Architecture is not always about the beautiful or the monumental: there are many buildings around the world whose architects seem to defy all rules. If you are an oddity aficionado, then the good news for you is that you will be able to spot weird and unusual constructions in every corner of the world. You don’t even need a travel guide or some sort of special skills in order to locate them: they simply pop out of the scenery. And while some of these strange and daring creations have reached landmark status (I’m sure that no one saw the Eiffel Tower or the Bilbao Museum as the right construction at the right place when they were first inaugurated) some remain plainly weird. Today’s post will mostly deal with this latter category:
The Crooked House, Poland
Within just a few miles from the Baltic port of Gdansk, Sopot is Poland’s most famous seaside resort. Throughout the years, Sopot has hosted millions of tourists and celebrities, and they all stood still and raised an eyebrow at the sight of Krzywy Domek, also known as The Crooked House. Although your eyes and mind might make you thing that the following picture is Photoshopped, I can assure you that its is nothing but a faithful image of the real object.
Kansas City Public Library, USA
If you happen to drive along Kansas City’s 10th street, you have all the chances to be amazed by the 22 enormous book spines that form the facade of Kansas City Public Library parking lot. Designed as to resemble a book shelf, (the facade is actually known as the ‘Community Book Shelf’) this original facade consists of carefully selected replicas of some popular books, including Charlotte’s Web, 100 Years of Solitude or A Tale of Two Cities.
House Attack, Austria
The building of Museum Quartier in Vienna has recently gained an interesting addition. On the gray building’s top margin, one can see a hanging wooden house that leaves the passers-by under the impression that it will collapse in every second. House Attack is actually the work of nonconformist sculptor Erwin Wrum, and it seems to symbolize the clash between the ordinary life and the institutionalized art.
Wooden Gangster House, Russia
What is now considered to be the tallest log cabin in the world in not the work of some visionary architect or eccentric millionaire. Nikolai Sutyagin is an ex-convict living with his family in the northern city of Arkhangelsk, Russia and who wanted something a little different from the typical socialist apartment building. Although it is hard to tell how much longer will this fragile and fantastic construction resist, one must admit that a 144 foot height is quite impressive for a wooden house.
La Pedrera, Spain
Casa Mila in Barcelona is yet another chimera that haunted the imagination of Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi (best known for designing the Sagrada Familia cathedral). Despite its out-of-this-world shape and complex symbolism, Casa Mila wasn’t meant to become a hit: everybody in Barcelona now knows it as La Padrera, which in the Catalan language translates as ‘The Quarry’.