It is expected the population of the earth will inflate to almost 10 billion in the next 30 years, this would mean that the citizens of the world are more likely to literally live in close proximity to each other. Excluding Scotland and Wales, the UK Government estimated that about one-eighth of the homes in the country are flats, and that is roughly 2.75 million flats on leasehold.
So when Deacon.co.uk, the flats insurance specialist, shared these 10 absurd and awesome things about flats, we just had to get it out there!
The first flats were Roman-made
Along with the Romans’ rise to glory during the mid-first century BC, the race’s population rose, too, thus, making housing a major concern. To cope with this, the Romans found ways to build bigger and more durable structures.
The newly-built structures were formed from lime-based volcanic sand that turned into concrete and bricks that facilitated fast-paced constructions. They were later on called insula or islands in reference to the way they were built extensively occupying a wide space surrounded by roads that seemed like the sea. These infrastructures were often multi-level with shops on the lower floor and apartments on the higher floors.
Forest buildings in the City
In the middle of the city of Milan lies two absurd yet amazing creations of Milanese architect Stefano Boeri. These high-rise infrastructures are lined with trees and plants from the ground up to the top, thus, named the Bosco Verticale – the Vertical Forest.
There are over 20,000 trees and plants on these buildings. Now, the idea is adopted all over the world. Although a few people do not believe that trees are beneficial for the city and its citizens, Boeri is trying to prove otherwise.
And the room stood still…for 70 years
In 1934, Marthe de Florian, a famous actress fled to the South of France to avoid the hostile outbreak of WWII. She left her apartment in Paris and she never returned. Although this may seem to be a common story during that time, the bizarre part is that the owner of the apartment never noticed she was gone.
In 2010, when the owner finally died, while his assets were being evaluated, the assessors came to Marthe de Florian’s room, to their surprise the room was as it was when the actress left it, unchanged, as though time had stopped in that very room in 1934.
A Rotating Shapeshifting Building
Is it possible? You’re probably thinking that these kinds of things only happen in the movies. But, it is as a matter of fact true. In 2020, the architectural firm Dynamic Group in Dubai is set to have tower blocks that change its shapes as it rotates.
It would be a shame to tear down a neglected city building that costs tons of money to construct. Good thing they can be recycled. These buildings are salvaged and turned into flats providing homes to a lot of eager buyers who are looking for urban loft apartments in the most favorable city locations. An added perk is that those landmark buildings can preserve their original features.
This trend is now spreading across the country with examples such as the BBC Television Centre at White City, the Battersea Power Station, the Hoover Building, and The Lawn – the first residential tower block in the UK, constructed in 1951 in Harlow, Essex and now a Grade II listed building.
Building 9 and 3/4
In the city of Chongqing in China, the train literally passes through a multi-story building. The train line goes through a residential unit. The engineers in China definitely are thinking outside the box or more like through the wall when they came up with this idea. Imagining the scene would remind you of that famous wizarding movie.
Matters of size
The Burj Khalifa holds the title for the tallest building in the world, for now, because in the year 2020, the Jeddah Tower will take over. The building, along with its serviced apartments, will stand at 1,000 meters in height.
In China, with overpopulation being a major concern, there is a 50 square foot apartment that can house two people – making it the smallest in the world.
In Sao Paulo, The Copan Building holds the title for being the largest building in the world. This infamous 38-story building houses over 5,000 residents in its over 1,160 apartments.
Further down we build
In 2011, the idea of the Earthscraper was introduced, it was the concept of an upside-down 35-story pyramid in Mexico City. Since 70% of the surface of the earth is covered by water, the concept remains on the drawing board. The idea may seem to be one for Sci-Fi movies, but architects are seriously considering the possibilities unceasingly finding ways to overcome the practical and structural challenges.
Come to think of it, if this would ever be made possible, what could be next? Underwater cities? Well, probably, since there was a proposal about a visionary city to be built off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, and it will be called Aequorea.
Most Expensive Flat
In the UK, you can find the 2nd highest costing city-center flats. According to MSN Money, housing is the major component of why the UK has the highest cost of living rates. In cities like London, to have a nice comfortable living situation, you would need to have £7,090 a month.
In Oxford, Edinburgh, and Brighton you would need around £5,000 a month, and in Southampton, about £3,000 a month, which is still no amount to joke about. And of course, the most expensive flat would likely be in the UK as well, to be precise, One Hyde Park, London – it was valued for £160 million last October 2018.
Complicated Leasing and Feudalism
Even now in this modern age, losing your flat and being left with nothing still comes as a shock. But this is entirely possible if you do not pay service charges and you deviate from the terms of your lease – even if you have been diligently paying for several years. Although it can become quite hard for the landlord to claim the flat, it is still possible.
The feudal system that developed following the Norman conquest paved the way for the idea of making an income out of leasing lands. By the 16th century, England and Wales’ law of leases had become very complicated. To alleviate the confusion, the Law of Property Acts of 1925 was made. With this law, the ownership to either freehold or leasehold was limited.
Now, we are still living in accordance with such laws, which interestingly define what you cannot do. As an example on leasehold, they can demand that you pay for the upkeep of an asset even though technically you are not the owner of such property.
In Scotland, however, it is on the contrary. Where “feu duty” (no duty to pay), the equivalent of ground rent can be set up after 1974 and leasing for more than 20 years is not allowed. In 2004, this feudal structure was abolished in Scotland. Since then, they have laws that converted leases for over 175 years into complete ownership.