World’s strangest buildings. Part II

World’s strangest buildings. Part II

Shoe House and Atomium

Matured and amateur architects have brought many amazing buildings to the world, challenging nature’s miracles. Quirky shapes, ambitious designs, new materials and various styles create an impressive picture of modern architecture from sky scrapers to weird stone constructions.

PanARMENIAN.Net - Mind House, Spain

The gate of the Park Güellis created by architect Antonì Gaudi in Barcelona is framed with two gingerbread houses; one is topped with the toadstool, the other has a toadstool and a cross-shaped window on the front wall. This house is called the Mind House, which is considered to be in the list of top 10 creative buildings of the world. The house has three floors and an attic, its roof is studded and painted in a checked white and gray pattern. Mind House looks like a fairy tale dwelling, although its primary purpose today is hosting a gallery. Outside the gates there are wide staircase with the fountains, Catalonian coat of arms and a huge mosaic lizard, which has become the symbol of Barcelona. Staircase leads to the top of the hill where the huge terrace is positioned, surrounded by the long winding bench.

Shoe House, U.S.

The Haines Shoe House is a shoe-shaped house in Hallam, Pennsylvania. Modeled after a work boot, the house was built by shoe salesman Mahlon Haines in 1948 as a form of advertisement. he house, which is 7,6 meters tall and contains five stories, was once rented out to couples, and is now open for public tours. Haines had the building built by handing a work boot to an architect saying, "Build me a house like this." He lived in the shoe house for a short while but ended up moving into a house across the street. The renters were served by a maid and butler and then received free pairs of shoes when they left. A Shoe House vacation contest was held which was won in 1950 and had all expenses paid by Mahlon Haines. The living room is located in the toe, the kitchen is located in the heel, two bedrooms are located in the ankle, and an ice cream shop is located in the instep.

Cathedral of Brasilia, Brazil

The Cathedral of Brasília is the Roman Catholic cathedral and serves as the seat of the Archdiocese of Brasília. It was designed by Oscar Niemeyer, and was completed and dedicated on May 31, 1970. The cathedral is a hyperboloid structure constructed from 16 concrete columns, weighing 90 tons each. It is 40 meters high and holds up to four thousand people. The base of the building is circular and about 60 meters in diameter. Its circular structure prevents the existence of a facade. Its nave is over 70 meters in diameter, so long, despite the circular from the Cathedral. Its interior is decorated with stained glass. Near the entrance there are four statues known as the Four Evangelists. Finally, in their designs, techniques and materials Niemeyer and Costa combined modern curved lines and the free use of Brazilian baroque reminiscences.

Atomium, Belgium

The Atomium is a building in Brussels originally constructed for Expo 58, the 1958 Brussels World's Fair. Designed by the engineer André Waterkeyn and architects André and Jean Polak, it stands 102 meters tall. Its nine 18-meter diameter stainless steel clad spheres are connected so that the whole forms the shape of a unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. It is now a museum. Tubes of 3-meter diameter connect the spheres along the 12 edges of the cube and all eight vertices to the center. They enclose stairs, escalators and a lift (in the central, vertical tube) to allow access to the five habitable spheres which contain exhibit halls and other public spaces. The top sphere includes a restaurant which has a panoramic view of Brussels.

Kansas City Library, U.S.

One of the most striking features of downtown Kansas City, Missouri, is the facade of the parking garage for the Central Branch of the public library. Covered in signboard mylar, the garage appears to be a row of books lined up on a shelf except in this case the "books" are 25 feet high and nine feet wide. The garage behind the "books" was constructed in 2006 in response to the need for additional downtown parking. Community input was requested on ways to beautify the new structure and ultimately the idea of a bookshelf evolved. Community members and patrons were asked to vote on the titles to be displayed and the ones chosen reflect a wide range of famous literature. Titles of the 22 volumes represented include "The Lord of the Rings" by J. R. R. Tolkien and "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury among many others.

Casa da Musica, Portugal

Casa da Música (English: House of Music) is a major concert hall space in Porto, Portugal, which houses the cultural institution of the same name with its three orchestras Orquestra Nacional do Porto, Orquestra Barroca and Remix Ensemble. Intended as part of Porto's designation as the European Culture Capital in 2001, it was only finished in 2005 and immediately became an icon in the city. Featuring a 1,300-seat auditorium suffused with daylight, it is the only concert hall in the world with two walls made entirely of glass.

Conch Shell House, Mexico

This amazing masterpiece is not only the most unique home in Isla Mujeres, but it is arguably one of the most artistically creative houses in the world. Inspired by the numerous shells found all along the beaches, architect Eduardo Ocampo designed and built the house also known as “Casa Caracol “.Shell House is actually made up of two connected buildings, the taller one, which was completed first, resembles a conch shell – not only on the outside but the inside as well. The smaller sea snail building was added on to provide a second bedroom and custom bathroom. The ensemble was built using traditional concrete, plaster, sea shells, coral, as well as recycled and found materials from around the island.

Door-designed building, South Korea

Artist Choi Jeong-Hwahas taken over a 10-story high rise in downtown Seoul and turned it into his very own art project consisting of over 10,000 doors, which are stacked on top of each other to create a paneled affect similar to the glass traditionally seen on high rises.

Cubic Houses, Netherlands

Cube Houses are a set of innovative houses built in Rotterdam and Helmond in the Netherlands, designed by architect Piet Blom and based on the concept of "living as an urban roof": high density housing with sufficient space on the ground level. Blom tilted the cube of a conventional house 45 degrees, and rested it upon a hexagon-shaped pylon. His design represents a village within a city, where each house represents a tree, and all the houses together, a forest.

Forest Spiral, Germany

The Waldspirale is a residential building complex in Darmstadt, Germany, built in the 1990s. The name translates into English as forest spiral, reflecting both the general plan of the building and the fact that it has a green roof. The design expresses irregular, organic forms in an incomparable individualism. Spiral Forest contains 12 floors and 105 apartments, a parking garage, a kiosk as well as a café and a bar. The café is located at the top of the residence opening a breathtaking view. The inner courtyard contains a playground for the children of the residents and a small artificial lake. Peculiarities of the U-shaped building are the unique facade, which does not follow a regular grid organization, and the windows, which appear as if they were "aus der Reihe tanzen," (dancing out of line) everywhere different and appearing out of order, often with 'tree tenants' - trees growing out from the windows.

See also: When imagination has no bounds

Lusine Mkrtumova / PanARMENIAN.Net
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