Towering Villages in Yemen, Built from Mud Bricks

Unless you live in the coastal plains on its west coast, Yemen is one of the harshest places in the world. Most of the country is elevated, with high and dry desert plateaus and rugged mountains that receive so little water the country has no permanent rivers – only seasonal washes called “wadi” which remain dry except when summer rains sprinkle the landscape with life. Here is a place for hardy people. The Yemenis of Wadi Hadhramaut and Wadi Dawan, in eastern and central Yemen have built incredible towering villages from an unusual material – mud bricks.

Embroidered Architecture by Stephanie Clark

Stephanie K. Clark ‘paints’ architecture using spools of thread. Her exquisitely embroidered pieces feature miniature homes from the ornate dwellings of the victorian era to the low and sleek creations of the mid-century. Each scene is realized in straight lines of colored thread built up into the home. Her delicate work with the needle brings out brick and wood siding as if it were real. In contrast, her surrounding landscapes are minimalist. Palm trees, woodland and hedges are sketched in simple black lines.

This Couple Spent 20 Years Building an Incredible Floating Island Home

If you’re going to get away from it all, this is one great way to do it. In 1992, Wayne Adams and Catherine King began building a floating home about half an hour by boat off the coast of tiny Tofino, British Columbia. Today that home has expanded to encompass 12 large platforms covered by living spaces, green houses, lush gardens and plenty of docks to tie up a kayak. Painted in bright magenta and teal hues, they call their self-built island Freedom Cove.

The “Dr. Seuss House” Towers Over the Alaskan Forest

The locals call it the “Dr. Seuss House”. Far out in the wilds of Alaska, near the town of Willow, stands a tall building in the middle of the forest. It looks like it could have come from a fantasy novel or perhaps the pages of a book by the legendary Theodor Geisel, but the original builder isn’t around to tell the story.

Facebook’s New HQ has a Massive 9-Acre Garden on the Roof

When Facebook approached famed Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry to design their new headquarters in Menlo Park, California, they asked for a simple building without a heavy design. And while the building might look pretty conventional from down below, 70-feet up on the roof is something light on the environment and the spirits: a gigantic 9-acre garden.

A Tree Covered Apartment Building Protects Residents from Pollution (and Looks Like Paradise)

Covered with 150 individual trees, the 25 Verde apartment building in Turin, Italy, looks like a playground for the nature lover. Designed by Luciano Pia, the 5-story, 63 unit building was constructed with large pots on its outside walls, while wooden shingles and tree-like steel beams complete the arboreal aesthetic. It’s not just for good looks though.

Dom’Up: A Glamorous Treehouse That Doesn’t Harm the Tree

Most treehouses are rustic, but the new Dom’Up from architect Nicolas d’Ursel and arboriculturist Bruno de Grunne is downright glamorous. Their unusual design puts the treehouse in between the trees, combining the best qualities of the traditional treehouse with modern suspension systems like those on the Tentsile (previously). Because it requires no permanent mounting hardware, it is both quick to install and has no impact on the trees it occupies.

Magnificent Bookstore with a 19th Century Interior Opens in Romania

If you are a book lover, than this beautiful bookstore is the place to fall in love. Cărtureşti Carusel (“The Carousel of Light”) is a new store opening in the center of Bucharest. Built inside the cavernous interior of a 19th century building, the entire space features ornately detailed columns, stairways and balconies. With everything painted a brilliant white, its name is perfectly fitting.

Architectural Typography Animated with Miniature People

For design lovers, it doesn’t get better than this. German creative firm Deepblue Networks just worked with illustrator and graphic designer Florian Schommer on a promotional campaign which hits just about all the right spots. They’ve combined bizarre architecture, animated GIFs, typography and even logo design into just one project. Here are 8 animated illustrations, each realized as a towering building in the form of one letter in the name ‘DEEPBLUE’.

A Former Monk is Building this Giant Cathedral from Junk. He’s Been Working 52 Years.

In 1963 Justo Gallego Martinez began construction on the foundation for a grand cathedral in Mejorada del Campo, just outside of Madrid. Though he started with no architecture or construction training, the former monk has spent almost every day building his dream. Now 52 years later, his building towers 131 feet into the sky, far above the apartment buildings that surround it.