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A See-Through Church That Suspends Disbelief

Spaces of prayer and worship have traditionally been designed create suspension of disbelief in order to give the users a grander sense of a higher being. This church, designed by Belgian architects Pieterjan Gijs and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh, does just that by appearing to be completely see-through.

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Layers of rusted steel ribs are stacked upon each other with spacers that create gaps between each piece. The result is a structure that is more translucent than it is opaque, allowing light, air and views to flow into one exterior wall and out the other.

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The ephemeral church blends majestically into the surrounding Belgian hillside, especially when backlit by the rising or setting sun. It won’t protect you from rain, wind, floods or snow, but it will provide a serene setting to appreciate the things greater than yourself.

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Tiny EcoCapsule Packed With Sustainable Technology Aims To Reshape Offgrid Living

This egg-shaped capsule may look like something from outer space, but it’s being developed here on planet earth by Bratislava’s Nice Architects. The concept brings a micro shelter with an impressive array of sustainable technology that includes solar power, rainwater collection and filtration, and wind power. They plan to reveal a prototype in the next month, and make it available for sale later this year.

Inside you’ll find a cozy quarters of just 86 square feet. Designed to be easily transported, it can serve as a tiny house or office, and includes a toilet and shower, kitchenette, work and dining area, folding bed and storage both inside and out. Perhaps most exciting is the built-in technology it comes with, including a 28 square foot solar array and a silent 750 watt wind turbine.

Details are still fuzzy, though we expect to learn more once the firm makes its reveal on May 28 at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna.

10+ Wineries With Absolutely Stunning Architecture

Opus One

Scott Johnson of Johnson, Fain & Pereira designed this iconic winery and finished the build in 1991. It brings together traditional European architectural elements and New World aesthetics, a combination that mirrors their epic Cabernet.

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Bodegas Ysios

This spectacular winery is located in Spain’s Rioja region, and was designed by Santiago Calatrava, completed in 2001. The undulating aluminum and cedar roof mimics the mountainous terrain surrounding it, and the name honors Isis and Osiris, two Egyptian gods with close ties to the world of wine.

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Castello di Amorosa

Dario Sattui wanted to build one of the most impressive wineries in the area, and did so by importing an actual castle from Italy, piece by piece, and reassembling it in Napa Valley.

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Lapostolle Clos Apalta

Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle, most known for producing Grand Marinier, began making wine in Chile and completed this estate in 2004. It was designed by Amercanda Architects and features six levels reminiscent of a bird’s nest.

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Vik Winery

When Alex and Carrie Vik wanted to build a winery in Chile, they hosted a competition and this was the winning submission. It features a long, low slung building positioned in the middle of their 11,000 acre estate in Santiago. The shallow pool dotted by boulders not only looks cool, but also keeps the underground levels cool.

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Darioush Winery

Located in Napa, this iconic winery pays honor to its owner’s Persian roots.

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Dornier Winery

The only winery here that was actually designed by its founder, Christopher Dornier. It’s located in South Africa and was meant to blend seamlessly with its surroundings.

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Irius Winery

A distinctly modern winery in Spain, the building was meant to resemble a butterfly.

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Ledson Winery

This massive Sonoma winery became famous before the wine did, and attracted so much attention that they figured they should make some wine and open a tasting room.

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Marques De Riscal

One of the most distinct wineries in the world, this beautiful structure is located in Elciego Spain and was completed in 2006 by Frank Gehry. The pink and titanium exterior looks like a ribbon as it wraps around the surface.

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Mission Hill Winery

This Canadian winery is most noted for its 12-story bell tower which welcomes guests with its bell.

mission-hillPetra Winery

Near the old Tuscan village of Suvereto you’ll find this masterpiece, designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta. It was completed in 2003 and features a unique cylindrical core with plants on the roof.

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Bodegas Portia

Set amidst a barren looking valley, this winery in Ribera del Duero is one of Spains most distinct wineries. It looks like something out of Star Wars and the modern building was designed by Foster + Partners and opened in 2010.

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These 3D Floors Will Have You Trippin Out

You thought your fancy marble tiles were impressive enough huh? Imagine walking into a bathroom and feeling like you just slipped into a tropical underwater paradise, or the floor of a sunken battleship.

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There’s a new trend in bathroom flooring and it comes in the form of 3D epoxy polymer, a special material that creates an incredibly realistic perception of depth that just might terrify your young children, not to mention any unsuspecting guest you have over.

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The technique involves layering any desired image on the level floor and covering it with a transparent two-component polymer that gives it depth. Imperial Interiors, the company behind these fantastic installs, says the technique was originally used in mall displays. Now we’re seeing it invade people’s bathrooms, and even extending into their other living spaces in a most creative fashion.

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Your cat will no doubt become incredibly frustrated with your new interior decorator.

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The floors aren’t limited to bathrooms either – consider a tropical paradise theme in your wine bar perhaps.

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The sense of depth in some of the applications is simply astonishing!

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One of my favorites is the flooding water shooting from beneath the bathtub.

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Don’t mind Flipper saying hello while you do your business.

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Take it to the next level by applying images to the walls, cabinets, even the ceiling.

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Photo via: artflooring.biz

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There’s no doubt how cool some of these floors are. Our biggest concern though is they might be so distracting while taking a leak that you forget where you’re aiming…

This Family Built A 100% Sustainable Floating Offgrid Eco-Fortress

Growing up, most of us had a friend whose parents owned an impressive house, but I guarantee none of us had a friend with a place like this. Owned by Catherine King and Wayne Adams, this eco-fortress of sorts can be found floating off the coastal inlet of Cypress Bay in British Columbia.

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They call it “Freedom Cove” and the colorful offgrid home consists of a series of 12 structures. They share the place with their two children, Eleanor and Alistair, and seem to have a great system in place that has allowed them to live a self-sustainable existence for 20+ years.

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There’s a greenhouse and garden system that provides food year-round. At one point they even had a hen-house, but were discouraged by the frequent attacks by hungry sea creatures. The family takes advantage of the heavy rain during the winter to collect water, and uses a waterfall nearby in the summer. Electricity comes courtesy solar panels and photovoltaic generators.

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A wooden walkway connects each of the unique structures and the bright pinks and blues accenting the entire layout do more than hint at the couple’s artistic skills.

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The couple earns extra income from their art – Catherine is a painter, writer, and wood carver, and Wayne sells carvings and candles in nearby gift shops.

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Below you can see the workshop where Wayne does most of his carving, along with some close-ups of the finished candles.

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If you’re in the area and want to check this place out, your in luck because curious visitors can take a boat tours of Freedom Cove or a sea kayak tour to get a personal tour.. In fact, they encourage visitors to spend time on the fortress.

This certainly has to be one of the most impressive offgrid homes we’ve seen. While the lifestyle isn’t for everyone, those looking for inspiration to escape mainstream society and forge a life of their own can find inspiration in their story.

Thanks to http://www.vanguarddivers.com/