Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bizarre buildings

Bizarre and amazing buildings in the world

The Bubble House - France
Architect Antti Lovag, a pioneer in ferro-cement design, committed to the concept of organic architecture inspired by shapes and forms found in nature. Lovag has one very famous work in the French Rivierra, called Le Palais Bulles ("The Palace of Bubbles"), which he designed in conjunction with Pierre Cardin. 

Lovag designed a few bubble houses on the same coast. The one in Tourette-sur-Loup, high on a hillside behind Nice, is only 38 years old, yet it is already listed as a historic monument by the French Ministry of Culture.

Toilet-Shaped House

This Toilet-Shaped House south was built by the founding member of the World Toilet Association. The house features four deluxe toilets and is dedicated to providing clean sanitation to the more than 2 billion people who live without toilets. The home has a showcase bathroom placed in its centre. Other toilets have features that range from elegant fittings to the latest in water conservation devices. The house bears the named Haewoojae, which stands for Korean “a place of sanctuary where one can solve one’s worries”.

The Upside-Down House

The Upside-Down House was created by Daniel Czapiewski in the village of Szymbark, northern Poland, on July 31, 2007. It represents not merely a bizarre tourist attraction, but is also meant to be a profound statement about the Communist era. It took 114 days to build the house, because the workers were disorientated by the strange angles of the walls.

The House on the Stick

The design of the House on the Stick was inspired by highway billboards . The house is rather small. It is only 27 square meters (290 square feet) and as such it is not intended to be a family residence. It is designed as an object suitable for almost every place on earth, for instance, forests, seas, lakes, mountains, meadows as well as on the main city street.

The Piano House (China)

This unique piano house was built recently in An Hui Province, China. Inside of the violin is the escalator to the building. The building displays various city plans and development prospects in an effort to draw interest into the recently developed area.

The Dancing House (Czech Republic)

The Dancing House is the nickname given to an office building in downtown Prague, Czech Republic. It was designed by Croatian-born Czech architect Vlado Milunic in co-operation with Canadian architect Frank Gehry on a vacant riverfront plot (where the previous building had been destroyed during the Bombing of Prague in 1945). The construction started in 1994 and was finished in 1996. The very non-traditional design was controversial at the time. Czech president Vaclav Havel, who lived for decades next to the site, had supported it, hoping that the building would become a center of cultural activity. Originally named Fred and Ginger (after Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - the house vaguely resembles a pair of dancers) the house stands out among the Neo-Baroque, Neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings for which Prague is famous.
On the roof is a French restaurant with magnificent views of the city. The building's other tenants include several multinational firms. (The plans for a cultural center were not realized.) Because it is situated next to a very busy road it depends on forced air circulation, making the interior somewhat less pleasant for its occupants.

Kansas City Library (United States)

Kansas City Library has one seriously cool fa├žade. Local residents were asked to nominate influential books that represent kansas city, humungous versions of the winning nominations were then used as the exterior of the library car-park.

The Robot Building (Thailand)

The Robot Building, located in the Sathorn business district of Bangkok, Thailand, houses United Overseas Bank's Bangkok headquarters. It was designed for the Bank of Asia by Sumet Jumsai to reflect the computerization of banking; its architecture is a reaction against neoclassical and high-tech postmodern architecture.

The building's features, such as progressively receding walls, antennae, and eyes, contribute to its robotic appearance and to its practical function. Completed in 1986, the building is one of the last examples of modern architecture in Bangkok and has garnered international critical acclaim.

The Blue Building (Netherlands)

The borough of Delfshaven, Rotterdam, asked Schildersbedrijf N&F Hijnen to come up with a plan for a block of derelict buildings, which will eventually be demolished. The agreement with the neighbourhood is that the block will remain blue as long as there isn't a new plan for the area

The Astra House (Germany)

The strange building is actually a brewery in Hamburg, Germany. The floors can move up or down on it's skinny column core. As of now, the unique building has been destroyed. One of it's more famous beer brands was recently bought by a big refreshment corporation. And that beer brand was called Astra.

Elbe Philharmonic - Germany
A pier at the edge of the industrial harbor on the Elbe River in Hamburg, Germany, is the gritty site of Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron's Elbe Philharmonic. These Swiss architects proposed to place the translucent glass hall directly atop an abandoned 1960s-era brick warehouse at the end of the pier rather than demolish it. The warehouse will serve as a parking garage. Scheduled to open in 2010, and conceived as an extrusion of the brick base and crowned by a series of crystalline peaks, the hall resembles a ship drifting in the harbor, evoking the city's long commercial shipping history.

Hotel Puerta America - Spain
Completed in Madrid, Spain, in 2005, Hotel Puerta America is unlike your typical hotel. Conceived as an architectural showcase, this hotel commissioned a different architect to design each floor. Yes, each floor. Individual floors were outfitted by different world-renowned architects, including Foster and Partners, Zaha Hadid, David Chipperfield, John Pawson, Jean Nouvel and Ushida Findlay.

For the design of the fourth floor of the hotel, Plasma Studio created a series of crystallized spaces, with fractured and distorted rooms and hallways, using a "repetitive rhythm of partition walls, service ducts and entrance doors as a sectional framework from which a differentiation of the corridor skin was devised," according to the UK firm.

The Inside-Out House - United States
Finally, "Inversion" was a temporary art-installation project that looked kinda like the aftermath of a terrible drilling accident. In 2005, a few months before the house in Houston, Tex., was to be demolished, artists Dan Havel and Dean Ruck created a large funnel-like vortex beginning from the west wall adjacent to the street. The exterior skin of the house was peeled off and used to create the narrowing spiral as it progressed eastward through the small central hallway connecting this building and another, exiting through a small hole into an adjacent courtyard.

Hundertwasser Building - Germany
The Waldspirale, or "Forest Spiral," is a residential building complex in Darmstadt, Germany. The U-shaped building's unique facade does not follow a regular grid organization, and the diagonal roof — planted with grass, shrubs, flowers and trees — rises like a ramp along the U-form. Of the 1,000 windows, no two are the same, and trees grow out from many of them. At its highest point, the building has 12 floors. The building, completed in 2000, was designed by Viennese artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, built by the Bauverein Darmstadt company, and planned and implemented by the architect Heinz M. Springmann.

The Thin House - United Kingdom
Though there are quite a few thin houses that exist around the globe, this particular Thin House is located in London, UK.

The Shoe House - South Africa
One of many shoe-shaped houses in the world, the South African shoe house, in Mpumalanga Province, was built in 1990 by entrepreneur and artist Ron Van Zyl, a South African artist and hotelier who built the strange building at his wife's request. The interior is a museum of rock and wood carvings made by Van Zyl himself. The Shoe is part of a bigger project, which includes a camp site and a chalet guest house, restaurant, bar, pool and shop.

The Crooked House - Poland
Located in Sopot, Poland, the "crooked house" was constructed in 2003. The building's architecture is based on Jan Marcin Szancer (a famous Polish drawer and child books illustrator) and Per Dahlberg (Swedish painter living in Sopot) pictures and paintings.

The Basket Building - United States
Located in Newark, Ohio, the basket building is the home office of the Longaberger Basket Company. Founder Dave Longaberger decided he wanted the corporate home office in a giant basket, and so he achieved his dream in December 1997. The following year, the Longaberger home office also received a Build Ohio Award for its synthetic plaster system; the building is made of stucco over a steel structure, which helps create the look of an actual Longaberger Basket.

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