Architectural style is something that has evolved throughout the years. While many structures stay well within the confines of what the common rules are, there are those that break new ground, potentially serving as the start of an entirely new school of thought.
This structure is known as “the crooked house”. Although the image of Krzywy Domek might appear like a serious camera malfunction, the building is an entirely real structure in the city of Sopot, Poland. Constructed in 2004 and designed by Szotyńscy & Zaleski. The 4000 square meter structure is host to a portion of the Rezydent Shopping Center and features a number of stores, restaurants and retail spaces within, yet it maintains its magic as an almost inimitable structure and was voted number one among the “50 Strange Buildings of the World” by the website, Village of Joy.
Furniture Lift – The Ultimate Moving Out
This art installation was created by Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich. While this structure might not function as a building, it still manages to emulate one that might have had the misfortune of being caught in high winds. The 30-foot high sculpture that was designed for the Art Journey Festival in Nantes, France in 2012, the half-torn away room is held up by a mock ladder that appears to be leaning against it.
Completed in 1951 and designed by the modernist German Architect Mies van der Rohe. The Farnsworth House sits in the town of Plano, Illinois. Built as a retreat for Edith Farnsworth, the house features the familiar minimalism of van der Rohe’s work and is held 5’3” above the ground on steel white columns as if it’s floating above the ground, separate from the scene. While the house was restored in 1972 and 1996, today it remains a popular landmark and is one of 29 Historic Sites cared for by the National Trust.
The Fallingwater House is a testament to Frank Lloyd Wright’s style and is his most recognized structure. Built in 1935 and located near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The house was built over a waterfall, and it represents the perfect synthesis of Wright’s philosophy that “form and function are one.” In large part due to its cantilevered planes that appear almost as one with the surrounding natural scenery, Fallingwater was named as the “Building of the Century” in 2000 by the American Institute of Architects.
The Dancing House
Completed in 1996 and located in the city of Prague, Czech Republic, the once aptly named “Fred and Ginger” building, referring to dancing partners Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers stands as a representation of architect Frank Gehry’s aesthetic. Designed in the deconstructivist style, the building was inspired by the transition of Czechoslovakia to a democracy, with the sense of movement worked into the building a symbol of that change.
Located in Beijing, CCTV is the home to China’s primary television broadcaster. CCTV stretches approximately 234 metres and rises 44 storeys high, appearing like a loop as if to symbolize the process of television production. Completed in January 2008, the uniquely shaped three-dimensional building was designed by Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren of OMA and has an irregular structure which perfectly serves as a modern response to the traditional ideas of what a skyscraper can be.
Niterói Contemporary Art Museum
Located in Rio de Janeiro, the Niterói Contemporary Art Museum was completed in 1996 and Designed by Oscar Niemeyer and structural engineer Bruno Contarini. The museum gets its inspiration from the idea of a flower. The spaceship-style structure rests on a cylindrical base that seems miniscule in comparison and sits atop a cliff overlooking Guanabra Bay. While the 50-meter diameter of the building might seem like a hard fact to minimize, a reflecting pool that stretches directly below the building imbibes the structure with a certain lightness that perfectly represents its inspiration.
Sharp Center for Design
Completed in 2004, and designed by renowned British architect Will Alsop, the Sharp Center at the Ontario College of Art and Design is an inimitable building located in Toronto, Ontario. The centre houses the Faculty of Design and features a tabletop structure in crossword-style black and white that sits 26 meters above the ground. While the conspicuous structure constitutes a simple enough square, 12 coloured steel legs at odd angles are jammed into it like pencils and serve to hold the structure up. Striking even among the most unique of buildings, the centre received the Excellence Award in the “Building in Context” category by Toronto Architecture and Urban Design in 2005.
Located outside of Vienna, Austria in the village of Nussdorf, this little 45-square meter house was designed in 2013 by Peter Jungmann. Unfogel was created with the mindset of complimenting the natural environment and having minimal impact. Ufogel is made completely of larch wood set on stilts, and features all of the amenities of the common home from a fresh perspective. With its floor heating and automatic sun protection system, Ufogel is an uncommon structure that can be rented throughout the year for an organic, architectural experience that shows the possibilities of untraditional form.
The Wozoco apartment complex in Amsterdam, Netherlands resembles the game Jenga. The apartment has been a unique structure in the city since its completion in 1997. Designed by the firm MVRDV and commissioned by Het Oosten Housing Association, this building might appear organic enough but its unique structure actually arose out of a need to make 100 units, instead of the planned-for 87, without blocking out the natural light. While the structure is eye-catching, it also manages to be a good representation of a building that stuck, quite untraditionally, to its initial function