All items from Web Urbanist

Spiky Sustainable Black Tree Houses Rise from the Italian Dolomites

[ By SA Rogers in Boutique & Art Hotels & Travel. ]

Extending down the hillside from an existing hotel, a series of matte black structures rise from the deep green landscape like spikes. Without revealing many details, Peter Pichler Architecture has unveiled its vision for unique sustainable “Tree Houses” in the Italian Dolomites – though they’re quite unlike most of the tree houses we’re used to seeing. Taking inspiration from the sharp, dramatic shapes found within these forested mountainous environments, the elevated huts offer sweeping views from two stories of expansive glazing.

American Decay: Eerie Shots of Abandoned 20th Century Households

[ By SA Rogers in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

The eeriest abandoned places tend to feel as if their former inhabitants disappeared into thin air. In each room is evidence of lives interrupted: clothes spilling out of dresser drawers, dishes in the kitchen sink, toys scattered across the floor, photos of loved ones still hanging on the walls. Seemingly precious belongings remain in place decades after the house was last occupied, leaving the sense that something devastating happened to the people who once owned them. In most cases, these mysteries will never be solved.

Character Type: 3D Typographic Skate Obstacles in Rotterdam

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

Get a little too artsy with skate obstacles and you might end up with objects that just aren’t all that fun or functional for their intended purpose. But when Rotterdam design studio Opperclaes collaborated with furniture maker Jeroen van Sluis to bring its signature typographic art into three dimensions, the result spelled success for skaters hitting the city’s streets for Rotterdam Street Culture Weekend and the PowWow Rotterdam street art event.

Forever Homeless: 7 Closed & Abandoned Pet Shops

[ By Steve in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

These closed and abandoned pet shops eerily echo with the long lost sights, sounds and smells (oh, those smells!) of what were effectively urban retail zoos.

Why Not Both?

Bubbletecture: New Book Shows Off the Innovation of Inflatables

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

Maybe it’s the kids in us, but there’s something about inflatable architecture that’s just plain fascinating. It’s hard to deny the fun factor in blowing something up bigger and bigger and bigger until it’s the size of a building. Temporary and amorphous, it flouts many of the qualities we expect from architecture yet it can create comfortable and beautiful temperature-controlled spaces within minutes in virtually any location. If you love blow-up buildings too, you’ll want to check out a new book offering “a fun guide to everything inflatable.”

Abandoned Grandeur: Documenting the Downfall of Luxurious Places

[ By SA Rogers in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

There’s something about the contrast of opulent ornamentation and expensive materials with rot and deterioration that makes luxury resorts and mansions some of the most fascinating abandonments. Someone once cared about these places so much, they invested untold sums of money and hours of labor into them, perhaps having their walls hand-painted with frescoes or calling in master craftspeople to apply the finishing touches.

But nothing lasts forever, and neglect has the same effect on high end structures as it does on those more humble. Different viewers may look at them with sadness or schadenfreude, thinking about the larger context of human impermanence or just the potential wasted, but either way, we can’t help but look.