Award-winning grass-covered pavilion in India constructed with over 1,000 recycled pallets

February 14, 2017 by  
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Over a thousand discarded shipping pallets went into the making of this partly planted, undulating pavilion in New Delhi. Local architecture firm M:OFA Studios drew inspiration from India’s ruins and their love of upcycling to create Pensieve, an award-winning experimental pavilion with a name inspired by the “memory basin” in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. The temporary installation served as an urban playground and public gathering space that inspired people to contemplate their surroundings. Built as part of India Design ID 2014, the Pensieve is no longer standing though it continues to be recognized in awards, such as its nomination in the Kohler Bold Design Awards 2016. Over 1,200 recycled pallets were stacked together in an asymmetrical shape inspired by the hundreds of stone ruins that dot the capital, where many locals used as playgrounds in their childhood. Compost added inside some of the open pallets was used as a growing medium for grass and other plants. Related: Charming Wine Shop Built with Repurposed Shipping Pallets Pops Up in Poland “The concept initiated from the basic idea of ‘fluid’ thoughts,” write the architects. “Built out of recycled wood , this pavilion was asked on the idea of unobstructed thoughts associated often with the children. The pavilion became a reminder of those simpler times, where the kids looked at the world beyond a 4 inch by 3 inch display screen in their hands.” The large 800-square-foot installation framed a public gathering space that also included solar-powered furniture that lit up when people sat on them and a hundred fiber-optic sculptures that used motion sensors to light up at night. + M:OFA Studios Images via M:OFA Studios

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Award-winning grass-covered pavilion in India constructed with over 1,000 recycled pallets

Mysterious tiny hut ‘floats’ under a railroad bridge in Bohemia

February 14, 2017 by  
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It’s not often that a piece of architecture truly creeps us out, but the Black Flying House has a distinct spookiness to it. Created by H3T Architekti , the tiny black hut hangs from an arch under an old railroad bridge in the Czech Republic, giving the impression that it’s floating in midair. The floating cabin , which is suspended by steel cables connected to the bridge, is accessible by ladder. However, the ladder is hidden from view purposely to confuse anyone who may happen to come across the installation while wandering in the surrounding forest. Anyone brave enough to find and use the ladder will find a tiny loft area and stove on the interior, which is lit with a single window. Related: Spend Halloween night with 6 million Parisian skeletons in world’s creepiest Airbnb According to the architects, the tiny cabin, located just outside the Czech city of Pardubice, was purposely designed to create a mysterious atmosphere of a military complex. Indeed, the black hut with its pitched roof hanging in midair must be quite the site to behold in person. + H3T Architekti Via Archdaily Photography by Martina Kubešová

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Mysterious tiny hut ‘floats’ under a railroad bridge in Bohemia

New Delhi has the worst air pollution of any city on earth

November 9, 2016 by  
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New Delhi’s toxic smog is literally off the charts – and according to its Air Quality Index rating, it’s the most polluted city on earth. Measurements recorded at the United States Embassy in Delhi reveal that the city’s AQI is a staggering 999 – but the AQI standard chart ends at 500. Particle counts in some areas of the city are 16 times the level considered safe by the Indian government. What’s causing the smog in New Delhi ? Some blame fireworks during the Hindu celebration Diwali, but NASA satellite images show crop burning has a role to play in the pollution too, as farmers burn leftover straw. Construction and vehicles are probably also contributing to the poor air quality . Related: Mexico City bans over one million cars as air pollution skyrockets PM 2.5 particles – the most unhealthy type of particles – spiked to levels of 700 micrograms per cubic meter this week. Exposure to this level of pollution is as bad as smoking over two cigarette packs daily, according to experts cited by The New York Times . Over the weekend, people protested outside Parliament and the chief minister of Delhi tried to take some action to curb the dramatic pollution. Construction will cease for five days, around 1,800 schools will close for three days, and a power plant will be closed for 10 days. The government suggested people cleanse their eyes with water and go to the hospital if they experienced “breathlessness, giddiness, chest pain, and chest constriction.” Centre for Environmental Health at the Public Health Foundation of India manager Bhargav Krishna told The New York Times, “These are all decent emergency measures, but they’re not solving the long-term problem.” While some hope for a reprieve as weather changes, during the winter some people in Delhi have to burn trash to stay warm, and as such trash often includes rubber and plastic, the practice will likely contribute to continued pollution. Via The New York Times and CNN Images via Ville Miettinen on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

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New Delhi has the worst air pollution of any city on earth

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