Sunday, 26 February 2012


New Picture

There are actually many more wacky and weird architectural designs around the world. The following list is the author’s top five pick.

Top 5: World's wackiest architecture designs
By Oliver Ephgrave,
Construction Week Online, 2 February 2012.

1. Man-Made Mountain, Holland

Man-made Mountain. An enormous carbuncle.Man-made Mountain. An enormous carbuncle.

A design for a huge man-made mountain has been proposed for Holland, to enable high altitude activities in the super-flat country. The audacious concept was the brainchild of Thijs Zonneveld, a Dutch journalist and former professional cyclist. Zonneveld bemoaned Holland’s lack of training facilities for mountain sports, and his idea is backed by the Dutch Climbing & Mountaineering Association, the Royal Dutch Cycling Union and the Dutch Ski Association. The design, drawn up by local architecture practice Hoffers & Kruger, is even scarier than Mount Doom from Lord of the Rings.

2. Floating Sea Tree, various locations

Sea trees: Just plain lunacy.Sea trees: Just plain lunacy.

Another wacky idea to emerge from Holland is a floating ‘Sea Tree’ – essentially a home for flora and fauna in crowded urban environments. Designed by Waterstudio.NL, the structure would inhabit the harbours and rivers surrounding major cities, such as New York. Fabricated offshore, the structure would be built and designed to only support plant and animal life above and below the water. A system of cables allows the tree to sway in the wind while securing it to the sea bed, and the height of the structure can be adjusted to suit the location. The design is envisaged to work as part of a larger network of ‘trees’.

3. Bike City, Chongming, China

Bike city: Yes, but who's riding up?
Bike city: Yes, but who's riding up?

Design studio JDS has entered a competition to design Bike City in Chongming, close to Shanghai. The scheme consists of a bike museum, a visitor centre and a multi-purpose hall. As the project centrepiece, the bike museum will function as a double helix and bikes can be ridden on the exterior. The multi-purpose hall is seen as a hilly island while the visitor centre is an entry landmark. BMX tricksters are probably not welcome.

4. The Cloud, Seoul

The Cloud: How did they not see this?
The Cloud: How did they not see this?

The Dutch architects behind The Cloud in Seoul really had their head in the clouds. MVRDV's design involves two luxury residential towers connected by a sky bridge, about midway up, with clusters of cubes jutting out from the buildings. Unfortunately, no one at the company realised the scheme bears a striking resemblance to the World Trade Centre attacks. After causing outrage in the US, the firm promptly issued an apology, stating: “It was not our intention to create an image resembling the attacks nor did we see the resemblance during the design process. We sincerely apologize to anyone whose feelings we have hurt, it was not our intention.”

5. Chess City, Dubai

Chess City: Not so black and white.
Chess City: Not so black and white.

Some hare-brained schemes surfaced in the last decade, but this one is the wackiest of them all. Announced in October 2004, this $3 billion project was the brainchild of World Chess Federation (Fide) president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. Designed to resemble a giant chessboard, it involves 32 hotels on a 64-hectare plot of land. Pawn-shaped 3-star hotels sit next to bishop-shaped 5-star hotels, while four super-luxury hotels represent the kings and queens. The complex also provides the headquarters of the International Chess Association. Then the credit crunch came, and the scheme was put on hold indefinitely. The words 'checkmate' spring to mind.

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