Ten of the World’s Largest Churches

1. St. Peter’s Basilica (Vatican City, Rome)

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2. The Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady Aparecida, Aparecida, Brazil.

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3. The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, better known as Seville Cathedral, Seville (Andalusia, Spain).

 

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4. The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, officially the Cathedral Church of Saint John: The Great Divine in the City and Diocese of New York, is the cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of New York.

 

Enclave at the Cathedral, 400 West 113th Street, New York, NY Handel Architects The Brodsky Organization Nancy Packes Inc. Rendering by Archpartners

 

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5. Milan Cathedral is the cathedral church of Milan, Italy.

 

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6. The Basilica of Our Lady of Licheń is a Roman Catholic church located in the village of Licheń Stary near Konin in the Greater Poland Voivodeship in Poland.

 

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7. Liverpool Cathedral is the Church of England Cathedral of the Diocese of Liverpool, built on St James’s Mount in Liverpool and is the seat of the Bishop of Liverpool.

 

Birdseye view of the Liverpool Cathedral in Liverpool, UK

The total external length of the building, including the Lady Chapel (dedicated to the Blessed Virgin), is 207 yards (189 m) making it the longest cathedral in the world; its internal length is 160 yards (150 m). With a height of 331 feet (101 m) it is also one of the world’s tallest non-spired church buildings and the third-tallest structure in the city of Liverpool.

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8. Ulm Minster is a Lutheran church located in Ulm, Germany.

 

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It is the tallest church in the world, and the 4th tallest structure built before the 20th century, with a steeple measuring 161.5 metres (530 ft) and containing 768 steps.

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9. The Cathedral of Our Lady is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Antwerp, Belgium.

 

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10. Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal is a Roman Catholic minor basilica and national shrine on Westmount Summit in Montreal, Quebec. It is Canada’s largest church.

 

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Striking Skyscraper in Chicago

Aqua is an 87-story mixed-use residential skyscraper in the Lakeshore East development in downtown Chicago designed in the Modern architectural style.

Aqua was designed by Jeanne Gang, principal and founder of Studio Gang Architects, and it is her first skyscraper project.  This is the largest project ever awarded to an American firm headed by a woman.  Loewenberg & Associates are the architects of record, led by James Loewenberg.

The building contains 55,000 square feet (5,100 square meters) of retail and office space, in addition to 215 hotel rooms (floors 1-18), 476 rental residential units (floors 19-52), and 263 condominium units & Penthouses (floors 53-80).  Aqua is the first downtown building to combine condos, apartments and a hotel.

The name ‘Aqua’ was assigned to the building by Magellan Development Group LLC. It fits the nautical theme of the other buildings in the Lakeshore East development, and is derived from the wave-like forms of the balconies; the tower’s proximity to nearby Lake Michigan also influenced the name.

Sustainability was also an important factor in Aqua’s design. Gang and her team refined the terrace extensions to maximize solar shading, and other sustainable features will include rainwater collection systems and energy-efficient lighting. The green roof on top of the tower base will be the largest in Chicago.

Construction started 2007
Completed 2009
Cost US$300 million
Owner Aqua Realty Holdings LLC
Height 261.8 m (859 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 87
1 below ground
Floor area 1,990,635 sq ft (184,936.0 m2)
Lifts/elevators 24

Imagine having cocktails on the 75th floor balcony.  One hell of a view.  And drinking a few cocktails is the only way I would walk onto that balcony.

The World’s Most Imposing Statue

 

You’d expect a God of War statue to look pretty epic. But there’s epic and then there’s EPIC, and this enormous statue of Guan Yu, a famous general in Chinese history who was later deified, is most definitely EPIC.

The statue has just been unveiled in Guan Yu Park in Jingzhou, China. It’s 58 metres (190ft) tall and weighs over 1,320 tonnes, and it contains over 4,000 strips of bronze. It was designed by Han Meilin, who is probably best known for his designs of the 2008 Beijing Olympics mascots, and the monument is so big that there’s even an 8,000sqm museum inside it! Guan Yu lived during China’s turbulent Three Kingdoms period. He carried an axe-like weapon called a Green Dragon Crescent Blade, which has been immortalised with him as part of the statue. The only difference is that the weapon now weighs 136 tonnes! Did we mention this statue was epic?

 

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CALIFORNIA’S BIZARRO ‘FLINTSTONE HOUSE’ SELLS FOR $2.8 MILLION

Some lucky schmoe just bought one of the coolest houses in the United States.

The Hillsborough, California home affectionately known as “The Flintstone House” which has been on the market since 2015, sold this week for $2.8 million—$1.4 million less than the original asking price.

The last previous sale of the home was for $800,000 in 1996.

The experimental home, built in 1976, was constructed using steel rebar and wire mesh frames built over large inflated aeronautical balloons and sprayed with high-velocity concrete known as gunite or “shotcrete.”

The home, also known as “Dome House,” “Gumby House,” or “Bubble House,” became more commonly known as “Flintstone House” when it was painted completely orange, from its original white, in 2000.

According to Atlas Obscura, there have been many urban legends surrounding the home’s previous ownership. George Lucas was once rumored to have owned the house. It has also been speculated that O.J. Simpson made a bid following his 1995 trial and that several famous Silicon Valley investors have lived there.

The new buyer of the home has not been disclosed.


Photos via Alain Pinel Realtors


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Living in the Clouds of Ostentatious Luxury

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432 Park Avenue is a residential skyscraper in Manhattan, New York City that overlooks Central Park. Originally proposed to be 1,300 feet (396.2 meters) in 2011, the structure topped out at 1,396 ft (425.5 m). It was developed by CIM Group and features 104 condominium apartments. Construction began in 2012 and was completed on December 23, 2015.

The building required the demolition of the 495-room Drake Hotel. Built in 1926, it was purchased for $440 million in 2006 by developer Harry Macklowe and razed the next year. Its footprint became one of New York’s most valuable development sites due to its location, between East 56th and 57th Streets on the west side of Park Avenue.
As completed, 432 Park Avenue is the third tallest building in the United States, and the tallest residential building in the world. It is the second-tallest building in New York City, behind One World Trade Center, and ahead of the Empire State Building.

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The floor-to-floor height of each of the 85 stories is 15 ft 6 in (4.72 m), with 10 in (25 cm) thick floor slabs, although to dampen the acceleration from wind loads, upper floors have slabs up to 18 in (46 cm) thick to add more mass. Also aimed at reducing the potentially uncomfortable effects of swaying due to wind vortex loading on such a flexible tower, the window grid and interior space of 2 floors between every 12 occupied floors are left open to allow the wind to pass through. These floors also contain modularized mechanical services for the six floors above and below to reduce ductwork. In addition two tuned mass dampers are located at the top of the tower and in the outriggers of some of the mechanical floors to help damp the motion.

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Height
Architectural 1,396 ft (425.5 m)
Tip 1,396 ft (425.5 m)
Top floor 1,286 ft (392.1 m) (occupied)
Technical details
Floor count 96 + 3 below ground
Floor area 412,637 square feet (38,335 m2)
Lifts/elevators 6

View of Central Park from the top floor

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The tower’s condominium units feature high ceilings, and range from a 351-square-foot (32.6 m2) studio to a six-bedroom, seven-bath penthouse with a library, which sold for $95 million to real estate mogul Fawaz Al Hokair. The building’s amenities include 12-foot (3.7 m) golf training facilities and private dining and screening rooms.

The first sale of apartment #35B was reported in January 2016 for $18.116 million, more than the $17.75 million asking price. Ten additional apartments were available at the time ranging from $17.4 to $44.25 million. #35B covers 4,000 square feet (370 m2), one half of the 35th floor of the tower, and contains three bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths. Each face has six 10 by 10 ft (3.0 by 3.0 m) windows, which for #35B, face south and west with views of Central Park.

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The multi-millionaires get their way and play high.

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50th Anniversary of Habitat 67

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Habitat 67, or simply Habitat, is a model community and housing complex in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, designed by Israeli/Canadian architect Moshe Safdie. It was originally conceived as his master’s thesis in architecture at McGill University and then built as a pavilion for Expo 67, the World’s Fair held from April to October 1967. It is located at 2600 Avenue Pierre-Dupuy on the Marc-Drouin Quay next to the Saint Lawrence River. Habitat 67 is widely considered an architectural landmark and one of the most recognizable and spectacular buildings in both Montreal and Canada. In 2017, Canada Post issued a commemorative stamp for the 50th anniversary of Expo 67 featuring the structure.

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Habitat 67 comprises 354 identical, prefabricated concrete forms arranged in various combinations, reaching up to 12 stories in height. Together these units create 146 residences of varying sizes and configurations, each formed from one to eight linked concrete units. The complex originally contained 158 apartments, but several apartments have since been joined to create larger units, reducing the total number. Each unit is connected to at least one private terrace, which can range from approximately 20 to 90 square metres (225 to 1,000 sq ft) in size.

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The development was financed by the federal government, but is now owned by its tenants, who formed a limited partnership that purchased the building from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation in 1985. Safdie still owns a penthouse apartment in the building.