a town in Hadramawt, Yemen, is considered to have the world’s oldest
skyscrapers. It has about 7,000 inhabitants and all of the town’s house
are made out of mud bricks. Some of these structures rise 5 to 9
This technique of building was implemented in order to
protect residents from Bedouin attacks. While Shibam has existed for
around 2,000 years, most of the city’s houses come mainly from the 16th
A stave church is "a medieval wooden church with a post and beam construction related to timber framing. The wall frames are filled with vertical planks." The masterpiece of Viking architecture pictured above is the Borgund stave church:
Borgund stave church is a stave church located in Borgund, Lærdal, Norway.
It is classified as a triple nave stave church of the so-called
Sogn-type. This is also the best preserved of Norway's 28 extant stave
churches. It was probably built in the end of the 12th century, and has not changed structure or had a major reconstruction since that date.
The church site shows evidence of a previous building, which can
point to an earlier church or perhaps an old pagan temple that had been
taken into use as a church. . . . An authentic medieval
square-shaped baptismal font made of soapstone is still a part of the
Several runic inscriptions are found on the walls of the church, one reads: Tor wrote these runes in the evening at the St. Olav’s Mass. And another one reads "Ave Maria" and you will find these at the west portal of the church. -- Wikipedia
Think about it -- this is a wooden church that has remained basically
unchanged since the 1100's. How long do you expect your deck to last?
Who knows why this church has a hole in the wall? Heavenlyjane knows: It was designed to let lepers watch what went on in the churches from a safe distance. Although we now know that there is very little risk of contagion, people in the Middle Ages were terrified of contracting leprosy and lepers were forced to stay well away from everyone else even to the extent of observing church rituals through a little hole called a leper's squint or leper's hole.
This particular leper's squint is located at St. Cuthbert's in Aldingham UK. Matthew Emmett has a beautiful selection of photos of this twelfth century church, with excellent commentary, at Castle Blog!!
The leper's squint was a type of hagioscope, a window set at an oblique angle in a church wall to permit people to see the altar from areas where it was not otherwise visible. When the hagioscope went through to the exterior of the church, it was usually intended for use either by lepers or by anchorites (hermits who lived in a cell built against the wall of the church).
This "Aeroform pod" home is the "subsidized urban living model," designed by Brendan O'Grady. I'm not quite sure I'm sold on the concept. There's a seventies sci-fi, dystopian feel to it. Via Trendhunter
The XSEED 4000 is currently on the drawing board for construction and
if it receives the green light, will be the world's tallest populated
structure at a whopping 13,000 feet. Just to put that into perspective,
the current reigning champ is Taipei 101 at a mere 1,671 feet.
Not only is it destined to be the tallest but also the largest self-sustaining structure. Designed to look like Mount Doom
Mount Fuji, the XSEED 4000 represents the Japanese view of a utopian
society. The building will be powered by solar energy and can house up
to 1 million inhabitants.