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Visual News

The Odd Case of Chinese Nail Houses

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Visual News

A quickly spreading phenomenon in the construction world has given new meaning to the phrase “standing your ground.” In China, where urban areas are among the most rapidly growing in the world, a strange fad called the “nail house” has taken root.

Residents take advantage of a relatively new property-owning law in China—which, in 2007, prohibited the government seizure of private land except for cases of public interest—by refusing to leave their houses when a new development rolls into town. Often, the homeowners are bribed or otherwise persuaded to move, but in extreme cases, developers are forced to build around them. The resulting nail houses, a term coined to reflect the owners' tenacity, rise stubbornly through the urban sprawl, bisecting busy highways and tucked neatly into shopping complexes.

Though one house interrupting a busy intersection may seem like the antithesis of a public interest victory, many developers shy away from aggressively pursuing these areas, for fear of appearing too oppressive in the media. That’s how, even in cases where the dwellings are of little real use to anyone (many nail house owners don’t actually spend much time there), such structures are able to withstand the years.

Though Chinese nail houses have recently seen heavy exposure, the concept of a nail house is not new, nor uniquely Chinese. In Washington, D.C., Austin Spriggs was offered $3 million for his house (actually worth about $200,000) as a part of a development. Spriggs refused, then took out a loan and ended up converting his home into a pizzeria as a sleek new office building rose up around it. Nail houses have even made their way into Disney movies: Before he had the brilliant idea to take to the air, Carl from Disney-Pixar’s Up posed the same type of stubborn rebellion now seen in numerous urban areas in China.

Primary photo courtesy of Visual News. 

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iStock
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architecture
One Photographer's Quest to Document Every Frank Lloyd Wright Structure in the World
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iStock

From California’s Marin County Civic Center to the Yokodo Guest House in Ashiya City, Japan, Frank Lloyd Wright’s influence spans countries and continents. Today, 532 of the architect’s original designs remain worldwide—and one photographer is racking up the miles in an attempt to photograph each and every one of them, according to Architectural Digest.

Andrew Pielage is the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s unofficial photographer. The Phoenix-based shutterbug got his gig after friends introduced him to officials at Taliesin West, the late designer’s onetime winter home and studio that today houses the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Taliesin, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

Higher-ups at Taliesin West allowed Pielage to photograph the property in 2011, and they liked his work so much that they commissioned him for other projects. Since then, Pielage has shot around 50 Wright buildings, ranging from Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, to the Hollyhock House in Los Angeles.

Pielage takes vertical panoramas to “get more of Wright in one image,” and he also prefers to work with natural light to emphasize the way the architect integrated his structures to correspond with nature’s rhythms. While Pielage still has over 400 more FLW projects to go until he's done capturing the icon’s breadth of work, you can check out some of his initial shots below.

[h/t Architectural Digest]

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Made.com
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Art
What the Homes of the Future Will Look Like, According to Kids
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Made.com

Ask a futurist what the house of tomorrow will feature and she might mention automatic appliances and robot assistants. Ask a kid the same question and you’ll get answers that are slightly more creative, but not altogether impractical. That’s what Made.com discovered when they launched Homes of the Future, a project that had kids draw illustrations of futuristic homes that served as the basis for professional 3D renderings.

According to Co.Design, the UK-based furniture retailer recruited children ages 4 to 12 to submit their architectural ideas. The doodles, sketched in pen, marker, and colored pencil, showcase the grade-schoolers' imaginations. Paired with each picture is concept art made with a 3D illustrator that shows what the homes might look like in the real world.

The designs range from colorful and whimsical to coldly realistic. In one blueprint, drawn by Ameen, age 10, a neighborhood of rainbow buildings and flowers float among the clouds. Another sketch by Ellis, age 7, shows a “home built to last” with titanium, bricks, a steel roof, and bulletproof windows. Some kids seemed less concerned with durability than they were with the tastiness of the infrastructure. Cherry-flavored bricks, candy windows, and a giant jelly slide were just some of the features built into the future homes. Sustainability was also a major theme, with solar panels appearing on two of the houses.

Check out the original artwork and the 3D versions of their ideas below.

House of the future drawn by kid.

House of the future drawn by kid.

House of the future drawn by kid.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

[h/t Co.Design]

All images courtesy of Made.com.

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