Roman architect, Vitruvius Pollio identified three core principles to the perfect building after the end of the first century that’s still often used among architects today – firmness, commodity and delight. Firmness and commodity are all very well and good, but very few buildings are delightful to look at. However, there are some interesting feats of architecture around the world that go beyond the normal and are sure to bring a smile to your face.
The Crooked House, England
I’m sure you’ve all heard the story that there was a crooked man, who walked a crooked mile, who found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile… but where do you suppose he went for a pint? The Crooked House, in Staffordshire, is a public house that had its foundations warped because of the unlevel ground in the region caused by mining.
The Turning Torso, Sweden
Located in Malmo, this building twists into the skyline. This is actually the tallest residential structure in the whole of Sweden – not that anybody with a paranoia about heights would ever live here.
Shoe House, US
There once was an old lady who lived in a shoe… but it wasn’t this one. Build on the request of shoe salesman Mahlon Haines, who literally handed an architect a boot and said “Build me a house like this.” Anybody can go and visit this house now whenever you find yourself in Pennsylvania, USA.
Cubic Houses, Netherlands
Netherlands is famous for its interesting architecture, and this is no different. There are 38 cubes in total that form a hexagon in order to create the effect of a forest. The city of Rotterdam is certainly richer for having this in it.
Crazy House, Vietnam
This one certainly earns its name. Crazy House in Dalat, Vietnam looks like something straight out of a surrealist painting, it certainly embraces the Avant Garde principles of experimentation. What’s even better is that this is a guesthouse that you can stay in! Although, we’re willing to bet you’d rather be looking at the building than looking out of it…
Fred & Ginger, Czech Republic
These two buildings in Prague are so famous they have their own names! Built by two architects in cooperation with one another, both buildings seem to cling to each other – they appear so intimate that it is usually called the ‘dancing building’. A true piece of artwork in the architectural world.
Kansas City Public Library, USA
The Kansas City public were asked what books they thought represented the city and then this fabulous bit of architecture was designed. This installation was actually built to cover the library’s car park. What a fantastic method of creativity to hide away something unsightly.
Lotus Temple, India
Found in India’s capital, Delhi, this temple is a Bahai place of worship, although it is welcome to people of all faiths to come and visit – so much so, that according to the government over 70 million people have now visited the temple. Designed like a lotus flower, this building truly gives you a feeling of inner serenity just looking at it. What more could you ask for from a temple?
There we have it, eight of the most stunning buildings from around the world rounded up by the team at All Weather Coating. Which extraordinary piece of architecture was your favourite?