Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Unsual, sometimes bizarre, buildings

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“Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough.”

- Robert Towne (1934 - )
American screenwriter, producer, director and actor.

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Habitat 67 – Montreal, Canada


Habitat 67, or simply Habitat, is a model community and housing complex in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, designed by Israeli/Canadian architect Moshe Safdie. It was originally conceived as his master's thesis in architecture at McGill University and then built as a pavilion for Expo 67, the World's Fair held from April to October 1967. It comprises 354 identical, prefabricated concrete forms arranged in various combinations, reaching up to 12 stories in height. Together these units create 146 residences (originally 158 but some have been combined) of varying sizes and configurations, each with at least one terrace.



Habitat, as seen from Montreal’s port
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Wonderworks – Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA


WonderWorks is an entertainment focused on science exhibits with five locations in the United States. The company's slogan is "Let Your Imagination Run Wild". Each WonderWorks location contains interactive, entertainment exhibits on the themes of space, physics, and math. The exhibits are housed in a themed building designed by architect Michael Ussery to look as it were picked up by severe weather and dropped upside down on an existing building. The company has locations in Orlando, Florida; Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; Panama City Beach, Florida; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Syracuse, New York. The buildings even feature upside concrete and inverted palm trees.

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Air Force Academy Chapel - Colorado, USA


The United States Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel, completed in 1962, was originally controversial in its design but is today highly regarded. It was named a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 2004.

The design features a striking row of seventeen spires (the original design called for nineteen spires but this number was reduced due to budget issues) . The spires are filled by triangular aluminum panels with mosaic coloured glass in aluminium frames in between.



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Kunsthaus Graz - Graz, Austria


The Kunsthaus Graz, or Graz Art Museum, was built as part of the European Capital of Culture celebrations in 2003. It has since become an architectural landmark in Graz, Austria. The architects responsible used an innovative style known as blob architecture, leading to it being affectionately called the "Friendly Alien" by its creators Colin Fournier and Peter Cook. The skin of the building is made of iridescent blue acrylic panels.



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Low Impact Woodland House - Wales, UK (aka The Hobbit House)

Using only £3000, a chisel, a chainsaw and a hammer, Simon Dale and his father-in-law raised this cozy, woodland home up from the ground in just four months. Despite not having experience as a carpenter or contractor, he was determined to build a home that was at one with nature, embracing the landscape around him and using mostly recycled materials. With this ethical drive, Dale scrounged up wood and branches and laid out the framework for his woodland abode. 
Built in 2005, the house is set into the earth, giving it the appearance of a hobbit home - but this is no fanboy ode to J.R.R. Tolkien. The design allows for increased energy-efficiency, keeping the house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. 
Separated into two floors, the ground level is a cozy living room and children’s room, heated with a wood-burning stove, while the second floor is a master bedroom. Although the house features an extremely natural aesthetic, it also has all the trappings of modern living, including solar panels that provide energy for everything from the lighting to the computer.





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