From an abandoned asylum that the Department of Homeland Security is moving into, to beer labels turned into animated GIFs, we posted all kinds of lustworthy things this week. So before you head off into weekend, check out the wonders of design, art, and architecture we've got for you.

Most Beautiful Items: July 19 - 26, 2013

You can sit on a washing machine, but that doesn't make it a chair. A transformation like the one industrial designer Antonina pulled offdoes make it a chair, though. And there are even DIY instructions so you can try too, if you're into that sort of thing.

What does it take to build a habitable structure at the bottom of the world? Quite a bit of technology, for starters. The climate of the extreme south and north poles is unlike any other. Unstable ice, immense snowfall and incredibly low temperatures can—literally, in at least one case—chew up and spit out entire…

I remember my family's first Logitech product well. It was a mouse, roughly the size of a small football and shaped like a half eaten apple and the color of dirty bones. It rolled and it clicked and did everything it was supposed to. It was not an artifact of fine design.

Did you know that the US government's third-largest agency is ramping up a 20-year, $4.5 billion construction project that will turn the grounds of a former mental hospital into an "elaborate" headquarters for its sprawling network of agencies? It's already a decade behind schedule and $1 billion over budget.

We’ve talked about top-down demolition—where building are deconstructed one floor at a time, ending at the ground—before. But a newly-completed building in Rome, by Italian studio Fuksas, puts a twist on the concept: The old building’s facade was perfectly preserved.

Architects are bound by law to design buildings that are accessible to the disabled, but the deaf often get left out of the equation. A group of designers and deaf students are now trying to change that—and their first building, a dormitory at predominantly deaf college Gallaudet University, is their manifesto.

The (figurative) craft beer explosion has provided no end of delights, be it cornucopian variety or xxxtreme hops or increasingly creative labels. But its greatest gift of all might turn out to be this ingenious Tumblr that GIFs all of the things.

A city's street plan isn't just the canvas that we paint our lives on—it's a work of art on its own. This is true regardless whether the avenues and thoroughfares were meticulously arranged into an anal-retentive grid, or whether they just, ahem, happened over time as residents sprawled away from the center of town.

If you stare at the low-riding wooden Plank Lounger long enough, you might feel like you're on vacation, basking in the sun beneath some beautiful mountain. That is if you have a really vivid imagination and extreme focus. But even if you don't have those things, you can probably agree that it appears to be just about …

When you ask a bunch of 3D printing nerds to design a better birdhouse, you can expect some wild and wacky offering—but this thing is perhaps the ultimate avian abode.

At first glance, it looks like Beijing is being swallowed up by rising tides. But these aren't giant bottomless puddles—they're mirrors, installed throughout Beijing by the Chinese wing of advertising agencyGrey Group. The point? To draw attention to the country's rapidly-disappearing lakes.