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The Plan to Build a Sustainable City From Bamboo

In a move toward more sustainable building practices, the architecture firm Penda has just announced their vision for an entire city constructed from bamboo. By using interlocking horizontal and vertical rods, the modular design could be expanded in the future and would even grow more stable the larger it becomes. The green city could house a population of 200,000, and Penda believes it could be erected by 2023.

The Beijing- and Vienna-based studio knows a thing or two about the architectural potential of bamboo. Their first-ever project was a design for the sweeping “Blossom Gate” bamboo sculpture, meant to act as the entryway for a Chinese flower garden. Last year Penda released their concept for a modular bamboo hotel, and they’ve since realized that this same design can be applied to much larger structures. They unveiled their first real-life mock-up of the design at last month’s Beijing Design Week, and now they're offering a look at the concept art for the full-scale city.

Bamboo grows differently than other wood because it's actually not wood at all—it's a type of grassThe shoot is split into segments that extend like a telescope, allowing it to grow at an extremely fast rate of up to 35 inches per day. In addition to being sustainable, the material is also strong, flexible, and easily disassembled and reused. Penda plans to build the city within China's Anji county, one of the largest producers of bamboo in the world. 

[h/t: Dezeen]

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Ker Robertson, Getty Images
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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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Paul Wegener
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Design
For Sale: The Safest House in America, Complete With Hidden Command Center
Paul Wegener
Paul Wegener

For some people, locking the front door just isn't enough to feel fully safe at home. Maybe they set up a home security system. Maybe they go out and buy a fancy smart home hub with a security camera. Or maybe they spend six years and $30 million to build a veritable fortress mansion, as one guy in Atlanta did. That house, called the Rice House and referred to as one of the safest homes in America, is now up for sale for $14.7 million.

Built by an entrepreneur who hired a security architect with a background designing Justice Department buildings (and his own bunker/house), the Rice House is billed as a "modern fortress" in the real estate listing.

For its owner, creating an impenetrable home was more of a personal challenge than a real security need, according to Bloomberg. But by its features, you'd think it was built for a Bond super-villain or a head of state, not a businessman in a wealthy Atlanta neighborhood.

A secure door with several locks
Paul Wegener

It has its own water and power supply, a 5000-square-foot command center hidden behind a waterfall, a vault, and doors capable of withstanding machine gun fire. There’s an indoor gun range, in case you need some target practice. There’s enough room in the garage for 30 cars, in case you have a few dozen Batmobiles—or you want to invite friends to hunker down with you during the apocalypse.

And since anyone who lives there might be more invested in staying safely inside the gates than going out on the weekends, the place has plenty of amenities that make it a standalone mini-community. It’s got its own art gallery, a gym, a bowling alley, a wine cellar, a home theater, and a pool. It has three kitchens and two commercial elevators, with staff quarters so the servants you inevitably need to cater to you never need to leave, either.

But wait, there’s more. If the house lacks something you want, that’s fine! Because according to the listing, “the property purposefully awaits final personalization.” In other words, for your $14.7 million, it’s not finished.

Check it out here.

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