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Miguel de Guzmán, Imagen Subliminal
Miguel de Guzmán, Imagen Subliminal

Architectural Installation Purifies Water Over New Yorkers' Heads

Miguel de Guzmán, Imagen Subliminal
Miguel de Guzmán, Imagen Subliminal

Architect Andrés Jaque has debuted a new installation in the MoMA PS1 courtyard. Jaque is the 2015 winner of MoMA PS1's annual Young Architects Program, which lets young creators build temporary structures outside the institution. 

Jaque's project is called COSMO, and it aims to change the way people look at and think about infrastructure. Right now, New York City's pipelines are all underground—out of sight and out of mind. The young architect wants us to confront this ignorance by making the way we get power and water more visible. His solution: a beautifully complex water purification system that New Yorkers can interact with. 

The "movable artifact" can filter 3000 gallons of water in a four-day cycle. Dirty water is poured into eight tanks where it mingles with woodland plants to promote denitrification. The water is then pushed through tubes where it is exposed to ultraviolet light and algae. It goes through three waterfalls and more vegetation to further filtering. The resulting water has a balanced pH level, a higher level of dissolved oxygen, and no impurities.

Jaque believes that in the future, architects will create similar works that let people interact with their resources. Instead of hurting the environment, future buildings could work with harmoniously with nature. 

“The divorce between infrastructure and biodiversity has come to an end,” he said. “COSMO is kind of an anticipation of what will be the future of machinery.”

The unique water purifying structure will be on display at PS1 until September 7th, 2015. 

Miguel de Guzmán, Imagen Subliminal

Miguel de Guzmán, Imagen Subliminal

Miguel de Guzmán, Imagen Subliminal

[h/t: DesignBoom.com, Wired.com]

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Stones, Bones, and Wrecks
Buckingham Palace Was Built With Jurassic Fossils, Scientists Find
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iStock

The UK's Buckingham Palace is a vestige from another era, and not just because it was built in the early 18th century. According to a new study, the limestone used to construct it is filled with the fossilized remains of microbes from the Jurassic period of 200 million years ago, as The Telegraph reports.

The palace is made of oolitic limestone, which consists of individual balls of carbonate sediment called ooids. The material is strong but lightweight, and is found worldwide. Jurassic oolite has been used to construct numerous famous buildings, from those in the British city of Bath to the Empire State Building and the Pentagon.

A new study from Australian National University published in Scientific Reports found that the spherical ooids in Buckingham Palace's walls are made up of layers and layers of mineralized microbes. Inspired by a mathematical model from the 1970s for predicting the growth of brain tumors, the researchers created a model that explains how ooids are created and predicts the factors that limit their ultimate size.

A hand holding a chunk of oolite limestone
Australian National University

They found that the mineralization of the microbes forms the central core of the ooid, and the layers of sediment that gather around that core feed those microbes until the nutrients can no longer reach the core from the outermost layer.

This contrasts with previous research on how ooids form, which hypothesized that they are the result of sediment gathered from rolling on the ocean floor. It also reshapes how we think about the buildings made out of oolitic limestone from this period. Next time you look up at the Empire State Building or Buckingham Palace, thank the ancient microbes.

[h/t The Telegraph]

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architecture
5 Scrapped Designs for the World's Most Famous Buildings
Ker Robertson, Getty Images
Ker Robertson, Getty Images

When an architect gets commissioned to build a skyscraper or a memorial, they’re usually not the only applicant for the job. Other teams of designers submit their own ideas for how it should look, too, but these are eventually passed over in favor of the final design. This is the case for some of the world’s most recognizable landmarks—in an alternate world, the Arc de Triomphe might have been a three-story-tall elephant statue, and the Lincoln Memorial a step pyramid.

GoCompare, a comparison site for financial services, dug into these could-have-been designs for Alternate Architecture, an illustrated collection of scrapped designs for some of the most famous structures in the world, from Chicago's Tribune Tower to the Sydney Opera House.

Click through the interactive graphic below to explore rejected designs for all five landmarks.

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