Asymmetric Architecture

Down with squares and rectangles! Long live parallelograms!

Of course there are plenty of examples out there of plain shapes capturing the public imagination. The Empire State building was probably one of the first, but, I think, the most beautiful of the New York lot has to be the Chrysler Building.

Detail view of the steeple

Detail view of the steeple

Especially true when compared to some of its contemporary structures…

Midtown Manhattan, New York City 1932

Midtown Manhattan, New York City 1932

But even this structure still follows the age old square base and brick (as in shape) walls. Modern skyscrapers have started to deviate from the brick, and it’s about time too.

Enter, Santiago Calatrava’s “Turning Torso” built in Sweden

Finished in 2005. Malmö, Sweden

Finished in 2005. Malmö, Sweden. Photo courtesy of Väsk

But even this is tame by comparison to some of the things yet to come. As designed by NL Artchitects, the new design proposal for the Groninger Forum is nothing short of amazing.

Side view

Side view

Frontal view including atrium and staircases

Frontal view including atrium and staircases

Perspective view

Perspective view

Interior structure including the stairs.

Interior structure including the stairs.

Top view really illustrates the base > top deviation. It only looks off balance, but the weight is evenly distirbuted to the base.

Top view really illustrates the base > top deviation. It only looks off balance, but the weight is evenly distirbuted to the base.

More detail on the company web site.

But the real cream of the crop when it comes to asymmetric (and truly a balancing act form) architecture has to be the Beijing CCTV building designed by Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren.

Frontal view

Frontal view

Perspective view

Perspective view

But unlike the Groninger Forum which is still just beyond the design stage, this building is already under construction.

Under construction

Under construction

Update 7:22PM

Shannon mentioned the asymmetric Boston suspension bridge in the comments.
Which reminds me of this one in Spain also designed by Santiago Calatrava.

Seville, Andalusia in Spain

Seville, Andalusia in Spain

19 thoughts on “Asymmetric Architecture

  1. Cool!

    I know nothing about architecture, but I know what I like and that’s things that are different and innovative. Not cookie-cutter sameness. How boring!

    I’ve gotta wonder how these buildings would stand up to extreme weather conditions like flood, high winds ect.

    I’m sure that’s been thought of already and remedied though. Amazing.

  2. Pingback: Edificio con torso torcido « Arquitectura curiosa

  3. The CCTV headquarters is designed by famous architects but structural engineer is Sri Lankan born Engineer Cecil Balmont. It is an algorhythm which he users for to make these structures possible.

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