Imagine that every building constructed was an attempt to be revolutionary. Cities would look like a children’s sandbox, given that the mishmash of conflicting designs would not fit into a bigger picture. No one wants the skyline of their local metro to be a painful eyesore, after all, which is why a big part of any architectural design is about conforming to an existing standard.
The fact of the matter is that although most architects are keen on making a name for themselves, the majority don’t get the opportunity to really stretch their legs. So when a project comes along that does allow for creativity, the result is often something that completely defies expectations.
Fondation Louis Vuitton by Frank Gehry
When Frank Gehry was tasked with creating an eye-catching museum, many architects looked on in envy. That is, until they realised the design had to fit in with pre-defined Paris standards. It is widely known that the French are extremely picky about what they will and won’t allow to be built, meaning that Gehry had an extremely challenging task ahead of him. The resulting building, completed in 2014, defied every expectation.
The Fondation Louis Vuitton is an architectural wonder, utilising a so called glass “greenhouse” aesthetic to help blend in with the gardens at Bois de Boulogne. The idea is ingenious, more so that that the designer managed to do what most thought impossible; putting a smile on French critic’s faces.
Shanghai Tower by Gensler
It is difficult to know where to start when talking about Shanghai Tower. Finished in 2015, it seems like this enormous structure is some sort of miracle in almost every regard. Not only is it the tallest building in China, and second tallest in the world, but it somehow also achieved money saving techniques on a near unbelievable level. As to whether it was worth the effort is another story.
Gensler regional manager, Xiaomei Lee, explained that the rounded design of the structure, plus an experimental wind tunnel, were the keys to the achievements. The lack of angles make the building typhoon proof, Lee elaborated, and the wind tunnel managed to save an astonishing $58 million in required building materials, leaving a lot of money left over to play the bingo Canada has to offer!
432 Park Avenue By Rafael Viñoly
432 Park Avenue is a controversial building to be sure, but is still an achievement in its own right. A book could be written about how the building is as generic as possible in shape, despite also stretching high above the Manhattan skyline like an enormous finger. To be sure, some have called 432 Park Avenue a bland eyesore, while others marvel at the fact that it is somehow able to resist strong wind, despite having the structural shape of a needle.
Regardless of the building being frowned on in terms of visual appeal, few argue that the building is a marvel in regards to weather resistance. With the building complete, and still standing strong in the face of fierce weather, it is clear that skylines could soon be altered forever, assuming the style catches on.