Monday, May 10, 2010

Why Build Square Buildings?

I'm in the mood for something fun and silly. I had an amazing weekend filled with friends and family and then promptly spoiled it by going back to work. Today's not been my greatest day ever. I'm spending too much of my time at work thinking. I've been a little fragile about both my physical therapy (yes I'm somehow still going) and my work situation so I figure that I need to distract myself. If I distract myself long enough, the problems go away right?

And what better way to distract myself than to look at pictures of interesting buildings online? Or am I the only one who does that? Actually what got this post started was a building that was featured on Neatorama. The image below is Waldspirale (or Forest Spiral) an apartment building in Darmstadt, Germany. The building has no straight wall, forms a gigantic U shape, and has a forest planted on the roof. So it's pretty much my dream apartment building.

It's not only the lack of straight walls that fascinates me, check out those windows. I love that each one is unique and the difference adds something of a Seussian quality to the structure.

Looking for pictures of the Waldspirale led me to this building, Krzywy Domek or The Crooked House in Sopot, Poland (pictured below). I'm not sure what is housed in this building but I love the crazy whimsy of the place. Be careful when looking up images of this one, after about ten or so pictures I started feeling a bit sick. Apparently this one crosses the boundary between fascinating architecture and too much for my little brain to spatially organize. Still an incredible structure.

I realized that in all the time I've been writing this blog I haven't discussed my fascination (bordering on obsession) with Antoni Gaudi's buildings in Barcelona. How can you not love a building that looks like it was designed for hobbits? The Casa Batllo, which used to be an apartment building in Barcelona, includes such unique characteristics as a dragon-scale roof, round doors, mosaic tile walls, and spiral ceilings. It is the place of dreams. I would recommend checking out the full photo gallery on the building's website.

Gaudi created a number of buildings and parks throughout Barcelona, Spain. His style is focused on rounded walls, whimsical additions, stained glass, and plenty of oddness. I've been dreaming of going to Barcelona for years in order to see Casa Batllo, Park Guell, Casa Mila (pictured below), and perhaps Gaudi most famous work, Sagrada Familia.

An image of Sagrada Familia. This church was unfinished at the time of Gaudi's death in 1926 and is still under construction since his full design for the building was not known at his death. Consider it the longest construction project ever.


Dan Cook said...

I don't know what those architects were smoking, but I want some!

Salt said...

I like oddities. :-)

Josh said...

I've been to a number the Gaudi buildings in Barcelona including Sagrada Familia. The guy's weird, but I like his style!

Cat B said...

@Dan, I'm not sure about the other ones but I know Gaudi had some good stuff that he wasn't sharing. :-)

@Salt, Are you approving of my tags or do you just like odd things? Or both? I'm sure there will be more of both.

@Josh, I'm so jealous!!! I knew you had been in Spain but we apparently hadn't had a conversation about Barcelona. You'll have to tell me what it was like. Did you tour any of the buildings? There you go, a blog post idea, free of charge.