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Building a Concrete Tent

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From the Please Send Me a Test Unit Department, here's a concrete tent. The concept is simple: cloth containing concrete it is used to create buildings (or, frankly, anything else you want to make out of thin concrete). You just put up the cloth, get it wet, then wait. The result is a durable structure without the need for pouring concrete. To form the structure, just inflate a bag under it -- though I can see how using a plywood or other substrate could also be handy, if you don't like bag-shaped buildings. I just want to know how much this costs. (Seriously. I've got uses for this stuff. I kinda need to make a Hobbit Hole in my back yard.)

First up, a video from National Geographic showing the deployment of a concrete tent:

And here's a video featuring the materials inventors explaining it themselves. Note they mention deploying it underwater. Innnteresting.

So, who's with me? Bag End replica? Let's do this.

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school
This Russian Kindergarten Looks Just Like a Castle
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A group of lucky kindergarteners in Russia don’t have to wear poufy dresses or plastic crowns to pretend they’re royalty. As Atlas Obscura reports, all they have to do is go to school.

In a rural area of Russia's Leninsky District sits a massive, pastel-colored schoolhouse that was built to resemble Germany's famed Neuschwanstein Castle. It has turrets and gingerbread-like moldings—and instead of a moat, the school offers its 150 students multiple playgrounds, a soccer field, a garden, and playhouses.

Tuition is 21,800 rubles (about $360) a month, but the Russian government subsidizes it to make it less expensive for parents. As for the curriculum: it’s designed to promote social optimism, and each month’s lesson plan is themed. (September, for example, will be career-focused.)

Take a video tour of the school below, or learn more on the school’s website.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

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architecture
This Chinese Library's Interior Is Designed to Look Like an Infinite Tunnel of Books
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The Chinese city of Yangzhou is known for its graceful arched bridges and proximity to the Yangtze River and the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal. Architects kept these unique local features in mind while designing Zhongshuge Yangzhou, a new bookstore and library that was completed in 2016.

Designed by Shanghai studio XL-Muse Architects, the building has black, mirrored floors and arched ceilings that symbolize Yangzhou’s famous waterways and overpasses. The floor reflects the store’s curving shelves to create the illusion of a never-ending tunnel of books—a true bibliophile’s dream.

Learn more about Yangzhou’s unique library/bookstore below, courtesy of Great Big Story.

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