Mapparium(1935) Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston, Massachusetts.


“The Mapparium is a three-story tall glass globe of stained glass that is viewed from a 30-foot-long (9.1 m) bridge through its interior. It is a unique exhibit at The Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston, Massachusetts.

Built in 1935 and based upon Rand McNally political maps published the previous year, the Mapparium shows the political world as it was at that time, including such long-disused labels as Italian East Africa and Siam, as well as more-recently defunct political entities such as the Soviet Union. In 1939, 1958, and 1966 the Church considered updating the map, but rejected it on the basis of cost and the special interest it holds as an historical artifact.

Catwalk crossing the interior of the glass sphere
Maintenance crane

Inspired by the famous spinning globe in the lobby of the New York Daily News building, they commissioned architect Chester Lindsay Churchill to design the Mapparium. Like its New York inspiration, the Mapparium features a panel of weather instruments.20120921-102118The 608 stained glass panels were produced by the Rambusch Company of New York and the Mapparium was opened to the public on June 1, 1935″.

The sphere is suspended inside a technical room

Source: Wikipedia


Through the globe looking-glass


Following the Door Hacks series, that begun with our Infopanel project and the first DH installment, we present A room in the glass globe, Hideyuki Nakayama, a prototype for a doorknob presented in 2010.
“Architect Hideyuki Nakayama teamed up with UNION, a manufacturer of door handles and levers, to create the glass globe doorknob presented at DesignTide Tokyo. It allows you to “catch a glimpse of what appears to be another world, waiting for you to enter and join” showing instead a “reflection of the room on the other side of the door”.  (




China’s Area 51


Interaction Space begins its SuperModels series.

Worlds within a world of varied scales and formats, a collection of pocket-sized environments will be reviewed, starting with China’s Area 51 topographic 1:500 model of a vast portion of its neighbour country. Two press clips are included to unveil its purpose. (J.E.)

“ The discovery of what is considered a military establishment in China’s Northern plains by a Google Earth user from Germany has kicked up a storm on the Net’s strategic forums. Here’s why: The establishment, snapped from Google’s free satellite imagery software, houses a startlingly accurate scale model of a highly sensitive stretch of the disputed Sino-Indian border.

A careful study of the model, located at a large military complex in China’s Huangyangtan province, likely used for training and familiarisation of troops, helicopters and infantry vehicles, shows that it is built to scale based on a stretch 2,400 km away along the Aksai Chin area bordering Ladakh, part of the stretch through which invading Chinese forces entered in the 1962 war.
The facility, full with uncharacteristic and man-made snow peaks, glacial lakes and snow rifts—ironically in the middle of an arid plain—is flanked by a large military depot with buildings and at least a hundred military trucks.
The Army did not confirm that it was aware of the facility, but officially told The Indian Express, “Militaries are always known to simulate potential conflict zones as a standard practice. There is absolute peace and tranquility on the border with China, a disputed border that the two governments are resolving through peaceful dialogue. It is nothing alarming, these are standard training methodologies.”
Off the record, though, an officer currently with the Quarter Master General branch, but who has served along the border with Aksai Chin, said, “We knew that they had some facilities for this purpose but the scale and detail is something new to us.”

The facility, full with uncharacteristic and man-made snow peaks, glacial lakes and snow rifts—ironically in the middle of an arid plain—is flanked by a large military depot with buildings and at least a hundred military trucks.

The sense is that economic development near the border and a quiet, but progressive peace dialogue to end the border dispute notwithstanding, the PLA is keeping its forces well in touch with potential conflict zones— especially Aksai Chin, strategically important to Beijing since it houses crucial road heads and Demchok, one of the principally disputed zones. The image could be anything between six months and two years old, proving that training on disputed terrain is still very much part of the PLA’s war doctrine”.
Shiv Aroor. NEW DELHI, AUGUST 4, Sat Aug 05 2006, 00:00 hrs. Indian Express Journal
900×700 meters 1:500 model at China’s Area 51
Model and copy

“The scale is exactly 500:1.

Last week a reader posted a link on our own MashUp blog that led to a Chinese site – – where in late July a reader posted a photo showing men in blue overalls on what looks to be another large-scale terrain model.

The caption does not clearly state where or when the photo was taken but it is watermarked “Xinhua” – the New China News Agency, China’s state-run new agency. Although the land on which the model is based is Chinese territory, it is also claimed by India. The two sides fought a brief war over the area in 1962.

Covering an area the size of Switzerland, the Aksai Chin region is a high altitude desert plateau. It contains a strategically important highway 219 that connects the far north-western province of Xinjiang with Tibet.

The scale is exactly 500:1

When the Beijing correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age contacted local officials last month, she was told that the area was a tank training facility that had been there for seven or eight years. But this theory is dismissed by’s Tim Brown, who said that the scale of the model was just too small. Moreover, as the actual land that the model represents is on a plateau 5000 metres above sea level, it would make tank warfare difficult if not impossible.

The size of the model also means that it is unsuitable for training pilots – unless they use it as a walk-through terrain visualisation training exercise. All of which lead Brown to speculate that the model is all about what he calls “perception management”.

“It could be that it’s just there as a morale builder, ” he said”.

Stephen Hutcheon. August 14, 2006. The Sydney Morning Herald

Model’s possible close up


Remember the House-People form our project in Jøssingfjord?


well, we recently fond that the guys from Fantastic Norway ACTUALLY did it !

They are Fantastic !!

This happened at an event called “Walking Berlin” when the members of Fantastic Norway traveled to Berlin wearing models of their latest project.

While exploring the streets of central Berlin, the walking houses chatted with the locals, danced at Alexanderplatz, travelled on the u-bahn, and even shared a curry-würst with the Berliners.

Super-Kamiokande: The Gifu water Cherenkov detector


“The Super-Kamiokande is the large water Cherenkov detector. Its construction started in 1991 and the observation began on April 1, 1996. The Super-Kamiokande is operated by an international collaboration of about 110 people and 30 institutes from Japan, the United States, Korea, China, Poland and Spain.

The Super-Kamiokande detector consists of a stainless-steel tank, 39m diameter and 42m tall, filled with 50,000 tons of ultra pure water. About 13,000 photo-multipliers are installed on the tank wall. The detector is located at 1000 meter underground in the Kamioka-mine, Hida-city, Gifu, Japan.



One of the purposes of the Super-Kamiokande experiment is to reveal the neutrino properties through the observation of solar neutrinosatmospheric neutrinos and man-made neutrinos.  The investigation of the neutrino properties will enable us to understand how matter was created in the early universe. By observation of solar neutrinos, we can know the activities inside of the sun. By detection of neutrinos from supernova burst, we can investigate the details of the explosion mechanism of the star.

On the other hand, the Grand Unified Theories (GUTs), which can unify the fundamental forces of nature, predict that the proton can decay into lighter energetic charged particles. Super-Kamiokande searches for this unknown phenomenon. If the proton decay is observed, it may be possible to prove the GUTs”.

Copyright of all images on this web site belong to Kamioka Observatory, ICRR (Institute for Cosmic Ray Research),The University of Tokyo.



Taubenesentralen cable plant, island of Svalbard (Norway)

Taubenesentralen cable plant, located in the island of Svalbard in Norway, is an exeptional architectural structure.

It was built in the fifties and sixties, in several stages. This floating architectural cluster worked as a mining hub for the cabins transporting coal from the different mines spreaded around the area.

Photo ngari.norway

Taubanesentralen connected three different mine paths, gathering them and then and bringing the coal down to the sea, on Hotellneset, where it was stored until shipping season started.

This transportation method was provided until 1987, when trucks took its role.

Today this gravity-defying building is protected. The protection includes a range of 100 feet in all directions around the plant at Mine 5 and 6, as well as a 200 meter wide zone along the cableway trench outside the downtown area and 20 meters along the trail in the downtown area.

Photo Bjoervedt 

Traces of carbon and stainless water can still be seen on the farm’s roof behind the station.

Both Taubanesentralen dominant position high above the Governor farm and Kullkibbene, gliding smoothly over the roofs, were at the time viewed by many as a symbol of the tension between Great Norwegian Spitsbergen Coal Company as the owner and driver of the mining community and the governmental authority. Today number 7 is the only functional mine, located about one mil east of the city among the 7-mining mountains, between Bolterdalen and Foxdalen . It produces annually about 80,000 tons of coal.  Mine 7 is fully mechanized. The coal is broken mechanically and transported by truck to the city. About one-third of annual production delivered to the power station in Longyearbyen, Norway’s only coal plant.

Photo Oyvind Buljo 

Photo Oyvind Buljo

Murado & Elvira with Krahe architects, used this building as inspiration and structural reference for the Jossinfjord center in Norway competition. Check the project here.



Teknobyen Construction Process

During the construction of the building we had a webcam installed in the building just across the street pointing to the construction site. It was a great way to monitor the process in Norway from our offices in Madrid and Delft.

We made this video with some frames captured from the webcam along 12 monts, from june 2011 to june 2012.

Shut up and take my pancakes!

MySpace’ student’s housing in Trondheim (Norway) by Murado & Elvira and Krahe Architects (MEK) Detail of fridge doors at the communal kitchen.

In order to achieve a collective-driven atmosphere, students share a flexible lounge and a self-managed, ‘ultrakitchen’, designed as an experimental space for the use and simultaneous enjoyment of 116 students , like a 24/24 sort of social sustainability condenser.

This way of structuring common space trough collective actions as a means to strengthen the bonds within the newly established community impell dwellers to come up with rules, responsibilities and unexpected ways of counterbalancing interests.  At this domestic parliament the shared kitchen is the space where common life is negotiated. Self management is common, and frequently the building is a scenario for new experiences: late night pancake contests in the kitchen, cooking seminars held by local celebrities, etc.