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In Cherrapunji, India,

one of the wettest places on Earth, the locals mold the roots of the Ficus elastica tree into stretching across rivers and taking root
on the other side, forming amazing natural, living bridges.

Locals use hollowed-out trunks of the betel tree to prop up the roots
of the Ficus elastica (basically a rubber tree), pointing them across whatever body of water they want to cross, until the roots reach the other side and dig in.
After awhile (a long while—think 10-15 years), the bridge becomes strong and sturdy enough for people to comfortable walk across. Some of these such bridges are hundreds
of years old, since they just get stronger over time, being alive and all. Pretty amazing stuff.

Evolver

Evolver is an architectural artefact intervening on the panorama surrounding Zermatt. It was designed and executed by a team of 2nd year students from the ALICE Studio at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) , Switzerland. In an effort to take full advantage of the site’s extensive and astounding views, the project sits strategically next to the lake Stelli at an altitude of 2,536 m (8,320 feet). Evolver’s structure mainly consists of a succession of 24 rotating frames supporting an enclosed space that visitors are encouraged to enter. As he or she progresses through the space, a concealed but uninterrupted 720° movement is unraveling along a transformed panorama.

This transformation occurs while inside a person is moving along a selective string of openings only to be caught peeling off a sequence of unexpected views from the original landscape.

Alpine Capsule

The Alpine Capsule defines a new architectural condition, off grid and harmonic with nature. It expands the potential of modern life, its comforts, its technological connect and its vision, away from cities and into the realm of landscape and “open space”.

“Open space/open mind”; the realisation that being out in nature but super-connected to cultural portals and the information age can bring both health and imagination to people in a very sensual way.

The capsule is in fact a sanctuary of peace and tranquillity, a place to think and wonder in awe of the changing nature of nature… its colours, its textures… the experiences of day and night, seasons and the infinity of the cosmos.

The project is a prototype for a new way of living off-grid, even as a temporary experience, a new ambition for the 21st century that can be implemented in so many environments.

It tests principles of dematerialisation, invisibility, visibility and life support systems imported from space but blended with terrestrial comforts.

Made from advanced technologies that support the magic of a pure water droplet that landed as a space ship, from another world to help us feel and breathe in another condition the beauty of expansive space and intellectual tranquillity

Leshan Giant Buddha (Leshan Dafo)

The Leshan Giant Buddha (or Leshan Dafo) is a statue of Maitreya (a Bodhisattva usually represented as a very stout monk with a broad smile on his face and with his naked breast and paunch exposed to view) in sitting posture.

The Buddha is located to the east of Leshan City, Sichuan Province, at the confluence of three rivers, namely, Min River, Qingyi River, and Dadu River. The statue makes itself the most renowned scenic spot in Leshan City. In December, 1996, the location of the Buddha was included by UNESCO on the list of the World Heritage sites.

History of Leshan Giant Buddha
Begun in the year 713 in the Tang Dynasty, and finished in the year 803, the statue took people more than 90 years to carve. During these years, thousands of workers had expended their efforts and wisdom on the project. As the biggest carved stone Buddha in the world, Leshan Giant Buddha is featured in poetry, song and story. Facing the river, the Buddha has symmetrical posture and looks which have been beautifully captured in its solemn stillness. It is 71 meters (about 233 feet) high, and has three-meter-long (about 11 feet) fingers. The eight-meter-long (about 27 feet) instep is big enough for one hundred people to sit on and the 28-meter-wide (about 92 feet) shoulder is large enough to be a basketball playground.

It was a monk called Hai Tong who initiated the project. His concern was for the safety of the long-suffering people who earned their living around the confluence of the three rivers. Tempestuous waters ensured that boat accidents were numerous and the simple people put the disaster down to the presence of a water spirit. So Hai Tong decided to carve a statue beside the river thinking that the Buddha would bring the water spirit under control. Besides, the fallen stones dropped during the carving would reduce the water force there. After 20 years’ begging alms, he finally accumulated enough money for the plan. When some local government officials had designs on tempting this amount of money, Hai Tong said that they could get his eyeball but not the money raised for the Buddha. After Hai Tong dug out his eyeball, these officials ran away scared. The project was half done when Hai Tong passed away, and two of his disciples continued the work. After a total of 90 years’ hard work, the project was finally completed.

Build of Leshan Giant Buddha
The charm of the Buddha lies not only in its size but also in its architectural artistry. There are 1,021 buns in the Buddha’s coiled hair. These have been skillfully embedded in the head. The skill is so wonderful that the 1,021 buns seem integral to the whole. Another architectural highlight is the drainage system. This system is made up of some hidden gutters and channels, scattered on the head and arms, behind the ears and in the clothes. This system, which helps displace rainwater and keep the inner part dry, plays an important part in the protection of the Buddha.
The large pair of ears, each seven meters (about 23 feet) long, is made of wood and is decorated by mud on the surface. For craftsmen of thousands of years ago, it was not easy to fix these to the stone head.
Having such a long history and such worldwide fame, the renovation of the Buddha has received extensive attention both at home and abroad. The Buddha was nearly destroyed by the erosion of wind and rain before 1963 when the Chinese government began the repairing work. At present, the maintenance work is in progress under the instruction of experts from UNESCO.