The Wonderful World of Architecture (Third Edition)

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If you live in the Eastern United States like me, chances are that you’re cooped up in your home due to an epic blizzard. So that probably leaves you with not much to do this weekend as far as you know it. Of course, that leaves me with some time to come up with something quick. And I have just the thing another post on architecture. You’re probably familiar with how some of the great architectural wonders are celebrated. You’ve probably seen pictures of the Pyramids, the Taj Mahal, the US Capitol, Saint Peter’s, the Parthenon, and more. I myself had been to Mount Vernon and Monticello, homes of Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. And both are architectural wonders in their own right. Nevertheless, I can talk to you all you want about the world’s great architectural wonders but you’ll probably be bored to tears since you’re most likely already familiar with them. So instead, I’ll give you a showcase of some of the world’s architectural blunders, which are structures that have achieved fame for being incredibly hideous and for polluting the landscape with their terrible aesthetics. You’ll find plenty of examples relating to modern architecture, particularly in Asian and Middle Eastern countries as well as the former Soviet Union. Latin America and Oceania aren’t very far behind either. So without further adieu, I bring you another treasure trove of great architectural blunders.

  1. I guess this must be a skyscraper straight out of Dr. Seuss or Jules Verne.
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This is called the Hundertwasser Turm which is in Germany. I think it might be an apartment building. Nevertheless, wouldn’t be surprised if it resembles Captain Nemo’s home on land.

2. Guess the aliens have a place to refuel their spacecraft after all.

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This is a gas station, by the way. But it’s in Slovakia. Either way, the architecture on this is totally out of this world.

3. So I guess this must be Nintendo headquarters.

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Yes, this is building is in Japan. However, it’s an apartment building with reversible pods. But yes, it does seem like something you’d see in a Nintendo video game.

4. No, I don’t think that’s where Lex Luthor has his corporate headquarters. Though I could be mistaken.

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This is the bank of China building. It’s in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, it seems to draw inspiration from the architectural styles of Metropolis and Mordor.

5. Behold, I feast my eyes on the world’s largest shampoo bottle.

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It’s one of Nagoya’s Mode-Gauken Spiral Towers which are in Japan. They’re home to 3 vocational schools. However, I tend to find a building hard to take seriously since it resembles a large bottle of expensive shampoo.

6. Guess we have to dig under all that wrapping paper to save this building.

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Wait, it’s supposed to look like that? Yes, this is another disasterpiece eyesore designed by Frank Gehry. It’s called El Hotel Marques de Riscal which is in Spain. But it seems like the place where a giant disposed his wrapping paper.

7. Looks like we found ourselves amongst a gigantic loudspeaker.

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This is the building for the Mauritius Commercial Bank. It’s in the nation of Mauritius which is an island in the Indian Ocean and former home of the Dodo. Still, you’d expect this building to ask whether you’d want fries with your burger.

8. Seems like this building has fallen over like a row of dominoes.

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This is called the Polaria which is in Tromso, Norway. It’s the northernmost aquarium in the world. No, there’s nothing wrong with the building. It was constructed that way.

9. In Cameroon, you’re bound to see a monument of a gigantic screwdriver.

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It’s called the Monument of Reunification. But to some people, it might resemble, a curling snake, a turd, or the end of a screw driver.

10. In Japan, they call this the Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower in Tokyo.

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It’s called that because many people think it resembles a cocoon. However, to me, it resembles a female body part that I may not be able to mention in front of a G-rated audience.

11. If Cinderizilla fits into this glass slipper, does this mean she gets to marry her Tyrannosaurus Rex?

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This is a church in Taiwan. Apparently they designed it like a shoe in hopes to attract more female worshippers. However, I’m sure it’s bound to attract a lot more female tourists.

12. Okay, what the hell is that thing and does it eat people?

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This the Tenerife Opera House in the Spanish Canary Islands. And no, it doesn’t seafaring humans for breakfast. You’re thinking about a different sea monster.

13. Okay, what’s this? Some upscale restaurant in Mos Eisley or Jabba the Hutt’s vacation home?

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This is called Le Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse. I think it’s supposed to be a house in France. Nevertheless, I think this kind of modern architecture seems to come straight from Tatooine.

14. In Dubai, it seems that the aliens have not built their own skyscraper.

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This is called the Rose Tower Hotel in Dubai, UAE. It’s supposed to be the tallest hotel in the world. But it sure ain’t the prettiest.

15. This building is called the Swan Bell Tower in Perth, Australia.

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Okay, it’s a tower. But it looks nothing like a swan or a bell. In fact, I think a more appropriate name would be, “The Bobkin Tower” since it resembles the kind of instrument people used to stab accused witches with.

16. It’s only a matter of time until it’s all set for liftoff.

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As my first specimen on Soviet architecture for this post, I bring you the Ostankino Tower in Moscow, erected in 1967. It’s the tallest freestanding structure in Europe. It’s a TV and Radio tower.

17. Don’t look now but I think these cars are about to be swallowed up by a concrete tornado.

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I’m sure the cars are safe. This is the Midrand Water Tower in South Africa. Not sure why it’s constructed like some concrete tornado or a spacecraft.

18. So I guess these are accommodations for Imperial Stormtroopers.

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This is the Balfron Tower, which was designed by the architect Erno Goldfinger who inspired the most famous Bond villain. Not surprisingly, Ian Fleming hated his guts.

19. So I guess this building has a giant black monster sitting on it.

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My mistake, that’s the Pablo Serrano museum in Zaragoza, Spain. Still, I don’t know about you, but I’m increasingly worried about where Spain’s architecture is heading these days.

20. Seems like the apartment buildings in Whoville are getting weirder and weirder these days.

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Oh, wait, this one is in Tel Aviv. It might be a hotel or residence, many aren’t exactly sure. Still, from how I look at it, walking up its stairs must be a real pain in the neck.

21. Seems like this building is infested with fungus.

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Wait a minute those are balconies? It’s in Grenoble, France. Still, I think this building would be way better off if those balconies were removed.

22. Wonder which sci-fi villain owns this building.

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This is the Hotel President that’s in the Ivory Coast. It’s marketed as a luxury resort. But certainly doesn’t look like one. More like something from the Soviet Union.

23. Oh, no, someone’s blown up a building!

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Okay, this wasn’t bombed by terrorists. But it was designed by Frank Gehry. Not sure what’s worse or why the guy thought it was a good idea.

24. Now that’s a very bendy lighthouse.

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Not sure what this building is supposed to be. But if it’s a lighthouse, then it’s a rather ugly one at that.

25. Guess this place is a vacation home for a more rustic sci-fi villain.

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This is a vineyard building in La Guardia Spain. It’s called Bodegas Ysios. Kind of reminds me of a church and some Bond villain residence.

26. I think I found a place to land a spaceship.

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This is called the Namaste Hotel in India. But it resembles a spaceship coming from the ground nose up. And the crazy pattern just doesn’t help matters.

27. If Kylo Ren had a yacht, I think it would look like this.

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Of course, it would be smaller than this. But hey, it’s just aesthetics. Still, this is a museum in Milwaukee. Not sure why some museums don’t seem to have great architectural taste.

28. Sometimes the design of a structure makes you wonder how people get through it.

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This building is called the Atomium. It’s in Brussels. It was built during the 1950s. Still, not sure how you navigate this thing inside.

29. Abandoned jewelry store, or a Mos Eisley cantina al fresco?

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It’s actually a brutalistic water tower in France. So unlike some of the other buildings here, it has a better excuse to be ugly. After all, water towers are supposed to fire for function, not effect.

30. Now this building gives “Pottery Barn” a whole new meaning.

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Sorry, but this isn’t a Pottery Barn. It’s an art museum in the American West, I think. So the only place you can buy stuff is probably the souvenir shop.

31. For all you die hard Star Trek fans out there, I finally got a picture of Starfleet headquarters.

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Sorry, Trekkies. Buildut this is the chapel for the United States Air Force. My mistake. Please forgive me.

32. This building in Doha, Qatar is known as the Tornado Tower.

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More like the “Finger Trap Tower” in my book. Seriously, does anyone in Qatar know what a tornado looks like? This isn’t it.

33. If President Snow had a vacation home, I bet it would resemble this.

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Well, if President Snow’s vacation home would be in a poorer district with a lovely terrain. Perhaps Districts 6-8? Nevertheless, I think this might be a library in Germany.

34. Behold, I give you the world’s largest clam.

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This is called the City of Arts and Sciences. According to Pinterest, it “is a unique complex devoted to scientific and cultural dissemination, including an interactive science museum, aquarium, planetarium, IMAX cinema and performing arts center.”

35. Wonder how many seconds to blastoff this rocket is.

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It’s a building in Japan. Not sure what it’s for. However, the design isn’t that bad. The color on the other hand…

36. When it comes to new additions, sometimes it doesn’t always work.

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Of course, this building in Britain would’ve turned much better if they had stuck with the original style. Don’t know what this building is used for. Jailing Bond villains?

37. I bet the inspiration for this building was the head of a Soviet style safety razor.

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Wait a minute, I don’t think this is a Soviet building. I think the words on this are written in English. Still, It’s a terribly eyesore of the brutalist structure. And it resembles a razor head.

38. Sometimes a church doesn’t always look very immaculate.

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This seems to be the combination of a church and a 1950s diner. Doesn’t work well from an architectural aesthetic standpoint.

39. Let me guess, this building must be used to produce military weapons of some sort.

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Oh, wait, it’s the Nanohana-Kan Senior Center which is in Japan. Still, I don’t think a building design inspired by the Hindenburg disaster is a welcome place for old people. But that’s just me.

40. I call these buildings the plastic kettles from IKEA.

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These are buildings from Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, UK. But to me, they resemble the ugliest kettles you’d get from IKEA. Well, if they carry them.

41. If we add triangles on the roofs, this building will look much prettier.

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Sorry, but all I think the triangles will do for this building is make it look so silly that it’ll be the laughingstock of the block. Yeah, that looks pretty stupid.

42. If Salvador Dali made a living designing prisons, they would look like this.

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This is the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, which features modern art. It was designed by Frank Gehry. Nevertheless, it makes Alcatraz seem like a sunny place.

43. Guess this what a beehive looks when a beekeeper smokes some bees with cannabis.

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This is an art museum in Mexico. You think they’d design a place that doesn’t resemble a weird golden stump. But you were wrong.

44. I guess this is a temple dedicated to the all great and powerful Zod.

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This was the Slovakia Radio Tower. It was built during the Soviet era and took 16 years to build since it’s upside down. But yeah, it resembles a sci-fi temple all right.

45. When it comes to windows, portholes are always the right choice.

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Well, if those portholes are on a boat. If they’re on buildings, that’s just stupid. Nevertheless, this is the Hotel Topazz in Vienna.

46. If Kylo Ren built a shrine to Darth Vader, it would probably look like this.

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This is called the Russian State Scientific Center for Robotics and Technical Cybernetics. It’s in Saint Petersburg, And yes, it’s looks pretty evil all right and built during the Soviet era.

47. If you saw a building like this, you have to wonder whether the Soviets had an equivalent to Lincoln Logs.

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During the Soviet Era, this was the building for the Ministry of Highways. Today, it’s a commercial bank in Georgia. Yet, it almost seems photoshopped. It’s not.

48. Paper bags are certainly useful. However, it’s potential for artistic inspiration isn’t one of them.

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This is another Gehry disasterpiece. It’s a business school in Sydney, Australia. A woman from The Sydney Herald calls him the Kim Kardashian of contemporary architecture, all curves, no content. She has a point.

49. Oh, no, it’s a robotic space monster! Everyone, run for your lives!

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My mistake, it’s the Linda Haiyu Plaza in Beijing, China. It’s said to resemble a fish. However, I think it looks like a large, maneating, robotic caterpillar.

50. Behold, I give you the world’s largest sinking donut.

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This is the Sheraton Hotel in Huzhou, China. It’s said to be based on the city’s ancient bridges. But I think the inspiration was something the architect ate at Dunkin’ Donuts.

51. I guess they call this place “The Island of the Spotted Shampoo Bottles.”

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These are hotels at Phoenix Island. It’s a luxury resort area in Sanya, China. Nevertheless, these skyscrapers are just hideous.

52. If you like buildings that resemble presents in ugly wrapping paper, then this one is for you.

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This is the Birmingham Library in the UK. Yes, it resembles some of the tackiest wrapping paper. But at least it has the books inside going for it.

53. I guess this is supposed to be a recreation center for the Galactic Empire.

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My mistake, this is the National Royal Theater in London. You’d think Britain would go for a more respectable looking theatrical venue design. But not during the 1970s.

54. This is called Mirador Building in Madrid, possibly inspired by Lego.

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From The Richest: “Whoever designed this seriously needs to reconsider their career path and whoever commissioned this design must have been briefly out of their minds! Did the team behind this have kids and just watched those kids play Lego? It appears to have been thrown together at the last minute to poke fun at the Spanish capital’s sky line.”

55. So I guess this must be the Galactic Empire’s maximum security prison.

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Oh, wait, this is Trump Place in New York City. Commissioned and funded by Mr. Orange Cotton Candy Hair himself. Nevertheless, this is one building I wouldn’t mind birds using as a toilet.

56. Surrealist prison or sci-fi villain office space?

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This is the Cooper Union building in New York City. It’s an engineering school. Nevertheless, it’s said to be one of the city’s ugliest and it shows. Style would’ve worked better for a prison.

57. Oh, great, an oil refinery. What could be interesting about that?

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Okay, this is just the University Hospital in Aachen, Germany. It’s the largest hospital in Europe that just happens to look like an oil refinery. Nevertheless, the exterior views can’t be good for the patients.

58. I guess the inspiration for this German building came from inside a car.

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This is the Bierpinsel in Berlin, Germany. It’s a restaurant and nightclub that was built in the 1970s and even had a disco. Nowadays, people put graffiti on it that doesn’t help its appearance.

59. Sometimes what looks good in Lego doesn’t hold up in real life.

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This is the Edward R. Roybal Learning Center in Los Angeles. It’s the most expensive American school ever built at $377 million. Said to take 20 years to construct. Not sure if it’s worth it.

60. When it comes to vintage patterns, there’s a reason why some of them become real eyesores.

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This is the Kaden Tower of Louisville, Kentucky. It was built in 1966. Nevertheless, it would’ve looked better without the fancy windows. That’s just tacky.

61. Apparently, someone took, “upon this rock, I will build my church,” a bit too literally.

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From Oddee: “Built between 1968 and 1973 this building, The Pilgrimage Church in Neviges, Germany, made designer Gottfried Bohm a household name and the eyesore was considered his most important work, makes you wonder what the rest of his stuff looks like. “

62. When it comes to vacation homes, this would be perfect for Darth Vader.

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This is the Mustafa Kanat Camii in Turkey. It’s called the Darth Vader mosque for obvious reasons. Said to be kitschy that it’s almost cute.

63. Sometimes luxurious hotels don’t always add glitz and glamour in some people’s minds.

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This is the Ritz Carlton in Istanbul. Yes, it’s rather phallic looking and completely out of sync with its surroundings. For many this is considered the city’s ugliest building since it can’t be avoided from view.

64. I guess this is a space age weapons facility by the looks of it.

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My bad, it’s actually the Nord Bank in Hannover, Germany. Nevertheless, why Germany seems to have so many ugly buildings these days, I have no idea.

65. Sometimes bright colors make a building look better. Sometimes worse.

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This is a movie park in Wuhan in China. Nevertheless, it seems like a place where you’d find the minions of Despicable Me hanging out.

66. Run down greenhouse or high class slum?

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It’s actually called Pimlico Academy which is in London. It was built in 1970. Still, the first thing I’d do to this building is give it a paint job.

67. I guess this is minion headquarters.

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My mistake, it’s the Hardenburg Town Hall in the Netherlands. Said to be the ugliest building in the country. And they’re not kidding.

68. Seems like this building has leaves of many different colors.

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This is Motison Tower. It’s a shopping mall in India. Kind of tacky but whatever is on the roof is bound to get people’s attentions.

69. Oh, shit, I think I just discovered the pink Monticello. And it’s hideous.

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This is the Nehru building in India which is used as a government office. Nevertheless, I think Nehru deserved better than having a building named after him that’s a Monticello of Pepto Bismol pink.

70. Let me guess, another ugly church, right?

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My mistake, it’s Hong Kong’s Cultural Center. Yes, it looks as if it’s made from cardboard boxes. But that’s beside the point.

71. From how I see it, this could be a Vegas hotel, Vegas casino, or a Vegas shopping mall.

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Sorry, but it’s really the Central Library of Hong Kong. It’s a mishmash of Post-Modern and Neoclassical styles. Or styles that should never be embodied in the same building ever.

72. I guess this is where the aliens dock and unload.

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This is the MAC Niteroi which was built in the 1990s. Its a contemporary art museum in Rio de Janeiro. Makes me disappointed that you don’t see little green men coming out of it.

73. Oh, goodie, I think I just stumbled on NSA headquarters.

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Oh, wait the NSA building in Washington doesn’t look like that. This is the PMTC Building which is in Fairfax, New Zealand. It’s a medical building to my surprise.

74. Oh, look, a cruise ship. Oh, wait a minute…

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This is actually the Sun Cruise Resort in South Korea. The cruise ship is really a hotel. But on the bright side, no chance of seasickness or sinking.

75. Behold, mortals will be vaporized by this building’s massive, unstoppable, death ray.

Parliament House, Canberra

Okay this is the Australian Parliament building in Canberra. Nevertheless, it can also look as if the building is being grabbed by a large divine claw machine.

76. Man, I didn’t know that Kylo Ren has such a luxurious vacation palace.

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Oh, wait this is Nicolae Ceaușescu’s People’s Palace in Romania. He was Romania’s mad totalitarian dictator who led one of the most brutal and repressive regimes of the Eastern Bloc. He basically starved his people who had to violently remove him. Luckily he was shot by firing squad.

77. Because artistic inspiration has to consist of a bunch of blocks inside a ball of chicken wire.

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This is the Daejeon Museum of Art in South Korea. Yes, it kind of resembles tumbleweed and a mangled fence. But I didn’t design the thing.

78. Okay, what did I say? No pictures of junkyards. This is a bunch of pipes lying around.

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Okay, this is actually the Hefei Art Museum in China. Yes, I know it looks like a bunch of pipes piled together. But you’d be wrong.

79. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Fountain Pen Tower.

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This is the Aspire Tower in Doha, Qatar. But at night it lights up and resembles some modern looking fountain pen. Too bad it doesn’t have ink.

80. Is this a skyscraper pyramid or a gigantic vacuum?

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This is the Vitra Design Museum in Dakar, Senegal. Seems like one of those sci-fi villain lairs. Particularly the place Mr. Evil Overlord goes when his wife kicks him out of their palace.

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2 responses to “The Wonderful World of Architecture (Third Edition)

  1. Google the Taubman Museum of Art in downtown Roanoke. We honestly can’t tell if it’s supposed to be a flock of ducks, a boat, or a paper airplane.

    Good post, enjoyed reading 🙂

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