Stunning Lotus Building to Bloom in China
Greater Portland Landmarks
The Abyssinian Meeting House in Portland, Maine was built in 1828 and was a stop on the Underground Railroad. Today it's threatened by a lack of funding.
Built in 1919, the Rancho Cucamonga Chinatown House, in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., was a general store and housing site for Chinese American laborers who helped build Rancho Cucamonga.
Library of Congress
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Ft. Huachuca archives
The Mountain View Black Officer's Club, in Fort Huachuca, Ariz., was built in 1942 as a club specifically for African-American officers. It faces possible demolition by the U.S. Army.
Ohio's Village of Mariemont, built between 1921 and 1925, is a national historic landmark that's considered a key example of town planning in America. Today it's southern border is threatened by a state highway proposal.
JFK Airport's Worldport terminal opened in 1960. This well known symbol of America's entry into the jet airliner era faces demolition at the hands of the New York/New Jersey Port Authority.
James River Association
Along the banks of the James River in Virginia, America's first permanent English settlement, Jamestown, was founded in 1607. A prospective power line project threatens to mar the scenery of the historic areas along the river.
Carroll Van West
Montana's one-room schoolhouses, of which the state has many, have fallen victim to population migration away from rural areas. Enrollment in the schools has decreased, prompting the closure of many of these former centers of rural life in Montana.
National Trust for Historic Preservation
The iconic Houston Astrodome opened its turnstiles in 1965 and was at the time called the "Eight Wonder of the World," as the world's first domed, air-conditioned stadium. No longer a home to major sports, the great stadium may well go the way of demolition.
Archdiocese of San Juan of Puerto Rico
Deterioration and resultant structural damage threaten the historic San Jose church, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Built in 1532, it's one of the few remaining examples of 16th-century Spanish Gothic architecture.
An Australian architecture firm recently unveiled what may be the single coolest-looking municipal facility on the planet — the stunning Lotus Building in the city of Wujin, China.
Officially titled the Lotus Building and People’s Park, the 3.5-hectare site features three connected buildings, each representing the lotus flower in different stages of bloom. The landmark structure rises out of an artificial lake in the center of the city, giving the appearance of a flower on a pond.
The Lotus Building incorporates some radical architecture: Visitors to the complex actually enter from beneath, via an underwater tunnel connecting the park and the shore. Interior and exterior surfaces are composed of beige, white and stainless steel tiles, with a giant suspended chandelier at the apex of the center structure.
“The Lotus Building is an addition to an existing double story subterranean municipal facility situated beneath an existing artificial lake,” write the designers on the Studio 505 project page. “The building houses parts of the planning bureau as well as new exhibition halls meeting rooms and conference centers.”
The project has also been designed to minimize energy usage, by way of 2,500 geothermal piles driven into the ground beneath the artificial lake. A “thermal chimney” in the central building employs evaporative cooling from the lake surface to augment the traditional air conditioning systems. At night, the integrated lighting systems gradually cycle through different color combinations every 30 seconds.