Chic, Eco-Friendly Shipping Container Cities Popping Up Across the Globe

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Photo Credit: MIMDeer

You might have heard about shipping container houses, after all, it’s not a new topic, they’re houses that are literally being made from old shipping containers – those things that are used to transport large amounts of goods on boats and on trains. However, the idea of entire shipping container cities are actually becoming increasingly popular due to environmental concerns in architecture. The containers are ideal elements for upcycling, structurally very strong and already designed to carry heavy loads.

With a little imagination, the shipping container becomes a cheap, reliable building block that can be used to build chic homes, and even entire cities!

The brilliant minds at Urban Space Management built something truly special at the Trinity Buoy Wharf in London, likely the most famous of all container cities. They created an entire city out of re-purposed shipping containers and even named the living and working community Container City. It’s easily recognizable by its funky ziggurat shape and bright colors designed to reflect the creative nature of who occupy its 22 studios.

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Another Container City, unveiled in 2010, opened in Cholula, Mexico, about two hours southeast of Mexico City. There, the brightly painted units are placed around courtyards laid with pavers, creating a more sophisticated look for a unified pocket of walkable urbanism. It includes design studios, cafes, sushi bars, tattoo parlors, vintage clothing shops and farm-to-table taquerias. Live entertainment is hosted almost every night, including top DJs from Mexico City at Taxi Cerveceria.

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Keetwonen is the name of the biggest container city in the world, which serves as student housing in Amsterdam. The initial fears of some people that the container homes would be too small, too noisy, too cold or too hot, all turned out to be unfounded. They turned out to be spacious, quiet and well insulated and certainly offer value for money, compared to other student homes in the city. It not only has all the amenities a student could ask for, it has a rooftop used for rainwater drainage, heat dispersal and insulation of the units below.

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Container cities are truly a sight to be seen, with creators using similar architecture and design to create classrooms, office space, sports halls, nurseries, community centers, artist studios and retail space.

A Town in a Hole: This Australian Village is Entirely Underground

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Photo Credit: Flickr: Benjamin Jakabek

Throughout the centuries, humans have invented lots of unique and fascinating ways to live, particularly in areas that aren’t all that hospitable to life, including Coober Pedy, a town in a hole in South Australia. Originally established as an opal mining town, today it’s home to around 3,500 people, but judging by the bare landscape, you’d probably never guess it was there.

This aerial view shows a city without buildings. In fact, the entire town is basically in a hole!

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Within the red soil stretch miles and miles of man-made tunnels, all filled with furnishings you’d find in normal homes.

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Photo Credit: Flickr: smartencyclopedia

If you want to see what it’s like to live here, hotel rooms are available.

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Photo Credit: Flickr: allausas

Or, you can always camp in the world’s only underground campground.

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So, why is this underground town even here? In 1915, a father and son came through the area in search of gold. While they didn’t find gold, they did find opal, which quickly became an incredibly popular stone across the globe. But due to the scorching temperatures, miners found it easier to seek shelter within their mines, rather than above the ground. Ultimately they created the 1,500 or so underground homes, or “dugouts,” that exist here.

Today, Coober Pedy is the main provider of opal worldwide, but the town is just as famous for its bizarre dugouts as its precious stones.

A Boring Ceiling Fan Gets A Far-Out Makeover Thanks To Some Spray Paint

Reddit user pippx wanted to give her son, Henry, something really special for his first birthday. Instead of a toy he might outgrow, though, she gave him something that would last: the galaxy!

Well, kind of. She devised a way to turn the ceiling fan in his room into a beautiful painting of the night sky, and did so using just spray paint, stencils, and some artistic flair.

The fan was a plain white, so no base coat was needed.

First, the blades got a layer of black paint.

When spray-painting, be sure to keep your coats light and thin — don’t glop it on. Keep the bottle at least a foot from what you’re painting.

Here’s the first coat.

The colors you see are simply reflections of the sky and trees. Remember, spray-painting is an outdoor activity!

Then, some blue and purple swirls were added for a spacey effect.

Again, the paint was kept very light and misty, so that the colors would blend better and look like swirling space dust.

Now for the stars.

These were based on real constellations, which were drawn on paper and then punched out. The paper was taped to the fan blades and white spray paint was applied.

Here’s a close-up.

Unfortunately, she forgot to cover the whole blade, so there was some spillover.

And that resulted in a visible line.

Live and learn! The white edges were cleaned up with some more dark paint.

All better!

You can also see which constellations are which here.

The hardware had to be painted, too.

Finally, the fan was reassembled.

The lamp also got a makeover, and was painted from the inside.

At last, it all came together.

It’s a simple painting, but it looks really effective when the lamp is turned on. It goes to show you that you don’t have to be the world’s best artist to make a piece with impact.

It looks like Henry likes it!

Henry (and Henry’s dad) seem to like the fan, and it’s something that Henry can enjoy for years to come. He can even learn about the constellations when he gets older — it’s like the gift that keeps on giving!

This project is also great to check out because it shows you that even if you make a mistake, you can always fix it and go on to create something awesome.

Spray paint can be used for just about anything in home decor projects:

11 Ways That Dogs Keep Your Body Healthier And More Fit Into Old Age

It’s common knowledge that having a canine companion will make you happier…but did you know that it can also make you healthier? According to a recent scientific study, dog owners roughly the age of 79 had the bodies of those who were a decade younger. What’s that mean? That when you own a dog, you can shave years off your age and add them to your lifespan.

Here are some of the reasons why:

1. Dogs encourage personal activity.

No matter what the condition of the weather (or the condition of your attitude) is, you have to take your dog for a walk so that he or she can do their business. No ifs ands ors or buts about it.

2. Once you’re motivated, you’re more likely to continue on that kick.

Once you fall into a routine, you’re more likely to stick with it, and maybe even get more ambitious with it, perhaps adding in a weight class or turning those walks into jogs.

3. Pups tend to dawdle.

When a pooch is looking for the perfect place to do his business, he’s not consciously taking forever to keep your heart rate up, but that’s definitely the outcome.

4. Pups love to run.

…So if you’re healthy enough to join in, why wouldn’t you? It looks like so much fun!

5. Dogs encourage you to be outside.

You can’t keep your pup locked up in the TV room all day, and you can’t send him to the lake alone…do you see where I’m going with this?

6. Canines love to play games.

Even if you’re not able to go on long runs, a simple game of fetch or frisbee can do you good. A couple steps to pick up a ball a dozen times a day can really add up!

7. Chances are, you’ll get a good laugh out of your pup at least once a day.

How’s that good for your heath, you ask? Laughter can aid blood flow, boost your immune system, moderate blood sugar levels, and also help you catch a good night’s sleep. Basically, everything that is opposite of stress and worrying, which will deteriorate your body.

8. Your dog will keep you company.

There’s no way you can feel lonely when you have a guaranteed happy-to-see-you face greeting you at the end of each day.

9. Dogs encourage water cooler chitchat.

Or in this case, water fountain chitchat. I’ve seen it happen a million times: one dog says hello to another dog, and their humans are forced to engage in conversation, too. Even the most awkward people understand that this is how the dog park works. How does this help your health? Having friends in your life boosts your morale!

10. Your pooch depends on you for her health.

When you’re in charge of the diet and exercise of another being, like Fluffy here, it makes you more conscious of your own lifestyle choices.

11. Dogs are all-around good workout companions!

As long as you make sure your pup can keep up with you, and that you aren’t pushing him too hard, your dog is happy to spend all the time in the world with you!

(via Bark Post)

If you’ve never noticed these with your pup before, maybe now that you have them under your belt, you’ll be more aware of the health benefits your fur baby brings to your life!

Find more awesome animal stories here:

Cool Off This Summer In These Amazing Backyard Pools

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Photo Credit: Daily Mail

If you could have any kind of swimming pool in your backyard, what would it look like? These amazing backyard pools are some of the most stunning designs to date, providing a perfect place to cool off from the searing heating of summer for those that have the cash. Pictured above, as most apartments don’t have room for a backyard pool, some rather ingenious architects have made a splash with their bold design for new towers in Mumbai featuring swimming pools enclosed in glass instead of balconies.

Double Decker Pool, Dallas, Texas

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This double decker pool belongs to a nearly 14,000-square-foot home in Dallas that’s on the market for a mere $6.95 million.

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The Temple Pool is an indoor/outdoor pool that’s not found at one of Vegas’ mega hotels, it actually belongs to a $5 million, 19,000-square-foot house in Sin City.

Neptune Pool, Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California

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Photo Credit: naturetime

The spectacular Neptune Pool, modeled after the Roman Colosseum, is housed at Hearst Castle along the central California coast. It’s 104 feet long and 58 feet wide, holding 345,000 gallons of water. The pool has an oil burning heating system, light-veined Vermont marble decor and four 17-century Italian bas-reliefs on the sides of the colonnades. The castle, and its pools, are open for public tours.

Contemporary Pool

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This modern pool has an incredible design that can fit into almost any backyard with a glass wall that gives it an especially unique and appealing look.

Violin Pool

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Photo Credit: Centric Design Group

Finally, the violin pool may be every musician’s dream.