Assassin's Creed Unity Ubisoft Notre Dame

Assassin’s Creed Unity maker Ubisoft, which recreated the Notre Dame Cathedral in its 2014 game “Assassin’s Creed Unity” has pledged $565,000 in its restoration efforts. The Paris-based video game publisher said Wednesday that it will make its virtual rendition of the cathedral available to those involved in the rebuilding of the church. Plus, they’re also making “Assassin’s Creed Unity” available free to players on PC for the next week. “As the smoke clears on the events that unfolded on Monday at the Notre-Dame de Paris, we stand in solidarité with our fellow Parisians and everyone around the world moved by the devastation the fire caused. Notre-Dame is an integral part of Paris, a city to which we are deeply connected. Seeing the monument in peril like this affected us all,” said Ubisoft. Read more for a virtual tour of Notre Dame in Assassin’s Creed Unity.

Real Hobbit House Lord of the Rings
Lord of the Rings may have a large following, but rarely do you see fans actually recreating something from the series, that is unless…you’re Jim Costigan. His day job is a New York construction supervisor, but his free time for the past 6-years was spent building an energy-efficient Hobbit House, complete with a lush green roof that Bilbo Baggins would most certainly approve of. “I thought that was the coolest house I’d ever seen. Architecturally, I thought that that house in the movie was just really well-done, that it was really original. The curvatures, everything about it was unique,” said Costigan about the home of Bilbo Baggins, Bag End. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.

Cliff Edge Home
Photo credit: Modscape
Australia-based Modscape Concept specializes in prefabricated architecture, and they designed a strange five story home that hangs off a cliff’s edge a while back, but now, we get a first look inside. It features a modular design and was inspired by the shape of barnacles clinging to a hull of a ship, and that’s why it extends off the side of a cliff, rather than sit directly on it. Read more for additional pictures and information.

Oceanix Floating City
The United Nations has just unveiled Oceanix, a futuristic floating city that can hold thousands of residents, and is built to withstand natural disasters like floods, tsunamis, as well as hurricanes. In other words, the city would essentially be a collection of hexagonal platforms, and the six villages should be able to comfortably house up to 10,000 people. However, you won’t find any garbage trucks, but instead pneumatic trash tubes that would transport garbage to a sorting station, where it could be identified and repurposed. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.

Underwater Restaurant Norway
Photo credit: Snøhetta | Ivar Kvaal
Europe’s first underwater restaurant, called “Under” (means “wonder” in Norwegian), opened in Norway on Wednesday with more than 7,000 customers booked in to eat among the aquatic life. The modern structure was designed by Norwegian architecture firm Snoehetta. “The fascination is just this movement from above water to underwater through the building … The big window exposes the underwater not like an aquarium, it’s the real thing,” said Snoehetta’s founder Kjetil Traedal Thorsen to Reuters. One caveat: a full 18-course meal can cost you up to $430 USD, including drinks. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.

Vessel Hudson Yards

No, this isn’t an alien structure that landed in NYC, just “The Vessel,” a public landmark that was built as part of the Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project in Manhattan. Featuring a stunning honeycomb-like structure, it rises 16 stories and consists of 154 flights of stairs, 2,500 steps, and 80 landings. It was designed by British designer Thomas Heatherwick, and is the main feature of the 5-acre Hudson Yards Public Square. Read more for a complete walkthrough of the structure, additional pictures and information.

Burj al Babas Dream Castle Ghost Town Turkey

This isn’t a future Disney theme park under construction, just Burj al Babas, a residential village built in north-western Turkey, in the provincial district of Bolu, approximately 3-hours driving from Istanbul. There’s over seven hundred castle-like buildings, each identical to the other, but are completely uninhabited due to the high inflation and the country’s economic crisis that have negatively impacted its real estate market. Read more for another video, additional pictures and information.

Pinecone Treehouse

Photo credit: Garna Raditya
Your eyes aren’t playing tricks, the Pinecone Treehouse by O2 Treehouse is real, and can be yours for the right price. Its located in a forest in Oakland, and features a geodesic dome shape that is constructed from steel as well as magnificent California redwood. The exterior has been fitted with multiple glazed panels to make it look like a real pinecone’s scales. Inside, you’ll find kaleidoscope-inspired symmetrical windows, a sleeping area, an indoor/outdoor bathroom and a wooden catwalk to connect both. Read more for another video tour, additional pictures and information.

PAN Treetop Cabins

Photo credit: Hi Consumption
The term minimalism refers to when something is reduced to its necessary elements, and in the architectural world, designers focus on the connection between two perfect planes, elegant lighting, as well as the void spaces left by the removal of three-dimensional shapes. PAN Treetop Cabins, created Espen Surnevik and Finn-Erik Nilsen, in Norway exemplify this. The abstract design allows these living spaces to blend seamlessly with its naturally forest surroundings. Read more for additional pictures and information.

The Other Place Escher Rooms

Photo credit: Studio 10 | Chao Zhang
Studio 10 has just completed its M.C. Escher-inspired “Dream & Maze” guestrooms at “The Other Place” guesthouse in Guilin, China. The “Dream” room features the endless, floating Penrose stairs and several other objects that appear to be straight from the mind of Dutch graphic artist Maurits Cornelis Escher. “Anti-gravitational stairs lead to golden doors, behind which there could be a trail leading to a secret forest – or some other unexpected findings that surprises you,” said the design firm. Read more for additional pictures.