Photo from NotCot.com
If you're like most people, you probably have cans and jars full of unused pennies. If you have, say, 480,000 or so, then why not do what the Standard Hotel in New York City did with them in their restaurant? Make a copper floor.
2. Wooden Type
Photo by Flickr user Kris Arnold (wka)
The beautiful maple wood floor in the checkout area of the Seattle Public Library mimics the appearance of a raised bed of wooden type. Designed by Ann Hamilton, the floor has 556 lines of text, in reverse, in 11 languages and alphabets, and consists of the first sentences of several books found in the library's collection. The type is set in reverse for two reasons: to reference how books are produced from typeface and to reference how we learn to read, from symbols that are at first unknown to us.
Photo by Flickr user Charlotte Morrall
When it comes to walking on this surface, the first step might be the hardest. At Chicago's Willis Tower (better known by its old name, the Sears Tower), on the 103rd floor, there are glass balconies that give you a bird's eye view of the Windy City below. The balconies – or ledges, really – boxed in with glass walls and ceilings, are 1,353 feet in the air and jut out four feet from the building.
Photo by Flickr user Leon Brocard (acme)
Finsbury Avenue Square used to be a rather unremarkable public square in London. But after Maurice Brill Lighting Design laid in a taut grid of LED-backed frosted glass strips, it became like the set of Tron, a fun and futuristic space. The lights can change colors and are currently programmed to display ten different geometric patterns.
5. Salt Designs
Photo by Stefan Warring from Motoi Yamamoto's website
Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto's medium of choice is table salt. Working on large open floors, Yamamoto first draws out complex labyrinthine patterns, then sprinkles salt onto the floor with a plastic bottle. Each design requires a careful hand, enormous patience, and up to 2,000 pounds of salt. Why salt? Yamamoto says, "Salt seems to possess a close relation with human life beyond time and space."
Photo by Flickr user Studio Roosegaarde
"People, Planet, Party!" is the advertising logo of Club Watt in Rotterdam. As the world's first "sustainable dance club," it boasts a dance floor that converts the movement of people dancing into usable electricity. And its multi-colored illuminated surface looks really cool, too, like something from a 1970s-era TV dance show.
7. Optical Illusion
Photo from TheFabWeb.com
In the entrance to the Sunshine City shopping mall in Tokyo, there's a fountain surrounded by a large circular tile floor that looks like one of M.C. Escher's maddening optical illusions. Seen one way, it appears to be a series of descending stairs. Blink your eyes, and the stairs flip upside down.
Photo from The London Design Festival website
At last year's London Design Festival, French designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec came up with a colorful and comfy way to encourage appreciation of Renaissance art at the V & A Museum. They filled the floor of the Raphael Court at the museum with pliable, plush fabric panels that invited patrons to lie down, gaze up, and contemplate the magnificent canvases.
9. Moss Carpet
Photo from Inhabitat.com
How about having soft green moss on your floor? Another inventive Japanese artist, Makoto Azuma, has created an organic carpet. An eco-friendly plant-derived knitted fabric called Terramac acts as a receptacle for roots and seeds, and keeps the moss all tufted together like yarns in a rug.
10. Salami Slices
Photo from Wim Delvoye's website
This floor might make you hungry. Belgian conceptual artist Wim Delvoye designed what on first glance appears to be an elegantly designed pink, red, and tan marble floor. On closer inspection, we see that the floor is made with salami slices. Well, not actual cold cuts, just printed pictures of salami.
Photo from Domain.com.au
This floor will definitely make you hungry. At a shopping center in Lithuania, artists used 611 pounds of chocolate to create an entire room – walls, furniture, and floor.