Worlds longest pedestrian bridge opens in the Swiss Alps

August 1, 2017 by  
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If you’re afraid of heights, look away. The world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge has finally been completed in Switzerland , and it’s a whopping 1,620 feet long. 300 feet above an Alpine ravine, the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge forms part of the Europaweg — a two-day mountain trail which connects the towns of Grächen and Zermatt. The new installation saves hikers a long detour after a previous bridge was damaged by falling rocks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8iuwWHduKQ CNN reports that the bridge is comprised of steel yet is only 25 inches wide. Because the footstep surface is grated, it is possible to look below and view the Grabengufer ravine as one walks. The bridge, which opened Saturday, is specifically “for hikers with no fear of heights,” according to a news release by local travel agency Zermatt Tourism. “The thrill of traversing the precipice is indescribable,” the agency wrote. Though it might be scary walking across the world’s longest bridge, captivating views of the 14,783-foot Weisshorn Mountain and the Bernese Alps are sure to make the crossing a worthwhile one. And, considering the passing saves hikers three to four hours of walking, it’s a shortcut most people will be more than happy to take advantage of. + Zermatt Tourism Via CNN Images via Valentin Flauraud

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Worlds longest pedestrian bridge opens in the Swiss Alps

PAU’s inclusive Penn Station revamp is a sustainable alternative to the current plan

August 1, 2017 by  
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Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU)’s  revamped Pennsylvania Station plan represents a more inclusive alternative to the government’s current concept for a new Amtrak station in the Farley Complex. PAU decided to reuse the superstructure and foundations of Madison Square Garden and create a civic space that reflects the historical complexity of the site and enhances capacity, safety, and user experience for all of Penn’s users, regardless of income or social status. Passively heated and cooled, the transport hub  aims to create a grand commuter pavilion at minimal public cost and disruption, at the same time complementing the Amtrak station in the east end of the Farley Complex, entrances and concourses to the north and west, and the tracks and platforms planned to become part of the Gateway tunnel project. Related: Governor Cuomo reveals updated renovation plans for NYC’s Penn Station Inspired by Philip Johnson’s circular New York State World’s Fair pavilion and Pan Am’s “Worldport” building at JFK, the architects proposed to reclad the structure of the Madison Square Garden– which will find its new home 800 feet away in the west end of the Farley building– in a double-skin glass wall which allows natural light to penetrate into the interior, but regulates solar gain for maximum comfort. A sawtooth pattern in the glass picks up changes in light through the day, acting as a sundial for travelers as they ascend from the platforms. The entire concept has not only environmental control in mind, but safety as well. The suggested oculus at the center of the circular building quickly purges smoke in the event of a fire and all of the glass is blast-proof. + Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) Via Architizer

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PAU’s inclusive Penn Station revamp is a sustainable alternative to the current plan

Coming Total Solar Eclipse to be an ‘event of the century’, scientists say

August 1, 2017 by  
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In just three weeks, one of the “events of the century” will makes its way across the United States, inspiring awe, excitement and even fear. On August 21, there will be a total solar eclipse , and scientists are saying that it will be a once-in-a-lifetime event that is not to be missed. Educator at the American Museum of Natural History Joe Rao has been speaking to audiences about the coming eclipse. He told them a total eclipse is something you never forget and defies words. As the moon begins to block out the sun, the temperatures drops, the light changes and the birds begin to quiet. Related: Alaska Airlines is intentionally delaying a flight for the coolest reason Rao warned people not to look at the sun under any circumstances, even while it is covered by the moon. You can purchase eclipse glasses, though be sure to purchase them from a reputable company, since faulty eclipse glasses have been hitting the market. If you don’t have glasses, you can look at the trees, since leaves will show a crescent shadow.  You can also try one of the DIY methods . Viewers can check out NASA’s eclipse website for the 100-mile wide  path of totality , which will carve through South Carolina starting around 1:15 pm, up to Nebraska and will exit the US through Oregon at 9 am (local time). Hotel rooms in the path are already selling out and experts warn travelers to be aware that traffic will be difficult. Some airlines are selling tickets for eclipse-viewing flights. For those not lucky enough to be in the path, viewers will be able to see a partial eclipse as far away as South America and parts of Africa. Via Fox News Science Images via Deposit Photos and Pixabay

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Coming Total Solar Eclipse to be an ‘event of the century’, scientists say

Tiny futuristic plastic homes in France look like they’re from Mars

August 1, 2017 by  
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The tiny house movement is on the rise today, but architects have been crafting tiny mobile homes long before the trend was given a name. In a throwback to the retro tiny houses of the 1960s and early ‘70s, the sculpture park Friche de l’Escalette curated Utopie Plastic, an exhibition of stunning and sci fi-esque homes made of molded colorful plastics. Set against a stark post-industrial landscape south of Marseille, these prefabricated buildings set the groundwork for futuristic transportable homes from the UFO-like Futuro House to the “Bubble House” Bulle homes. Plastics revolutionized design, particularly in the 1960s and ‘70s when designers explored new possibilities offered by injection-molded plastics. Until the 1973 oil crisis pulled the brakes on the plastics boom, architects also took advantage of the malleability of plastics to craft modular housing with unusual shapes in bright, eye-catching colors. The season-long Utopie Plastic exhibition celebrates these organically shaped homes of a bygone era in an open-air gallery where visitors can sit and dine among the prefabricated structures. Perhaps the exhibition’s biggest draw is the Futuro House , a UFO-shaped house designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen, of which fewer than 100 were built during the ‘60s and ‘70s. The prefabricated home is elevated on steel legs and accessible via a folding staircase and hatch door. Two versions of Jean-Benjamin Maneval’s Bulle a Six Coques (“Bubble House”) are on display as well, one with its original interior fit-out and the other as an empty shell. Related: UFO-shaped Futuro prefab pod lands in London The low-lying orange boxy house is the Hexacube, designed by Georges Candilis as a mobile holiday home . Other futuristic and unusually shaped plastic furnishings, from Maurice Calka’s Boomerang Desk to Wendell Castle’s Baby Molar Chair, dot the landscape with bright pops of colors. The Utopie Plastic exhibition is on view by appointment from July 1 to October 1, 2017. + Friche de l’Escalette Via Architectural Digest Images via Galerie 54

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Tiny futuristic plastic homes in France look like they’re from Mars

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