Taiwanese Artist Transforms City Bus Into a Roaming Forest

 SAM YEH, Staff // Getty Images
SAM YEH, Staff // Getty Images

A florist from Taipei, Taiwan, has achieved the impossible: He’s found a way to make riding the bus through a crowded city a pleasant experience. All he had to do was drape the vehicle’s interior in carpets of moss and curtains of flowers.

The Agence-France Presse reports that the “forest bus” offered toll-free rides to commuters in Taipei for one week only. The bus ferried passengers to an art museum, a popular temple, and a night market, but the fairy tale environment made it hard to step off.

Interior of the "traveling forest" bus.
SAM YEH, Staff // Getty Images

The project was intended to give riders a brief respite from the city. From their moss-covered seats, commuters were able to soak in the sights and smells of the hanging orchids, ginger lilies, and ferns surrounding them. Designer Alfie Lin told AFP, “They can smell the scent of summer on the bus and see the vibrant green plants to feel messages from nature.”

Interior of the "traveling forest" bus.
Sam Yeh, Staff // Getty Images

Lin is known around the world for his floral art—he even gave a TED talk about the power of flowers last year. His bus was taken off the road Sunday, May 28, but at least one citizen wants to see it return as a fixture in the city. Celine Wei told AFP, “I hope it can become a regular service on a double-decker. It would become something special to Taipei.”

Interior of the "traveling forest" bus.
Sam Yeh, Staff // Getty Images

[h/t Inquirer.net]

Architect Creates Renderings of Frank Lloyd Wright Designs That Were Never Built

Frank Lloyd Wright designed more than a thousand works in his lifetime, but hundreds of his ideas were never built. One of those was the Gordon Strong Automobile Objective, a tourist attraction commissioned in 1924. Now, thanks to new renderings by Spanish architect David Romero, you can get a better idea of what the proposed project might have looked like had it been completed, as Curbed reports.

Romero is the creator of Hooked on the Past, a project in which he translates plans for Frank Lloyd Wright's unbuilt designs into photorealistic scale renderings. He imports data and plans Wright drew up for the projects into modern modeling software in order to create the most accurate renderings possible of what these structures would have looked like. For the Gordon Strong Automobile Objective images, he collaborated with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, which recently ran the images in its magazine, Frank Lloyd Wright Quarterly.

A spiraling building on top of a mountain
David Romero

Intended to stand atop Sugarloaf Mountain in Maryland’s Blue Ridge Mountains, the plan for the Gordon Strong Automobile Objective called for a planetarium and restaurant to accompany a scenic overlook. Its developer, wealthy Chicago businessman Gordon Strong, envisioned it as a destination where families would drive for the day from Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The design shifted substantially from draft to draft. In some, it called for a dance hall instead of a planetarium; in another, a theater. He also designed in waterfalls, pedestrian paths, bridges, an aquarium, and a car showroom.

A rendering of a pedestrian bridge
The unbuilt Butterfly Wing Bridge
David Romero

Above all, it was to be a destination for drivers, as the name suggests, and visitors would have driven up to park along its spiral structure—similar to the one that would later come to life in the design of the Guggenheim museum, which Romero looked to as inspiration while translating Wright's failed plans into 3D renderings.

A rendering of a spiral-shaped building at night
David Romero

Romero also painstakingly researched the context and location of the building, including adding era-appropriate cars, traces of rain and dirt on the building, and other details in order to bring the project to life. As a result, at times it can be hard to tell these are illustrations rather than stylized photographs.

Romero has also created similarly detailed renderings of other unbuilt or demolished Frank Lloyd Wright projects, including ones that have long since been destroyed, like the demolished Larkin Administration Building in Buffalo, New York and the burned-down Rose Pauson House in Arizona. You can see more here.

[h/t Curbed]

See How Metros in the World's Biggest Cities Intersect on Aerial Maps

Paris
Paris
Dadapp94, Reddit

In cities around the world, subways form massive networks that snake under the urban landscape, creating systems that we're familiar with seeing in the form of colored, intersecting lines on a poster, but basically can never see from above ground.

Luckily, the cartography and transit nerds of the internet have you covered. A number of users on Twitter, Tumblr, and forums like Reddit's r/MapPorn have created image mashups of subway lines overlaid with aerial images of urban environments, showing what cities would look like from above if their massive transit networks were above ground. CityLab recently collected some of the most compelling ones, and they're fascinating to examine. (The one above, of Paris, was created by Reddit user Dadapp94.)

Below are a few of our favorites:

Here's London:

And New York:

Here's one of Amsterdam that was posted to r/MapPorn by Reddit user Conducteur:

An aerial photo of Amsterdam with subway lines represented by colored lines
Amsterdam's railway and subway lines
Conducteur, Reddit

And one of Milan, posted by Reddit user medhelan:

An aerial view of Milan with colored lines representing subway paths
Milan
medhelan, Reddit

To see more aerial shots like this, head over to CityLab. And if you love aerial images of infrastructure as much as we do, we also recommend these photos of airports seen from above.

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