These Sun-Tracking Devices Pipe Real Sunlight Into Shadowy Buildings

It's a necessary evil of designing in cities: Only the tallest or most perfectly situated buildings get much sunlight. A company called Sun Central thinks it has a solution—in the form of an autonomous sun-tracking mechanism that sucks up sunlight and pipes it into dark buildings. » 8/27/14 8:00am Yesterday 8:00am

9 Failed Designs That Would Have Changed Times Square Forever

Times Square is one big, incredible machine that has the sweet caress of capitalism to thank for its success as much as it does careful city planning. However, when the area was famously filthy in 1984, New York City contemplated a major intervention that would've changed the landscape of Midtown profoundly. » 8/26/14 9:00am Tuesday 9:00am

Just Six Months After the Olympics, Sochi Looks Like a Ghost Town

It's been almost exactly six months since the Sochi Olympics wrapped up and the world promptly moved on to speculating about the Rio 2016. Since then, the area has been left holding the proverbial bag—which as Russian photographer Alexander Belenkiy shows us, is full of too many buildings and not enough people to… » 8/25/14 4:54pm Monday 4:54pm

The Somber History Behind These Wild-Looking Cube Houses

In villages all over Hungary you'll find cube houses—more or less identical in shape but painted in fantastical colors by their residents. While these houses may look utterly delightful and whimsical to our eyes, they're less welcomed in their own communities. In her book Hungarian Cubes, photographer Katharina… » 8/25/14 3:01pm Monday 3:01pm

7 New Materials That Could Change How Our Buildings Act

The gap between material science and actual construction is very far and very wide. It can take decades to move a breakthrough in engineering from a lab to a building site. But as architects and engineers face bigger challenges—from earthquakes to dwindling resources to sheer cost—a new generation of smart materials… » 8/25/14 9:00am Monday 9:00am

Lego's Amazing New HQ Is Finally Underway (And You Can Build Your Own)

Lego maniacs have another pilgrimage destination to add to their list: The brand's new "experience center" broke ground in Billund, Denmark yesterday. As you'd expect, the building itself looks like it's constructed from a pile of Lego bricks. And thanks to a new Lego Architecture kit, you can start building your own… » 8/20/14 4:50pm 8/20/14 4:50pm

The World's Most Expensive Hallway Is Under New York City

The exorbitant costs of the new World Trade Center Transportation Hub have been well-reported: the station cost $4 BILLION DOLLARS. New Yorkers can already experience one element of the pricey hub, a walkway under West Street. And if calculations are correct, this 600-foot corridor is the most expensive hallway on the… » 8/19/14 1:06pm 8/19/14 1:06pm

There's a Skate Park In an Old Tunnel Under London, And You Can Visit

Amongst the abandoned diggers, unexploded bombs, and Medieval bodies, a labyrinth of Tube tracks—both fully functional and obsolete—wind beneath the streets of London. Last week the city got a whole new subterranean social scene at the House of Vans, a series of five disused tunnels outfitted with bars, a diner,… » 8/13/14 8:25pm 8/13/14 8:25pm

Automatic Skyscraper Shades Bend and Fold to Keep You Comfy

It's the very worst part of working in a giant climate-controlled building: Depending on the time of day, half of the offices end up roasting while the others freeze to death. How about a smart skyscraper skin that adjusts window by window based on the angle of the sun, saving energy and allowing workers to control… » 8/11/14 5:15pm 8/11/14 5:15pm

New York City's Futuristic Skybridges Are a Thing of the Past

Pretty much every dystopian novel ever published alludes to a future, in which poor people are stuck on the ground while rich people navigate cities on luxurious skybridges. But New York won't see that future any time soon. The city is slowly demolishing all of its once futuristic skybridges in favor of, well, good… » 8/11/14 1:03pm 8/11/14 1:03pm

If You Own Land, How Far Above and Below Do You Own?

On paper, the concept of land ownership sounds very simple- you pay money and in return you're given unfettered access to a predetermined amount of land. But how much of that land do you actually own? Do you own the sky above it? How about the land below it? What about all the animals that may live there; do you own… » 8/07/14 5:12am 8/07/14 5:12am

This Reflective Facade Turns The Horizon Into a Gigantic Kaleidoscope

On the rocky shore of La Grande Motte, a seaside resort in the south of France, a reflective facade is turning the horizon-line into a kaleidoscopic head-trip. Breath Box is an installation composed of hundreds of mirrored panels that move in time with the wind. A word of advice: Don't stare directly into this super… » 8/04/14 8:20pm 8/04/14 8:20pm

The Skyscraper Boom That's Going To Make American Cities Way Taller

It seems like most of the architectural zeitgeist in the U.S. is dominated by news of supertalls sprouting in Manhattan. But that has not been the case in many American cities. Even with widespread housing shortages and proof that density is better for residents, most American cities have had a fear of heights » 8/04/14 3:18pm 8/04/14 3:18pm

This Home's Bedrooms Have Wheels So You Can Roll Them Outside

We've seen doors that spin on their hinges and whole facades that rotate towards the sun, but there are mechanically simpler ways to approach transforming architecture. Take this home in Brittany, which features small bedrooms on wheels that can be rolled around (or outside of) the house. » 8/01/14 4:34pm 8/01/14 4:34pm