10 Incredible Examples of Architecture Reclaimed by Nature

By Nick Mafi, Architectural Digest

No matter the structure, architecture, at times, seems to take on a force more powerful than nature. But it’s an illusion. As imposing as brick, iron, and steel appear to be, construction materials often struggle to contain the forces of nature. History has shown that, over the years, even the grandest architectural structures will eventually be reclaimed by the powers of vegetation. And sometimes, the result of this process is quite breathtaking. Here, AD surveys ten of the most striking examples of nature clinging to, and at times engulfing, the architecture in its path. If nothing else, you may never look at a field of green in the same way again.

Green Village In Zhoushan
Photo: Getty Images

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This abandoned seaside town on Shengshan Island, located due east of Taizhou in the East China Sea, has been been slowly overtaken by verdant vines. The island once housed a colony of fisherman, who have since moved back to live on mainland China, leaving the town empty and ripe to be overtaken by the greenery.
At one point intended to be the Disneyland of Japan, Nara Dreamland was initially opened in 1961. Yet, after Tokyo Disneyland was opened in 1983, Nara Dreamland became an afterthought for visitors. The park closed in 2006, and became overrun with greenery. In 2016, the entire complex was finally demolished.
Photo: Getty Images

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At one point intended to be the Disneyland of Japan, Nara Dreamland was initially opened in 1961. Yet, after Tokyo Disneyland was opened in 1983, Nara Dreamland became an afterthought for visitors. The park closed in 2006, and became overrun with greenery. In 2016, the entire complex was finally demolished.
Along the southwest coast of Italy, near the island of Capri, is the historic valley of Vallone dei Mulini. The topography was created from a volcanic eruption some 35,000 years ago, and deep within it, a derelict 19-century mill that has been overrun by vegetation.
Photo: Getty Images

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Along the southwest coast of Italy, near the island of Capri, is the historic valley of Vallone dei Mulini. The topography was created from a volcanic eruption some 35,000 years ago, and deep within it, a derelict 19-century mill that has been overrun by vegetation.
Deep in the jungle of northern Cambodia is Angkor Wat. Covering nearly 400 acres, the temple complex was the capital of the Khmer Empire, whose rule ended in the 15th century. Since that time, the jungle has crept back around and oftentimes on top of the former shrines. Today, the UNESCO World Heritage Site brings in over two million tourists each year.
Photo: Getty Images/John S. Lander

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Deep in the jungle of northern Cambodia is Angkor Wat. Covering nearly 400 acres, the temple complex was the capital of the Khmer Empire, whose rule ended in the 15th century. Since that time, the jungle has crept back around and oftentimes on top of the former shrines. Today, the UNESCO World Heritage Site brings in over two million tourists each year.
Located roughly 90 miles east of Florence, Italy, is the Parco Sasso Simone e Simoncello, a regional park that contains this clock tower, which is covered in lush foliage.
Photo: Getty Images

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Located roughly 90 miles east of Florence, Italy, is the Parco Sasso Simone e Simoncello, a regional park that contains this clock tower, which is covered in lush foliage.
An abandoned villa in Alentejo, Portugal, a town that is about 160 miles northwest of Lisbon.
Photo: Getty Images

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An abandoned villa in Alentejo, Portugal, a town that is about 160 miles northwest of Lisbon.
The Tunnel of Love—a railroad that links Klevan, Ukraine, to nearby Orzhov—has become a popular destination for couples to walk along. The overgrown tracks, which run a little more than three miles, are shaded in beautiful greenery from the surrounding forest.
Photo: Getty Images

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The Tunnel of Love—a railroad that links Klevan, Ukraine, to nearby Orzhov—has become a popular destination for couples to walk along. The overgrown tracks, which run a little more than three miles, are shaded in beautiful greenery from the surrounding forest.
Located near the southern tip of Japan is the Kawaminami Shipyard. Built next to Imari Harbour, the structure was once a glass factory and was later converted into a dockyard. It has been abandoned for decades.
Photo: Getty Images

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Located near the southern tip of Japan is the Kawaminami Shipyard. Built next to Imari Harbour, the structure was once a glass factory and was later converted into a dockyard. It has been abandoned for decades.
Built in the 16th century, Torrione della Coscia is an eye-catching watchtower that sits along the shores of Liguria, Italy.
Photo: Getty Images

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Built in the 16th century, Torrione della Coscia is an eye-catching watchtower that sits along the shores of Liguria, Italy.
The railroad tracks in Taiwan’s Taipingshan National Forest rise over 1,240 feet above sea level. The trails were once used to transport logs.
Photo: Getty Images

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The railroad tracks in Taiwan’s Taipingshan National Forest rise over 1,240 feet above sea level. The trails were once used to transport logs.
Posted on October 18, 2017 at 10:27 pm
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Design Spotlight: Wallpaper

Fearful of commitment? My listing features bold wallpaper in the main floor powder room. It is a stylish design choice to enhance spaces both small and large. For more information on this residence click here.

Posted on September 13, 2017 at 5:02 pm
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6 Reasons to Consider Wallpaper in Your Design

Posted on August 3, 2017 at 8:24 pm
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1767 SW Prospect Drive | Art Studio

With a lower level art studio, my listing on SW Prospect offers an ideal space for artists of all ages to get creative. Featuring natural light, exterior access and a sink this is the perfect place for the future Monet to work.

Posted on February 10, 2017 at 8:35 am
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Restaurant Review: Tusk PDX

With a cool and modern vibe, Portland’s Tusk is quickly earning a reputation in the Portland dining world. Located on E. Burnside (across from Heart coffee) the Mediterranean fare is both delicious and creative, and the cocktails and ambiance are equally enjoyable. For reservations, book ahead on their website.

Posted on January 20, 2017 at 9:58 am
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To-Dos – Your December Home Checklist

  • lodi
  • With those in cold climates preparing for snow, plus holidays and social gatherings everywhere you turn, December is a notoriously busy month. But with a little preparation, you can savor the best of the season. Check off these tasks for a less hectic, more harmonious month.
  • Get ready for winter storms. Check the condition of your snow shovels, gloves and window scrapers, and replace as needed. Store snowy weather supplies near the door where you can access them easily in a storm, and mark the sides of your driveway and other key places with reflective poles, to help the snowplowers see where to go. And even if it doesn’t snow where you live, keeping the pantry stocked with food, bottled water, candles and flashlights in case of power outages is always a good idea.
  • Disconnect hoses. If it freezes in winter where you live, now is the time to shut off the water supply to your outdoor faucets. After shutting off the water, turn on the faucets outside to allow any water left to drain out. Then disconnect garden hoses, drain the water and roll them up to store indoors until spring.
  • Update your emergency kit. Be prepared for power outages and other emergencies by making sure your house and car are outfitted with well-stocked emergency kits. The basics include bottled water, a hand-crank radio, a flashlight with extra batteries, a cellphone charger (crank or battery-powered is best), food, blankets and a first-aid kit. At home, keep your most essential documents in one easily accessible place.
  • Spruce up indoor play areas. If you have kids at home, harsh winter weather can mean more playtime indoors. Stave off the cries of “I’m bored!” with a spruced-up playspace. A bit of reorganizing and a few simple purchases (like a giant roll of paper and fresh markers) can make the same-old space feel like new.
  • Refresh the guest room. Be ready for overnight guests this holiday season by prepping your guest room in advance. Make the bed with fresh sheets, replace lightbulbs as needed, vacuum and dust — it’s amazing how many dust bunnies can congregate in an infrequently used space like the guest room.
  • Block drafts. If you feel a draft, don’t just reach for another throw — apply weatherstripping to the drafty area to warm up your house and save on your energy bill. If the cold air is getting in under a door, what you need is a door sweep. Usually made from hard plastic, a door sweep attaches to the bottom of your door, sealing off the gap that lets in cold air.
  • Plan for holiday home safety. A few simple precautions — such as illuminating the area around your house, locking doors and windows, and trimming bushes — can go a long way toward keeping your home safe. And with night falling earlier this month, and many people headed out of town, it pays to be extra safety-conscious, whether or not you are going anywhere.
Posted on December 6, 2016 at 9:48 pm
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Tips for Selling a Home with Pets

2G9A2132 copyWe love our pets, whether they be dogs, cats, hamsters, capybaras, hedgehogs, or pygmy goats—but that doesn’t mean that they want to see said pets (or any evidence of them) when looking at a home they’re thinking of buying.

“Pets are either an attractive distraction, so cute they distract prospective buyers from looking at the real estate, or completely the opposite—smelly, frightening, or otherwise off-putting,” says Diane Saatchi, an East Hampton, NY, real estate broker with Saunders & Associates.

Don’t want your precious property to be known as “that dog house”? Well, you need to pet-proof your place when preparing and showing it for sale. Here’s how, in six simple steps.

Although you know your pets would never hurt anyone, they could scratch or bite a potential buyer whom they mistake for an intruder on their territory. You could be held liable for any harm your pet causes, so make sure your homeowners insurance covers you for incidents like these.

However, some insurers will not cover anyone who owns what they deem vicious or aggressive breeds, such as pit bulls; and if they do provide coverage, it could be expensive. If you have such a dog (and even if you don’t), it’s best to keep him out of the house during a showing.

2. Prepare your yard

Buyers will walk around your yard, a stroll that will be ruined if they step in poop or turn an ankle where your dog likes to dig.

Perform a poop patrol before each showing. Double-bag the waste before disposing, so your garbage cans don’t smell when buyers walk by. Fill all holes and sprinkle grass seed on top.

Before putting your house on the market, make sure your yard is a green oasis—not a brown-and-yellow dustbowl created when pets pee on grass. You can try to aerate and seed bare spots. But if that doesn’t work fast enough, you can replace ugly patches with new sod. Then, train Travis the Titan Terrier to use an out-of-the-way spot for his business. Or take him for very long walks.

3. Remove the odors

Removing the odors pets leave behind is one of the biggest challenges. It’s easy to clean and tuck away kitty’s litter box. But it’s way harder to erase years of piddle from rugs and hardwood.

If a bacteria-eating pet odor remover doesn’t banish all traces of cat or dog urine, you might have to hire a professional service to clean carpets or rugs. (Perhaps you should consider this whether you are selling your home or not.) Often, however, the odor returns, so if a carpet continues to reek, replace it before buyers trek through.

Clean turtle, hamster, and guinea pig cages frequently, to prevent odors. And make fish tanks sparkle; a daily swipe with an eraser sponge will do the trick.

4. Clean up the hair

Not only does a layer of pet hair on floors and sofas make your home look messy, it can trigger allergies and send potential buyers sneezing and wheezing out the door.

Before each showing, vacuum and dust to remove any settled hair or dander. Or, consider buying a vacuuming robot (such as a Roomba) that you can schedule to suck up hair several times a day. They actually work.

If your pet sheds, brush him frequently outside, so the hair doesn’t fly around the house. Bathing can help minimize shedding, too.

5. Hide the evidence

Like kids, pets (or rather, their caretakers) tend to accumulate lots of stuff—leashes, collars, toys, water bowls, food, cute sweaters, and costumes for Christmas and Halloween (ladies and gentlemen: It’s canine Ken Bone!). But no matter how adorable you may think it all is, to buyers, it’s just clutter.

Make sure you stow pet paraphernalia in a cupboard or closet. Put dry food bins in a laundry or mud room. Wash pet beds to remove odors and dirt, and only display them if they’re attractive.

6. Say goodbye to your pets (just for a while!)

If you decide to leave your dogs or cats at home, either crate them or confine them to a special area of the house, and make sure your real estate agent knows where they are. Keep them busy with interactive toys or long-lasting treats, says Chris Rowland, CEO of Pet Supplies Plus, based in Livonia, MI.

“Even purchasing a new exciting toy or treat just prior to company coming may keep them more preoccupied,” he says.

But it’s best for everyone if you can find a playdate for your pet before a showing, or to send him to Grandma’s for an extended stay. But remember that pets have emotions, too—especially when it comes to change in their routines.

When you stow their toys, move their water bowl, or put them in a crate when strangers inspect their home, some pets will feel confused and anxious. So before making any major changes in the life of a dog or cat, talk to your veterinarian, who can help you ease your pet’s transition to a temporary new home.

Posted on November 7, 2016 at 7:04 pm
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4933 SW Lodi Lane | SW Portland close-in location

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Posted on September 6, 2016 at 9:15 pm
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Market Update- Home Sales Drop, but Prices Still Climbing

By Elliot Njus, the Oregonian / OregonLive

The Portland-area housing market cooled off in July, thought would-be buyers likely won't feel much relief. More homes went on the market while the number of sales slowed. Even so, the supply of homes for sale remained slim overall, and prices moved higher. The median home price rose to $391,000, up 11.4 percent from a year earlier. The 2,776 homes sold in July represent a drop of nearly 20 percent from a year earlier, in part reflecting the slim supply of homes for sale. Pending sales were also down 5.5 percent from July 2015, suggesting the sales slump will continue into at least late summer. But homes listed on the market sold in an average of 30 days in July, two weeks faster than a year earlier. If sales continued at the same clip, every home on the market would sell in 1.9 months, well short of the six-month supply that indicates a market balanced between willing buyers and sellers. Current conditions indicate a strong seller's market, which is driving prices higher. Sales activity jumped in the North of 26 area of Washington County and the Tigard-Wilsonville area. But supply-constrained areas in North Portland, Hillsboro-Forest Grove, Gresham-Troutdale and Lake Oswego-West Linn all saw above-average price increases. 

Posted on August 20, 2016 at 6:27 pm
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4933 SW Lodi Lane

Lodi

Posted on August 8, 2016 at 7:38 pm
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