14 December 2011

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Five Very Crooked Buildings

These five feats of architecture say no to right angles and laugh at the idea of being composed entirely of straight lines. Twisted, wonky and all very crooked, here are 5 buildings that defy convention.

WonderWorks, US

This is a fairly conventional building, apart from the fact it is upside down! WonderWorks are family attractions that house interactive exhibits based around different disciplines of science. There are four in all with the attractions placed inside houses that are designed to appear as if dropped by a storm onto their roofs. Something they've achieved.

The Crooked House, UK

What is most striking about this building in Dudley, UK is that it's very normal, except for the fact it's wonky. The lopsided look is the result of a mining 'incident' in the 19th century, which now means one side is four feet lower than the other. Originally a farmhouse and then a pub the building was set to be demolished due to its structural quirks. It was saved however by the Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries, who made it safe while keeping its form.

Hang Nga Guest House, Vietnam

Crooked, as a description, doesn't really do the Hang Nga guest house justice. Known also as the Crazy House it's a twisted and warped structure that looks like a bit of left over set from a Tim Burton movie, which isn't that fair wide of the mark as it is often referred to as a 'fairy tale house.' Expressionist in form the building resembles an old tree and incorporates shapes taken from nature such as animals, fungus and rock. Architect Dang Viet Nga admits Gaudi was an influence, something that is plain to see.

Dancing House, Czech Republic

An elegant tilt and twist can be seen in the Dancing House and its nickname Fred and Ginger is really very apt. The building is a collaborative work between two architects, a Croatioan-Czech called Vlado Milunić and the famous Frank Gehry. The building looks spectacular beside the native mix of styles, and is definitely worth a visit if you're in Prague.

Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

The Leaning Tower of Pisa couldn't not go on the list! Arguably the most famous crooked building in the world, the Torre di Pisa took 177 years to build and began in 1173. It was when the second phase of building started in 1178 that the subsiding began. Remarkably the building was built on only three metres of foundation and on weak soil, meaning that the design was flawed from the outset. Considerable work has taken place to stabilise the Leaning Tower, a task that was completed in 2008 and has now made surface restoration the priority.

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