Saturday, November 24, 2007

Bizarre Buildings

Not every building is entirely practical, and not everyone judges the worth of a building by whether or not it has too many corners. In Bizarre Buildings authors Paul Cattermole and Ian Westwell explore some of the most architecturally daring and visually stunning buildings in the world. The authors have taken the word 'bizarre' to heart, and rather than include ornate and grandiose examples of period architecture (Angkor Wat, Chartres cathedral, the Breakers, the Guggenheim) they have focused on buildings where the design completely overpowers the function of the structure itself. Most of their examples are modern architecture, but they do include some older examples: an 18th-century pineapple dome in England, Mad King Ludwig's castle, and the work of Antonio Gaudi. Some of the other architects are well-known modern designers like I.M. Pei, Frank Gehry, and Buckminster Fuller, while other buildings are one-hit wonders (in fact, the authors don't even include the architect's name with some of the examples). Sweeping curves, giant domes, chunky blocks, walls of glass and hovering saucers dot the pages of this book. The photographs are beautiful, and if you ever wanted to take an architectural tour of the world (the bizarre world, of course), this is the book for you.

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