Most Beautiful Items: September 6 - 13, 2013

Sometimes you have a week that's just so mind-numbingly long you just want to stare off into space. But if you're going to stare, why not gaze on interesting buildings, pieces of art, and wonders of the world of design. We've got you covered with the most beautiful items of the week.

Don't You Wish You Were In One of These Beautiful Natural Pools?


You'd be crazy not to love stark, modern design like the stunning Tangga House, but the natural look can be beautiful too. Take these awesome man-made pond pools from Water House for example. You can't tell me you don't want to dive in right now.

This Endless Staircase Is an M.C. Escher Drawing Come to Life


If you've ever wondered what it would be like to climb around M.C. Escher's never ending staircase, you can give it a try right now on the lawn of the Tate Modern in London. Architecture firm dRMM has set up on installation that combines 15 wooden stairways, creating a dizzying maze designed to confuse visitors.

Inside the Restoration of Brooklyn's Glamorous Temple of Cinema


Kings Theater, in Flatbush Brooklyn, is more like a palace than a theater. This 1920s building dates back to a time when seeing a movie was an event—and both the people and the architecture was gussied up accordingly. Kings deteriorated quickly when in closed in the 1970s—but now, a small army of specialists is hell…

I Wish the Fantastical Modern Houses in These Paintings Were Real


Dean Monogenis does not design houses, but he should. His paintings of outlandish homes on impossible sites capture the imagination in a way that real-life architecture rarely does. My only question: When can I move in?

Take a Street View Tour of an Underground Chapel Built Out of Salt


If opulent isn’t an adjective you’d immediately associate with the mining profession, then you’ve clearly never had a peek inside Poland’sWieliczka Salt Mine. The subterranean marvel (and UNESCO World Heritage Site) has been operational since the first shafts were dug way back in the 13th century, but the decor has…

11 Architectural Masterworks You Can Rent on Airbnb


As Airbnb has expanded, it's come under fire from ornery landlords and wary neighbors—being blamed, in at least one case, for driving upcitywide rent prices. But at the same time, Airbnb gives us access to an unprecedeted number of otherwise inaccessible buildings. For example: Right now on Airbnb, you can stay…

All Our National Monuments Have a Hidden Geological History

All human existence is a meaningless blip in the grand scheme of time. Nice thought for a Monday, right? But you knew that already, so here's another way to think about it: All the grand monuments we build are made of rock thousands of times older than the historical blips they commemorate.


The Cold War Bunker That Offered Subterranean Suburbia Below Las Vegas


The real estate listing for 3970 Spencer St. shows a foreclosed two-bedroom on a suburban street east of the Las Vegas Strip. That's nothing remarkable in Vegas, which has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country, but this house is special: It's 25 feet unground. A high-end fallout shelter built in secret...

How the Rolling Stones' Iconic Let It Bleed Album Art Was Made


With most of us buying our music in digital formats, album art just isn't treasured in the way it was in the 1960s and 70s. And now, MoMA has added a classic from that bygone era to its permanent collection: The cover of the Rolling Stones' Let It Bleed, designed by Robert Brownjohn.

You'll Come Out Of This Illusion Exhibit Questioning Everything


It's disorienting to walk into a room where nothing is as it seems. Your doctor might be grimacing even though your test results are fine. Or everything might look normal in your house until you realize that there's a cable outage and your internet is down. But if everything were an optical illusion you would probably…

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