Manmade clouds are nothing new, but there's something particularly stunning about this collaboration between Japanese studio Tetsuo Kondo Architects and environmental engineering firm Transsolar — a combination of minimalist architecture (that brings to mind Apple's cube-shaped store in NYC) and ethereal floating clouds. According to Dezeen, the cloud is formed from cooled and heated air being pumped into the cube in three distinct layers. Cold air sits in the bottom of the cube, with a second layer of warm, humid air in the middle, and a top layer of hot, dry air completing the atmosphere inside the cube. Those layers, as well as strict temperature and humidity controls, keep the clouds floating at the height originally intended by the artists.
The Cloudscapes installation (second in the series) is currently on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Toyko and even has some interactive features for those visiting — you can actually enter the cube and climb a staircase through the cloud and to the top of the two-story structure. "Their color, density and brightness are constantly changing in tune with the weather and time of day," said designer Tetsuo Kondo. Unfortunately, the only place to see this Cloudscape in person is Japan, but there's a whole series of great images on Tetsuo Kondo's site for those who can't make it out there