Sunday, May 16, 2010

A builder exploring First Life [A Continuous Story]

I have started a new project on our island. The part above some shops is empty so I got the idea to make some apartments in Art Nouveau style. When I was looking, on the internet, for some examples of buildings and textures I saw this picture.
First I was thinking that it was a photo montage but than I found out that it is build really that way. It's the most photographed building in Poland, the Crooked House (Krzywy Domek) and isn’t a victim of Photoshop, but is the creation of architect Szotynscy Zaleski.
Inspired by the fairytale illustrations of Jan Marcin Szancer (November 12, 1902–March 21, 1973) and the drawings of Swedish artist, and Soport resident, Per Dahlberg, the Crooked House is 4,000
square meters (or 13,123.36 square feet) located in the Rezydent shopping centre in Sopot, Poland, a small town situated along the Baltic Coast. Its main tenant is a tavern called the Wonky Pub
Construction on the Crooked House began January 2003 and finished December of that same year. While the Crooked House was inspired by Szancer’s illustrations and Dahlberg’s drawing, architect Zaleski also modeled the building’s exterior on Monciak’s promenade style. The floors refer to cornices and floors of other neighboring buildings. And colorful stained glass entrances, stone elevation decors, and windows framed with standstone make an impression. The unusual roof is covered with sheet metal and enamel roof tiles in green, sea blue, and Parisian blue colors to create an illusion of dragon scales.

At the right a drawing of Per Dahlberg

and  some inside views.
But there are more strange buildings in the world. Also it first looked done in Photoshop
But when you see it from above you see it is real.
The Longaberger Basket Company building in Newark, Ohio might just be a strangest office building in the world. The 180,000-square-foot building, a replica of the company’s famous market basket, cost $30 million and took two years to complete. Many experts tried to persuade Dave Longaberger to alter his plans, but he wanted an exact replica of the real thing, the hand-woven gift basket. This monument is, in fact, the world's largest basket.

Now I was thinking that only other countries have strange building but in the Netherlands there are some to.

As the Cubic Houses (Rotterdam, Netherlands)
The original idea of these cubic houses came about in the 1970s. Piet Blom has developed a couple of these cubic houses that were built in Helmond.
The city of Rotterdam asked him to design housing on top of a pedestrian bridge and he decided to use the cubic houses idea. The concept behind these houses is that he tries to create a forest by each cube representing an abstract tree; therefore the whole village becomes a forest.
Wall House (Groningen, Netherlands)
Originally designed in 1973 for Ed Bye, in Ridgefield, Connecticut USA, for a long time it only existed as a concept until Groningen decided to actually build the house. Designed to place living in the context of time by means of a Wall which symbolizes the physical transition from past to future through the present, a transition between back and front, closed and open.
The Wall, one-and-a-half m. thick, forms the basis of the house. The entrance and living elements literally hang from it. To reinforce this idea, a narrow gap is left between the Wall and the elements. Hence the Wall is not directly manifest in the interior but can only be perceived visually. It is a theoretical house, based on the idea of the physical confrontation between space and time, elaborated in separate elements. It is a museological manifestation of an important architectural concept. Although it wasn't designed for this particular site, it does enter into a dialogue with its 'everyday' surroundings.

But can this be real? In Zaandam, near Amsterdam, a hotel that looks like a pileup of traditional Dutch houses, all grafted together in bright greens and blues, their pediments, gables, windows and roofs pulling and pushing at your eyes.
You mind is not, however, playing tricks on you. And no, this is not an April Fool. This is the Hotel Inntel Zaandam, a madcap fairytale of a building. In fact, this 12-storey structure is, for a while, hard to take in. It looks like a trick, a conjuring act, as if some maverick architect ran off to join the circus, and learned how to balance one building on top of another, possibly while riding a bike. It's a stupefying, funny, delightful building – a quirky addition to the skyline of Zaandam, capital of the Zaanstad region and a town best known (until now) for its cocoa, biscuits and Europe's first McDonald's

."I didn't set out to shock," says Wilfried van Winden, chief architect of WAM, the Delft-based practice behind it. "But this is, of course, an outspoken building. And the language it speaks is the architectural language of Zaanstad. It makes a big statement, sure, but the building is not an imposition – it belongs here." All the facades you see, explains the architect, are based on traditional Zaanstad houses. "From a stately notary's dwelling," he says, "to workers' cottages." Van Winden's favourite is a re-creation, high up, of a blue house that features in a work by Claude Monet, painted during a trip to Zaandam.
The hotel, which cost €15m, rises not from some freakishly isolated site, but from a new development of traditional streets lined with neo- traditional buildings. This might not be to everyone's taste, yet these streets and buildings root the hotel in an urban flowerbed that seems all of a piece.

A modern building of this size is not, of course, wholly traditional in construction. The core of the hotel is concrete, while the "houses" that rise up it are timber and clapboard, meaning that many of the rooms, especially the suites, really do feel like individual and even authentic houses. Cleverly, they come across as both familiar and enticingly new. The city's planners gave the hotel the green light because, although a little unusual, it fitted into the area's overall design. They were also intrigued, says Van Winden. "What they said, in a way, was, 'If you can really build this, go for it.'"

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