Image Source: BeautifulLife.Info

Architecture and design have played important roles throughout history, from the Great Pyramids of ancient Egypt all the way down to the futuristic Push-Button House of today. More than 100 different styles of architecture have existed throughout the history of the world and I’m sure many more can be expected to come.

In a day and age when nature has new-found importance, green designs and LEED certifications are becoming the norm; some designs are even inspired by nature, itself. While many homes and businesses may try to stick to the same, old building and home structures, there are a few architects and designers out there that march to an entirely different beat than the rest of the world. Here are a few of the latest, strangest architectural designs of the green world:

Urban F.@.m.i.n.

Otherwise known as the Urban Farming and Media Interactive Networks, this new design was created by UK design student, Jack O’Reilly. It combines vertical farming with a TV station. The pairing of farming and television may seem a bit strange, but believe me when I say there is certainly method behind O’Reilly’s madness.

Based in Manchester, the design is used to hydroponically grow vegetables and fruits by using water from the canal, which typically serves as a route of transportation. The crops are then sold back to Manchester, thus reducing the city’s reliance on imported goods, while also generating profit to keep the project going. Used in restaurants, the idea of urban farming and sustainability is promoted. The TV studio portion of it can be used to reach a wide audience in order to teach them about the importance of food cultures and sustainability. A “hands on” exhibition space is also included in the design to allow those of all ages to learn first hand about sustainability and future technologies.

Conch Shell House
This is a most unique gem of the Caribbean Sea. Located on the Isla Mujeres and inspired by nature, the Conch Shell House allows visitors to experience what it may be like to live in a giant seashell. Designed by Octavio Ocampo, the house has no corners—all walls and floors are rounded.

Seashells can be found throughout the design and home and best of all, it’s available for tourists to rent. Features of the home include 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a private pool. Apart from the structure of the house, one of the most interesting things about it is all of the little features are made from things that have washed up on local beaches; including faucets made from coral and sinks made from conches.

Southern Star Observation Wheel
Journey to the “land down under” and you may find the Southern Star Observation Wheel. Located in Melbourne, this former Ferris wheel is soon to be reincarnated into a new life as the world’s largest windmill. Buro North has partnered with photographer Peter Bennetts, to create a new design for the giant wheel that was shutdown due to “technical problems”.

Including greenspaces and community hubs, the wheel is to become a “Greek windmill inspired sci-fi future with a wind driven, solar sail energy collecting wheel, as a hub for a new fleet of flying steam powered trams to alleviate congestion in a newly green Melbourne”. What this means or when it will happen, I’ve no idea, but it will be interesting to see, to say the least.

Image Source: CFMoller.com

Botanic Garden
We now come to another great example of Danish architecture, created by the C.F. Moller Architects firm. These guys are working on a redesign of a hothouse located at the Botanic Garden Aarhus University. The existing building will be converted into a 59 ft (18 m) high, passive solar botanical knowledge center, allowing people to venture amongst the treetops.

The existing organic snail-shaped hothouse form will be used in the new design, while adding energy-conserving components. One interesting thing about the redesign is that the position of the building—in relation to the points of the compass—allows the smallest surface area to be covered with a large amount of volume; plus provides ample sun in the winter and shade in the summer.

Comploo
When you think of a Japanese tea house, you may picture a small, box-like structure; simple and peaceful in design. Well, the designers at Bakoko are about to through that idea out the window. They’ve designed a circular, pod-style teahouse with one unique feature: it’s heated by compost.

This tea house is mainly comprised of compost bins arranged in a circular pattern, which forms the house enclosure. Guests can deposit food scraps and garden waste into the bins via doors located around the house. Once the compost starts generating heat, the heat will travel through the Comploo’s vented interior and keep visitors warm without wasting energy. The designers claim the tea house will fit into any location that has a continuous supply of organic waste.

That’s all the architectural designs for now, though I’m sure there will be many more out there soon. As long as you keep creating them, we’ll keep on writing about them.

By Heidi Marshall