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Disney_Den via Flickr// CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Disney_Den via Flickr// CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Massachusetts Home Built with 100,000 Newspapers

Disney_Den via Flickr// CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Disney_Den via Flickr// CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

There are lots of ways to recycle old newspapers—you can use them to wrap a gift, line your bird cage, or build the walls of a house. 

The latter is what Elis F. Stenmen did when he began constructing the frame of his summer home in 1922. As a hobby, the mechanical engineer—whose day job was designing machines that made paper clips—decided to build the walls of his Rockport, Massachusetts house from newspaper. With help from friends and family, Stenmen collected approximately 100,000 newspapers over the next 20 years. The 1-inch walls are made from 215 layers of newspaper that were glued together using flour, water, and apple peels and sealed with a layer of varnish on the outside. 

Laura via Flickr //CC BY-NC 2.0

Stenmen initially chose newspaper because he figured it would make good insulation, but his success with the walls inspired him to take the project one step further. He used tightly rolled-up newspapers to construct functioning chairs, tables, lamps, and a grandfather clock for the inside. The only pieces not made entirely from newspapers are the piano, which is still completely covered in them, and the mantle above the brick fireplace

Disney_Den via Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Besides being a quirky piece of architecture, the “Paper House” is also a monument to early 20th century history. The writing desk is made from stories related to Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight, and the radio cabinet displays coverage of Herbert Hoover’s presidential campaign. On the grandfather clock guests will find mastheads from the capital city newspapers of what were, at the time, all 48 states.

Patrick Donovan via Flickr //CC BY-NC 2.0

Stenmen passed away in 1942, and the Paper House has since fallen under the care of his grandniece, Edna Beaudoin. It’s open to visitors every day from 10 am to 5 pm during the spring, summer, and fall seasons. Admission is $1.00 for children and $1.50 for adults, which is a whole dollar less than an issue of The New York Times

[h/t: The Paper House]

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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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