Architecture should mostly be functional – but there’s a lot of room for creativity within that. Here are 5 of the weirdest buildings in the world.
Stone House (Casa do Penedo) – Guimarães, Portugal
Casa do Penedo, also known as Stone Castle or a Stone House, is an architectural monument located between Celorico de Basto and Fafe, in northern Portugal.
Casa do Penedo is translated in English as House of the Rock. It received its name because it was built from four large boulders that serve as the foundation, walls and ceiling of the house. Its construction began in 1972 and lasted about two years until its completion in 1974.
The engineer who built the Casa do Penedo was from Guimarães. The owners initially used the residence as a holiday destination.
The building is located near a wind electricity farm, although there is no electricity inside the house itself. Due to its unusual design and integration into the surrounding nature, the building has become a growing tourist attraction.
The Niterói Contemporary Art Museum – Niterói, Brazil
The museum is situated in the city of Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and is one of the city’s main landmarks. It was completed in 1996.
Designed by Oscar Niemeyer, with the assistance of structural engineer Bruno Contarini, the MAC-Niterói is 16 meters high; its cupola has a diameter of 50 meters with three floors.
The museum projects itself over Boa Viagem beach and neighbourhood. There’s an 817 square metres (8,790 sq ft) reflecting pool that surrounds the cylindrical base “like a flower,” in the words of Niemeyer.
Casa Milá (La Pedrera) – Barcelona, Spain
Casa Milà, popularly known as La Pedrera (pronounced: [ɫə pəˈðɾeɾə]), is a modernist building in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was the last civil work designed by architect Antoni Gaudí, and was built from 1906 to 1912.
The building was commissioned in 1906 by businessman Pere Milà i Camps and his wife Roser Segimon i Artells. At the time, it was controversial because of the undulating stone facade and twisting wrought iron balconies and windows designed by Josep Maria Jujol. Structural innovations include a self-supporting stone front and columns, and floors free of load bearing walls. Also innovative is the underground garage and sculptural elements on the roof.
In 1984 UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site. Currently, it is the headquarters of the Catalunya-La Pedrera Foundation, which manages the exhibitions, activities and public visits at Casa Milà.
Cubic Houses – Rotterdam and Helmond, Netherlands
The Cubic houses are a set of innovative houses built in Rotterdam and Helmond in the Netherlands, designed by architect Piet Blom and based on the concept of “living as an urban roof”: high density housing with sufficient space on the ground level, since its main purpose is to optimize the space inside.
Blom tilted the cube of a conventional house 45 degrees, and rested it upon an hexagon-shaped pylon. His design represents a village within a city, where each house represents a tree, and all the houses together, a forest.
National Centre for the Performing Arts – Beijing, China
The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), colloquially described as The Giant Egg, is an arts centre containing an opera house in Beijing, People’s Republic of China.
The Centre, an ellipsoid dome of titanium and glass surrounded by an artificial lake, seats 5,452 people in three halls and is almost 12,000 m² in size. It was designed by French architect Paul Andreu.
Construction started in December 2001 and the inaugural concert was held in December 2007.