A building is man’s testament to engineering. But what of the arts? Here’s a couple of strange buildings that separate themselves from the pack. In my travels I’ve come across more strange structures that can only leave you asking, “what were they thinking/smoking/trying?” To some people, planning a masterpiece and marrying it with structural functionality is a great way to make a living. Don’t believe me? Then how can you explain the following strange buildings?
5. San Francisco’s House of Falling Furniture
A quaint little building by the corner of 6th and Howard has, since 1997, had several of its furniture running amuck along its sides. Conceived by local artist Brian Goggin, tables, lamps, chairs, and even a grandfather clock are suspended in mid-air, seemingly in the process of jumping/being thrown out a window. “Defenestration,” as its theme explains that fact. It’s a pretty strange sight for first-time-defenestrated-furniture spotters, but the fact that the locals don’t really react much to this strange building makes it seem like “furniture jumping out a window” is a pretty normal thing in ‘Cisco.
4. Crooked House in Poland
You may need to scratch your eyes a bit when you see this gorgeous architectural marvel. (And ask yourself, “am I high?”) Located in Bohaterrow Monte Casino street, this extension to the shopping center of the street provides a refreshing take on buildings. While you may think that this was an LSD-trip-brought-to-life, the Crooked House is actually in reference to the out-of-this-world art of Jan Marcin Szancer and Per Dahlberg.
3. The Crazy House in Vietnam
While there are structures that are typically designed to look “industrial” or “futuristic,” there are also strange buildings that go the “organic” route. That’s probably the thought in Dr. Dang Viet Nga’s mind when she designed this place. (Doesn’t it remind you of an old, old Outer Limits episode?) The aptly-named building is actually a Villa, with 10 fully-themed rooms. And no, it doesn’t look like that on the inside!
2. Hundertwasser Building in Austria
Located in Darmstadt, this strange funhouse-like building was built by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, a famous Austrian painter and architect. This building called the “Waldspirale” or “Forest Spiral” has 105 apartments and wraps around a courtyard with a running stream. The continuous spiraling roof, whose highest part reaches the 12th floor, is covered by a garden, which has beech, maple and lime trees.
1. Santa Monica Civic Center Parking Garage
What appears to be a strange building tribute to Christmas lights is actually the parking structure for the Santa Monica Civic Center. What makes it so special is that it is actually on its way to becoming the first-ever LEED-certified building of its kind. (that’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design to you) Being LEED-certified is kind of a big deal, because it would mean that this building was designed with the environment in mind. The roof is covered in solar panels, to generate clean electricity, it also doubles as the shade for the vehicles. The insides of the structure is cleverly designed to let natural light in during day time, and uses efficient fluorescent lighting when needed.
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