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Vimeo, GMP
Vimeo, GMP

The Final Chapter For the So-Called Up House

Vimeo, GMP
Vimeo, GMP

According to a spokesman for Disney’s Pixar Animation Studios, the charming yellow home that lifts off thanks to a bevy of balloons to set in motion the 2009 film Up is not based on any real residence. But this hasn't stopped people from calling an unassuming bungalow in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle the "Up House." Well, unassuming in all ways save one: Since 2006, the home has been surrounded on three sides by the concrete walls of tall commercial buildings.

Built around 1900, the 600-square-foot was bought by Edith Macefield some many decades ago. Her mother lived in the home while she was abroad in Europe—rumor has it she was serving as a spy for the British Allies. Upon her return to Seattle, Macefield took up residence and moved her mother to a retirement facility. Aghast at the conditions there, Macefield moved her mother home to Ballard, where she died in the house the very next day. After that, Macefield became committed to living the remainder of her life in the home where her mother died, come hell or high rises.

Her refusal to sell as development encroached on her neighborhood turned Macefield into a legend. She reportedly turned down a $1 million offer to sell the two-story home and allow it to be demolished.

Locals began getting tattoos to honor her "steadfastness," a Ballard music festival was named after her, a nearby bar started serving the "Edith Macefield," and a beautiful documentary, part of which you can see below, captured how much she captivated and inspired Ballard-area residents.

The Legend of Edith Macefield - STEADFAST by Caffe Vita (Chapter 1) from GMP on Vimeo.

Macefield died in 2008. In the final years of her life she formed an intense and ironic friendship with Barry Martin, the superintendent of the construction project she so pointedly and passively resisted. It started with the occasional hello and, by the end of her life, Martin was not only driving Macefield to her hair or doctor appointments, he was scheduling them as well. When she passed, Macefield willed the house to him.

He sold the home for $310,000 in 2009 to a developer whose project fell through. When it went to foreclosure auction earlier this year, the house that could have sold for $1 million failed to attract any bids, although fans from around the country brought balloons to brighten the metal fence out front.

Now, it is listed for sale without an asking price, but listing agent Paul Thomas said a buyer will be chosen this week. Although it's almost certainly destined for demolition—the residential zoning has lapsed—the buyer will need to do more than just match the paltry auction bids. The applications to purchase the home will need to include a plan to memorialize Edith Macefield, and the merit of those memorials will be considered when selecting a new owner.

The now-barren interior of the home can be see in the video from the Washington Post below:

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Luke Hayes, Asif Khan/Getty Images
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architecture
Vantablack Pavilion at the Winter Olympics Mimics the Darkness of Space
Luke Hayes, Asif Khan/Getty Images
Luke Hayes, Asif Khan/Getty Images

British company Surrey NanoSystems disrupted the color spectrum when it debuted Vantablack: the darkest artificial substance ever made. The material is dark enough to absorb virtually all light waves, making 3D objects look like endless black voids. It was originally designed for technology, but artists and designers have embraced the unique shade. Now, Dezeen reports that British architect Asif Khan has brought Vantablack to the Winter Olympics.

His temporary pavilion at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games in South Korea has been dubbed the darkest building on Earth. The 33-foot-tall structure has been coated with Vantablack VBx2, a version of Vantablack pigment that comes in a spray can.

The building’s sides curve inward like shadowboxes. To break up the all-consuming blackness, Khan outfitted the walls with rods. White lights at the ends of the sticks create the effect of stars scattered across an endless night sky.

Child next to wall painted to look like the night sky.
Luke Hayes, Asif Khan/Getty Images

Khan told Dezeen that the piece is meant to give “the impression of a window cut into space.” He was only able to realize this vision after contacting the scientists behind Vantablack. He told them he wanted to use the color to coat a building, something the pigment wasn’t designed for originally. Sculptor Anish Kapoor securing exclusive rights to artistic use of the color in 2016 further complicated his plans. The solution was the sprayable version: Vantablack VBx2 is structurally (and therefore legally) different from the original pigment and better suited for large-scale projects.

The pavilion was commissioned by Hyundai to promote their hydrogen fuel cell technology. The space-themed exterior is a nod to the hydrogen in stars. Inside, a white room filled with sprinklers is meant to represent the hydrogen found in water.

The area will be open to visitors during the Winter Olympics, which kick off in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Friday, February 9.

[h/t Dezeen]

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Shari Austrian
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Design
You Can Order a Stunningly Detailed LEGO Replica of Your House on Etsy
Shari Austrian
Shari Austrian

LEGO blocks can be used to construct fictional starships and works of abstract art, but there's something comforting in replicating what's familiar to you. That's the concept behind Little Brick Lane, an Etsy shop that promises to custom-build detailed LEGO models of real homes.

Designer Shari Austrian tells Apartment Therapy that the idea came to her when her family was building their real-life house. Her twin boys had recently gotten her interested in LEGO, so she decided to construct a scaled-down, blocky replica to match their new home. She enjoyed the project enough to launch a business around LEGO architecture on Etsy at the end of 2017.

Austrian bases her designs off interior and exterior photos of each house, and if they're available, architectural plans. Over eight to 10 weeks, she constructs the model using LEGO pieces she orders to match the building design perfectly, recreating both the inside and outside of the house in the utmost detail.

To request a custom LEGO abode of your own, you can reach out to Austrian through her Etsy shop, but warning: It won't come cheap. A full model will cost you at least $2500 (the exact price is based on the square footage of your home). That price covers the cost of the materials Austrian invests in each house, which can add up quick. "The average LEGO piece costs approximately 10 cents," she tells Mental Floss, and her models are made up of tens of thousands of pieces. But if you're looking for something slightly cheaper, she also offers exterior-only models for $1500 and up.

For your money, you can be confident that Austrian won't skimp on any details. As you can see in the images below, every feature of your house—from the appliances in your kitchen to the flowers in your yard—will be immortalized in carefully chosen plastic bricks.

A bedroom made of LEGO

A kitchen model made of LEGO

The exterior of a house made of LEGO

[h/t Apartment Therapy]

All images courtesy of Shari Austrian.

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