Location, Fate Unknown for Treehouse Loft
spot cool stuff DESIGN

If a tree falls in the (Canadian) woods does it make a sound?

If it’s a Whistler-area Hemlock that’s home to a previously secret tree house, the answer is a resounding yes. In fact, the general public is now weighing in on the fate of novice carpenter Joel Allen’s architectural delight “HemLoft.”

Driven by the appeal of building the structure where it wouldn’t be found and the lack of funds to purchase land, Allen stealthily built the egg-shaped tree house on nine acres of Canadian government-owned forest in the backwoods of Whistler.

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The Shipping Container Starbucks
spot cool stuff DESIGN

Most Starbucks are architecturally rather cookie cutter and bland. But the popular chain of coffee shops does have a handful of locations with a cool edge to them. Perhaps none more than the company’s drive-thru located in outside of Seattle in Tukwila, Washington. The Starbucks there is built out of used shipping containers!

Since Spot Cool Stuff’s first post about shipping container architecture, use of the eco-friendly building material has grown hugely in popularity. Sadly, it hasn’t grown as quickly as the surplus supply of used containers. But nearly every day work begins on at least one new shipping container house or office building somewhere on the planet.

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The Building That Sings
When It Rains
spot cool stuff DESIGN

The sound of rain falling is music to the ears of the residents of one particular building in Dresden, Germany.

Their building is one of those that form five funky courtyards collectively known as the Kunsthofpassage, located in the city’s Äußere Neustadt (Outer New Town) neighborhood. Each courtyard is designed by local artists working on a theme. And in one of the courtyards there’s a colorful building with a series of metallic funnels attached to the facade. When it rains, water is channeled down the front of the building in a way that creates melodic notes as it goes. It sounds almost like this cool piece of architecture is singing!

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The Flintstones House In Real Life
spot cool stuff DESIGN

Recently deceased American TV and radio legend Dick Clark was best known for hosting American Bandstand, the game show Pyramid and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. But the man often described a “the world’s oldest teenager” left behind more than memories and an impact on American culture. He also had a house that was inspired by the 1960s Hanna-Barbera cartoon The Flintstones.

Clark’s abode is not the first inspired by an animated film or television show. Among the fictional houses created in real life are The Simpsons house and the flying house from the movie Up (yes, with real balloons that really do make it fly!). But the Dick Clack Flintstones house differs from those projects in two distinct ways:

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The Transparent Church
spot cool stuff DESIGN

There’s a rise in a field on the outskirts of Borgloon, Belgium where you can look out and see the old town church. It’s also where architects Pieterjan Gijs and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh had a commission to build a piece of art. Inspired by the church, the pair decided to build a stylized version of it. Though the building by Gijs Van Vaerenbergh (as the pair collectively calls themselves) had one key difference with the original:

There church they constructed is transparent!

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2 Cool London Bookshelf Staircases

Spot Cool Stuff loves books. And we love creative staircases. So it isn’t surprising that we’re drawn to cool stuff at the confluence of both.

Here’s a look at two unusual architectural designs that combine stairs with bookshelves. Has it happens, both are located in London. And neither has an owner that’s about to move their book collection to an Amazon Kindle anytime soon.

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The Moses-Inspired Trench Bridge
spot cool stuff DESIGN

When at water level, you can’t really see the bridge that crosses a moat to the 17th-century Fort de Roovere. View it from a bit of elevation, though, and the bridge isn’t only visible but looks rather puzzling. That’s because the bridge—near the coastal town of Halsteren, Holland—doesn’t span over the water. And it doesn’t skim along the surface of the water. Instead, the bridge goes through the water.

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A Bubble of Your Own
spot cool stuff DESIGN

“The world is a bubble” declared Saint Augustine. Seventeen centuries later, the patron saint of brewers and printers would surely be a huge fan of the portable plastic offerings from Bubble Tree.

The French design and manufacturing company sells bubble products that they describe as “Unusual huts for unusual nights.” Spot Cool Stuff would characterize them more as glorified tents.

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