Saturday, January 19, 2008

Foliage Covered Botanical Building by Mass Studies

If you’re a fan of botanical architecture, this might just be the coolest building ever. Architects Minsuk Cho and Kisu Park of Mass Studies designed this flora-clothed multi-level building to house Belgian fashion designer Ann Demeulemeester’s store in Seoul, South Korea. The building was completed in October 2007 and takes green roofs and living walls to another level, using foliage to cover both the external and internal wall surfaces. We love that it looks as if the building is growing up from underneath the greenery, blurring the lines between plants as ornamentation or structure.

On a site located in an alley near Seoul’s rapidly transforming Gangnam district, the building stands as a green marvel, three floors tall, housing the Ann Demeulemeester shop on the first floor, a restaurant above, and a Multi-Shop in the basement. The designers, Seoul-based Mass Studies Architects, wanted to incorporate as much nature as possible into the building within the constraints of a low-elevation, high-density urban environment.

The building is defined through the convergence of natural and artificial, interior and exterior, rather than demonstrating a stark contrast between the dualities. If you’re wondering what those green species are, it’s primarily a geotextile planted with an herbaceous perennial to form the living walls.

The world's biggest diamond found in South Africa's North-West Province

THE world's biggest diamond - has been found in a mine in South Africa's North-West Province.
A South African radio station broke the news, reporting the stone found was twice the weight of the previous record-holder, the Cullinan Diamond.

The Cullinan weighed about 3,106 carats when found in present-day Gauteng province in January 1905.

The Cullinan was cut into several smaller stones, which now adorn the British crown jewels.
The stone was to be transported to Johannesburg under tight security, according to SAfm.
No further details were immediately available and a photograph of the giant rock has yet to be released.

Diamond mining in South Africa is dominated by the De Beers Group.

Smallest butterfly in the world

A species of butterfly named Tongeia minima Shou Et Yuan and discovered in Shaanxi Province, China, in 2002, is now officially confirmed as the smallest butterfly in the world on Aug 27, 2007. It has a wingspan of between 12mm to 17mm.

Inside Apple’s ultra-thin Air

MacWorld 2008 has been pretty much on expected lines. No real surprises this year from Steve Jobs, except for the world's thinnest notebook, measuring an incredible 0.16-0.76 inches. It weighs about 3 pounds (1.36 kg).

Priced from $1,800, the Air bridges the gap between Apple's entry-level and high-end laptops, but analysts voiced concern that it could steal customers away from pricier products.

Air is powered by 1.6GHz or 1.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, with 4 MB on-chip shared L2 cache running at full processor speed and uses an 800MHz frontside bus.

Air comes with 2 GB RAM and 80GB hard drive.