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"By the time I can take people out to where Hubble is looking, they won't be human anymore, by a long way."
- Larry Niven

Pent House  
  An island in the sky - a hermetically sealed skyscraper isolated entirely from its surroundings.  

A wealthy man creates a mystery skyscraper - the penthouse apartment is to be sealed for five years with no means of escape.

"...I am building, and am just about finished with it, a seventy-story apartment house. On the top is a pent-house which is rather unusual in architecture and size. It is really most complete in every way, and entirely self-sustaining as far as all service is concerned. That gives it complete isolation. It is really a lonely island in the air; but instead of a sky for a roof it has a roof of glass, opaque glass of a very satisfactory thickness. Underneath the floor, in something that might be termed a basement, I have built storeroom which are very large.


(The Pent House from Amazing Stories, December 1932)

From The Pent House, by David H. Keller.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1932
Additional resources -

I'm strongly reminded of this story, in which people were voluntarily placed in a habitat for a full year, to simulate what it would be to live on Mars:

Not an exact match, but close. Read more at NPR.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Pent House
  More Ideas and Technology by David H. Keller
  Tech news articles related to The Pent House
  Tech news articles related to works by David H. Keller

Pent House-related news articles:
  - Pent-Up NASA Scientists Simulate Life On Mars

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