rooms that are currently available fit two adults but the spherical versions can accommodate an extra child for those traveling as a family. The bathroom, showers, and kitchen are located in a timber-clad shared facility. The price for a night’s stay at the bubble hotel starts at ISK 28,900 (approximately USD $295). Want to maximize your chances of catching a glimpse of the northern lights? Try booking a night between September and March. + Buubble | Five Million Star Hotel Via Travel and Leisure Images via Buubble

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This bubble hotel gives you front-row seats of Icelands northern lights

Clean the World Recycles Hotel Toiletries to Save Lives

March 20, 2017 by  
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When it comes to the hotel industry, the biggest symbol of waste would have to be the complimentary toiletries. As it stands, the majority of hotels in the U.S. aren’t involved in any recycling programs — which means that a staggering amount of…

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Clean the World Recycles Hotel Toiletries to Save Lives

North Korea’s ‘Hotel of Doom’ is the world’s largest abandoned building

February 16, 2017 by  
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This pyramid-shaped building in North Korea was once a contender for the tallest hotel in the world – but construction was interrupted in 1989 and it became the world’s largest abandoned building instead. The notorious 105-story Ryugyong Hotel – frequently referred to as the “Hotel of Doom” – could come to life after all, as Egyptian company Orascom fired the project back up again in 2008. The structure, designed by Baikdoosan Architects & Engineers, first broke ground in 1987 in Pyongyang, North Korea. It was supposed to open in 1989, two years later after the frame was finished. Work stopped in 1992 after the collapse of the Soviet Union (an ally and backer), and the hotel remained unfinished , looming over the North Korean capital. Related: Abandoned Floating McDonalds to Be Given New Life As a Marina in Canada In 2008, an Egyptian company took over the hotel and began adding exterior glass in the hope of finishing the project. Reports say that the interior has no plumbing or electricity, and it could require another $2 billion to finish. As of late construction on the hotel has stopped again, leaving the fate of the hotel unresolved. Photos via Wikimedia Commons

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North Korea’s ‘Hotel of Doom’ is the world’s largest abandoned building

Former opium den in Singapore reinvented as luxury waterfront hotel

February 7, 2017 by  
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The newly opened Warehouse Hotel in Singapore is undoubtedly posh, but it’s very different from the average luxury hotel. Set on the Singapore River, the Warehouse Hotel is housed in a heritage building, a former godown, which dates back to 1895 and has a surprising sordid history as a former hotbed for secret societies and underground activities. Zarch Collaboratives led the redesign of the 121-year-old building, converting it into a 37-room boutique hotel with state-of-the-art amenities, while paying homage to the area’s industrial past. Located on Havelock Road along the Singapore River, the historic godown was originally built for business purposes on the Straits of Malacca trade route. In the early 20th century, the area was notoriously known as the operating neighborhood of Chinese and Fujianese secret societies and was rife with gambling dens, prostitutes, and moonshine operations. While much of that history has disappeared and been replaced with the upscale Robertson Quay neighborhood, Zarch Collaboratives and interior design consultant Asylum Creatives wove playful references to the godown’s colorful history during the meticulous restoration and renovation process. Related: WOHA’s solar-powered SkyVille in Singapore boasts a deep-green public skypark Painted bright white, the Warehouse Hotel’s distinctive and symmetrical facade features the original peaked roofs with restored louvre windows, cornices, doors, moldings, and Chinese characters on the leftmost gables. The interior blends the warehouse’s utilitarian aesthetic, like exposed brick and vaulted ceilings, with modern decorations that allude to the area’s industrial and vice-filled past. Naked light bulbs and pulley systems, commonly found in godowns, are suspended from the ceiling of the double-height lobby. A set of handcuffs and other interesting trinkets are visibly displayed next to the check-in counter, while every room is equipped with a “Minibar of Vices” with local treats. + Justina Via ArchDaily Images via Justina

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Former opium den in Singapore reinvented as luxury waterfront hotel

Snhetta’s winning hotel design for Helsinki waterfront is inspired by broken sea ice

February 3, 2017 by  
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Prolific design firm Snøhetta seems to be leaving their architectural stamp around the world one city at a time , and that’s just fine with us. The talented team’s proposal for the Hilbert Hotel in Helsinki has just been announced as the winning design in a competition held by the city. The design for the swanky hotel, which will sit on the Hakaniemi waterfront, is a zigzag volume clad in a luminous white glass skin inspired by broken sea ice. The exterior of the hotel will be covered in a geometric series of reflective panels . The small “cutouts”will correspond to the hotel occupancy. On the interior, each room will have a number of small windows, one of which will be operable. Related: Snøhetta’s luxury cabin with Aurora Borealis views opens at Treehotel According to the architects, the hotel design is meant to convert the Hakaniemi waterfront into a vibrant part of Helsinki. In addition to the hotel’s many amenities such as a restaurant and bar, visitors will also be able to enjoy an outdoor seating area and a rooftop terrace . Snøhetta founding partner Kjetil T. Thorsen explains that the design is inspired by the hotel’s surrounding nature , “Snøhetta is thrilled by the prospect of contributing to the vast architectural heritage of Helsinki. We have tried to actively celebrate the presence of visitors in the city. Simultaneously, we have tried to promote the qualities, such as the connection to the water, of this specific site as a gift to the visitors and inhabitants of Helsinki. This mutual task is at the core of architectural creations. The City of Helsinki and Arthur Buchardt are the best possible partners in the realization of a building Helsinki deserves.” + Snøhetta Images via Snøhetta

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Snhetta’s winning hotel design for Helsinki waterfront is inspired by broken sea ice

Snhettas luxury cabin with Aurora Borealis views opens at Treehotel

January 18, 2017 by  
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If a room with Aurora Borealis views sounds like the perfect getaway, you’ll love what’s popped up at Sweden’s Treehotel . The boutique hotel, which comprises designer treehouses near the Arctic Circle, just welcomed its first guests to the 7th room, a luxury elevated cabin designed by architecture firm Snøhetta. Hovering ten meters off the ground, the elevated dwelling is a contemporary take on the traditional Nordic cabin and comfortably immerses guests in the beautiful Lapland landscape. Nestled within the evergreen canopy of a tall pine forest, Snøhetta’s 7th room offers stunning views of the Lapland treetops and the Lule River. The cabin is clad in dark-colored pine and thrust into the air by twelve columns. The architects blur the lines between indoor and outdoor living by adding large panoramic windows , a netted terrace suspended above the forest floor, an opening for a tree to pass through the cabin, and even an optical illusion: the cabin’s bottom surface is covered with a large black-and-white print of pine trees to make the cabin appear invisible from below. The elevated cabin is accessible via a staircase and a small lift. In contrast to the dark facade, the 55-square-meter interior features light-colored ash wood floors and birch plywood walls. Built to accommodate five, the cabin comprises two bedrooms, a living room, bathroom, and terrace spread out across two floors. The bedrooms are located on the upper level. Ample glazing allows copious amounts of natural light to pour in and frame landscape views. Expansive, openable skylights in the bedroom as well as a north-facing floor-to-ceiling window in the living room offer prime viewing opportunities of the Northern Lights. Related: Stunning Swedish Treehotel Opens This Weekend! “The design of the 7th room aims to bring people and nature closer together, extending the cabin’s social spaces to the outside and further blending the distinction between indoor and outdoor,” writes Snøhetta. “With its wooden characteristics and unique location in the treetops, the 7th room is a celebration of the Nordic cabin and the pine tree forest.” + Snøhetta Images © Johan Jansson

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