From a broad perspective, architecture can be defined as an activity of designing and constructing buildings and other physical structures for the purpose of providing shelter. At the same time, architecture can be classified as a process of documentation, which is based on the original sketches and schematics and has the role of marking out the structure as well as the behavior of a building.
Even though these properties are still valid today, modern architecture allows the introduction of new paradigms in regards to the functionality and structure of buildings as well as a vision of the future. In this light, we can also draw the conclusion that architecture represents a quest (with or without a real purpose) for perfection and that helps form a simple instrumentality. Following are some examples of buildings across the world that fit this description.
1. The Crooked House (Poland)
Located in a residential shopping center in downtown Sopot, the Crooked House is currently considered an architectural marvel. The idea behind the structure comprises of a rich imagination of a children’s book designer (J.M. Szancer) and Swedish painter (Per Dahlberg). A fascinating element about this structure consists of the fact that it includes very few straight lines situated somewhere in the middle of the building. Essentially, the Crooked House gives the impression of a melting building or a structure sagged out of exhaustion.
2. The UFO houses (Taiwan)
The UFO houses also dubbed as the Sanzhi pod houses were built in 1978 and were intended to serve as a vacation resort for US military officers in the Northern Coast of Taiwan. Even though they are currently abandoned and were demolished in 2010, they are still remembered for their unusual flying saucer-like shape. A strange thing regarding these wacky structures is that numerous deaths and car accidents occurred during the construction, a fact that scared tourists away and earned the UFO buildings the title of Ruins of the Future.
3. The Hundertwasser Building (Germany)
Commonly known as the Forest Spiral, this incredible structure is the masterpiece of the famous Austrian architect F. Hundertwasser. The building includes all the elements the Austrian architect is renowned for. To summarize, the Hundertwasser edifice is essentially a vast array of organic forms, shapes and structures all combined to create an extravagantly irregular pattern that leaves the impression it is alive.
4. Mind House (Spain)
The Mind House in Barcelona is perhaps one of the most famous creations of world renowned Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudi. The construction as well as the Park Guell it guards have an interesting story: while they were initially commissioned for the building of a residential area for rich people, it turned out that its location was simply too far away from the center of Barcelona and too close for those who wanted to live outside the city. Therefore, the owner sold the area with all the structures to the Catalan authorities who opened them to the public.
5. Dancing Building (Czech Republic)
The Dancing Building in Prague embodies a daring statement of the Neo Renaissance style, a trend that became very popular at the beginning of the 19th century. There is no denial that the Dancing House itself is quite an attention grabber. However, it is necessary to mention the fact that the contrast to the next door building is what creates a string impact on anyone who sees the structure. While the building next to it looks rather normal and monotonous, the Dancing Building is its vivid, moving counterpart.
6. Cubic House (Netherlands)
The Cubic edifices in the Netherlands incorporate numerous pioneering elements of avant-garde architecture and the ground-breaking idea of Piet Blom. The concept behind this complex has its roots in the necessity of discovering ideas for distinct types of houses in Rotterdam that would also permit a top pedestrian bridge. The architect did more than handle to the Dutch authorities requirements; Pier Blom managed a recreation of the houses in the abstract construction of a village which is currently visible from multiple angles.
7. Habitat 67 (Canada)
Montreal’s Habitat 67 represents one of the most captivating universal architectural expositions focused on residential and housing as a central theme. The complex includes 146 dwellings which are innovatively complemented by an intricate combination of cubes carefully nested and surrounded by a breath-taking landscape. According to the architects, this cubic system of residences symbolize the greatness of our civilization and promotes fundamental universal values like moral perfection, wisdom and truth.
8. Ferdinand Cheval Palace (France)
Constructed from concrete, lime and wire the absurd Ferdinand Cheval Palace is one of the must-see buildings in France. Although this castle does not have more than four sided walls, the incredible chisel engravings that are unique for each side of the edifice make it a truly remarkable masterpiece. The impressive engravings outside the walls are based on the works of famed French poet and writer Ferdinand Cheval. Ironically, Cheval was known more as a postman in his days and the purpose that the building would serve is as his tomb, although he never got the necessary license for that.
9. Calakmul Building (Mexico)
The incredible La Lavadora located in New Mexico City got its name from one of the largest and most powerful Mayan ancient cities to be found in the lowlands. The story of the Washing Machine is quite interesting and some like to believe that it is a symbol of the North American continent’s economy. To summarize, the construction of the Calakmul started in the early 1990s over an old junkyard and it became one of the most renowned Mexican business centers. Le Lavadora is currently the home of many multinational and Mexican corporations’ headquarters.
10. Kansas City Public Library (US)
The architecture of the Kansas City Public Library mesmerizes with its original and innovative features. Essentially, the structure is designed to look like a bookshelf, a fact that according to the local authorities has significantly increased the public’s interest for reading the books exhibited in the wall structure.