Monday, March 23, 2015

14 Best Architecture Photos of the Past Year

I have developed an interest in architecture.

Specifically, I like weird architecture...buildings that look out of the ordinary or like they shouldn't even be able to stand at all. That's why I appreciated this list of 14 of the Best Architecture Photos of the Past Year as published last month in Wired. Of immediate interest was the photo I've included above of what's called the Interlace in Singapore.

Many aspects of Asian cultures feel otherworldly, whether they are eldritch and disjointed in time or appearing to be from about twenty years in the future, something about the way things are built just looks off to these Western eyes. I by no means mean that in a detrimental way. Like William Gibson says, "The future is here, it just isn't evenly distributed yet." Indeed a fair amount of it seems to have landed in Japan, China, and other regions of Asia, including buildings that look like they're from the set of Blade Runner. The Interlace is a great example of this weird architecture.

Just look at it. It's like a Rubik's Cube of sorts. I feel like I want to take the building in my hands and start moving the weird blocks around until they fit together in a conventional sense. But that's not what they're supposed to do and that's the beauty of it. The Interlace (here's a better look at it) is a residential center. Instead of plopping a series of single, vertical towers amid the jungle, the way we might do it in an American ubranscape, the Interlace provides interconnected living and social spaces. Might not be for me in terms of a living arrangement, but the design concept is intriguing...and damn pretty to look at.

Normally, I would call a visit to a swimming pool something of a nonevent. That would not be the case in Leca di Palmiera, Portugal. The pool featured on the list is one set adjacent to an oceanic expanse while the roughly M-shaped pool contains an aquamarine fluid, dotted with bodies. Sometimes I'm not sure if it's the design I like or if it was the photographer's composition. I guess in the end it's both. But I digress...

Also worth noting on the list; an "electricity transformation station" in Antwerp, Belgium. In the bleak winter milieu, it rises up like the monolith from 2001. Er, well, the monolith with a notch cut out of it.

Who knows where this new fascination of mine will take me? Heck, I'm even starting to like Frank Gehry.

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