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For The At-Home Escape Artist: James Bond-esque Secret Rooms via [SpotCoolStuff, Gizmodo]

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Modern Secret Room Dreams (and Nightmares): From
Creative Hideouts to Dreadful Spaces

Secret Doors

Hidden passages have a long history of appearing in fictional novels
and films but an even richer past in
reality
dating back to Egyptian tombs passages for Christians to
worship in hiding from Romans. Over the years hidden passages have been
used to arrest kings and evacuate popes, hide shogun warriors,
facilitate guerrilla fighters, enable drug smugglers and conceal serial
killers. In recent times, however, many more modest individuals have
created (or discovered) secret passages in ordinary everyday households
and there are even companies dedicated to designing <a onmouseover=”self.status=’http://weburbanist.com/secretrooms&#8217;;return
true;” onmouseout=”self.status=”” href=”http://weburbanist.com/secretrooms&#8221; mce_href=”http://weburbanist.com/secretrooms”>secret doors, rooms
and passages in middle-class houses. In some cases the discovery of a
secret room is a wonderful find but it can also be a twisted nightmare.

With so many secret rooms built into houses is it any wonder that
some people are surprised
to discover that their very own house has one
they were entirely
unaware of? One couple in an ordinary and unspectacular A-frame house
found out they had their very own secret room after a year of living in
the structure. The room itself: a space as large as their main bedroom
and complete with somewhat creepy accessories including a sleeping bag,
electrical outlet and even unopened beer cans.

While for one couple the discovering of a <a onmouseover=”self.status=’http://weburbanist.com/secretrooms&#8217;;return
true;” onmouseout=”self.status=”” href=”http://weburbanist.com/secretrooms&#8221; mce_href=”http://weburbanist.com/secretrooms”>secret room was
exciting and resulted in additional usable space for another family a
similar find was the beginning of a nightmarish tragedy. In their secret
room they found a
mysterious note
from a previous owner of the house who claimed that
the structure was riddled with harmful mold
that had made his children very sick. As it turned out, the note was
right: an inspection revealed high levels of various dangerous molds
and the new owners were able to sue and settled for having the house
repurchased at the price they paid. And the previous owner? Apparently
he was worried about someone with a vested interest in selling the
house finding the note and therefore hid it.

Hidden Room

Hidden rooms today usually serve one of two purposes: security or
fun. Sometimes a hidden door is used to disguise a safe or a ‘panic
room’ where residents can hide in an emergency. The room showed above,
however, is one couples’ unusually creative gift
to their very excited teenage daughter
. This room works as an
office and play-space and goes entirely unnoticed by clueless visitors
(or even building inspectors). A remote control amazingly lifts an
entire staircase out of the way revealing the hidden passage.

Secret Passages

There are a number of design and construction companies that have
grown up with the public’s recently renewed fascination with secret
doors, rooms and passageways. Creative Home Engineering
has a number of stock products and also creates custom hidden door and
room designs. Their ready-made products include classics like the
fireplace that opens when you twist a candlestick and a bookcase
that opens when you tilt a book. The Hidden
Doors
company and others have dozens of simpler and less expensive
stock items to choose from as well – from cabinets
to pool racks and wine shelves masking hidden doors.

Until recently we thought that installing a hidden door in real life
would require a hiring a general
contractor
who would surely shoot us a suspicious look when we
explained what we wanted. In fact, there are over a dozen companies with
the specialty of installing stealth entrance ways. Some stock
pre-built hidden doors.

And you needn’t have a spooky mansion, eccentric tastes or a now-it-puts-the-lotion-in-the-basket creepiness
to you to have a secret door either. There are several reasons why you
may want to consider having a hidden door in your house.

Primary among those reasons: space efficiency. A normal door occupies
wall area that could otherwise be used for, say, a bookshelf. Do you
have a room or storage area you don’t need frequent access to? Hide the
entrance to it behind a fireplace, staircase, mirror, wall panel or
even a painting.

Some people have hidden doors for security reasons. To conceal a
vault, for example. Or to hide a panic room made popular by the 2002 Jodie Foster flick.

Mostly, though, we think there’s something about a hidden door that’s
magical—and exceptionally cool. (Check out the photos, below).

Companies that specialize in hidden doors include:

Creative Home
Engineering
— Spot Cool Stuff’s favorite hidden door company. They
have the most creative designs and build all types of hidden entryways
included armored doors and doors with biometric access control.

The Hidden Door Company — specializes mostly in
bookcase hidden doors but will manufacture designs specific to your
situation.

Niche Doors
has high-quality pre-built hidden doors made of wood.

Hide A Door
offers some of the most inexpensively priced hidden doors. Their
website has a form where you can request a free quote.

Space San Diego
— deals with an array of space saving and optimizing furniture, not
only hidden doors but also Murphy
beds
and stacking stools.

Want a secret room but aren’t sure you want to pay for one? Well,
there are do-it-yourself
options
for creating your own disguised doors to hidden spaces
though the process is somewhat complicated. There are of course a lot
of things that have to be considered with a secret door such as hiding
visible gaps with trim and giving the doors a comfortable swing
capacity. Also, load issues need to be considered if you have, for
example, a swinging bookshelf in mind. Remarkably, though, this can all
potentially be accomplished for just a few hundred dollars – a
relatively small price to pay for such a clever interior design feature.

  • Ultimate Hidden Staircase Ideal for Wannabe Bond Villains

    Giz is a big fan of the secret
    passageway
    , but this sub-staircase version really is the mutt’s
    nuts. A cross between a drawbridge, a private jet and something that,
    to kids, is straight out of Indiana Jones and the Duplex of Suburbia,
    the concealed hidey-hole is just one of a series of designs from Creative
    Home Engineering
    , a firm that puts hidden doors just about
    everywhere you wouldn’t think of looking. Prices range from $5,000 to a
    cool quarter of a million. [Creative
    Home Engineering
    via BallerHouse]



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It’s An Awesome View From the Top: Rooftop Bars Around the World via [matadornights]

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The World’s 10 Best Rooftop Bars

by

Ross Borden

Below you’ll find descriptions, contact info and
photos from the world’s coolest rooftop nightlife.

photo by simonparisphotograph
y

1. Sirocco

Bangkok, Thailand

No night out in Bangkok is complete without a couple cocktails at Sirocco.
Perched on top of The Dome at State Tower, 64th floors above the hectic
streets of Bangkok, this sexy rooftop bar boasts 360 degree views of
the city with city lights in every direction, as far as the eye can
see. If you’re looking for a picturesque place to dine, they also serve
dinner.

The Dome at Sate Tower 1055 Silom Road, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500

photo by www.anotacionesviajeras.com

2. The Penthouse

Madrid, Spain

The Penthouse is an ultra-chic
rooftop bar owned by Rande Gerber, celeb nightlife entrepreneur and
husband of Cindy Crawford. It’s located on the roof of Hotel ME Madrid
Reina Victoria, in Plaza Santa Ana, and has a great view of central
Madrid. The crowd is dressed to kill, the waitresses are smoking hot the
drinks are pricey and the place is often frequented by Spanish
celebrities. Best to get here for happy hour, because although it’s open
till 3am, the line to get in is insane after midnight.

Hotel ME Madrid Reina Victoria / Plaza Santa Ana / Princesa, 27 /
Madrid Spain 28008 / Tel: (34) 91 5418200

photo by grantthai

3. Luna Bar

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

This super sexy rooftop and poolside bar is a hang out for the
twenties and thirties nightlife scene in Kuala Lumpur. It’s got a long
indoor bar with a chic design leading you out onto the breezy rooftop
for the best views of the lights of KL. For a romantic night out, be
sure to get there early to snag a private little enclave up against the
glass.

Menara PanGlobal 34th Floor / Jalan Punchak (off Jl P. Ramlee) /
Kuala Lumpur / Tel: +60-3-20262211

photo by spin
spin

4. Rooftop Bar

Melbourne, Australia

An ultra cool venue for music, cinema, or just sunny boozing, this
bar sits atop the Thai bar and restaurant, Cookie, on a six story 1920’s
building in central Melbourne.

Rooftop Bar / Curtin House, Level 3, 252 Swanston Street /
Melbourne, Australia

photo by OneDanShow

5. Gravity

Dublin, Ireland

Although not an open air bar, Gravity boasts an
unobstructed 360 degree view of Dublin. It’s got a swanky style and
comfortable seating right up against the glass to sit in while you enjoy
the view from the highest bar in Ireland.

Top of The Guinness Storehouse / St James’s Gate / Dublin 8,
Ireland / Tel: + 353 1 408 4800

photo by FoolishVanity

6. Top Floor Bar

London, United Kingdom

Looking for the perfect place to throw a swank party in London? The
Top Floor Bar, the final floor of the Gherkin, London’s newest
architectural darling, is available for private parties. The ultra
modern venue sits under the spectacular glass cone roof and has stunning
views of the city.

Top of the Gherkin / 30 St. Mary Axe /
London, United Kingdom

photo by silentway

7. Moon

Las Vegas, Nevada

The Palms teamed up with the Playboy Club giving revelers in Vegas a
sexy place to blow their money on the 53rd floor of the palms Hotel.
The sound system here is rockin’ and although it can be tough to get
in, it’s a great place to check out on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday
nights.

The Palms Hotel 53rd Floor / 4321 W Flamingo Rd / Las Vegas, NV
Tel (702) 940-7246

photo by jennywong

8. Captain Bar

Shanghai, China

This cool rooftop bar has a wide variety of cocktails and a great
view of The Bund and surrounding city lights. It’s usually a cool mix of
locals and travelers which makes for a diverse and thirsty crowd.

6/F, 37 Fuzhou Lu / People’s Square / Bund,Metro Line 2 Nanjing Dong Lu
Station / Shanghai, China

photo by Martin
Callum

9. Hudson Sky Terrace

New York, New York

This super chill rooftop bar has great service, amazing sangria and
everything else you could want on a hot New York afternoon. From an air
conditioned game room to a hammock with a view of the river, the Hudson
has you covered, but like many of NY rooftop hot spots, you must be a
guest in the hotel to enjoy it.

The Hudson Hotel / 356 W.
58th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves / Tel 212-554-6317

10. Condesa DF Rooftop Bar

Mexico City, Mexico

This is an awesome bar in an all-around cool hotel. The Condesa
DF
is decked out in extraordinary design, from the table cloths to
the couches. This super-chic hotel only has 40 rooms so make sure to
get a reservation, and make sure to hit its rooftop paradise for some
cocktails as the sun goes down over Mexico City.

Condesa DF
/ Avenida Veracruz 102 / Mexico City DF 06700 Mexico


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