When Odysseus set sail to fight in the Trojan War, he left Mentor to look after the household and his son Telemachus. Little did they know that the name “mentor” would evolve so much to denote a wiser, more experienced person helping a younger, aspiring one.
Architecture can amaze you in many ways. There are buildings which beauty leaves you breathless, as well as those that seem strange and sometimes even ridiculous. These structures cause you to look at them from different angles and are bound to leave anyone in awe.
The Dancing House – Prague, Czech Republic
The Dancing House, or Fred and Ginger, was designed by Vlado Milunić and Frank Gehry. Its common nickname given by the citizens is ‘Drunken House’. It was built from 1994 to 1996 on the Vltava River, at the site of the building that was destroyed during the bombing of Prague in 1945. Its unusual appearance initially provoked controversial reactions and opinions of not only experts, but the local population as well. The former Czech President Vaclav Havel, who from childhood lived in a neighboring building, supported its construction, in the hope that it will become a center of cultural events, and he wasn’t wrong.
The Crooked House – Sopot, Poland
Crooked House was built by the design studio ‘Sotinská and Zaleski’ in 2004 in Sopot. Zaleski found the inspiration for this unusual structure while flipping through children’s picture books. Some describe it as a ‘tired’ building, while others say it looks as if it is melting. This house is a must-see tourist destination, and therefore it is not surprising that it is the most photographed building in Poland. In this three-story house there are pubs, restaurants and a few shops.
The Corpus Museum – Netherlands
Enormous human body – The Corpus museum is undoubtedly one of the strangest buildings in the Netherlands. It is located near the highway linking Amsterdam and The Hague, and was opened by Dutch Queen Beatrix in 2008. The building actually consists of 35-meter high transparent structure that represents a portrait of a man in a sitting position. Inside it was used fiberglass, in order to more realistically display the insides of the human body and its functions. Visit to this unusual museum is primarily the educational journey, during which, among other things, people can find out why we sleep and what happens when we sneeze.
The Hole House – Houston, USA
Houston residents were stunned when in the summer of 2005 they saw the consequences of the strong tornado that swept through their town. The storm passed through a house, and a strong wind made the swirl hole that only apparently acts as a horizontal chimney. The hole, later decorated with graffiti, can be seen clearly on the front of the house. Dan Havel and Dean Ruck have made it public artwork. It is a unique architectural project ‘Inversion’, which unusual optical illusion attracted many visitors not only from the US but also from around the world.
Hotel ‘Marqués de Riscal’ – Elciego, Spain
Hotel “Marqués de Riscal” was made by design of Frank Gehry, one of the most successful American architects of all time. It was built in the area where the wine growing is a tradition, with the aim of attracting tourists. Rather than fitting it into the existing environment, Gehry wanted an unusual appearance. The structure consists of elements made of steel covered with huge panels of titanium, gold and steel. Each room in this hotel is different and has a view of the vineyard, so staying in it is a unique pleasure.
The Blur Building – Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland
Located near Neuchâtel Lake in Yverdon-les-Ben, this hotel is built as an exhibition pavilion of the Swiss Fair in 2002. The modern meteorological system monitors the shift of climate changes in temperature, humidity, wind direction and speed, and sends the data to central computer that regulates the pressure of the water that creates the mist. Immediately upon entering, the ‘fog’ and all the visual and sound elements disappear, leaving the optical ‘white noise’ of pulsing nozzles.
Hotel Tianzi – Hebei, China
Hotel Tianzi immediately after construction (2000-01) entered the Guinness Book of Records as the largest image-building in the world. The building, 41.6 meters high, represents Fu Lu Shaw, a deity that brings good luck, prosperity and longevity. The official name of the hotel is Tianzi, but the locals call it the The Emperor Hotel and Son of Heaven Hotel.
This unique structures apparently looks as a dilapidated building that will collapse in any moment. Most of the guests thought at first that it was shaped by a hurricane or an earthquake, and its sloping surfaces are a noticeable tourist attraction.
National Architects Union Headquarters – Bucharest, Romania
The structure of this unusual building, situated in Bucharest, combines the old building, which is linked to the restored modern glass building. It was built in the second half of the 19th century for politicians, and it quickly became the center of the intellectual elite of the time. The building was destroyed in the fire during the anti-communist revolution in 1989. Although dilapidated, over the next ten years it was a symbol of the Democratic victory, later to be altered by the best Romanian architects.
The House Attack – Vienna, Austria
The renowned Austrian artist Erwin Wurm made in 2008. ‘House attack’ – the installation of the house hanging upside down from the Museum of Modern Art. According to him, this work symbolizes the families that are faced with problems and challenges.
A few hundred years ago it was easy to list the most beautiful buildings in the world; there had to be the Parthenon, the Hagia Sophia, the Taj Mahal, etc. Now it’s much harder to find architectural universality – buildings that tourists will surely visit for years to come.
The concept of sustainable building primarily involves the harmonious relationship between ecology and economy in order to preserve the natural wealth for future generations. In real life, sustainable construction is based on many principles of which are the most important: reducing the negative impact of the construction site, the integration of renewable energy sources in the design phase, the use of secondary materials in the construction process in order to preserve natural resources, reducing CO2 emissions, reducing energy consumption and generate their own energy.
GT Tower East
One of the most interesting sustainable building is the GT Tower East in Seoul. This skyscraper with its elegant building facade brings a significant change in a very sharp and orthogonal architecture of Seoul. The tower is 130 meters high, and what makes it specific is its pure organic form. Wavy effect exterior creates an optical illusion when viewed from the side of the building. Designers have integrated many sustainability measures such as solar panels to collect energy, a good ventilation system, well insulated facade and lots of natural light to reduce energy consumption and to make pleasant working environment.
The Hearst Tower
Another interesting and sustainable building, the Hearst Tower in New York. This 46 stores high tower is the first commercial building that has won LEED Gold Certification from the US Green Building Council. Building meets the highest level of the sustainable construction requirements. It is made from 90% recycled steel, with fascinating ventilation system, heating that can be adjusted on each floor. There are light and humidity as well as the VOC and CO2 sensors installed. Next to these fascinating features, the building has a rainwater-collection tank and the water is mostly used for the air conditioning system and watering plants
There is another example of architectural environmental solutions in Australia known as Pixel building. The building is a fantastic example of sustainability since it generates all its energy with the help of roof wind turbines and solar panels. It is equipped with a so-called smart window that opens automatically during the night to get enough air ventilated without excessive cooling of the building. In addition, building has its own rainwater harvesting system. The building is made of a special type of concrete, which is called Pixelcrete, which contains half as much carbon than conventional concrete. Pixel is known to be visually attractive because of the colourful sun shades that are not there just for decoration. They are set to allow maximum utilization of daylight while helping preventing overheating of the room.
The capital city of Turkey, Ankara is home to Turkish Contractor’s Association headquarters. The outer part of the façade of this building is composed of two layers. The first layer consists of frameless glass to glass and glass to metal panels, while the second layer is made of stainless steel wire mesh. This type of construction gives a sense of connection between the building and its surrounding, while on the other hand limits sun exposure which reduces the temperature during warm days. Many local natural materials were used during construction which decreases ecological footprint. TMB building is also equipped with solar panels and rainwater tanks.
What most distinguishes this building from all the above mentioned is specific air-conditioning system in the form of underground labyrinth cooling system. During the night when the temperature drops, cooled air is stored in labyrinth cells, and is distributed afterwards through the building. On the other hand, during the winter, heat from the soil is used for passive heating of day-time air.
Since ancient times, architectural development has followed the development of a society. You will remember a place by the looks it has, and great works of architecture will influence the look of a city in great amounts. This is the list of the ten greatest award-winning people standing behind great buildings.
(born October 31, 1950)
Hadid is an Iraqui-British architect of neofuturistic buildings characterised by ‘multiple perspective points and fragmented geometry to evoke the chaos of modern life’. Her greatest works include the Bridge Pavilion and the Third Millennium Bridge in Zaragoza, Spain; the Bergisel Ski Jump in Innsbruck, Austria; and the Central Building of the BMW Plant in Leipzig, Germany.
Frank Gehry (born February 28, 1929)
A number of this Canadian-American deconstructivist architect’s buildings, including his private residence, have become world-famous tourist attractions, such as the titanium-clad Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain; Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles; and Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, France. It was the aforementioned Gehry’s private residence that lift him from the status of ‘paper architecture’.
Renzo Piano (born September 14, 1937)
The architest of the Nemo Science Centre in Amsterdam and the Living Roof of the California Academy of Sciences, this Italian architect was selected by TIME as ‘one of the 100 most influential people of the world’. However, his world-famous building is the Shard London Bridge, an 87-storey skyscraper in London, standing approximately 309 metres, and currently being the tallest building in the European Union, and the second-tallest free-standing structure in the United Kingdom.
Leogh Ming Pei (born April 26, 1917)
L.M. Pei, a Chinese-born American architect, is often referred to as ‘the master if modern architecture’. His most famous buildings include the Louvre Pyramid in Paris; John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, USA; and the National Gallery of Art East Building in Washington DC, USA. His most recent jewel is the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar.
Santiago Calatrava (born July 28, 1951)
Calatrava is a Spanish neofuturistic architect, structural engineer, sculptor and painter. His greatest architectural achievements include the Liege Guillemins railway station, Belgium; the Athens Olympic Sports Complex, Greece; and the Bridge of Strings (or the Chords Bridge) in Jerusalem.
Tom Wright (born 1957)
This British architect is the designer of the Burj Al Arab hotel, the synonym of Dubai. The yacht-sail-shaped hotel, causing the ‘wow effect’ in any viewer, reflects the seafaring heritage of Dubai in a combination with ‘a modern aspect moving forwards into the future’. On its rooftop is a helipad and the world’s highest tennis court.
Jean Nouvel (born August 12, 1945)
This French architect is the designer of the future Louvre Abu Dhabi art museum. His famous buildings include the Arab World Institute in Paris, France and the Culture and Congress Centre in Lucerne, Switzerland; and the Philharmonie de Paris, France.
Moshe Safdie (born July 14, 1938)
Safdie is an Israeli/Canadian/American architect, urban designer, educator and author, most famous for Habitat 67, a model community and housing complex in Montreal, Canada; as well as the Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum in Jerusalem and the Khalsa Heritage Memorial Complex in Anandpur Sahib, India.
Adrian Smith (born August 19, 1944)
This American neofuturistic architect’s best works include the Burj Khalifa, – the world’s tallest skyscraper in the world, in Dubai, UAE, and the Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai, China.
Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron (both born 1950)
These two Swiss architects are world famous for the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, and the Bird’s Nest in Beijing, China, also known as the Beijing National Stadium built for the 2008 Olympic and Paraolympics Games.
Nowadays, as the negative effects of the global warming have finally started showing up and endangering our existence, many people realized how important the preservation of natural resources is. There are numerous controversies about the possible solutions that could help us save our planet, and some of them should be taken really seriously.
Some people have decided to use the materials that can be recycled or not to use the substances that can endanger the ozone layer. However, those with more creative ideas, and of course, with large amounts of money, undertake some more extreme ventures, such as building eco friendly houses. One of such people is Diane Cheatham, a renowned builder and contractor.
images credit: dallasnews.com
Life In Harmony With The Nature
Diane Cheatham’s home is situated The Lake Highlands, a residential area that is built around streams and pounds in order to conserve water. The main purpose of this luxurious, 4,500-square-foot house is to present all its positive effects on the environment.
The materials used it the construction of the sole house are concrete and steel, with geothermal heating and cooling, high-performance windows and spray-foam insulation.
The interior of the house is really amazing. The rooms are immense and classy, designed and organized by many eminent architects and designers. As Cheatham stated, the most prominent part of her house is the kitchen since she loves to cook, but also to throw parties and have dozens of people around. Natural materials, such as walnut cabinets and gray-veined statuary marble counters make the kitchen look upscale.
Another enormous and beautifully designed room is the dining room, with the astonishing view from floor-to ceiling windows. However, there are many details in the room, such as a long custom table or simple leather chairs that are simply charming. The bench by a famous architect Christian Liaigre takes up a special place in the room. The vivacity of the whole place is achieved by adding elements such as tiny vases that hold fresh orchids.
Moreover, the exterior of the house is also fascinating. In a luxurious patio, which was completely sheltered from the sun, takes one’s breath away. Apart from furniture, there is a beautiful koi pond. Also, the house has large pool and the outdoor kitchen.
The Touch Of The Nature
All in all, there are many facts about the house that simply have to fascinate us. Firstly, the house looks magnificent, and undoubtedly resembles one of those houses from a fairytale. On the other hand, it has refuted beliefs that the eco friendly houses have to be plain, and probably uncomfortable.
Cheatham herself stated that this house is the most worthy and the best of all her residences. Well, you didn’t misunderstand anything. She has several residences, and believes that there isn’t anything wrong about it. Since she doesn’t spend much time there because of the nature of her work, she decided to make the house accessible to everyone who wants to visit it.
So, if you are interested in a tour around this beautiful house, here are several pieces of information. The price of the ticket is 15 dollars in advance and 20 dollars at the door.
So, if all these facts impressed you, don’t waste your time and visit it.
Whether it is for houses or buildings, exterior design is very important. Precisely because it doesn’t have to be in unison with the interior, architects have the freedom to do what they want and create what they want, with the permission of their clients of course.
Whereas most people design and build their houses so as to fit in with the rest of the neighborhood, there are some who just purposefully stand out.
Exterior in modern architecture is trying to break out of the cookie cutter design, and instead strive for something new and unexpected, and inspired by layout, location, function, texture, etc.
Here are some intriguing exterior designs to make you think and wonder if you would ever have the guts to pull those off.
This house situated in Mykonos, Greece represents a wonderful mixture of traditional architecture characteristic for this region and naïve playful painting.
Even with the design that is very traditional for this region, using blue color to cast away evil spirits, this example is a very bold one, with a bold choice of color.
Most people hire an architect to build their dream house. The couple from this home did the entire job almost entirely by themselves. This is a classic urban style from northern countries, a bit closed off from the exterior world, but inside sheltering an intimate atmosphere.
It is meant to interpret nature in a way, with its rough edges, stone-like shape, materials used etc.
Seashell Seashell By The Sea Shore
In areas close to the sea architects sometimes get all sorts of inspiration. Coming from Mexico, this is a house formally known as the Conch Shell House on the island of Isla Mujeres, the house of the famous artist Octavio Ocampo.
Using pretty traditional materials as well as old recycled and found materials, this house stores a pretty unusual design. It heavily interprets nature in the sense of organic formation of objects.
A Bold Design
This house was designed by a famous Mexican artist Juan O’Gorman, and it is known as the Diego Rivera/Frida Kahlo house.
The style is industrial modernism, and it uses the bright color as an architectural tool for point out the form of the shapes and flat surfaces. The repetitive use of nature with the cactuses and trees in the background is used to sustain the symbiosis with the object.
Old And New
Geometric is sometimes good and sometimes bad, but it’s never good to carry it out at any cost.
In a broad mixture of styles, cubic forms are combined with broad glass surfaces look very modern and are there to point the vision in the direction of good vistas, but the choice of material is not good for this as it is rustic, and doesn’t complement the contemporary build.
Transparency Is Key
Once again, a design that is not very fitting next to its neighbors. Nonetheless, this house in Japan is very bold and transparent. It seems the architect has decided to completely cut out privacy by bringing in transparency in everyday life with so many glass surfaces.
What is visible in the inside shows a contrast between the dynamic of the interior and the down-to-Earth exterior.
There’s Something Fishy Going on Here
This is Hus. Ett, a Swedish micro designed house.
Even though small, this haring shaped house the elements on the inside of the house, as well as the vast window area create an atmosphere full of light. It is a contemporary interpretation of traditional architecture.
Tin Man House
This house sort of reminds us of a metal container. Even besides the good form and the very interesting arrangement of openings such as windows, doors, etc, the selection of finishing materials is not the best.
In this case, concrete and wood would be a much better combination than the present metal and wood.
The use of shipping containers for living purposes is something that greatly sets the Trinity Buoy Wharf house in east London apart from many others. This is actually a home for an entire community which is where these containers come in great use.
Furthermore, the architect did a wonderful job to show off the playfulness of the design by combining different colors and geometrical shapes.
The Little Green House
The first thing that is apparent when seeing this design is that it is trying to go back to nature. The architect is giving us the message that he is trying to give back to nature what was unrightfully taken from her by building this house.
The mixture of geometric wholes is apparent.