Floating House from Movie ‘Up’ recreated in Real Life

The folks over at National Geographic have built a house inspired by the Pixar movie Up! that can really fly. Using 300 helium-filled weather balloons, a team of scientists, engineers, two balloon pilots and dozens of volunteers, have managed to get the small house 10,000 feet into the air.

The 4.8m x 4.8m x 5.5m house built from light-weight materials flew across California’s High Desert for about an hour with two people inside, just like the Disney Pixar film.

The project is part of a wider Nat Geo series called “How

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New elementary school promotes learning through color.

When a private foundation stepped forward to provide the funding for this public elementary school campus in 2007, their intention was to create a model for future schools that was both environmentally friendly and an inspiring learning environment for students. They were looking to break away from traditional design patterns so prevalent in the United States, patterns which too often revolved around isolated monochromatic interior rooms with little connection to their outdoor environment.

The result is a building where half the

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Ideal Palace (France)

The Ideal Palace stands in a small village in central France. This structure was built single handedly by a postman who was popularly known as Postman Ferdinand Cheval. This palace is said to be one of the most astonishing and amazing visionary structures ever to be built in the world. The building of this structure began in the year 1879, and Ferdinand Cheval finished building it in 33 years.

Cheval had dreamt of having a wondrous palace, but he wasn’t really a builder. One day, when he was out, he came across a stone that was

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Chapel in the Rock (Arizona, USA)

Spectacularly situated between red-rock towers in Sedona, the Chapel of the Holy Cross is a Catholic chapel with amazing views, especially around sunset, making this a special attraction for those seeking divine inspiration.

The unique architecture and location of the Chapel of the Holy Cross are the inspirations of Marguerite Bruswig Staude, who went on a trip to New York City in 1932. She observed that a cross could be seen in the newly constructed Empire State Building when viewed from a certain angle, and was inspired to built a

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Kunsthaus (Graz, Austria)

The building, designed by Peter Cook and Colin Fournier in 2003, has an organic shape with a skin made of iridescent blue acrylic panels. One of the most unusual museums you’ll ever visit.

At night, the building glows by way of a computerized lighting system beneath the transparent skin. With large, tube like “nozzles” for windows that stick out from the curved roof, the structure undeniably reminds of an outer-space creature that has landed in the middle of Graz and its historic town center.

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A (very brief) Guide to Beijing

In Beijing, the slew of construction for the 2008 Summer Olympics gave shape to an emerging national identity. China wanted to prove it had more to offer the world than its ancient culture and architecture. And so the world watched as Bejing built Western-inspired buildings that went above and beyond the limitations of Chinese architecture.

Now, Beijing is home to a collection of both traditional and contemporary buildings.

Predominant Architecture:
The traditional style reflects Chinese beliefs and

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A (very brief) Guide to Dubai

Short a construction crane for a building project? Blame it on Dubai. It’s estimated that this architecture capital has 25% of the world’s cranes working around the clock. Although Chicago gave birth to the skyscraper, in recent years Dubai has been the city to master constructing these tall and extravagant buildings.

Dubai’s economy was initially built on oil, but its oil reserves have already been significantly depleted and only account for a small percentage of the economy. So the government recently decided to reinvent its

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A (very brief) Guide to Brasilia

The basic structure of Brasilia was completed in just four years, from 1956 to 1960, under the leadership of President Juscelino Kubitschek, with the slogan “fifty years of progress in five”, and the city is in a sense a memorial to him.

In less than four years, this place went from an idea to Brazil’s living and breathing capital city. Thought up by urban planner Lucio Costa in 1957, with buildings designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer, the city was laid out as a cross, but better resembles a butterfly or airplane shape

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Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron (1950 – Present)

Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron are two important Swiss architects known for innovative construction using new materials and techniques. The two architects have nearly parallel careers. They were born the same year, attended the same school, and in 1978 they formed the architectural partnership, Herzog & de Meuron.

In 2001, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron were chosen to share the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize.

Outstanding Work:
2008: Beijing National Stadium, Beijing, China

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Zaha Hadid (1950 – Present)

Born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1950, Zaha Hadid was the first woman to win a Pritzker Architecture Prize. Her work experiments with new spatial concepts and encompasses all fields of design, ranging from urban spaces to products and furniture. Zaha Hadid is also known for her exhibition designs, stage sets, furniture, paintings, and drawings.

From parking garages and ski-jumps to vast urban landscapes, Zaha Hadid’s works have been called bold, unconventional, and theatrical. She studied and worked under Rem Koolhaas, and like

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Eileen Gray (1878 – 1976)

Eileen Gray began her career as a lacquer artist. She is best known for her furniture designs. In the early 1920s, architect Jean Badovici encouraged Eileen Gray to begin designing small houses.

Eileen Gray’s contributions were overlooked for many years, but she is now considered one of the most influential designers of modern times. Working with geometric forms, Eileen Gray created plush furniture designs in steel and leather. Many Art Deco and Bauhaus architects and designers found inspiration in Eileen Gray’s unique

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A decorated gable end carried above the roofline, a coping that covers the slope of the roof and provides an ornamental silhouette. These were very popular in both Dutch and Muslim architecture. -

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Flying Buttress

Buttresses not fully attached to a building. To allow for the quantity of window space on stone Gothic churches, flying buttresses were introduced to take some of the load onto external support.

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A fortress is an urban center that has a massive stone enclosing wall to protect the inhabitants from bands of thieves, vagrants and advancing armies. Fortresses were known in the Mycean civilization (2000 B.C.), all through the middle ages, and are being built again in smaller and more sophisticated form as “gated communities.”

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