How the New Atlantic Yards Could Be Built in Two Days: A Prefab Primer

Forest City Ratner, the developer behind Brooklyn’s controversial Barclays Center, is breaking ground tomorrow on another equally polarizing Atlantic Yards project. The B2 Tower is the first of 15 mixed-use high-rises that holds the promise of affordable housing for Brooklynites who have been edged out of the other already yuppified neighborhoods along the East River. At a public meeting a few weeks ago, New York-based SHoP architects announced to much fanfare that the B2 would be built with prefabricated modules, ensuring a quick, efficient construction process to minimize the usual building brouhaha, among other things.

In honor of Brooklyn becoming home to the tallest prefabricated building in the world, we thought we’d take a look at what that really means, and whether it really matters. Click through to learn more about the LEGO-like design popping up in Prospect Heights and give us your two cents in the comments. What do you think about the massive development project that’s been touted as a corrupt land grab and a complete failure of democracy? … Read More

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10 Heavenly Hobbit Holes We'd Like to Call Home

Over the weekend, The Hobbit, Peter Jackson’s much-anticipated prequel adaptation of the most epic story about a heroic hole-builder ever written, landed in theaters and set box office records. According to the world’s communal encyclopedia, most of Tolkien’s humble hobbits lived in “hobbit-holes” or Smials, traditional underground homes found in hillsides, downs, and banks identified by charming little round doors and windows. Proof that the Shire’s simple, bucolic way of life isn’t just fantasy, we’ve rounded up some of the best real-life hobbit homes on the planet. From underground earth house estates in Switzerland to a grand tree house in Oregon fit for Frodo, click through to check out the very best of hobbit havens. … Read More

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10 Beautiful Buildings Shaped Like Triangles

There’s a lot to be said for the triangle this year. Everything from album covers and logos to hipster essentials and GIF fanatics have embraced the three-sided shape. Dare we proclaim the triangle the design trend of the year (maybe the decade)? In honor of the simple symbol, we thought we’d take a look at some of the biggest and most beautiful triangle triumphs around the world. From the sculptural beach houses of the architect of happiness Andrew Geller to stunning, modern-day examples of the classic A-frame, click through to check out buildings inspired by the most emblematic geometry in the world. … Read More

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How to Host a Hipster Cookie Exchange

The cookie swap is an old-fashioned affair that resurrects ghosts of tinsel and Tupperware past. Originally created as a fun and festive way to fulfill a housewife’s annual baking duties, the calorie-laden event is the perfect substitute for holiday gift shopping. Replace mindless mall madness and the potential disaster of ambitious DIY debacles by throwing a great excuse to knock back some eggnog instead. Click through for our guide to hosting a throwback extravaganza that embraces what this time of year is really all about: cookies and whiskey. … Read More

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An Emerald Green Pantone Color-of-the-Year Gift Guide

In case you were wondering, next year’s color of the year is emerald green. World-renowned color corporation, Pantone, has just officially declared that the inspiring hue representing harmony, hope and growth will be next year’s tint trend to follow. Only time will tell just how significant the color will actually be in 2013, but if you’d rather err on the side of cultural caution and throw in a touch of the famous shade just to show you know what’s up, then this color-themed gift guide is our early end-of-year present to you. From chic modern day essentials like the obligatory re-usable shopping bag and anything but natural nail polish to amazing green perfume, click through to check out our green gift guide anticipating on-trend additions to up your accessory ante. … Read More

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What Comes After the Brownstone?

A few weeks ago The New York Times ran a great piece titled “The Brownstone Revisionists,” about a growing trend that favors modernization over renovation. In the article, Constance Rosenblum writes that “it’s increasingly common to find vintage town houses sheathed in glass, aluminum and other relentlessly contemporary materials.” A far cry from the classic abodes featured in Rizzoli’s reissue of the comprehensive tome Bricks and Brownstone: The New York Row House, the hallowed homes of today are testament to the changing priorities of a city in flux.

To explore what Brownstone 3.0 could (or should) look like, we asked local architects and designers to share their thoughts on an iconic building typology of the future. From re-oriented garden blocks that give each walk-up its own mini front yard to hypothetically re-imagining the city street as one giant stoop, click through to check out ideas from eight innovative local imaginations. … Read More

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10 Crazy Cloud-Inspired Designs

Elizabeth Taylor, the vivacious, violet-eyed grand dame of Hollywood’s Golden Age, was famous for saying “I fell off my pink cloud with a thud.” On a positive note, at least you had a cloud to fall off of, Lady Taylor. (Sadly, we can’t say the same for the scandalous star of your just-released, made-for-TV biopic.) After spotting an unbelievably real weather-forecasting pendant lamp over on Dezeen, we couldn’t help but wonder what other cloud conjuring projects exist in the exceedingly vast, innovative world of all things awesome but unnecessary. From Berndnaut Smilde’s indoor clouds to cloudscapes that let you feel what it’s like to walk in a cloud, click through to check out a wide range of designs that create or are inspired by the white wonders. … Read More

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The Bizarre Architectural Remains of World’s Fairs

World’s Fairs are to technology and innovation what the Olympics are to sport and the human spirit. But what happens when the crowds leave? Here, a look at the bizarre architectural remains.… Read More

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A Photo Tour of Enchanting Tree Houses for Grown Ups

Philip Jodidio, one of the world’s most popular writers on the subject of architecture, has written a fantastic new book, Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air. Preview it… Read More

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A Survey of Awesome Aquarium Architecture

As science fiction author and prophet of the space age Arthur C. Clarke once said, “How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.” Society’s stewardship of all things aquatic comes in the form of an exceedingly fascinating, niche building typology: the aquarium. After seeing the first photos of an absolutely stunning design in Copenhagen inspired by a swirling whirlpool, we wanted to explore what other wondrous, underwater experiences await around the world. From the largest aquarium in Europe to Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid’s breathtaking proposal inspired by a starfish, click through to check out some of the most awe-inspiring aquariums of today, including three in progress projects to get you excited about what’s in store for the future of maritime design. … Read More

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