FastCompany Magazine

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The second tallest building in the world is more like a vertical city than a building. Think of it like this: the 632-meter tall Shanghai Tower is a bustling mixed-use metropolis with more green space (and even more people) than many cities on the ground can boast of having.

The statistics on the building, which ranks only behind Dubai’s Burj Khalifa in height, are staggering: 521,000 meters squared of floor space, 106 elevators, a weight of 1,200 metric tons, the ability to hold 30,000 people (it really is like a small city), and the kicker—one-third of the building is dedicated entirely to green space.

Detroit doesn’t simply decay with time. It wrestles with decay by putting up new skyscrapers and tearing down others. Fresh strips of sidewalk were paved in front of vacant lots. Some beautiful old mansions were renovated but never quite finished. When Detroit hosted the Super Bowl in 2006, the city even tried to string festive lights on abandoned office buildings.

“To me,” says photographer Camile Jose Vergara, “the whole story got more and more interesting as time passed, because it got more complicated.”

These two photographers captured contrasting (yet equally beautiful) images of Detroit city.

A photo series from photographer Julie Hassett Sutton shows trucks as  objects of art, cruising through the beautiful frozen landscape of  Montana. See more.

A photo series from photographer Julie Hassett Sutton shows trucks as objects of art, cruising through the beautiful frozen landscape of Montana. See more.

God. Norway is cool.

The Aurland Lookout is a 98-foot-long pirate plank of a viewing  bridge that reaches out over one of the largest and most spectacular  fjords in western Norway. We’re not sure what’s more impressive: the  views or the fact that the only thing standing between you and the  ravine 2,133 feet below is a measly sheet of glass.
The lookout was designed by the Norwegian architects Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen,  and it’s part of a more than $400 million initiative to transform  Norway’s copious natural beauty into design destinations. Launched in  2002, the 18-year-long program taps predominantly young Norwegian  architects and designers to spruce up 18 designated “National Tourist Routes”  — scenic highways — with assorted overlooks, walkways, picnic areas,  and toilets. Now, at the halfway mark, Norway has built around 120  sites, from the Aurland Lookout to an elevated concrete walkway that  winds through the trees of the Rondane National Park to a memorial for  persecuted witches (yes, persecuted witches) by Louise Bourgeois and  Pritzker Prize-winner Peter Zumthor (the only foreign architect here),  which will open this summer.
All told, the federal government is expected to sink an estimated  $377 million into the program, with an additional $63 million from  private and public partners. It’s a mammoth investment and a testament  to one country’s faith in the power of design to add equity to an  already flourishing tourism industry.  As the initiative’s rep Hege Lysholm tells Co: “It’s the nature  experience we want to emphasize. The architecture and signs and rest  areas work as an enhancement.”
The structures are decided in design competitions and adhere to a  basic (and classically Scandinavian) formula: Nature first, architecture  second. Thusly, you see lots of simple designs that subtly play up the  drama of the surroundings — an undulating viewing platform that echoes  the water below, say, or a restroom whose roof follows the mountain  line. Materials like wood, glass, and concrete are selected both for  their organic aesthetic and, perhaps more importantly, because they need  to be able to withstand extreme climate, particularly in the Arctic  reaches of northern Norway.

A ton more photos when you click through.

God. Norway is cool.

The Aurland Lookout is a 98-foot-long pirate plank of a viewing bridge that reaches out over one of the largest and most spectacular fjords in western Norway. We’re not sure what’s more impressive: the views or the fact that the only thing standing between you and the ravine 2,133 feet below is a measly sheet of glass.

The lookout was designed by the Norwegian architects Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen, and it’s part of a more than $400 million initiative to transform Norway’s copious natural beauty into design destinations. Launched in 2002, the 18-year-long program taps predominantly young Norwegian architects and designers to spruce up 18 designated “National Tourist Routes” — scenic highways — with assorted overlooks, walkways, picnic areas, and toilets. Now, at the halfway mark, Norway has built around 120 sites, from the Aurland Lookout to an elevated concrete walkway that winds through the trees of the Rondane National Park to a memorial for persecuted witches (yes, persecuted witches) by Louise Bourgeois and Pritzker Prize-winner Peter Zumthor (the only foreign architect here), which will open this summer.

All told, the federal government is expected to sink an estimated $377 million into the program, with an additional $63 million from private and public partners. It’s a mammoth investment and a testament to one country’s faith in the power of design to add equity to an already flourishing tourism industry. As the initiative’s rep Hege Lysholm tells Co: “It’s the nature experience we want to emphasize. The architecture and signs and rest areas work as an enhancement.”

The structures are decided in design competitions and adhere to a basic (and classically Scandinavian) formula: Nature first, architecture second. Thusly, you see lots of simple designs that subtly play up the drama of the surroundings — an undulating viewing platform that echoes the water below, say, or a restroom whose roof follows the mountain line. Materials like wood, glass, and concrete are selected both for their organic aesthetic and, perhaps more importantly, because they need to be able to withstand extreme climate, particularly in the Arctic reaches of northern Norway.

A ton more photos when you click through.