Shigeru Bans Mt. Fuji World Heritage Center opens in Japan

January 3, 2018 by  
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Japan’s Mt. Fuji World Heritage Center, designed by Pritzker winner Shigeru Ban , is officially open to the public at a time when visibility of Japan’s highest peak is at its best. Located 20 miles southwest of Mt. Fuji in Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture, the sculptural building pays homage to Fuji with its inverted latticed cone that, when seen in the reflecting pool, mimics the shape of the famous dormant volcano. Shigeru Ban’s design for the new Mt. Fuji World Heritage Center was selected from 238 entries in a competition commissioned shortly after Fuji was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013. The highlight of the 3,400-square-meter facility is the viewing tower and ascent, where visitors walk up a 193-meter spiral slope simulating a climb up the Japan’s highest peak. Full-height glazing at the highest part of the tower frames views of the 3,776-meter-tall mountain. Related: Shigeru Ban uses shipping containers and paper tubes to create a surprising mobile museum Glass walls surround the Mt. Fuji World Heritage Center, giving it a sense of lightness, while the timber latticed cone is split between the interior and exterior. The facility also includes an exhibition room with a 4K theater and a touch screen with clips explicating the beliefs, culture, and nature of Mount Fuji. The Mt. Fuji World Heritage Center opened December 23, 2017. + Shigeru Ban Images via Shigeru Ban

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Shigeru Bans Mt. Fuji World Heritage Center opens in Japan

Ancient city constructed on a coral reef remains the only one of its kind

January 1, 2017 by  
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On the island of Pohnpei, Micronesia rest the remarkable ruins of Nan Madol, the only ancient city ever constructed on top of a coral reef . Referred to as an ” engineering marvel ” by the Smithsonian and nicknamed the “Venice of the Pacific,” this series of over 90 artificial islets could have once housed around 1,000 people. Although the Saudeleur built the city around 1200 AD, it wasn’t until earlier this year Nan Madol was finally named a World Heritage Site . Nan Madol flourished sometime during the 13th to 17th centuries AD as a spiritual and political center for the Saudeleur. Little remains of the intriguing ancient civilization – no art or carvings – other than marvelous ruins atop the coral reef. Oral history says the Saudeleur came to Pohnpei as foreigners in 1100 and ended up ruling the island, with Nan Madol as their dynastic seat. The city also served as a temple for the god the nobility worshiped. Related: Lasers reveal ancient Cambodian cities hidden by jungle near Angkor Wat The Saudeleur utilized columnar basalt, a kind of volcanic rock, to build the impressive city on a foundation of coral – and as the building materials are so heavy, no one has yet figured out how they accomplished the feat. The heaviest pillars weigh around 100,000 pounds. The walls surrounding the island’s largest structure, a royal temple called Nandauwas, are 25 feet high. The enduring stability of the remains is also something of a mystery. According to the National Park Service , “The Pohnpeians, who had neither binding agents like concrete nor modern diving equipment, sank the heavy stones into the lagoon using an unknown method. The building remains and canals are stable enough that even after centuries of abandonment visitors can still tour Nan Madol by boat.” Earlier in 2016, the World Heritage Committee added Nan Madol to both the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger, underlining the need to protect the fascinating site from unchecked mangrove growth and waterway siltation. Nan Madol is Micronesia’s first World Heritage Site. Via Smithsonian.com , Metropolitan Museum of Art , and National Park Service Images via Stephanie Batzer on Flickr ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 ), Stefan Krasowski on Flickr , and Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Ancient city constructed on a coral reef remains the only one of its kind

Ancient city constructed on a coral reef remains the only one of its kind

January 1, 2017 by  
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On the island of Pohnpei, Micronesia rest the remarkable ruins of Nan Madol, the only ancient city ever constructed on top of a coral reef . Referred to as an ” engineering marvel ” by the Smithsonian and nicknamed the “Venice of the Pacific,” this series of over 90 artificial islets could have once housed around 1,000 people. Although the Saudeleur built the city around 1200 AD, it wasn’t until earlier this year Nan Madol was finally named a World Heritage Site . Nan Madol flourished sometime during the 13th to 17th centuries AD as a spiritual and political center for the Saudeleur. Little remains of the intriguing ancient civilization – no art or carvings – other than marvelous ruins atop the coral reef. Oral history says the Saudeleur came to Pohnpei as foreigners in 1100 and ended up ruling the island, with Nan Madol as their dynastic seat. The city also served as a temple for the god the nobility worshiped. Related: Lasers reveal ancient Cambodian cities hidden by jungle near Angkor Wat The Saudeleur utilized columnar basalt, a kind of volcanic rock, to build the impressive city on a foundation of coral – and as the building materials are so heavy, no one has yet figured out how they accomplished the feat. The heaviest pillars weigh around 100,000 pounds. The walls surrounding the island’s largest structure, a royal temple called Nandauwas, are 25 feet high. The enduring stability of the remains is also something of a mystery. According to the National Park Service , “The Pohnpeians, who had neither binding agents like concrete nor modern diving equipment, sank the heavy stones into the lagoon using an unknown method. The building remains and canals are stable enough that even after centuries of abandonment visitors can still tour Nan Madol by boat.” Earlier in 2016, the World Heritage Committee added Nan Madol to both the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger, underlining the need to protect the fascinating site from unchecked mangrove growth and waterway siltation. Nan Madol is Micronesia’s first World Heritage Site. Via Smithsonian.com , Metropolitan Museum of Art , and National Park Service Images via Stephanie Batzer on Flickr ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 ), Stefan Krasowski on Flickr , and Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Ancient city constructed on a coral reef remains the only one of its kind

M6.8 quake in Myanmar causes historic Bagan monuments to crumble

August 25, 2016 by  
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A magnitude 6.8 earthquake shook central Myanmar on Wednesday, damaging many historic temples dating back to the 11th century. In an ironic twist, much of the damage was actually sustained by modern building materials , which Myanmar ’s former rulers had ordered throughout numerous ‘restoration’ projections that disregarded the original architecture of the monuments in question. The powerful earthquake hit 310 miles from the border of India, and was felt as far away as Kolkata, but no deaths have been reported. Embed from Getty Images Rulers of Bagan, the capital city of the Pagan (pronounced PUH’-gahn) empire, built over 10,000 magnificent religious monuments during their 250-year reign, and around 2,000 were thought to remain prior to this week’s earthquake . Now, scores of stupas, temples, and monasteries may have been destroyed forever by the powerful tremor . Officials have secured the historic sites to prevent further damage or injury, while they devise a plan for how to proceed. Related: Dozens killed by powerful earthquake in picturesque rural region of central Italy Despite the age and historic significance of the Bagan monuments, the ruins were denied the label and privilege of World Heritage Site . UNESCO was not impressed with the restoration attempts, which started in the early 1990s, and the site became even less likely to ever receive the honor after the 2005 unveiling of a nearly 200-foot-tall viewing tower, which UNESCO officials criticized as detracting from the historic monuments. Via Phys.org Lead image via USGS

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M6.8 quake in Myanmar causes historic Bagan monuments to crumble

Amazing floating restaurant in Mexico shaped like a bird’s nest

August 25, 2016 by  
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“Nido”, which translates to “nest” in English, is one of three restaurants at the striking Mar Adentro Hotel in San José del Cabo, Mexico . Mimicking bird nests one might find in nature, the restaurant looks like an otherworldly structure surrounded by water. Related: Floating solar-powered Waternest eco-home is nearly 100% recyclable A network of walkways connect the pool, hotel and restaurant and create a beautiful promenade from which people can take in the architecture. The interior of the nest is surprisingly simple, with chairs, bar tables and lounges designed as minimalist pieces. Visually, the furniture doesn’t compete with the roof structure. Instead, it complements it with subtle textures and patterns. + Miguel Ángel Aragonés Via Contemporist Photos by Joe Fletcher

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Amazing floating restaurant in Mexico shaped like a bird’s nest

Toyo Ito adorns Mexico’s new Baroque museum with curved white walls

June 8, 2016 by  
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The 2013 Pritzker Prize winner created a modern building from a dense collection of curved walls, tucked into an organic footprint. Inside the museum , visitors can stroll through the main hall, one adjacent hall for special and temporary exhibitions, and three additional halls for temporary special exhibits. The building also houses an auditorium, an international baroque salon, library, shop, and restaurant, in addition to management offices, a restoration workshop, and storage spaces. Related: Toyo Ito awarded 2013 Pritzker Prize The impressive architecture of the museum doesn’t have to be enough to make it a world landmark, though. Its location is already designated as a UNESCO world heritage site , spanning almost 12.5 acres in the Atlixcáyotl Territorial Reserve, in the country’s fourth largest city. As recently as 2014, the museum project was in danger of not being completed, as planners had been denied then necessary environmental permits to build on the UNESCO site. Fortunately for art lovers, project managers were able to make accommodations in the design to satisfy environmental standards, and construction was allowed. Just two years after the project seemed doomed, it officially opened to visitors in February 2016. + Toyo Ito & Associates Images via Luis Gordoa and Toyo Ito & Associates

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Toyo Ito adorns Mexico’s new Baroque museum with curved white walls

Drone video shows damaged Palmyra after ISIS occupation

March 30, 2016 by  
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Now that ISIS has been pushed out of Palmyra , archaeologists are starting to assess the damage done to the UNESCO World Heritage Site . Many expressed relief that more damage wasn’t perpetrated, yet there were still significant losses: both the Temple of Bel and the Temple of Baalshamin were blown up . There are some landmarks, such as the Roman amphitheater, that remain intact, although worse for the wear. Read the rest of Drone video shows damaged Palmyra after ISIS occupation

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Shigeru Ban Wins Bid to Design Mount Fuji World Heritage Center

March 18, 2014 by  
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Shigeru Ban has won a competition to design the new Mount Fuji World Heritage Center in Japan’s Shizuoka Prefecture. Conceived as an inverted pyramid, the $23.5 million building evokes the image of Japan’s most iconic landmark in its reflection in a large water basin. The competition for the 46,000 square foot building was commissioned after Mount Fuji was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site last year. Read the rest of Shigeru Ban Wins Bid to Design Mount Fuji World Heritage Center Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: fujinomiya , japanese culture , mount fuji , mount fuji world heritage center , mt fuji , shigeru ban , shizuoka prefecture , UNESCO , UNESCO world heritage site , world heritage site        

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Shigeru Ban Wins Bid to Design Mount Fuji World Heritage Center

Russia’s 17th Century Kizhi Pogost Church is One of the World’s Oldest and Tallest Wooden Structures

July 2, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Russia’s 17th Century Kizhi Pogost Church is One of the World’s Oldest and Tallest Wooden Structures Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Church of the Transfiguration , eco design , green design , Karelia Russia , Kizhi Pogost , sustainable design , tallest wooden structure in the world , timber building , UNESCO world heritage site        

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Russia’s 17th Century Kizhi Pogost Church is One of the World’s Oldest and Tallest Wooden Structures

James Shaw Creates DIY Furniture ‘Making Guns’ From Recycled Materials

July 1, 2013 by  
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RCA Design Products graduate James Shaw has developed a range of ecologically minded ‘Making Guns’. The guns both subvert the traditional idea of guns being destructive and present radical new processes for manufacturing goods. The range includes a recycled paper maché spraying gun, a recycled plastic extruding gun and a recycled pewter squirting gun. + James Shaw The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: diy design , green design , james shaw , making guns , paper mache spraying gun , pewter squirting gun , plastic extruding gun , recycled design , Recycled Materials , sustainable design        

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James Shaw Creates DIY Furniture ‘Making Guns’ From Recycled Materials

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