The scope of what can be achieved with great architecture seems limitless, especially when faced with a jaw-dropping building. It’s hard to believe such feats of the imagination are every bit as functional as many standard house designs in NSW; but whether you love them or hate them, the world’s most original architectural designs undoubtedly have something to offer in terms of innovation and provocation. Here are “10 of best” to wow and inspire you.
1. Piano and Violin BuildingKnown as the Piano and Violin Building or the Big Piano, this building was designed by university students from Hefey University of Technology in partnership with Huainan Fangkai Decoration Project. Completed in 2007, it features a 50 to 1 scale and is located in Huainan, Anhui Province, China.
2. Kansas City Public Library, MissouriAt the heart of Missouri lies this wonderful and wacky tribute to the written word. This extravagant book spine facade hides a garage the city built to ease parking shortages. There are 22 volumes depicted and the revamp cost about $50 million. The library site has been changed numerous times over the years and currently contains 2.5 million books.
3. The Basket BuildingThe Longaberger Company Headquarters, also known as the ‘basket building’, stands proudly in Newark, Ohio. Completed in 1997, this big basket was created to look like the company’s best selling product, the medium market basket. The building is home to approximately 500 employees and is 160 times the size of its inspiration.
4. Digital Beijing BuildingChina is known for its impressive architecture and isn’t afraid to go all out in its artistic endeavours. This modern creative barcode theme provides a nighttime light show, sporting ‘barcodes’ on the northern and southern sides as well as an integrated circuit board on the eastern and western sides of the building. The impressive structure was designed by architects Pei Zhu and Hui Wang and was completed in 2007 in time to function as an information centre for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
5. Upside Down White HouseWisconsin’s top if unlikely attraction has got to be the upside down White House, where guests can make their way through the house and are challenged to solve its mystery along the way. The architect in charge of this project displayed some serious ingenuity and great care has been taken with the details.
6. The Lotus TempleFirst opened to the public and consecrated in 1986, the Lotus Temple is a Bahai place of worship in New Delhi, India. It’s architect, Fariborz Sahba from Iran, has won several awards for his iconic structure, the first of which was granted before the building was even finished. The Bahai religion believes that the number 9 contains mystic qualities, so the Lotus Temple was designed accordingly. Each of the 9 sides feature a pool and the structure reaches a height of 40 metres, with the main prayer hall holding up to 2,500 people.
7. Cubic Houses
The Dutch city of Rotterdam boasts the famous cube houses, known locally as Kubuswoningen. Although he encountered several design challenges along the way, architect Piet Blom saw his vision realised among one of the most historical sections of Rotterdam in 1977. Blom visualised each house as trees, with a row of trees combining to make a forest, ultimately representing community.
8. The AtomiumLocated in Brussels, Belgium, the Atomium was conceived and created for the Brussels World Fair of 1958 by architects André and Jean Polak as well as engineer André Waterkeyn. Reaching a height of 102 metres, the fair exhibit was closed for a number of years and grew dilapidated before undergoing an expensive restoration. Once completed in 2006, Prince Philippe of Belgium officially opened it to the public as a museum.
9. The Church of HallgrimurAt an impressive height of 73 metres, the Lutheran church of Hallgrimur, locally known as Hallgrímskirkja, is the tallest church in Iceland. Named after Hallgrímur Pétursson, a well known Icelandic poet and clergyman, the building was dreamed up by Guðjón Samúelsson and took 41 years to complete. Hallgrímskirkja can be seen all over Reykjavik and is considered by locals to be watching over the town.
10. Dynamic TowerArchitect David Fisher first came up with the idea for the rotating Dubai tower in 2006. The 80 storey building is being sustainably constructed and will offer 360 degree views of Dubai. It is estimated to cost $1.2 billion and predicted to open in 2020.
This concludes our tour of some of the world’s most mind blowing buildings. While being diverse in nature and aesthetics, they demonstrate that whether it’s a giant silver atom or a luxury flat in Sydney, the design of a building or home should ideally reflect the purpose, vision and values of its inhabitants.