It’s no surprise that when buildings are designed out of the norm, they appear more likely to be designed by alchemists rather than architects. What is the norm? The usual cubes and squares? A square is a square because all of its sides are equal that ensures stability. But what if that square were to be twisted or pulled out of shape?
Architects have been placing the usual forms in conflict while evolving it into a fascinating design and challenging the viewer’s perception of unity and stability, showing that the flaws are not only inherent in the design.
Here’s a list of top 6 out of the box wonders of architecture that changed the world of architecture.
1. The Cube Houses (Kubuswoningen), Rotterdam, Netherlands
Architect: Piet Blom
The infamous Cube Houses remain one of the city’s most eye-catching buildouts. These striking homes are cubes tilted 45-degree on their side that are optimized to make the most of the available space. The result is buildings that look, feel, and behave, unlike anything you’ll find elsewhere in the world. The Cube Houses even form a pedestrian bridge across one of the busiest roads into the city center.
2. National Museum of Qatar, Doha, Qatar
Architect: Jean Nouvel
The magnificent Qatar museum follows an elliptical circuit that gently rises and falls, inspired by a mineral formation commonly found in the deserts of the Gulf region; the ‘desert rose, capturing the natural flow of the landscape. The large openings offer glimpses of the Howsh, the museum’s gardens, and the Doha Bay. The desert-rose form evokes the culture and climate of Qatar as it emerges from the ground and merges with it.
3. The Groninger Museum, Groninger, Netherlands
Architect: Alessandro Mendini
The radically modernist structures forming the Netherland’s Groninger Museum stand in a canal. The infamous museum is like no other art museum in the world, mainly because of its irregular design. The architecture's futuristic and colorful style echos the design of Italy. The redesign (as pictured) was completed in the year 2011 by the Italian architect Alessandro Mendini.
4. Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado
Architect: Daniel Libeskind
Inspired by the surrounding Rocky Mountains and the growth of Denver as a city, Libeskind’s sharp angular forms have attracted more museumgoers since they were added. The dynamic extension to the Denver Art Museum was completed in the year 2006 by one of the most revolutionary architects in the world.
5. Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France
Architect: Frank Gehry
Completed in the year 2014 and constructed on the edge of a water garden, Frank Gehry’s Fondation Louis Vuitton is set in Paris’s Bois de Boulogne park. An assemblage of white blocks known as the ‘icebergs’ along the majestic shiplike exterior including the 12 glass “sails,” which cover the concrete-clad gallery spaces. The sails enhance the transparency and sense of movement, allowing the building to continually change with light and reflect the water, woods, and garden.
6. Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku, Azerbaijan
Architect: Zaha Hadid
Heydar Aliyev Center establishes an uninterrupted, flowing relationship between its surrounding plaza and the building’s interior. Designed by the Pritzker Architecture Prize winner, Zaha Hadid, the astonishing curves and the wave-like shape of the Heydar Aliyev Centre and its innovative use of space have made it an iconic landmark in not only Baku but the entire world.
Here’s where the buildings leaped the past idea of architecture being contained in the notions of symmetry and harmony only.