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The Stunningly Crooked Houses Of The English Countryside

Crooked Houses Streets Lavenham

Image Source: Photorator

Pick any new U.S. condo complex and you’ll find a meticulous collection of ramrod-straight, cookie-cutter houses with the life expectancy of cardboard. The crooked houses of Lavenham, England are the reverse: They fail to uphold basic architectural standards, yet they’ve lasted twice as long as the U.S. itself has existed. What’s the secret behind homes that look like collapsing houses of cards, but are still standing strong after half a millennium?

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Seven of Russia’s Most Spectacular Churches

St. Basil's Red Square Moscow

Source: Flickr

Despite decades of Soviet atheism, Russia remains a deeply religious country. Part of that devotion expresses itself in vibrant displays of faith. The saints of Russian icons, for example, look almost like sci-fi sages, wearing gold-trimmed, hooded robes, flashing mystical gang signs, and backlit by orange-orb haloes. By design, they are otherworldly.

The same is true of Russian churches. Their architecture trumpets the existence of a realm beyond this earth. For tens of millions of Russian devotees, these houses of prayer and worship are a link to that supernatural world, which is still a very real presence in their lives, as it was for their forbearers.

Here are seven of the most stunning examples of Russian religious architecture. These churches sprout across the wastelands of the former Soviet empire like flowers in the snow.

1. Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius in Sergiyev Posad

Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius

Source: Flickr

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A Brutal End For Brutalism?

Brutalism Building

Hubert H. Humphrey Building, headquarters of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D. C. Image Source: Wikipedia

It seems there hasn’t been a more reviled architectural style in the past century than Brutalism.

Thirty years back, when Prince Charles of Wales – Brutalist enemy number one – paid a visit to the Birmingham Library, he purportedly likened it to a place where books are burned rather than put on loan. In 1987, in his Mansion House speech, Charles said that he valued post-war architecture less than the rubble left in the aftermath of Luftwaffe air raids.

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Reject The Plan: The Defiant Curves Of The Ordos Museum

In 2011, MAD architects commenced a project to build a museum in Ordos, China. Located in inner Mongolia, architects conceived of the museum’s design as a reaction to the rigidity imposed by master plans.

Learn more about the building’s lines of defiance in the architectural firm’s description below:

Conceived as a reaction to the strict geometry of the master plan, the Art & City museum by MAD Architects is an amorphous building that seems like it has landed on the earth. Its surrounding dunes, monumental stairways and belvederes have been generated from the empty Gobi desert which was here just a few years ago.

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