Amazing Transparent Cabin in the Desert
In the splendid beauty and serenity of the desert in Joshua Tree, California, artist Phillip K Smith III revealed his light based project, Lucid Stead. Composed of mirrors, LED lighting and custom-built electronic equipment, the cabin transforms depending on the time of day.
In daylight, the 70-year-old cabin reflects and refracts the surrounding terrain like a mirage or a hallucination. As the sun sets behind the mountains, slowly shifting geometric color fields emerge and produce incredibly beautiful colors that pierce the night sky.
Smith states, “Lucid Stead is about tapping into the quiet and the pace of change of the desert. When you slow down and align yourself with the desert, the project begins to unfold before you. It reveals that it is about light and shadow, reflected light, projected light, and change.”
The electric lamp shown here came from the catholic church. The assistant curator says: “Mantin wanted to have comfort—he was very interested in modernization.”Mantin was interested in all sorts of eclectic things, and in his house you could find not only the stuffed wolf but also a diorama of real dead frogs fighting a duel in a glass globe. There is also a rat playing a violin and a stuffed blowfish.
The Real Stairway to Heaven
The Haʻikū Stairs, also known as the Stairway to Heaven or Haʻikū Ladder, is a steep hiking trail in Kaneohe, Hawaii, on the island of Oʻahu. The trail began as a wooden ladder spiked to the cliff on the south side of the Haʻikū Valley.
It was installed in 1942 to enable antenna cables to be strung from one side of the cliffs above Haʻikū Valley to the other. A building to provide a continuous communication link between Wahiawā and the Haʻikū Valley Naval Radio Station was also constructed at the peak (elevation approx. 2,800 feet/850 m). In the mid-1950s, the wooden stairs were replaced by sections of metal steps and ramps; it is estimated that there are nearly 4,000 total steps. In 1987, the station and trail were both closed to the public. [Source]
Although the public is forbidden to trespass, this has not deterred people from reaching and climbing the famous steps. While you can find rough directions online, accessing the stairs has become increasingly difficult as there is now a security guard stationed at the entrance.
The Amazing Medieval “Hobbit” Stone Houses of Staffordshire
Welcome to Holy Austin Rock in Staffordshire, England. These medieval cave houses carved from sandstone were abandoned by the last residents in the 1960s, but people were living happily inside them for over three centuries before that, possibly even earlier. Today the National Trust has faithfully restored the houses belonging to the last near dozen families that lived in the community, using early photographs, postcards and records to re-create what the houses would have been like in the late Victorian era.
The first official records of the Rock Houses appear in an 18th century book, Letters on the Beauties of Hagley, Envil and the Leasowes with Critical Remarks and Observations on the Modern Taste in Gardening by Joseph Healey. In the book, Healey gets caught in a thunderstorm when he finds the cave homes and asks to take shelter. He describes the homes as well-furnished, ”curious, warm and commodious and the garden extremely pretty”. Healey also notes that the residents had access to water and were extremely welcoming and proud of their homes, delighted even to recount the stories of their ancestors who had built them.
With stunning views over the woodland from the rosy sandstone ridge, these white-washed houses are something out of a storybook. In fact, many people believe that they are featured in a very well-known book published in 1937, The Hobbit. The opening line of J. R. R. Tolkien’s book states, “The door opened on to a tube-shaped hall like a tunnel: a very comfortable tunnel without smoke, with paneled walls and floors tiled and carpeted, provided with polished chairs, and lots and lots of pegs for hats and coats – the hobbit was fond of visitors.” Tolkien was famously reluctant to name the places that inspired his stories. In fact, there are so many similarities between the 18th century Holy Austin Rock Houses and Tolkien’s description of the Hobbit holes that it becomes an obvious assumption that he must have seen or read about these remarkable dwellings.
Being the last occupied troglodyte dwellings in Britain, Holy Austin Rock has been an off-beat tourist attraction since Edwardian times. Residents would welcome visitors and serve refreshments right in their living room or in their front gardens taking in the views of the English countryside. Sadly, there are no cave dwellers to welcome tourists today. A single cafe remained open until 1967, by which time all other families had moved away and their homes had already begun to decay. The majority of residents left their homes between 1900 and 1935 to find work in cities following an economic crises in the area which halted the local ironworks production.
Graffiti taggers and local teens made their mark on the empty caves until 1968. At this point they were sealed off, deemed a safety hazard and seemingly forgotten by England. Over 20 years later funds were made available by the National Trust to embark on an ambitious restoration project, as the caves were declared a national treasure.
Amazing Seaside Hotel on Stilts
Fogo Island in Canada began to multiply amazing and ambitious architectural projects. This time, teams created a stunning sea-side hotel named the ‘Fogo Island Inn’. This amazing feat of architecture has about a third of the hotel balanced on what look like giant stilts. The hotel offers 29 rooms and living areas of outstanding natural beauty. The use of windows in this hotel’s design allow for full view of the supreme beauty of the ocean.
The hotel is located on the stunning Fogo Island, a remote, accessible island located off the Northeast Coast of Newfoundland, Canada – just over halfway between the equator and the North Pole. Its climate features seven seasons. It is the largest of an archipelago of islands at the very eastern edge of the North American continent; Far, far away yet close enough for short getaways.
The Incredible Story of the Watts Towers
Hidden in an eastern part of the city of Los Angeles lies a little-known enormous treasure of art — The Watts Towers. The highest tower contains the longest slender reinforced concrete column in the world.
However the most fascinating fact about the ‘Towers’, aside from the fact that they are almost 100 years old, is about the one man that built them: a 19th century Italian immigrant named Simon Rodia.
Rodia was born in 1879 in Ribottoli, Italy. He immigrated to the United States in 1898 and initially set down in Pennsylvania to work in the coal mines. Little is known about his early life other than he moved to the west coast of California in 1917 and found work in rock quarries and logging and railroad camps as a construction worker.
In 1921 after having lived in the city of Long Beach for five years, Rodia purchased a triangular-shaped lot at 1761-1765 107th Street in Los Angeles and began to construct his masterpiece, which he called “Nuestro Pueblo” (meaning “our town”). When asked why he made the towers, he answered, “I wanted to do something big and I did it.” Rodia spent almost 25 years working on the Towers from 1921 to 1955.
In 1955, when Rodia was approaching 75, he deeded his property to a neighbor and retired to Martinez, California to be near his family. After ten years of retirement, Rodia passed away in 1965.
The Watts Towers installation consists of seventeen major sculptures constructed of structural steel and covered with mortar, adorned with a diverse mosaic of broken glass, sea shells, pottery and tile, a rare piece of 19th century, hand painted Canton ware and many pieces of 20th century American ceramics. The ‘Towers’ were built without the benefit of any machine equipment, scaffolding, bolts, rivets, welds or drawing board designs. With his own ingenuity, Rodia used only simple tools, pipe fitter pliers and a window-washer’s belt and buckle.
The tallest tower is 30 meters high. The tower to its left is 29.5 meters and the next is 16.76 meters high. The highest tower contains the longest slender reinforced concrete column in the world. The monument also features a gazebo with a center column and a spire that reaches a height of 38 feet. The Watts Towers are under the care of the Watts Towers Arts Center and is available for tours. If you are planning a trip to Los Angeles or live in the area, it’s definitely worth the time to see the fruition of one man’s dream.
some photos from honestlywtf
The Stunning Medieval Hilltop Church in Georgia
Near the village of Gergeti, outside the town of Stepantsminda, Georgia, lies the isolated Gergeti Trinity Church. Also called the Holy Trinity Church, it sits on top of a mountain near Mount Kazbegi, one of the highest and most beautiful peaks of Caucasus, at an elevation of 2,170 meters. The 14th century Georgian orthodox and apostolic church is a popular way point for trekkers in the area, and can be reached by a steep climb for 3 hours, or in half an hour by local taxi up a rough mountain trail.
The Gergeti Trinity Church was built in the 14th century and is the only cross-cupola church in Khevi province. During the invasion by Tbilisi Persians in the 18th century, precious relics from Mtskheta, including Saint Nino’s Cross were brought here for safekeeping. During the Soviet era, all religious services were prohibited, but the church remained a popular tourist destination. The church is now an active establishment of the Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church.