Moscow’s Bagel House

In the early 1970s, Russian architect Evgeny Stamo and engineer Alexander Markelov came up with plans for an unusual house in the capital city Moscow. The house was to be shaped like a ring, about 150 meters across, enclosing a large inner courtyard with playgrounds and green spaces. The building was to have over nine hundred apartments, and all the necessary services and facilities, including shops, a pharmacy, a laundry room, a studio, post office, and so on. When completed in 1972, the authorities were so impressed that plans for more such house across Moscow were drawn up.

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At that time, the Summer Olympic Games of 1980, which was to be hosted by the Soviet Union, was approaching, and the city decided to build five similar ring-shaped houses to symbolize the event. However, by the time the second ring house went up in 1979, on Dovzhenko street, the project was already shelved. The Soviet Union was on the brink of an economic collapse, and the buildings, it was realized, were too expensive to maintain. They are also bulky and inconvenient.

Besides, the proposed location of the buildings were spaced too far apart to provide any meaningful association with the five Olympic rings. Even if it did, a pedestrian could never see the rings from the street level or appreciate the composition.

Today, both buildings are still used as apartments. Each building has nine floors and over twenty entrances. Some say that finding the right entrance and locating the correct apartment is extremely difficult.

Locals affectionately call them the “bagel house”.

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Sources: Russia-ic.com / samstroy.com / www.msk-guide.ru / Weird Russia / Amusing Planet

Only in New York City: A 550 foot tall Concrete Skyscraper with no Windows

Standing at 33 Thomas Street in the Civic Center neighborhood of New York City is a 550-foot tall monolithic, granite-clad, concrete building. Even in a city like New York, where tall buildings are typical, people passing by would look up to gaze at this intimidating structure —their attention drawn not by the building’s height but by its fortress-like appearance. Aside from a couple of ventilation openings on the sides, the building’s bare concrete slab façade is without a single window.

The Long Lines Building is owned by the multinational telecom company AT&T, and is indeed an impenetrable fortress. When it was built in 1974, AT&T asked architect John Carl Warnecke to design a structure that could withstand a nuclear blast and protect its occupants from fallout for up to two weeks after the attack. Such concerns were not uncommon at that time, and AT&T wanted to be sure that their expensive equipment stayed undamaged.

 

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The building was originally built to house AT&T’s solid-state switches and other equipment for the company’s long distance telephone lines, hence the name Long Lines Building. These switches required a high level of security and space, so the floors of the building are taller than average. Each floor is 18 feet high, so even though the building is as high as a 40 story tower, it has only 29 floors. The floors are also designed to bear an extremely large amount of weight.

The building continued to function as AT&T’s long distance telephone exchange until 1999. After that AT&T vacated the building and moved a few blocks away. The building is still used for telephone switching by some local exchange carriers, but some of the space is also used as a high security datacenter.

Since AT&T moved out, the building has been referred to by its street address 33 Thomas St., like many major New York City commercial buildings.

 

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No outside view.

 

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The Private Homes of Moscow

The vast majority of Muscovite’s live in apartment buildings.  In the Soviet era private property was sacrilegious. It was a communal society from top to bottom.  Under the later Soviet regimes people could apply to live in the Dachas – country houses just outside the city.  To get into a Dacha one had to be extremely pro-regime and wait on a very long list. It was a type of reward.

Almost a 100 percent of Moscow residents live in high-rise apartment buildings.

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Because there are so many tall apartment buildings, Moscow has more elevator lifts than any other city in the world.

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How about living in the suburbs? Some people do indeed live at their dachas (and in that case these are more like country houses), but there is no such thing as suburbia in the “American way of thinking”. People do not move to suburbs when they start families and want to raise kids. People want to have an apartment in the city as the permanent home and dacha as a summer-house for weekends. And those people, who do live outside of the city, but work in the center are heavily penalized for the opportunity to have fresh air by sitting in traffic jams on their way to and from work for many hours every day.

So, 99% of Russians, living in the city do live in apartments. To have a private house within the city limits is super rare. There are just several townhouse communities in Moscow and all of them were established in the recent decade or two.*

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They all have big fences surrounding the houses.

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This looks like a 4 car garage.

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The Dachas are not really lined on streets, in the North American sense, but narrow back lanes.

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Some have really impressive fences and gates.

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Back in the city, strange parking arrangement. Going over a curb.

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Source: Google maps, *understandrussia.com

 

Super Cool New Stadium in Atlanta

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Mercedes-Benz Stadium is a multi-purpose retractable roof stadium located in Atlanta, Georgia. The home of the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL) and the Atlanta United FC of Major League Soccer (MLS), it replaced the adjacent Georgia Dome, the Falcons’ home stadium for a quarter century, from 1992 through 2016.
Opened in 2017, Mercedes-Benz Stadium is owned by the state of Georgia through the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, and operated by AMB Group, the parent organization of the Falcons and Atlanta United. The total cost is estimated at $1.6 billion, as of June 2016. The stadium officially opened on August 26 with a Falcons preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals, despite the retractable roof system being incomplete.

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The winning design, submitted by HOK, featured an eight-panel retractable roof that resembled a pinwheel, and a glass wall that would open with the roof to allow in fresh air.
The roof design included eight triangular translucent panels, that when opened would create the illusion of a bird’s wings extended. Surrounding the opening of the roof would be a halo video board that would enclose the playing surface, stretching from one of the 10-yard lines to the other and then curving around the end zones to complete the oval. Each of the eight panels operates on two parallel rails; one rail is responsible for moving the panel while the other rail stabilizes the panel.

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Capacity Football: 71,000
(expandable to 83,000)
Soccer: 42,500
(expandable to 71,000

 

 

 

Amazing 42-story University Building

 

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The above photo appears to be of a European city, but no, it’s Pennsylvania, USA.

The Cathedral of Learning, a Pittsburgh landmark listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is the centerpiece of the University of Pittsburgh’s main campus in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. Standing at 535 feet (163 m), the 42-story Late Gothic Revival Cathedral is the tallest educational building in the Western hemisphere and the second tallest university building (fourth tallest educationally-purposed building) in the world. It is also the second tallest gothic-styled building in the world. The Cathedral of Learning was commissioned in 1921 and ground was broken in 1926. The first class was held in the building in 1931 and its exterior finished in October 1934, prior to its formal dedication in June 1937.

Colloquially referred to as “Cathy” by Pitt students, the Cathedral of Learning is a steel frame structure overlaid with Indiana limestone and contains more than 2,000 rooms and windows. It functions as a primary classroom and administrative center of the university, and is home to the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and many of its departments, as well as the University Honors College. It served as home of the university’s College of General Studies until its relocation to Posvar Hall in 2014. It houses many specialty spaces, including a studio theater, food court, study lounges, offices, computer and language labs, 30 Nationality Rooms, and a 12-acre (2,000 m2), 4-story-high, vaulted, gothic study and event hall. The building contains noted examples of stained glass, stone, wood, and iron work and is often used by the university in photographs, postcards, and other advertisements.

 

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Commons room on the main floor

 

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The basement and floors up to (and including) floor 40 are used for educational purposes, although most floors above 36 house the building’s mechanical equipment. These floors include theaters, computer laboratories, language laboratories, classrooms, and departmental offices. The basement contains a black box theater and the ground floor contains computer labs, language labs, classrooms, and the Cathedral Café food court. The “lobby”, comprising the first through third floors, contains a massive gothic “Commons Room” that is used as a general study area and for special events and is ringed by three floors of classrooms, including, on the first and third floors, the 30 Nationality Rooms designed by members of the Pittsburgh community in the styles of different nations and ethnic groups. Twenty-eight of these serve as functional classrooms while more conventional classrooms are located on the second floor and elsewhere throughout the building. The first floor also serves as the home to the offices of the Chancellor, Executive Vice Chancellor, and other administration offices, as well as the Nationality Rooms Gift Shop. The fourth floor, which used to be home to the main stacks of the university’s library, is now occupied by the McCarl Center for Nontraditional Student Success. The fifth floor originally housed the main borrowing, reference, and reading rooms of the university library, and now houses the Department of English. The Pitt Humanities Center is housed on the sixth floor. Additionally, the University Honors College is located on the 35th and 36th floors.

 

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The Cathedral of Learning houses the Department of Philosophy, considered one of the top five in the United States, and the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, consistently ranked at the top of the field. Other departments in the Cathedral include English, Religious Studies, Statistics, Theatre Arts, and the School of Social Work which maintains the highest classrooms in the building located on the 23rd floor. Floors 37–40 are closed to the general public, as they contain electrical wiring for the building, as well as the Babcock Room, a large conference room on the 40th floor used for meetings, seminars, and special events and which provides a panoramic view of downtown Pittsburgh and the rest of the university. The 40th floor balcony also houses a nesting pair of Peregrine falcons. A view from the top is available via a webcam. Golden lights, dubbed “victory lights,” surround the outside of the highest floors and are lit following Pitt football wins and other notable victories, giving the upper part of the Cathedral an amber glow.

 

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Wild New Skyscraper in New York City

 

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56 Leonard Street is an 821 feet (250 m) tall, 57-story skyscraper on Leonard Street in Tribeca, New York City, United States. Herzog & de Meuron describes the building as “houses stacked in the sky.” It is the tallest structure in Tribeca.

The building has 145 condominium residences priced between US$3.5 million and US$50 million. Residences will range in size from 1,418 to 6,400 square feet (131.7 to 594.6 m2) and will include 2 to 5 bedrooms all with private outdoor space.

As of May 2013, 70% of the building had sold. According to building developer Izak Senbahar, the building was 92% sold in seven months. In June 2013, a penthouse at 56 Leonard went into contract for US$47 million, making it the most expensive residential property ever sold below Midtown Manhattan.

The building was completed in 2016.[4] Due to its cantilevered balconies it has been nicknamed the Jenga building by the media.

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