The Wujin Lotus Conference Center, located in Wujin, China mimics a lotus flower. Actually, 3 lotus flowers to be exact, representing the phases of development, one part is a new bud, the next is a blossoming lotus flower and the third is a lotus flower that has bloomed and contains a seed pod.
The structure sits on top of a man-made lake and is part of the people’s park. You enter the building from underground. Inside are a cathedral-like chamber, conference rooms, and a public gallery containing models and historical information. Other notable features are the hand-laid tiles which cover most of the structure.
The Lotus Conference Center glows pink, yellow and blue at night thanks to lighting installed on its exterior.
It is a stunning and very interesting addition to the square, popular with locals and tourists alike.
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Can you really find out what your home is worth on Zillow? The simple answer is no. People come to me all the time telling me, “Well, Zillow said this or that about my home and said it was worth this much.” In reality, Zillow is not the end-all, be-all for home values. In fact, it’s off by quite a bit, more often than not. Here is a little story that will dispel any favorable opinions you may have had about Zillow and their Zestimate feature.
In February this year, the CEO of Zillow sold his Seattle home for $1,050,000. That may seem like a good price until you also see that his own website had his home valued at $1,750,000. That is a huge margin of error, and proof to me that you shouldn’t be trusting Zillow for more than a ballpark estimate, if that.
Hopefully, any thoughts you had of getting an accurate home value from Zillow are now gone. The only way to get a proper valuation is by talking to a professional agent who can look at your specific home and determine what it should sell for in the current market.
If you have any questions for me, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I would love to hear from you.
This week’s crazy building is Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia. This series of uniquely designed buildings covers about an entire city block and also had to fulfill a challenge: to complement several historical buildings as well as integrate a river into its design!
It features buildings, two open squares and one covered square. Trains run beneath this structure and the Flinders Street Station is the busiest in Melbourne. Among the tenants are: The National Gallery of Victoria, the ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image), Melbourne Visitor Centre, The Edge Theatre, and the SBS Television and Radio headquarters.
The National Gallery of Victoria contains over 20,000 pieces of Australian artwork. This collection of paintings, photography, sculpture, fashion and textiles is the oldest and most well known in Australia.
Many of the buildings feature an angular, geometric design. The paving of the main square was created as urban artwork by Paul Carter and is made up from 470,000 ochre-colored sandstone blocks from Western Australia. The complex includes beautiful views of the St Paul’s Cathedral and the Flinders Street Station. Later the Square was expanded into the Yarra River with the addition of the Federation Wharf.
Included in the design is a huge screen which has been used to broadcast sporting events among other things. Thousands of fans assembled to watch the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Another interesting aspect of the design is the “Labyrinth” which is a unique heating and cooling system which operates at 1/10 of the cost of traditional methods. It works by using a honeycomb structure underneath the buildings. The Labyrinth can contain warm or cool air which is then piped into the buildings and can keep their temperature up to 12 °C cooler than outside.
Federation Square’s unusual design was controversial at first but Melbournians have grown to love it and it was even recognized as one of the “10 Great Central Plazas and Squares” by The Atlantic.
This week’s crazy building is the Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi. One part is actually built right into a racetrack and is the only hotel in the world to have been constructed in this way! The other main building of the hotel is located right next to the marina.
The other notable feature of this structure is the LED outer shell called the “Grid Shell.” It is composed of 5,389 color changing, movable LED panes and is visible from miles away.
The Hotel was designed by Asymptote Architecture and draws inspiration from racing. This is notable in the smooth and aerodynamic shape of the hotel.
Not only is the sleek design interesting but the color changing LED panes are amazing. This futuristic structure is sure to dazzle any who visit!
This week’s crazy building is the Cocoon Tower in Tokyo, Japan. It was completed in 2008 and is the home of 3 educational institutions. At 669 feet tall, it is the 2nd tallest educational building in the world and Tokyo’s 17th tallest building. It can accommodate 10,000 students. In 2008 it was awarded Skyscraper of the Year by Emporis.
The Gakuen company held a contest for the building’s design and 150 architects responded; the only rule was that the building could not be rectangular. The concept behind the winning design was that a cocoon like shape is a symbol of nurturing the students inside. White aluminum and dark blue glass form the outside and the criss-cross pattern which was a major reason for the nickname Cocoon Tower.
In a country which contains both ancient and cutting edge, the Cocoon Tower is a prime example of how creative thinking drives the landscape of a city, ushering in a new chapter of life.
L’Oceanogràfic or The Oceanographic was opened in 2003 and is located in Valencia, Spain. It is the largest Oceanarium in Europe and has an astounding water capacity of 11,000,000 gallons!
It accommodates 45,000 animals including: fish, sharks, penguins, dolphins, sea lions, walruses and beluga whales to name a few.
What we can’t see in this picture are the 9 underwater towers which house the animals there. The Oceanographic has 10 areas which represent different marine habitats such as mediterrainean, arctic, tropical and temperate seas.
The architect Félix Candela, did a great job of capturing the look and feel of ocean waves in the fluid design of the structure. This beautiful building will certainly delight international visitors for many years to come.
This week’s crazy building is the Statoil Building which is in Fornebu, Norway. This building was created for the Statoil Company which is an energy producer.
The Statoil building which appears to be falling down, is actually very energy efficient and uses only a fraction of the energy such a building normally would. Another wonderful aspect of this unusual structure is that inside, there are very few walls, this allows the space to be easily customized from very small (3 meters by 3 meters) to very large, depending on the needs of the occupants.
The design was designed to allow the most people excellent views of the river and surrounding landscape and also give them the best light.
One big challenge with the construction was the glass ceilings. This was a difficult engineering feat due to the weight from snow in the winter.
The Statoil Building is a modern solution to the problem of creating a structure which can house a large number of people in a work environment while integrating into the landscape which it does while being energy efficient as well.
This week’s crazy building is the Rusty Building in Leeds, England.
Known officially as Broadcasting Tower, this structure is most notable for one particular feature: Its facade is covered in COR-TEN weathering steel.
When exposed to the elements over a few years, this special type of steel eventually forms a deep red, rust-like appearance.
For this strange tower, the effect is a strange contrast between modern architecture and a facade that seems to be in a state of decay.
Inside, however, the Rusty Building is anything but dilapidated. As part of Leeds Beckett University, it comfortably contains 241 student residences and 110,000 square feet of classroom and office space.
Despite the appearance of age, this innovative building will be housing students for a long time to come.
This week’s crazy building is the Tianzi Hotel in Hebei, China.
In the small, obscure town of Langfang lies what is surely among the strangest hotels on earth.
At first glance, it looks like a giant statue. In fact, it’s the colorful facade of what the Guiness Book of Records calls the world’s largest “image building.”
Tianzi Hotel’s facade depicts Fu, Lu and Shou, three classical Chinese deities who are the personifications of good fortune, prosperity and longevity. They are often depicted on temples and shrines and even in Chinese homes, as they denote the three aspects of a good life.
These larger-than-life, 10-story depictions are sure to attract visitors. After all, it’s probably a positive sign when your good luck symbols are large enough to live in!
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In case you haven’t heard yet, I’m writing a book. It’s called The 22 Secrets to Selling Your Home for the Most Money, in the Shortest Time, with the Least Hassle.
The book is all written, but we’re going through some final editing and graphic design changes right now. It should be ready to go sometime in the next month or two.
If you are thinking of selling your home, let me know. When the book comes out, I’d be happy to send you a complimentary copy. As always, give me a call or send me an email with any questions you have. I’d be happy to answer them.