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Glass-Bottomed "Sky Pool" in Houston Hangs 500 Feet Above Street Level

The infinity pool gracing the top of Market Square Tower in Houston, Texas is a great place for residents to unwind ... unless they’re afraid of heights, in which case the clear-bottomed pool jutting out from the top of the high-rise is anything but relaxing. The pool is situated 500 feet above the streets of downtown, and all swimmers need to do to soak in the views is look down.

As Travel + Leisure reports, the glass-bottomed pool became the highest in the state when it opened in October 2016. The “sky pool” starts on the rooftop and extends 10 feet beyond the edge of the 40-story building. The cantilevered floor is made of 8-inch thick plexiglass, so guests can trust the structure’s stability. That being said, experiencing at least some vertigo while swimming hundreds of feet in the air is to be expected.

Thrill-seekers looking to take a dip will need to make a commitment first. The pool is restricted to high-rise residents, with leases on one-bedroom apartments starting at $2100 a month. Rent also includes access to a traditional terrace pool for days when residents don’t feel like raising their adrenaline levels to go for a swim.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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This Russian Kindergarten Looks Just Like a Castle
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A group of lucky kindergarteners in Russia don’t have to wear poufy dresses or plastic crowns to pretend they’re royalty. As Atlas Obscura reports, all they have to do is go to school.

In a rural area of Russia's Leninsky District sits a massive, pastel-colored schoolhouse that was built to resemble Germany's famed Neuschwanstein Castle. It has turrets and gingerbread-like moldings—and instead of a moat, the school offers its 150 students multiple playgrounds, a soccer field, a garden, and playhouses.

Tuition is 21,800 rubles (about $360) a month, but the Russian government subsidizes it to make it less expensive for parents. As for the curriculum: it’s designed to promote social optimism, and each month’s lesson plan is themed. (September, for example, will be career-focused.)

Take a video tour of the school below, or learn more on the school’s website.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

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This Chinese Library's Interior Is Designed to Look Like an Infinite Tunnel of Books
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The Chinese city of Yangzhou is known for its graceful arched bridges and proximity to the Yangtze River and the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal. Architects kept these unique local features in mind while designing Zhongshuge Yangzhou, a new bookstore and library that was completed in 2016.

Designed by Shanghai studio XL-Muse Architects, the building has black, mirrored floors and arched ceilings that symbolize Yangzhou’s famous waterways and overpasses. The floor reflects the store’s curving shelves to create the illusion of a never-ending tunnel of books—a true bibliophile’s dream.

Learn more about Yangzhou’s unique library/bookstore below, courtesy of Great Big Story.

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