Category:
Architecture

Lavaforming

Icelandic architect Arnhildur Palmadottir has proposed creating buildings (and entire cities) out of lava. From her website:

Lava flow has shaped the landscape for billions of years, but in human times lava has been a destructive force. Basaltic lava flows can contain enough building materials for the foundations of an entire city that would rise in a few weeks. The Lavaforming project is a story of a world that has recognised that traditional building materials such as concrete and steel that have huge environmental impact are no longer usable to build the cities that are needed.

The basic idea is to create trenches and forms to direct the flow of the lava. Then just wait for the volcano to erupt and hopefully flow in the intended way.

More info: Surfaces Reporter





Update: Paul tells me that the Santa Maria Church in Randazzo, Sicily was built with black lava stones.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jul 31, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Architecture

The Palace of the Soviets

Take what metaphors and allegories you will from this famous failure.



The Wikipedia page tells us:

The Palace of the Soviets (Russian: Дворец Советов, Dvorets Sovetov) was a project to construct a political convention center in Moscow on the site of the demolished Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The main function of the palace was to house sessions of the Supreme Soviet in its 130-metre (430 ft) wide and 100-metre (330 ft) tall grand hall seating over 20,000 people. If built, the 416-metre (1,365 ft) tall palace would have become the world's tallest structure, with an internal volume surpassing the combined volumes of the six tallest American skyscrapers.[10]


The music on this video is annoying--hit MUTE--but otherwise it's well done.



Posted By: Paul - Fri Apr 15, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Architecture, Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough, Government, Success & Failure, Russia, Twentieth Century

Mother-In-Law Doors

A mother-in-law door is an exterior door that lacks steps leading up to it, despite needing such steps. They're a common architectural feature in Newfoundland, and no one really knows why.



The Homes and Hues blog offers one possible explanation:

After Newfoundland officially joined Canada in 1949, fire regulations demanded that buildings have two exits, but most existing homes did not. So people carved a second door into their homes. However, since the regulations did not clearly stipulate that the second exit have stairs, they didn't bother with them.




An article by Lisa Moore in the Toronto National Post (Jan 16, 1999) offers another theory:

The traditional Newfoundland house — that is, the saltbox — had no steps leading up to the front door because that entrance was rarely used. Saltbox houses were designed with the kitchen in the back and the parlour in the front, facing the ocean (the main thoroughfare at the time was the water). The kitchen was the heart of the household because that was where the woodstove was located, and most families could only afford to heat one room. Everything happened there — eating and entertaining and playing cards or the fiddle. The parlour, on the other hand, was only used for special occasions.

For many more examples of mother-in-law doors, check out the Mother-In-Law Doors of NL Instagram page.

via TYWKIWDBI

Posted By: Alex - Mon Mar 28, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Architecture

Ugly Belgian Houses

A chap named Hannes Coudenys has made his hobby of photographing deplorable architecture in his native Belgium into two books.




Click on the book names below to find them at Amazon.

You can read an explanatory essay by him here.

This is his Tumblr page.

His Instagram page.

Ugly Belgian Houses Book One



Ugly Belgian Houses Book Two













Posted By: Paul - Fri Mar 25, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Architecture, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Books, Europe

Dr. Seuss House, Alaska



Video should start at the proper segment. Otherwise, minute 41.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Mar 20, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Architecture, Eccentrics

Frances Gabe’s Self-Cleaning House

Frances Gabe had a vision of putting an end to housework. No more dusting or vacuuming. All a homeowner would have to do would be to push a button and the house would clean itself, as if the entire structure was a giant dishwasher.

Of course, this meant that everything in the house had to be waterproofed. But it also meant that the actual dishwasher and clothes washer became redundant. Just hang dirty clothes in the closet and stack dishes in a cabinet — they'd get washed along with the rest of the house.



Gabe offered two stories for how she came up with the concept of the self-cleaning house. The first was that, as a newly married young woman, she once noticed a jam stain on the wall. Instead of scrubbing it off she decided to get a hose and sprayed it off.

The second story involved divine inspiration. After divorcing her husband she said that she was sitting, feeling despondent, and praying to God to provide her with some purpose to keep her going. Suddenly two angels appeared on her shoulders. And then, she said, "I picked up a pencil and began scribbling. I thought I was just doodling. Then I stopped and looked, and there was the self-cleaning house."

She received a patent (No. 4,428,085) for the self-cleaning house in 1984. She also transformed her own house in Newberg, Oregon into a prototype. From what I can gather, she never managed to make the entire house self-cleaning, but the kitchen could clean itself.

When she was alive she would offer tours of the house, but she died in 2016, and the new owners of the house haven't maintained its self-cleaning features.

Incidentally, Gabe was an invented name, so it's not what appears on her patent. Her full name, when married, was Frances Grace Arnholtz Bateson. She constructed 'Gabe' out of her initials.

More info: mit.edu, wikipedia

Posted By: Alex - Wed Feb 09, 2022 - Comments (6)
Category: Architecture, Inventions, Patents, Baths, Showers and Other Cleansing Methods

Earth’s Black Box

On an empty plain in Tasmania there now sits a metallic structure filled with storage drives that is recording "every step we take" toward climate-change catastrophe. Its creators — marketing communications company Clemenger BBDO in collaboration with University of Tasmania researchers — describe it as "Earth's Black Box".

Perhaps I'm too cynical, but I predict that the project is abandoned within 20 years and this turns into an architectural curiosity sitting in the middle of nowhere. I was going to say 10 years, but I'll be charitable.

More info: cnet.com, EarthsBlackBox.com

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 04, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Architecture, Armageddon and Apocalypses, Technology

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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