What were they drinking?

architecture, Claes Oldenburg sculptures, Erwin Wurm, Longaberger Company, MUMOK, The Basket Building, The Crooked House, Unusual architecture

architecture, Claes Oldenburg sculptures, Erwin Wurm, Longaberger Company, MUMOK, The Basket Building, The Crooked House, Unusual architecture

Unusual or strange architecture wouldn’t seem to be abundant given the cost and the time needed to complete the projects. And yet, there are many examples. The four structures below represent part of a collection of 40 buildings that are traveling around the web. I chose my favorite four to round out the curious g’s first architecture trilogy (previous architecture posts included: An artist, boldly going where no one has gone before and Finding answers in Lvov),

Take a look, read the descriptions, and let us know which building causes you to look twice. My answer is at the bottom.

  1. The Basket Building (Newark, Ohio, USA)
    The Longaberger Company is a family-owned business, known as America’s premier maker of handcrafted baskets and home/lifestyle products. Their corporate headquarters is definitely not your typical office building. The $30 million, 180,000 sf building is a replica of the company’s famous market basket. The Longaberger Company designed the exterior and interior of the building and worked with engineers through the two-year construction process. The building is trademarked.

    Nice touch, the two handles are heated to prevent freezing. Calls to mind: obvious market basket; evokes a 50s family picnic; 60s at its pop-art best – reminiscent of Claes Oldenburg’s giant sculptures

  2. The Hang Nga Guesthouse & Art Gallery (Dalat, Vietnam)
    Known as “Crazy House” among the locals, the structure was designed by Vietnamese architect Hang Viet Nga, the daughter of Truong Chinh, the former President of Vietnam. Resembling a fantasy tree house, Crazy House is an actual guesthouse. With no corners in any of the rooms, they are undefined in shape, but each is decorated with a theme from the animal or insect world. The staircases are uneven tree stumps. The landscaping includes ponds, toadstools, large giraffes and spiders. This guesthouse is about the experience rather than the comfort.Calls to mind: Edvard Munch’s The Scream; Michael Jackson’s Neverland
  3. The Crooked House (Sopot, Poland)
    Architect Szotynscy Zaleski was inspired by the fairytale works of Polish illustrator Jan Marcin Szancer and the drawings of Swedish painter Per Dahlberg.The 40,000+ sf structure is an extension of an existing shopping center. The colorful stained glass entrances, sandstone-framed windows, and green and blue enamel-tiled roof (resembling scales) reflect the artists’ whimsical creations. Construction began in January 2003 and was completed in December 2003. Calls to mind: a funhouse; a scene from Fantasia
  4. Erwin Wurm: House Attack (Vienna, Austria)
    For over 25 years, Erwin Wurm, a contemporary Austrian sculptor, has created a rich body of work that he describes as conceptual sculpture. His art often expresses everyday life – its needs, its actions, its perversions – as physical deformations. The artist explores current issues such as the obsession with weight, fashion and advertising trends, and the cult of consumerism.“House Attack,” was installed in 2006 on the external façade of Austria’s MUseum MOderner Kunst (MUMOK). Wurm considers this installation his response to “urban sprawl.” MUMOK describes it as: “A symbol for conservative, small minded longings, the single-family house collides into the museum as a temple to the muses, and the museum itself now also becomes part of the sculpture.”Calls to mind: The Wizard of Oz, MUMOK represents the wicked witch

My take: The Basket Building wins hands down. This building is functional, unique and conveys the distinctive Longaberger brand.

Clockwise from top left: Photos: cc~addicted Eyes, cc~JonasPhoto, cc~brocha, cc~Dom Dada

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