The Eye
Slate’s design blog.

July 17 2015 12:08 PM

This Cliffside Hotel Has Spectacular Views—and Terrifying Drop-Offs

While architects in Greece dream up a cliff-hanging holiday house, the Skylodge Adventure Suites have been housing intrepid travelers since 2013 in these hanging bedrooms suspended on a rock face 1,312 feet above the Sacred Valley in Cusco, Peru.

Accessible by climbing, hiking, or zip-lining—a trip that takes three to four hours each way—the 24 feet by 8 feet by 8 feet modules are made from aerospace aluminum and high-resistance polycarbonate.

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July 16 2015 11:23 AM

Here’s How to Ditch Your Cubicle for the Woods While Staying on the Clock

In these dog days of summer, when office workers cash in their vacation days and escape to the great outdoors, freelancers and contract workers are often loath to find themselves tethered to their Wi-Fi connections, unable to flee the virtual daily grind.

But even if your location-independent life does not include paid vacations, there is something to be said for a change of scene. With that in mind, Dutch “ecopreneur” Tom van de Beek has created KantoorKaravaan, a fleet of mobile off-grid micro-offices outfitted with Wi-Fi, solar-powered coffee makers, and chargers for your mobile devices that has been touring the national parks of the Netherlands since March.

July 15 2015 12:02 PM

This Building Is the Biggest Architectural Movie Star in Los Angeles

Roman Mars’ podcast 99% Invisible covers design questions large and small, from his fascination with rebar to the history of slot machines to the great Los Angeles Red Car conspiracy. Here at The Eye, we cross-post new episodes and host excerpts from the 99% Invisible blog, which offers complementary visuals for each episode.

This week's edition—about the Bradbury Building in Los Angeles—can be played below. Or keep reading to learn more.

July 14 2015 3:49 PM

Is London’s High-Rise Boom Destroying the City’s Skyline?

“It’s in the nature of cities to change all the time,” says philosopher Alain de Botton in a new video from the School of Life. “London has shed skins more times than a giant python over hundreds of years.” But he adds that many people who otherwise “love and accept change have recently been getting very nervous indeed about what’s happening to England’s capital city.”

The popular speaker, founder of Living Architecture, and author of The Architecture of Happiness and this six-point manifesto on what makes cities beautiful is referring to the city’s building boom that he argues is “decimating the skyline of London” and “turning it into a bad version of Shanghai or Dubai.”

July 13 2015 3:16 PM

These 20 Dwellings Show Just How Complex Tiny Houses Can Be

The tiny house trend has awakened all sorts of collective fantasies about conscious downsizing, bringing back the age-old desire for a cabin in the woods, a cottage in a meadow, or maybe an off-grid eco-pod perched atop an urban high rise.

But in our default bigger-is-better worldview, the tiny house is often seen as a shrunken, low-budget version of the so-called American dream houses that have become the norm.

July 10 2015 12:35 PM

“Drink” This Cocktail Cloud Through Your Lungs and Eyeballs

The madcap British experiential food design duo Bompas & Parr got their start doing imaginative things with jelly and have since made a career out of such sensory feats as developing the world’s first edible New Years Eve fireworks and grilling steaks over molten lava.

This summer they’re gearing up for Alcoholic Architecture, a boozy installation at London’s Borough Market that the designers describe in a press release as “fully immersive alcohol environment” in which a manmade cloud composed of fine spirits and mixer at a 1:3 ratio will be dispersed using powerful humidifiers in the basement of a Victorian building.

 

July 9 2015 12:26 PM

A New Zealand Landscaper Created a Storybook Chapel Out of Living Trees

You don’t have to be religious to appreciate the Tree Church in Ohaupo, New Zealand. A heavenly 100-seat chapel set among a 3-acre landscaped garden, the church boasts walls made of living trees planted around an iron frame.

In 2011, Barry Cox, who runs a tree relocating business, decided that his backyard was missing an old stone church like the ones he had studied and admired on travels to Europe. So he decided to unite his passion for ecclesiastical architecture with his skills as a landscaper who specializes in replanting mature trees using a tree spade.

July 8 2015 1:43 PM

This Jaw-Dropping Greek Concept House Is Built Into a Cliff

There is something eternally seductive about the idea of a house as precipice, tempting the elements by staking a foundation on the edges of the Earth, shunning mankind for a view of nothing but sea and sky.

Casa Brutale from Open Platform for Architecture, or OPA, is a fantasy vacation house embedded into a cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea. It’s reminiscent of a James Bond movie set location or this 2014 Cliff House proposal by Australian prefab architecture firm Modscape that was inspired by the barnacles that cling to the hull of a ship.

July 7 2015 10:42 AM

Australia Is Building a Curvy Skyscraper Inspired by Beyoncé

Australian architecture firm Elenberg Fraser has designed a 68-story mixed-use skyscraper in Melbourne whose curvaceous form is inspired by the undulating curves of the fabric-wrapped dancing bodies in Beyoncé’s music video “Ghost.”

July 6 2015 11:55 AM

Toilet Brushes Are Gross. Can This Water Gun Make Them Obsolete?

The plastic toilet brush is a necessary evil that most of us begrudgingly purchase and prefer not to think about. And although somebody is always trying to make this utilitarian household object more aesthetically pleasing by designing a fancy toilet brush vessel, reinventing it with a bristle-free redesign, or offering a flushable brush pad alternative, an innovative new concept from the U.K. currently raising funds on Kickstarter is trying to change the way we clean our toilets altogether.

The Loogun promises to clean your toilet bowl with nothing more than a powerful jet of water.

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