6. Smith’s Mansion in Wyoming
Wyoming’s dizzying Smith’s Mansion is a family home of the builder Lee Smith who could not stop building. Located in the Wapiti Valley, this builder, even after making the house, kept making wacky staircases and balconies with the logs he collected. He died falling off the roof while working on the building without proper care.
The building was originally planned as a home for the builder’s wife and children. He harvested local logs and wood and created a house that had a mundane form. After finishing the home, he continued to build extra floors and unstable balconies all by himself.
He would collect logs in a small pickup and devoted himself to continuing building this odd house. It led to his divorce. He made dwindling but scenic balconies and organic staircases.
It remains as a landmark visible from the road and sits on 10 acres. The kids of the builder are raising money to open up the spot for tourists. The property is a display of devotion and somewhat madness of Lee Smith who lost his life while he was finishing his ambitious project. (Source)
7. Bund Finance Center in Shanghai
The Bund is a building that connects modern and old Shanghai. The building is encircled by a moving veil which moves according to the use of the building. The veil has three tracks with magnesium alloy tassels that are copied after a Chinese bridal headdress. The veil moves with different tassels overlapping with different opacity.
The intention of creating such a different space was to revitalize the Shanghai waterfront. This 43,000 sq. ft. prominent site is the endpoint to the most famous street in Shanghai.
This space, according to the architects, gives a fresh view for the spectators into the heritage of China. The bronze details of the structure give a jewel-like quality to the exteriors.
The facade of the building is a veil. It has three tracks which have 675 tassels of magnesium alloy. The length of the tassel varies from two meters to 16 meters in such a way that each track can independently move.
The three veils move in an overlapping pattern producing different shapes and opacity to the building at different times of the day.
The moving veil creates a unique backdrop to the theatre city with an extraordinary experience for the visitors and an illuminated stage with the veil. (Source)
8. Cube House in the Netherlands
Cube House in the Netherlands is an example of progressive and innovative architectural development. It is a bizarre architectural experiment in Rotterdam. The architect Piet Bloom wanted to dissolve the attitude that a building has to resemble typical housing for being a house.
The Kubuswoningen is a popular tourist attraction because of its bizarre architecture. Architect Piet was in charge of redeveloping Oude Haven after its destruction during the Second World War.
He wanted to have fun with people’s ordinary idea of how a house should look, which led to this masterpiece. It was built at the time when Rotterdam was getting tired of the utilitarian architecture and decided it is time they have buildings that look like it has some life to them.
Bloom divided the housing development into three parts: a 13-story, hexagonal apartment that resembles a pencil, a complex of terrace buildings that surrounds an inner courtyard, and a section of cube houses on a large scale. The whole area has 270 dwellings complete with catering, shops, and parking.
The main purpose of “living in the urban roof,” as said by Bloom, is to utilize and optimize the space at the ground level for other activities. The walls are at 54.7 degrees, and the total area of the apartment is 1,100 sq. ft.
The interiors are extraordinary as there are no straight walls, and upon entrance, you have to ascend some stairs. The bedrooms and bathrooms are on the second floor, and the top part is an additional bedroom. It is located near the Blaak Railway Station and allows visitors to experience this unusual architecture.
The architect was inspired by the experience of living in trees, so when it came to cube houses, each elevated cube represented living in trees and collectively represented as living in a forest. Having elevated narrow trunks that are inhabitable will not only leave space below but also create an ideal view of the above part. The concept was inspired by Le Corbusier. (Source)
9. The Vessel in Manhattan
The Vessel is an extraordinary spiral staircase centerpiece made of 154 interconnecting flights of stairs. The vessel was imagined by Thomas Heatherwick as a focal point to enjoy the city from different angles.
A vertical climb at this height with the interconnecting flights gives you a beautiful view of the city, river, and beyond. This 28-acre megaproject has drastically transformed the far west of Manhattan. The vessel is pieced like a jigsaw puzzle.
The pieces were manufactured in Italy and shipped to the US. The unusual shape is to make the structure stand out like a Christmas tree throughout the year. The final cost of the structure was $200 million. The jungle gym-looking copper-clad steps are inspired by Indian stepwells. It can hold 1,000 people at a time.
The structure also has ramps and elevators for making it accessible to the disabled. The building has got much criticism for being the “Manhattan’s answer to the Eiffel Tower.” The New York Times called it the “stairway to nowhere.”
The architect said he was inspired by his childhood memory of an old discarded flight of stairs at a local building site where he grew up. The ambition to have a monumental and transformation structure on Hudson Yards has quite changed the look of Manhattan. (Source)
10. Krzywy Domek in Poland
Krzywy Domek is a shopping center inspired by fairy-tale illustrations. It is almost a cartoonish-, squeezed-in-looking building made in 2004. The building is a showpiece of modern architecture and a combination of business, culture, and art.
The unusual and full of magic Krzywy Domek in Sopot is an example of fabulous architecture inspired by Jan Szancer’s drawings. It has defeated the public library in Kansas City and Torre Galatea Figueres in Spain for one of the strangest buildings in the world.
Inside, you will find shops and restaurants of all sorts. “Unique and classy but not so posh” is the slogan of Sopot’s sophisticated building. The building seems completely unreal from the outside. Polish architects Szotynscy and Zaleski were inspired by the fairy tale stories illustration of Jan and combined it with the artworks of Per Gahlberg.
The surrealistic details of the space with stone decors at the elevation, stained glass entrances, and sandstone framed windows also add to its structure. The blue-green shingles on its roof create an illusion of dragon skin. The night appearance is more intriguing and unique.
This fascinating building is a local favorite shopping area. An interesting tradition is that people who take part in cultural events can add their names on its “Wall of Fame.” It is one of the most awarded buildings in the world for its daring looks. (Source)