In this strangest of years, we noticed two trends in architecture stories: 1) Back-to-the-countryside escapism, and 2) Circles/spheres.
The combination of COVID and urban crowding made many long for a country home. Thus "Italian Couple Restores Stone Medieval Village as a Home, for Just 25,000 Euros" drew a lot of eyeballs.
"A Beautiful Observation Tower as Countryside Escape Home" did similarly high traffic.
"Dutch Architect Creates House That Slides Open to the Elements" provided the most compelling look at what design can do to blur the boundaries between indoors and outdoors.
For those looking for a tiny house, and one that they plan to move often, Latvian company Brette Haus designed one that folds and unfolds, making it easier to transport.
What's the opposite of a tiny house? In terms of scale, a "Bardonimium." They're gigantic, but relatively cheap. And a wide variety of styles are available.
Want a video tour of a 4,000-square-foot Bardominium? Click here; there's a short two-minute version, and a longer 18-minute one if you need a longer escape.
We tend to think of architectural space in terms of square footage spread over one or two storeys. Japanese architect Yo Shimada, however, has different ideas. Looking at a series of houses he's done, we asked: "Would You Want to Live in a House with No Conventional Storeys, But 16 Micro-Levels?"
This year came across a lot of buildings with circular footprints. We saw a video tour of Apple's "Spaceship" campus, and it looks like an awesome place to work.
Another round one by Apple: Their new floating, spherical store in Singapore.
We joked that this is what the line at the Singapore store would look like for the next iPhone:
Speaking of spheres, we learned that an architecture grad spent 10 years building his bubble house senior thesis design, then lived in it for 36 years.
Something we wondered was how you reconcile rectilinear furniture within a circular footprint. Which led us to ask: Would living in a round house be awesome, or would it suck?
One round environment where people successfully reside is in the University of Hawaii's circular dorms.
Another thing we wondered was: The President lives in the White House, but where does the Vice President live? For security reasons, the Veep and Veep Family shack up in this Victorian located a few miles from the White House:
Now for some non-sequiturs: If you want to see some incredible architectural photography, we looked through several years' worth of the Built Environment Photography Award Winners. Some killer shots in there.
For more eye candy, check out architect/artist David Hansen's fantastic "Photographic Impressions:"
Lastly, not quite architecture, but more the aftermath of construction and renovations: This video of home inspectors revealing the worst red flags they've encountered reveals 60 no-no's in three minutes.
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You could check the "Heliodome" for an Architecture Stories in 2021 😉