A glance of the first week

Great week for [im]possible living!!!
Thank you all for the support you’re giving us!!

During this week we obtained a good media exposition (L’Espresso, Domus and Nuok among others) and we want to share with you some data about this first period.
From Friday 02 December to Sunday 11 December we attracted 4367 unique visitors: in average our visitors spent on the site 2 minutes and 47 seconds, viewing 3.65 pages, bounce rate was under 40%  and 100 users registered on the site. Even though the other values are very good, the last one might seem a small number to you, but for us it’s a great result as well: think about how many things 100 people could do together and how difficult it is to attract first users!
At the moment we have a conversion rate of about 2%, which is not bad considering the strong focus of our service and the low number of abandoned buildings available on the database.
Talking about the database, we achieved to collect 62 new buildings during the period, which means that on average more than one registered user out of two submitted a new building: this is the data we are happier about, because it means that registered users are very interested in the topic and are very happy to help growing the service!

We know userbase growth is definitely the most difficult part for us, but it looks like once a user is registered, he’s probably going to share new information with the community.
For this reason one of our main activity right now is structuring a network of local ambassadors that will help us manage all the different territories we’re dealing with: as we cannot be everywhere in the world, we want to help YOU to be active in the city you better know and love!! More on that soon…

This first period is just the beginning of a great adventure, we can’t wait to show you more and to have you on board with us!

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[im]possible living beta is here


Welcome back everybody, after much expectation we can finally present you … the new [im]possible living site!
Since the last time you’ve heard from us here, we have made incredible progress and we’re really proud of the results!

So let’s introduce the main revolutions available with the new site:

  • navigate and search our database with a real map
  • filter buildings selecting one or more categories
  • register for free
  • add new abandoned buildings
  • add pictures and videos to existing buildings
  • add a building to your favourite list
  • like or dislike a building
  • share buildings on social networks (facebook, twitter, google+)

As you know our mission is to give a new life to all the abandoned buildings out there, but we need your help to do it and we want you to be part of our community! So check your photo albums, look for the abandoned buildings you shoot once during a urban exploration or during one of your vacations and add it to the site: in a few weeks we can build a very big database and inspire other people to join us!

This is just the beginning, in a near future we’ll provide many new features, in order to start projects, discuss them, get consults from experts and much much more! It won’t be easy, but we like a challenge and we believe that with your help we can succeed!
Let’s work together and let’s transform this enormous global waste into an incredible resource!!

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Varosha, Famagusta, Cyprus

by Salander, a view of Varosha, Famagusta, Cyprus

Varosha (Greek: Βαρώσια; Turkish: Maraş) is a quarter in the Cypriot city of Famagusta. Prior to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, it was the modern tourist area of Famagusta. Its inhabitants fled during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, and has remained abandoned ever since.

Unlike other parts of the non government controlled areas of Cyprus, the Varosha section of Famagusta was fenced off by the Turkish army immediately after being captured and still remains in that state today. The Greek Cypriots who had fled from Varosha were not allowed to return, and journalists were banned. It has been frozen in time with department stores and hotels empty but still fully equipped. Swedish journalist Jan-Olof Bengtsson, who visited the Swedish UN battalion in Famagusta port and saw the sealed-off part of the town from the battalion’s observation post, called the area a ‘ghost town’. He wrote in Kvällsposten on September 24, 1977:
“The asphalt on the roads has cracked in the warm sun and along the sidewalks bushes are growing [...] Today, September 1977, the breakfast tables are still set, the laundry still hanging and the lamps still burning [...] Famagusta is a ghost-town.”

by Salander, a view of Varosha, Famagusta, Cyprus


In the 1970s, Famagusta was the number one tourist destination in Cyprus. To cater to the increasing number of tourists, many new high-rise buildings and hotels were constructed. During its heyday the Varosha quarter of Famagusta was not only the number one tourist destination in Cyprus, but between 1970 and 1974 it was one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and was a favourite destination of wealthy, rich and famous stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Raquel Welch and Brigitte Bardot.
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Botta Baths and Caimi Swimming Pool, Milan, Italy

by Barbara Sambri, a fish-eye view of the Caimi swimming pool

The Caimi swimming pool, located in Porta Romana quarter and bounded by Carlo Botta, Pier Lombardo, Giorgio Vasari e Lattuada streets, is a historical public bathing establishment, dismissed and totally abandoned since 2006.
Once pride of the area, relavant and outstanding place for Milan citizens since its construction in 1939, unfortunately, it is now a symbol of the Milan urban decay.
Botta Baths are not just a simple swimming pool: besides the antique amphitheater bathtub, the complex accommodates changing rooms, a rooftop solarium, two arbors, one gym and a cinema, everything (all of these) located inside a wooden park, bounded by a masonry fence, and connected with staircases to the swimming pool.
The complex was built in late 30′s, to provide a public structure where people, thanks to a reduction in working hours, could enjoy the new spare time, following the motto “mens sana in corpore sano”.
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The Colossus of Prora, Island of Rügen, Germany

by rhodes, a view of the enormous nazi sea resort in Prora

Three years before the outbreak of WW II, Hitler ordered the construction of what is, until now, the largest concrete building ever build up in Germany, an enormous sea resort along the Baltic coast, also called “The Colossus of Prora”.

This building complex was one of the “Strength through Joy” (Kraft durch Freude or KdF) projects and the first prototype of a massive sea resort, a perfect tool to keep under control masses and, at the same time, spread Nazi propaganda.
In fact, architecture was a fundamental propaganda tool for the Nazis, as they considered monumental buildings to be a reflection of the new German state.
As a part of the Nazi scheme of social engineering, Prora represents the clearest surviving example of the Nazi’s “think big” attitude in regards to architecture.
The complex, roughly 150 m from the beach, extends over a length of 4,5 km and houses 11,463 identical sea-view rooms, arranged in 8 identical six-story blocks of steel-reinforced concrete, each one the length of five football fields (see aerial pictures).
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Canate di Marsiglia, Liguria, Italy

by Paolo De Lorenzi, a view of Canate di Marsiglia, Liguria

The medieval village of Canate is located north east of Genoa, at an altitude of 550 meters over the sea level approximately, on the southern side of mount Lago. The village can only be reached by foot and this is the reason of its total abandonment happened between 1957 and 1958, when the last 27 families left definitively the village. At the end of the Second World War the inhabitants were about 150 and approximately thirty families. In 1951 the residents were less than 100.
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Web Developer Wanted!

The [im]possible living project is rapidly evolving and the time has come to rely upon a professional web developer for the future of our platform.
We love technology, we care enormously about it and we want it to be a central part of our project: for these reasons we would like to find a web developer that gets inspired by the ideas and the principles of [im]possible living and decides to continue this incredible adventure with us! Let’s have a look what’s next on our roadmap …

The first step is the construction of the biggest database of abandoned buildings in the world. We are developing a mobile application to add immediately a new abandoned building as soon as you discover it: we’re trying to do our best to release it soon to our community, starting the first mapping projects that will allow our database to grow quickly.
Each building in the database will be available on the website as a wiki page, so that anyone who has information to share can contribute to the construction of the building’s profile (description, history, actual state, future proposals), join a group of other people interested in the project and lay the foundations for the redevelopment realization.
The web platform will be the central point of the activities and will be able to accompany users throughout the project life cycle: this vision requires the development of new functionalities for large scale data management (abandoned buildings are millions in each country), collaboration between users, project management, fund raising and much much more.

[im]possible living wants to be an enabler, a catalyst of the energies available in everyplace in the world that are not able to get through and give birth to the abandonment market and, in general, to a new housing development model: it’s a very ambitious goal, but we really believe in it and we’re investing everything in this dream!!

If you love [im]possible living and can’t wait to help us with the web development, have a look to the profile we’re looking for and write us an email (mail [at] impossible.com) : we want you!!

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Ex sanatorium, Montecatone, Imola, Italy

by Cristina Vecchi & Alessandra Bonetti, a view of Ex sanatorium, Montecatone, Imola

Montecatone hospital is about 5 Km from Imola, on the hills, at an altitude of approx. 300 metres, in the midst of a park of 30.000 sq.m.
From 1929 until the beginning of the Second World War, three wards in rationalist style were built in order to cure patients of tuberculosis, a serious and widespread issue at that time.
This building works gave also many poor labourers the possibility of having a good job.
The whole construction is approx. 2,5 km long. The central part is still working nowadays as one of the most advanced centre for the cure and rehabilitation of patients with medullary trauma. The north and south buildings, instead, were abandoned at the beginning of the ’80.
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Craco village, Matera, Italy

by Jean Pierre Pommerol, a view of Craco village, Matera, Italy

Craco is a commune and medieval village located in the Region of Basilicata and the Province of Matera in Italy. About 25 miles inland from the Gulf of Taranto at the instep of the “boot” of Italy. The medieval village of Craco is typical of the hill towns of the region with mildly undulating shapes and the lands surrounding it sown with wheat.
Craco was built on a very steep summit, for defensive reasons, giving it a stark and striking appearance and distinguishing it from the surrounding lands which are characterized by soft shapes. The centre, built on the highest side of the town, facing a ridge runs steeply to the southwest where newer buildings exist. The town sits atop a 400 metre high cliff that overlooks the Cavone River valley. Throughout the area are many unique vegetation-less mounds formed by intensive erosion that are called “calanchi.”

by Jean Pierre Pommerol, a view of Craco village, Matera, Italy

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Welcome to the new [im]possible map!

We’re very happy to announce that the new [im]possible map is finally out: now we’re ready to host all the abandoned buildings in the world!
This is just the first brick of our innovation strategy and we’re about to release some new cool features, that are going to massively change [im]possible living.

We’ve worked very hard in the past weeks to design and develop these exciting news and we can’t wait to let you use them and to hear what you think about them.
Be patient, we’re pushing as hard as we can!
Thank you all for your constant and incredible support, it really helps us to move forward!

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