Unconventional Building Facades Around the World

Unconventional Building Facades Around the World

Access Doors and Panels on 4th Nov 2020

Unconventional Building Facades Around the World

With today's modern architecture and design, it is not surprising that many unusual buildings are now showing up around the world. Nowadays, more designers feel even more liberated to express their talent and do something different, creative, and extraordinary. Because of this, building facades, aside from having to look impressive and beautiful, are becoming geared to stand out from traditional looks of other building facades.

The first clue that tells people whether a structure has something unique to offer is the facade of a building. When a building has a cool facade, it will represent the architect's creative vision, goal, and desire to impress people with something unique and ordinary. There are so many different and exciting facades around the world that many people aren't aware of. Since most of us can't go and tour around the world to see the world's unique buildings with our own eyes, Access Doors and Panels thought to bring them to you, and so, we compiled them for you in this blog. Check out these unique building facades around the world!

1. Fuel Station/McDonalds, Georgia

This building is located in Batumi, Georgia, and constructed in the year 2013. The facade has a vegetation layer that covers the cantilevered giant canopy of the fuel station. Such a facade adds a natural environment that acts as an "ecological shield." Located in the newly urbanized areas of the seaside city of Batumi, this building includes a fuel station, McDonald's, recreational spaces, and a reflective pool. When customers eat in the dining space, they have a spectacular view of the outside water features. Simultaneously, the rest of the building seamlessly transitions into an open-air patio on the upper level, enclosed from all sides to protect the interior space from outside noise while also providing calm outdoor seating.

2. Wonderworks Museum, Orlando, Florida

This upside-down Wonderworks building is not a disaster site like one would probably think upon seeing it for the first time. It is a fun-loving museum on International Drive in Orlando, Florida. Wonderworks is a Classical architecture upside down, three-story, 82-foot tall building that's flipped over. It features a squashed-into-the-pavement triangular pediment, and one corner of the building even appears to flatten a 20th-century brick warehouse. Moreover, palm trees and lamp posts also hang suspended. The wacky design of Wonderworks expresses the topsy-turvy activities that take place inside, which includes a 5.2 magnitude earthquake ride, a hurricane ride with 65 mph winds, and a Titanic exhibit.

3. Endesa Pavilion, Barcelona, Spain

Endesa Pavilion's facade is composed of modular components such as solar bricks that respond to photovoltaic gaining, insulation, solar protection, lighting, ventilation. This building was finished in 2011 and is a self-sufficient prototype installed at the Marina Dock and within the International BCN Smart City Congress.

4. Longaberger Basket Building, Ohio

This building is a result of the desire of Longaberger Company, an Ohio-based manufacturer of hand-crafted baskets, to build a corporate headquarters that reflects one of its most popular products-- the basket. While it may look like a wooden basket on the outside, it's a seven-story steel building. Throughout the architecture, the picnic theme can be seen with its exterior mimicking a picnic basket and interior offices center around a 30,000 square feet open area. You can locate this 180,00o sq. ft. Basket Building at 1500 East Main Street, Newark, Ohio.

5. Al-Bahar Towers, United Arab Emirates

This building constructed in the year 2012 has a facade that operates in response to the sun-- it changes incidence angles during the different days of the year. It takes cultural cues from the "Mashrabiya," which is a traditional Islamic lattice shading device. This 145-meter tower has a Mashrabiya shading system that was developed by the computational design team at Aedas. The team responsible for designing this building used a parametric description for the actuated facade panels' geometry to simulate their operation in response to sun exposure and changes in incidence angles. It has a screen that operates as a curtain wall that sits two meters outside the building's exterior on an independent frame. Each triangle is coated with fiberglass and programmed to respond to the sun's movement to reduce solar gain and glare. At nighttime, all of the screens will close.

6. Lucy the Elephant, New Jersey

Did you know that this six-story wooden and tin elephant on the Jersey shore is the National Historic Landmark? It was designed by James Lafferty way back in 1881 and has been used as an office and commercial space, although initially, it aims to catch the passers-by's eyes. With its elephant design, it really can catch anyone's attention. Such a structure is known as "novelty architecture" that takes the form of ordinary objects like ducks, shoes, and even binoculars. Furthermore, buildings that are in the shape of the merchandise they sell, such as donuts, apples, or cheese wedges, are called "mimetic" since they mimic the merchandise. Of course, Lafferty wasn't selling elephants and instead was selling real estate, and Lucy is an absolute eye-catcher.

7. Pixel, Melbourne, Australia

The Pixel has a facade that is a system of perimeter planters, double glazed window walls, fixed shading louvers, and solar panel shading. It is the first carbon-neutral office building that generates all its power and water on site. This building also features one of the most sophisticated water treatment and utilization systems. It is also water balanced, which means that the Pixel's water supply will still be self-sustainable.

8. Free Spirit House in British Columbia, Canada

These houses in British Columbia are wooden spheres that hang from trees, cliffs, and other surfaces. A Free Spirit House is a treehouse for grownups, invented and manufactured by Tom Chudleigh. The house is a hand-crafted wooden sphere that's suspended from a web of rope to make it appear like it is hanging from trees like a nut or a piece of fruit. If you want to enter a Free Spirit House, you must first climb a spiral stairway or walk across a suspension bridge. When people inside move, the sphere sways gently in the breeze and rocks. If you want to try staying in a Free Spirit House, you can rent one for the night or purchase your own Free Spirit House or buy a Free Spirit House kit that you can place on your land.

9. Pod House, New York State

The work of architect Bruce Goff and a local wildflower Queen Anne's Lace inspired James Johnson to create the unusual Pod House. It is a complex of several pods connected by walkways. The seeds look amusing yet eerie when perched atop thin stems.

10. House in Travessa de Patrocinio, Lisbon, Portugal

This house has facade walls completely covered with vegetation that creates a vertical garden. Because of this design, it guarantees low levels of water consumption, as well as little gardening challenges. This box house deviates from the roof to create a vertical yard or glass box. It also has a straight ladder that connects all floors and serves as an allusion to Alfama's famous stairs, and runs between all four floors walls, linking the different dimensions. Moreover, this project is entirely sustainable. It helps the city of Lisbon since its walls are completely covered with vegetation, creating a vertical garden filled with 4,500 plants from 25 different Iberian and Mediterranean varieties occupying 100 square meters.

Building facades should not be confined only to conventional and traditional designs. With more architects competing against each other, we can expect that more buildings will have crazier facades.

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4th Nov 2020 Access Doors and Panels