8 Architecturally Awesome Sand Castles for Summer's End
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8 Architecturally Awesome Sand Castles for Summer's End

Iroquois Point : HI : USA | Oct 04, 2010 at 6:04 AM PDT
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City of Sand

The best buildings sculpted from sand require the skills of an architect-sudden structural collapse is a significant risk-and the details depicted by some well-packed granules rival the most ornate towers and palaces you'd find on terra firma. Any of the examples here could be widely regarded as significant structures-if only they hadn't washed away hours after their completion. According to Ted Siebert's 1990 book, The Art of Sandcastling, "Seawater is an ideal bonding agent for a sand castle. As seawater in a sculpture evaporates, salt crystals remain, forming a thin crust over the entire surface. If the sculpture is sprayed from time to time, an additional buildup of salt crystals will help preserve the piece." Take his advice, and start digging before summer ebbs away.

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The Gift of Gothic
Despite the forbidding dragon in the foreground, this castle appears to have been sold to a satisfied "Homenet real estate" customer. In fact, the castle was built and "sold" in Cape Town, South Africa to corporate donors as part of a fund-raiser for children's charities. With its steeply pitched Gothic gables, carved crests and soaring turrets, the castle fetched more than $12,500.
SarahWyne is based in Wauchula, Florida, United States of America, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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  • Despite the forbidding dragon in the foreground, this castle appears to have been sold to a satisfied "Homenet real estate" customer. In fact, the castle was built and "sold" in Cape Town, South Africa to corporate donors as part of a fund-raiser for children's charities. With its steeply pitched Gothic gables, carved crests and soaring turrets, the castle fetched more than $12,500.

    The Gift of Gothic

  • Not content to carve just a castle, Sandsational built an entire village, complete with row houses, a cathedral and street trees

    City of Sand

  • This small castle plays with the proportions of the building in relation to the oversize characters carved into its facade. The conical turret at the top brings the stone chimneys and cluster of gables to a sharp apex. Raised blocks of smooth, squared stone, known as ashlar, project from the wall behind the knight and beneath the princess to create the appearance of masonry.

    Knights of the Round Turret

  • Created by two-time World Grandmaster Champion Rich Varano, this craggy medieval castle features Gothic arched windows and conical turrets. A pair of rough-hewn arches at the bottom seem to defy gravity, as does the gaping maw of a face emerging from the path leading to the base of the castle. It is 9.5-ft. tall, took 35 hours to build, and won the People's Choice Award at its exhibition in British Columbia in 2007.

    Hilltop Hollows

  • Inspired by Paris' Arc de Triomphe, this miniature mimics the original right down to the decorative sculpting along its facade. The blocky dentil molding along the arch's crown reappears on the rear tower, adorning the fascia above the clock and beneath the copper finials. At front, a subdued Napoleon I seems pleased with the likeness.

    Le Petit Arc

  • With its domed minaret and unornamented windows, this Arabian Nights scene would fit perfectly on the coast of Yemen at the mouth of the Red Sea. Built on a coast much farther west, the castle won the Sculptor's Choice Award for its creators—a team called The Revolutionaries—at the 2005 Harrisand tournament in British Columbia

    Sandy Arabia

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