Building with complete structures a like a canvas for architect. The designer of the building can give it a magical appearance. Who among us wouldn’t love to decide in a building which is popular for its appearance.
J. Edgar Hoover Building (FBI HQ); Washington, D.C.
The J. Edgar Hoover Building is located in Washington, D.C. It is the headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The building, named for former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, is located at 935 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. The building received its official name, the J. Edgar Hoover F.B.I. Building, through Public Law 92-520, which President Richard Nixon signed May 4, 1972, two days after Director Hoover’s death.
The figures are simple with little detail. The sculpture rests on a rectangular base made of black slabs of marble and mortar. The front of the base is carved and painted with the words Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity. This dreary 1970s behemoth is almost unavoidable. Its days may be numbered as discussions about the department’s relocation are rumored to be swirling around the capital city.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum; Cleveland, Ohio
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a museum located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States. It is dedicated to archiving the history of some of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers and others who have, in some major way, influenced the music industry through the genre of rock music. The museum is part of the city’s redeveloped North Coast Harbor.
Even the architect was unhappy with this one. Upon the building’s completion, a displeased I.M. Pei admitted himself there’s little harmony in these conflicting shapes.
Sharp Centre for Design; Toronto, Canada
The “Sharp Centre for Design”, designed by architect Will Alsop, of Alsop Architects, in a joint venture with Toronto-based Robbie/Young + Wright Architects Inc. It consists of a box four storeys off the ground supported by a series of multi-coloured pillars at different angles and is often described as a tabletop.
The $42.5 million expansion and redevelopment has received numerous awards, including the first-ever Royal Institute of British Architects Worldwide Award, the award of excellence in the “Building in Context” category at the Toronto Architecture and Urban Design Awards, and was deemed the most outstanding technical project overall in the 2005 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards.
Although some call it innovative, there are others who call it intolerable. While the building’s black and white squares combined with pencil-like stilt supports make it look like a clubhouse for crossword puzzle enthusiasts, this building is actually part of the Ontario College of Art & Design.
Aoyama Technical College; Shibuya, Japan
The Aoyama Technical College was designed by Watanabe Sei and is a great example of post-modern architecture. The building features sharp angles, red and silver color contrasts and shapes that make it look like a metallic insect. A lot of people think it looks like one of the robots of gundam, the popular science fiction anime and video game.
Ever wondered what you get when you cross a Transformers figurine, an oil well, and a curling rock? Now you know. The school’s site offers that the building “represents a new order…through the tolerance of chaos.”
Geisel Library; University of California, San Diego, CA
The Geisel Library is the main library building on the University of California, San Diego campus and contains four of the six libraries located on campus. It is home to the Arts Library (newly merged in July 2008 from the Art & Architecture and Music, Film & Video Libraries) (ARTS), the Mandeville Special Collections Library (SPEC), the Science & Engineering Library (S&E), and the Social Sciences & Humanities Library (SSHL).
The distinctive original building was designed in the late 1960s by William Pereira to sit at the head of a canyon. William Pereira & Associates prepared a detailed report in 1969. Considering the location, Pereira originally conceived of a spherical building resting atop a pedestal, with the structural elements on the inside.
After several drafts of this ball-shaped design, the structural elements were deemed as being too space-consuming, and they were moved to the outside of the structure, essentially resulting in the current “lantern” design. Pereira envisioned that future additions to the original building would form terraced levels around the tower base descending into the canyon.
It rises 8 stories to a height of 110 ft (33.5 m). The four upper stories of the tower itself house the SSHL and East Asia collections. This library is one of the best examples of Brutalist architecture ever built, and that’s not a compliment. Named after Audrey and Theodor Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss), we think it would have been a whole lot prettier had its benefactor also been its architect.
Chang Building (“The Elephant Tower”); Bangkok, Thailand
The Elephant Building or Chang Building is a high-rise building located on Paholyothin Road & Ratchadaphisek Road in Bangkok, Thailand. It lies in the North Bangkok Business District and Chatuchak district. The building is one of the most famous buildings in Bangkok because it has the characteristics of an elephant.
The building has 32 floors and is 102 metres (335ft.) high, it was completed in 1997.
It’s not that we think the design is that bad and we even like the intended humor. It’s the half-hearted execution that turns this potentially fun idea from attraction to eyesore.
Trump Tower; New York City, New York
Trump Tower is a 58-story mixed-use skyscraper located at 725 Fifth Avenue, at the corner of East 56th Street in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It was developed by Donald Trump and the Equitable Life Assurance Company, and designed by Der Scutt of Swanke, Hayden Connell.The tower was completed on November 30, 1983.
When it was completed in the early 80s it was considered the signature building of its time…and that’s part of the problem. Downright dull on the outside, dizzyingly gaudy on the inside, this outdated building is generally only visited by tourists as it is almost universally avoided by actual New Yorkers.
The Pixel Building; Melbourne, Australia
The first carbon neutral office building of its type in Australia, the Pixel building is a decidedly impressive statement of environmental intent from developers Grocon; and we received an equally impressive press release, finely detailing that environmental impressiveness in serious detail.
So much so, that we’ve included it at the bottom of this post for those of you with bigger brains than us. Now impressive green credentials are obviously hugely, well, impressive; but we’ll hold our superficial hand up, and admit that it’s quite simply the breathtaking explosion of color that really impressed us.
Yes, the building is carbon neutral, but how many Olympic mascot pins had to die to make it? While we love that the building is self-sufficient (they even collect their own rain water on the roof), we just wish it were a tad more subtle.
Royal National Theatre; London, U.K.
The Royal National Theatre (generally known as the National Theatre) in London is one of the United Kingdom’s two most prominent publicly funded theatre companies, alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company. Internationally, it is styled the National Theatre of Great Britain.
The National Theatre’s foyers are open to the public, with a large theatrical bookshop, restaurants, bars and exhibition spaces. Backstage tours run throughout the day, and there is live music every day in the foyer before performances.
The style of the National Theatre building was described by Mark Girouard as “an aesthetic of broken forms” at the time of opening. Architectural opinion was split at the time of construction. Even enthusiastic advocates of the Modern Movement such as Sir Nikolaus Pevsner have found the Béton brut concrete both inside and out overbearing.
Most notoriously, Prince Charles described the building in 1988 as “a clever way of building a nuclear power station in the middle of London without anyone objecting”. Sir John Betjeman, however, a man not noted for his enthusiasm for brutalist architecture, was effusive in his praise and wrote to Lasdun stating that he “gasped with delight at the cube of your theatre in the pale blue sky and a glimpse of St. Paul’s to the south of it.
It is a lovely work and so good from so many angles…it has that inevitable and finished look that great work does.” Yes, Shakespeare wrote that “All the world’s a stage…” but he might not have had he lived to see 1970s. While we love the idea of the theatre and the world-class productions mounted here, our feelings don’t quite extend to the actual building.