Picturesque Swiss Alps town wants to pay new residents to move there

November 22, 2017 by  
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A two-week vacation in the Alps is great, sure. But what about a 10-year stay where you’ll be paid to sip hot cocoa in a charming chalet settled amongst snow-capped mountains? Indeed, as Travel+Leisure  shares, the tiny Swiss village of Albinen, near Leukerbad in the canton of Valais is offering new residents a hefty annual paycheck—25,000 francs (or $25,200 USD) per adult and 10,000 francs ($10,000 USD) per child to be exact—to live in their dreamy village for at least a decade. Like many small towns across Europe and the U.S., Albinen has seen their population dip over the last few years as residents, particularly families, have left for larger cities. As Swiss site The Local  reports, three families have moved from Albinen recently, including eight children. While these numbers will seem negligible to most of us, the loss forced the local school to close. As it stands, there are just 240 residents remaining and they are demanding officials save the village from demise. As such, the village council proposed the pay-to-stay measure which will be voted on November 30, 2017. Related: Italy is giving away hundreds of historic castles and villas for free Of course, there are several caveats for applicants. First, you must be under 45 years old. Secondly, the property you chose must be valued at no less than 200,000 francs ($201,600 USD). And again, you’ll need to commit at least 10 years to the village and make it your permanent place of residence. If you break the agreement (i.e. leave before your decade is up), you’ll have to repay the town all the money they invested in you. Although modest, Albinen offers clean streets and some nice amenities, including a spa.  The village is also sited near several larger towns. Plus you can’t argue those spectacular views of the Alps. Really, could you ask for a better Instagram shot? Via Travel+Leisure via  The Local Images via WikiCommons and Google Maps

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Picturesque Swiss Alps town wants to pay new residents to move there

Zaha Hadid Architects breaks ground on Mexicos City tallest residential tower

November 10, 2017 by  
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Construction has begun on the Bora Residential Tower, a high-rise designed by Zaha Hadid Architects that, when completed, will be the tallest residential tower in Mexico City . Located in the Santa Fe business district in the west of the capital, the luxury complex features Zaha Hadid’s recognizable tapered shape at its base, where the building curves inward before flaring out into “swirling” canopies. The site-specific building optimizes access to natural light and views, while mitigating seismic conditions. Commissioned in 2015 by Nemesis Capital , the Bora Residential Tower occupies prime real estate within walking distance to schools, theaters, cafes, restaurants, and the new Santa Fe Transit Hub that will connect to the city’s metro network next year. The 28-hectare La Mexicana park lies adjacent as well as three universities and the regional offices of Fortune 500 firms including the likes of Apple , Microsoft, and Amazon. Boasting over 50 floors, the record-breaking Bora will comprise over 220 apartments of one, two, and three bedrooms designed for diverse clientele from first-time homeowners and families to retirees. To maximize access to natural light and panoramic views, each apartment features private balconies that extrude vertically. The building’s base tapers inward and then flares out into canopies to shade street-level civic spaces with restaurants and shops. Related: Beautiful co-working space takes over a former industrial factory in Mexico City “The tower’s structure has also been designed for optimum flexibility and ductility, as well as an overall reduction in its weight, to best respond in seismic conditions, with the ten-storey canopies at its base providing additional lateral stability,” wrote Zaha Hadid Architects. + Zaha Hadid Architects Images via Zaha Hadid Architects and LabTop

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Zaha Hadid Architects breaks ground on Mexicos City tallest residential tower

10 Trumpkins that are making Halloween great again

October 16, 2017 by  
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As Halloween draws near, it’s time once again to revisit our new favorite Halloween past time – Trumpkins. People all over the country are decorating their jack-o-lanterns to look like President Donald Trump , and it’s easy to understand why. On a superficial level, Trump’s orange-hued complexion makes him a perfect model for pumpkin-based creativity. On a deeper level, for those of us who care about the environment or basic human decency, the Trump presidency is a disaster. But there’s something to be said for facing your fears through artistic expression. With over 6,000 spooky photos on Instagram, it’s clear the “Trumpkin” has become a trend. Here are a few of the Inhabitat team’s favorites from around the web. The first Trumpkin on our list, and possibly the most terrifying entry, is painted on the face of the pumpkin rather than carved. A tuft of real hair finishes off the eerie image. It was posted on Instagram by user @ktmod with the tasteful caption, “Grab ’em by the pumpkin.” #Trumpkin lol 🎃🍁Happy Hump Day!!!🕸🍂🍁 A photo posted by lucymorey3 (@lucymorey3) on Oct 26, 2016 at 9:45am PDT This Trumpkin by @lucymorey3 really encapsulates The Donald’s natural speaking style: shouting hatefully.   Last night, there was a note attached that read "our president is a pumpkin #impeach #trumpkin" My neighbors know what's up ? A post shared by Ally Nickert (@ally.likes.cats) on Oct 15, 2017 at 12:58pm PDT This Trumpkin – also shouting – captures the Cheeto-in-Chief’s essence in all its orange glory. Family pumpkin carving night… Everyone agreed Chris's #trumpkin won the prize #orangecheeto #colorofhomedepot A post shared by Christina Cain (Nunes) (@cainname) on Oct 15, 2017 at 4:34pm PDT Instagrammer cainname’s  is a hopeful expression of the future: Is this a jack-o'-lantern of a 'human' equivalent of cargo pants that zip away into shorts, a sentient orange mop, a man-sized sebaceous cyst, a Neo-fascist real estate golem, a turd, or all of the above? Asking for a friend. #trumpkin A post shared by Amela (@msamelak) on Oct 15, 2017 at 8:13pm PDT We’ll just let msamelak’s Trumpkin speak for itself: “Is this a jack-o’-lantern of a ‘human’ equivalent of cargo pants that zip away into shorts, a sentient orange mop, a man-sized sebaceous cyst, a Neo-fascist real estate golem, a turd, or all of the above? Asking for a friend.” This next Trumpkin by Instagram user @petermartindk takes a more classic approach, transforming the presidential candidate into a glowing jack-o-lantern. We dig the minimalist approach here. Spotted this on the way home tonight #trumpkin A photo posted by @bubbeemonkey on Oct 26, 2016 at 12:29pm PDT Instagram user @bubeemonkey may not be responsible for carving this smug-looking Trumpkin, but we’d like to thank them for sharing it with the world. Reddit user Shazkitten decided to take a more photorealistic approach – a surprisingly detailed portrait, considering the medium. Good effort @sainsburys. 🎃😂 #Trumpkin #Hilary #PresidentialDebate #Halloween A photo posted by Divya 🌺🔮? (@divyadancer) on Oct 26, 2016 at 10:52am PDT These Sainsbury’s pumpkins have an almost sculptural quality — they’re definitely not your average pumpkin carving. They both look a bit too happy, though, given how the election last year went. This painted masterpiece is the work of John Kettman of LaSalle, Illinois. Kettman has been painting portraits on pumpkins for about 6 years, but this autumn he took a political turn with his gourd art. In addition to his Trumpkin, he’s also created Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders pumpkins. Happy National Pumpkin Day! #nationalpumpkinday #NYCpumpkin #nychalloween #trump #clinton #trumpkin #election2016 #election2016🇺🇸 A photo posted by PaulsdaBurgerJoint (@paulsdaburgerjoint) on Oct 26, 2016 at 8:05am PDT Another pair of matching Hillary and Donald pumpkins courtesy of @PaulsdaBurgerJoint . These two look like they just stepped onto the floor of the debates. Ohio pumpkin artist Jennette Paras chooses someone in the news as her source of inspiration in a personal tradition dating back 25 years. Last Halloween, she transformed a massive, 374-pound pumpkin into a likeness of Donald Trump – an effort that took six separate blond wigs attached to the gourd. Nearby, she’s placed a sign suggesting visitors “make pumpkins great again.” #trumpkin is done. My sissy is going to dab some yellowish…crap on its head to make the hair look like his head. #acrylicpainting #smashthetrumpkin #fuckofftrump #anyonebuttrump #artsy A photo posted by Cassie Tucker (@tangledinreverie) on Oct 24, 2016 at 9:57pm PDT This Trumpkin by @tangledinreverie really captures Trump’s luxurious, windswept locks. David Jones’ Trumpkin takes a minimalist, pop-art approach that captures Trump perfectly. Unlike some of the others on this list, he’s avoided using a wig to depict Trump’s famous hair, instead repurposing the inside of the pumpkin to form some kind of squash toupee. #trump #pumpkin #fall #diy #justbecause #funny #hilarious #lol #Trumpkin #trumppumpkin #trending #potd #picoftheday #photoofday #halloween #October #autumn A photo posted by Tiffany Marz 🌟🎙🎬🕆? (@tiffany_marz) on Oct 25, 2016 at 3:03pm PDT This Trumpkin by @tiffany_marz takes an interesting new approach, with the outside of the pumpkin modified with what appears to be sculpted clay, rather than painted or carved. Imgur user Fizzgig posted a more somber approach with this contemplative Trumpkin created by their mother. Still dying from one of our winning pumpkins today! 😂😂😂😂 #haha #pumpkin #ThatHairTho #trumpkin #worklife A photo posted by Jacqui🔵YouTuber/Blogger (@jduran1313) on Oct 25, 2016 at 2:39pm PDT Another creative new approach to the art of pumpkin decorating by @jduran1313 — collaged instead of painted, this time. This superb Trumpkin is the work of master pumpkin carver Hugh McMahon . If you’d like to learn how to create your own pumpkin-based masterpiece, he walked HuffPost through his process in this fantastic tutorial . Hard days work at the lab #trumpkin #surgeonsmakegoodcarvers #drumpf thanks @twiskle for capturing the glory A photo posted by Erika WS (@erika_whartonshumthing) on Oct 25, 2016 at 12:42pm PDT This defensive Trumpkin by @erika_whartonshumthing looks like it’s had better days. If you’d like to revisit your favorite moments from last year’s debates, look no further than Valerie Miller’s Trumpkin. We can almost hear this pumpkin shouting “Wrong!” at approaching trick-or-treaters. Images via The Daily Beast (1, 2), Reddit (3), NBC News Chicago (4), NBC San Diego (5), Dangerous Minds (6), Yahoo! News (7,9), Huffington Post (8), and Instagram  (embedded)

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10 Trumpkins that are making Halloween great again

Ole Scheeren’s modular office building looks like a giant Jenga tower

October 6, 2017 by  
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Architect Ole Scheeren unveiled images of his first project in Europe- a residential tower that will offer panoramic views of Frankfurt’s skyline. The designer will overhaul an entire 1970s office block to create 200 living units on the banks of the River Main. The modular apartments will be inserted into the framework of the building, with some recessed and others cantilevering out into space. The Riverpark Tower will be developed in cooperation with GEG, one of Germany ’s most prestigious real estate investment platforms. It will house 220 units on 23 floors, ranging in size from small apartment to four-room suites. Related: Thailand’s tallest building opens with new green spaces for Bangkok “This project is about the positive reinterpretation of an existing structure,” said the architect. “It’s quite a serious intervention, prompted by necessity not ambition,” he added. Modular , glass-fronted units will be inserted into the existing, free-spanning structural framework. They will cantilever out at some points, introducing an element of irregularity to the silhouette. New loft apartments will occupy the space at the four corners of the building which will be cut away at the top. + Buro Ole Scheeren Via Dezeen

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Ole Scheeren’s modular office building looks like a giant Jenga tower

Why Kilroy is turning buildings into batteries

July 7, 2017 by  
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Its initial energy storage installations in California, which should be online in 2018, will automate demand response services more seamless for tenants.

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Why Kilroy is turning buildings into batteries

Uber inks deal to demonstrate on-demand flying taxis at the 2020 World Expo in Dubai

April 26, 2017 by  
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Getting from point A to point B in a car traveling on the ground is so 2017. Instead, Uber is working on a future where people will zip across cities in the sky. The company plans to test their on-demand flying car service, called Uber Elevate, in Dallas and Dubai by 2020. Uber wants customers to be able to press a button and summon a high-speed flying vehicle to transport them around a city through a Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) network. They claim their zero-emissions vehicles will be electric and quiet, taking off and landing vertically – like a helicopter . Uber is developing the vehicles with five partners , including aviation companies like Bell Helicopter and Embraer . Related: Uber is working on flying electric cars to disrupt transportation again And they’ve already got a few cities on board. Uber has an agreement with Dubai Roads and Transport Authority, including a joint study into pricing, routes, and people movement. Uber aims to launch an Uber Elevate Network demonstration at the 2020 World Expo in Dubai. They also aim to initiate a pilot program in Dallas the same year before full-scale operations in Texas in 2023. Uber Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden said, “What started as a simple question: ‘Why can’t I push a button and get a ride?’ has turned, for Uber, into a passionate pursuit of the pinnacle of urban mobility – the reduction of congestion and pollution from transportation, giving people their time back, freeing up real estate dedicated to parking and providing access to mobility in all corners of a city.” The BBC noted the technology isn’t proven yet, but Uber thinks their flying car service could cost around the same as their car transportation system. Regulation and safety are two other major hurdles Uber must leap before their technology can take to the skies. Via the BBC and Phys.org Images via Uber ( 1 , 2 )

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Uber inks deal to demonstrate on-demand flying taxis at the 2020 World Expo in Dubai

Is this massive folded skyscraper trolling New York City’s obsession with size?

March 29, 2017 by  
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New York City’s obsession with building ultra-tall, skinny skyscrapers should come as a surprise to no one. For decades, architects and developers have worked to “out-phallic” each other to seize prestige and obscene amounts of cash. New York-based Oiio Studio has had enough of the taller-is-better trend – and they’re now aiming to create the “longest skyscraper in the world” – aptly dubbed “The Big Bend” – to draw attention to the city’s absurd real estate situation. The proposed Big Bend aims to be the longest skyscraper on the globe – topping out even Dubai’s Burj Khalifa – by folding the tower in half in an inverted U-shape. Big Bend is a 4,000-foot-tall paperclip-shaped skyscraper that would loom over the towers along New York City’s Billionaire’s Row . The plans evoke an ultra-modern atmosphere with images of top-hatted rich men taking center stage in the renderings. According to the architects, the “bendy” design responds to the city’s uber-tall skyscrapers , which have been criticized for “bending” building codes and using their height to command exorbitant prices. Related: World’s tallest timber skyscraper proposed for London The building proposal for the Big Bend reads, “We usually learn about the latest tallest building and we are always impressed by its price per square foot. It seems that a property’s height operates as a license for it to be expensive. New York City’s zoning laws have created a peculiar set of tricks trough which developers try to maximize their property’s height in order to infuse it with the prestige of a high rise structure. But what if we substituted height with length? What if our buildings were long instead of tall? If we manage to bend our structure instead of bending the zoning rules of New York we would be able to create one of the most prestigious buildings in Manhattan.” In an interview with Quartz , Oiio’s Ioannis Oikonomou explains that the project aims “to raise awareness on the extreme law-bending that the emergence of such structures requires by proposing an even more extreme, yet achievable, scenario.” The fact that the design is feasible is what makes the Big Bend design even more intriguing. With current high-tech engineering and elevators that can move horizontally as well as vertically, the U-shaped tower could potentially be built – and it even complies with current NYC zoning laws. “There is nothing particularly demanding that has not been already tested within existing high-rise structures,” Oikonomou says. If fact, if the skyscraper design came to fruition, its size would overtake Dubai’s Burj Khalifa , which at 2,722 feet, is the world’s tallest (and longest) building. + Oiio Studio Via CNN Imags via Oiio Studio

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Is this massive folded skyscraper trolling New York City’s obsession with size?

Stickbulb is a revolutionary and gorgeous modular LED light

March 29, 2017 by  
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If you haven’t heard of Stickbulb yet, it’s time you did. Stickbulb is a collection of stunning, innovative and diverse modern LED lighting made locally in New York City out of wood reclaimed from within the Big Apple itself. Stickbulb’s latest revelation – the Custom Collection – is produced by the New York-based RUX Design Studio and it features interchangeable wooden LED stick lamps that you can combine into different configurations to suit your space. The original Stickbulb was, as the name suggests, a straight stick of wood affixed to a long, linear LED lamp. The geometric shapes of this latest Custom Collection build on the simple shape of the linear LED stickstulb. But the new pieces are modular and can be altered to fit almost any space. Stickbulb’s beautiful geometric designs range from free-standing formats to wall-mounted pendants that can be clustered to create statement pieces. They scale from the size of a table lamp to a 9-foot-tall chandelier that was displayed at last year’s New York City Design Week . This unique design was a collaboration between by RUX Design studio founder and Creative Director, Russell Greenberg, and Partner, Christopher Beardley. Both are architecture graduates with a passion for buildings, modular systems, and sustainable manufacturing. The sculptural pieces are assembled in Rux’s shop in Queens, New York, and are made from locally-sourced materials. Wood options include southern yellow pine reclaimed from buildings demolished in New York State. The pieces are designed with a minimal number of parts, so they’re easy to separate for maintenance, recycling, and reuse. RELATED: 24 Gorgeous Green Lamps That Look Great With Energy-Saving LED Bulbs Stickbulb celebrates New York City’s past and future, combining energy efficient LED lighting with sustainably sourced, reclaimed wood that is a part of the fabric of the past. + Stickbulb

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Stickbulb is a revolutionary and gorgeous modular LED light

A bird’s eye view of real estate risk disclosure

December 15, 2016 by  
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What does high-risk investor appetite mean for real estate sustainability disclosure and performance?

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A bird’s eye view of real estate risk disclosure

Harvest fresh veggies all year-round with the energy-efficient GrowBox mini farm

December 6, 2016 by  
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With headlines like ” Glyphosate found in Cheerios, Kashi cookies and other popular food items ” and ” Are you eating Monsanto weed killer for breakfast? ” plaguing the news, more and more of us are looking for ways keep our families healthy by growing our own food at home. GrowBox is a new hydroponic solution that lets you cultivate and harvest up to 50 edible plants in an indoor environment all year-round. There’s no need to worry about sunlight or water because the whole system is optimized and automated, and you never have to be concerned about carcinogenic pesticides because you control exactly what goes into your personal farm every day. Developed by Opcom Farm , GrowBox is a new indoor farming system that allows users to grow fresh veggies right in their own homes. Made up of four LED lamps, a water tank and pump, and a tray that holds up to 50 plants at a time, the robust kit comes with everything you need to start your own mini farm including seedling sponges, starter seeds, nutrition packs, pH capsules, a pH meter, and an insect net. Opcom is committed to using only non-GMO seeds and pesticide-free nutrients that come from a leading American manufacturer. In addition to being able to grow and harvest throughout the colder months, GrowBox gives even the blackest of thumbs an agricultural edge with an easy-to-use “Auto” mode that provides your plants with precisely the right amount of light, water and nutrients they need when they need it. The unit’s components are also flexible so that you can adjust the heights of the lamps and tubes to accommodate your flourishing crops. The unit also has an area that is specially designed to grow nutrient-rich sprouts. RELATED: Revolutionary Green Wheel hydroponic garden grows food faster with NASA technology For a large garden with such a high yield, the GrowBox ‘s energy and water usage stats are actually quite impressive. According to Opcom, the system uses less than $0.11 per day of electricity (based on $0.12 per KWH), or about the same as your cable box. That means that per week, it uses less electricity than drying two loads of laundry in an electric clothes dryer. Because the unit operates on a hydroponic gardening system, it also uses 90 percent less water than a traditional garden. While it’s actually quite space-efficient considering that it can grow so many plants simultaneously, the GrowBox isn’t exactly petite. Measuring in at about 4′ x 2’, the unit takes up a sizable chunk of real estate (that many urban dwellers simply can’t spare). For those looking for a more vertical solution, Opcom does offer the slender and tall GrowWall , which holds up to 75 plants while taking up less floor space. But we’d love to see an even more space-efficient model catering to urban apartment dwellers from Opcom in the future. At $499, the GrowBox certainly isn’t cheap, but if you consider that a bunch of spinach can cost about $3 in many urban areas, and that the GrowBox lets you grow 50 plants at a time ($3 x 50 = $150), you can see how quickly this investment begins to pay for itself. + Opcom Farm Note: Opcom supplied the author of this article with a sample GrowBox unit in exchange for an unbiased writeup.

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Harvest fresh veggies all year-round with the energy-efficient GrowBox mini farm

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