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Funny buildings in pictures

October 22, 2008

Of late our construction industry has mushroomed and we have people coming up with some weird designs for their projects. Anything goes and at times these buildings are more of a joke more than anything else. The one below reminds me of a tall man with a pot belly. But this isn’t as funny as some others.

This one is like a cross between a temple and a space ship!

I came across the black building in Goa. Goa has some very beautiful colour schemes for buildings, and this one stood out for being different. I guess some may like black, but not me. And isn’t black supposed to attract more heat?

And how would you describe this funny building? I mean, what in the world is it??

Is this an attempt to attract aliens?

Someone thought they were being very clever while designing this building but I don’t see balance here.

Another attempt at heroism. But what the point if the windows face downwards?

(All pictures are copyrighted to me and mostly taken in and around Mumbai/Pune)

Relating viewing: Posts on Travel Photography
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Pune is being re-built but in the process beautiful structures are being demolished

39 Comments leave one →
  1. October 22, 2008 9:49 am

    Wow !!!

    Those were interesting pictures, Nita especially the one in which windows are facing downwards …

    Great work !!

  2. October 22, 2008 10:40 am

    @ Nita

    The 3rd photo looks like a hacienda-inspired one but its placement is peculiar. The 5th seems to draw inspiration from the Lotus Temple (Baha’i Temple) in Delhi or from Sydney Opera House.

    The most outstanding thing about these is that they are designed with no regard to the surroundings – the worst kind of ‘innovativeness’ in architecture in my view.

    Modern and contemporary architecture results in some interesting outcomes. In London, the Seagram building looks like a ship. Coming in from the west, if you see the building you know you are on Hammersmith Bridge. The MI6 building looks like a giant Lego structure. The SwissRe building is called the Gherkin because it looks like one and lit blue and green at night, looks like an alien ship (to me). I have taken pictures of many such buildings that seem like they are jarring with their surroundings. One photo – taken by a friend when he was visiting London – however is fabulous. It is a sphinx like statuette in the foreground and in the background, St Paul’s and the Gherkin. Nobody could figure that picture, nobody who hasn’t walked along the embankment that is.

    Interesting post.

  3. October 22, 2008 11:02 am

    Nita, i’m afraid i didn’t find anything funny in these buildings :) :)

  4. October 22, 2008 11:15 am

    Interesting post, Nita. Your post reminds me of the Lombard street in San Francisco.

  5. October 22, 2008 11:35 am

    Great pictures Nita…creativity gone berserk in some cases! All creative effort will not be great…it is good to see someone point that out. Be that as it may, I found the building with windows pointing downwards visually engaging…I wonder whether the idea is original or has been lifted from somewhere.

  6. October 22, 2008 12:08 pm

    Its great to see lot of innovative ideas being constructed.. Some of the pics you gave are really interesting..I wonder why on earth people painted black color??maybe they have some mechanism to reduce heat..Anyways,black is a bad choice for buildings..

    Did you read about new tower to be built in Dubai which revolves 2 4/7!! Each floor rotates a small degree every hour and in 24 hrs or so,they will complete 360 degree..Indeed interesting..

  7. October 22, 2008 12:22 pm

    Soham, Nandu, thanks.

    Shefaly, thanks. As you pointed out, it’s innovativeness gone haywire! It would be interesting to see some of your pictures of buildings in the U.K. Generally one gets the feeling that buildings in western countries tend to have a clonish look, even if they are beautiful. In India, there are some really weird designs!

    Vivek, I guess not funny as in funny but as in wierd funny.

    Vinod, I liked that one too, and in fact was going to write that. Finally, refrained from saying it because I thought it was not good from the utility point of view. The latter to my mind is important if it is a building, however interesting from outside.

    Nimmy, I guess people have all kinds of ideas where buildings are concerned but I too wondered why anyone would ever paint a building black! I would never buy or rent a place in a black building. And I guess yes, they must be having ac’s but the ac’s will have to work harder!

  8. October 22, 2008 12:35 pm

    The last one is really cool

  9. chirax permalink
    October 22, 2008 12:42 pm

    Wonderful… I after reading of Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead, no architect can hold back :D

  10. October 22, 2008 12:51 pm

    Nita – the black building, in itself is an interesting and harmonious structure – quite attractive other than being black. What were the builders/owners thinking? Probably not of practical considerations of local climate, which if ignored yields bad design no matter how attractive the structure.
    The building with the acutely downward angled windows is one i would not ever want to go inside. The suggestion of diagonally slanted levels is off-putting and disconcerting. What does this say of the Kumar Builders, who it seems are housed in this building? That they do attention-getting but psychologically uncomfortable structures? They would not get my business – while they can do marvels of engineering with their buildings, what sorts of human beings do they design for – ones who like to be in perpetual discomfort? G

  11. guqin permalink
    October 22, 2008 12:57 pm

    Very sad, Nita.

    Since you have been to China, you know what I am talking about. Those ugly buildinigs are results of immitations of western modern architectural styles. There are perhaps a million more such immitations in China and each is 10 times larger that those here. My brother is an architect, he told me that often western firms use China as an experiment field since their projects are not allowed in western countries because those buildings when finished will cause damages in the natural environment near by and disbalances in the energy network. My brother is angery and considers this immoral but he can’t do anything since he needs to keep his job.

    Not funny, but simply ugly.

  12. October 22, 2008 1:39 pm

    Some familiar buildings :) I guess to each their own art!

  13. October 22, 2008 2:40 pm

    @ Nita

    I think hearing what Vivek Khadpekar thinks would be interesting. He is an architect and will likely have much to say :-)

    Despite the destruction of WWII, buildings in Europe are well-preserved and representative of the period in which they were built. So they are a motley bunch and fare from being clones.

    Some of London’s best known features are from the gothic and gothic revival era, whereas others are more eclectic.

    I, for instance, live in a house from the Arts and Crafts period which is a good balance of modern and old-fashioned. Each house on my street, from a similar period, is unique which too was a characteristic of that period. I lived in a Georgian house in Scotland and that is my favourite style for residential buildings.

    I don’t care much for buildings in America except in Boston and New York.

  14. October 22, 2008 2:58 pm

    You proved again your uniqueness in photography.
    Kudos :-)
    Really cool snaps… I don’t know why people are crazy about ugly things some times.
    I have seen recently some kind of houses which exactly look like your last snap. I think -while designing their dream constructions, people are least bothered/ forgetting the minimum requirements what a building needs like lighting and air etc.

  15. October 22, 2008 3:46 pm

    the second picture looks really slanted….as if going to fall anytime….is it meant to be like dat?

  16. Bombay wadapav eater permalink
    October 22, 2008 5:35 pm

    Sad! I don’t like these.
    I prefer the old houses in Gamdevi (Laburnum Road and aroun where Gandhiji also lived – my favourite ones), Chowpatty, Peddar Road and Malabar Hill and the Khotachi wadi and other wada houses in Girgaum. Also Shivaji park, Matunga, Bandra, Khar and Santa Cruz have some beautiful old houses. Wonder how many of these remain. It is sad that these old houses get demolished and replaced by ghastly-looking tall structures to accomodate the growing population. I remember as a kid the only modern structure that fascinated me was the round building next to the Nehru Planetarium in Worli and the planetarium itself.
    Thank God that we have “Denkmalschutz” in Germany so you can’t just demolish and construct what you like and where you like. But then considering buildings, Japan is no better. Tokyo has an amorphous collection of buildings that don’t fit next to each other and many are very ugly.
    Frankfurt is considered to be quite ugly but I find most skyscrapers not bad at all. In Frankfurt we have the “Bleistift” (pencil) which is the trade fairs building, then a building which has the shape of a slice of cake and it is called “Tortenstueck”, an “apple wine” building , Japan tower and many others. Have a look at the skyline in the night.
    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_der_Hochh%C3%A4user_in_Frankfurt_am_Main

  17. October 22, 2008 5:44 pm

    @ Nita : Actually the first one should be sold to ABN AMRO. It fits their colour scheme well.

  18. October 22, 2008 6:08 pm

    Most of them look crazy. The Alien attracting building looks like Sydney Opera house. The last building actually looks good to me. We cannot write it off unless we know how it is built and how strong it is. Sometimes it is just the architects trying to bring out the best in them, I feel there is nothing wrong in building like these, if it is built to proper standards and strength.

  19. October 22, 2008 7:17 pm

    a few are shocking and a few look good :)

  20. October 22, 2008 7:24 pm

    @ Odzer

    You assume they will be in a position to retain those colours ;-)

  21. October 22, 2008 8:16 pm

    Ohhh u dont like black? Yeyyy! Same pinch!
    Last one is weird. I get so upset by unsymmetrical things. One of my quirks.
    Nice snaps.

  22. lallopallo permalink
    October 22, 2008 9:55 pm

    Funny styles. Thanks for the pictures.

  23. October 22, 2008 11:24 pm

    what kind of absurd structures are they?
    one they are such huge and two totally out shape…..it seems that the engineers and the architects have totally lost it.
    nice post :D

  24. October 23, 2008 12:10 am

    Thanks for providing a good laugh today!!
    Love the windows pointing down! Fantastic!!

  25. October 23, 2008 12:24 am

    An interesting post.

    This kind of buildings are now creeping up thanks to our companies which are looking for some idiotic structures to distinguish themselves :)
    You made us laugh today, and i think it may not possible without these companies extrordinary architechtural brains.

    In between I loved the 3rd building which looks like a set in that whole street.

  26. October 23, 2008 2:29 am

    Hi Nita,

    Good pics and an interesting post which shows how different are the buildings in India. But you can even find more different, huge ones in South India too. I was thinking like, whether these builders are trying to compete with the one’s at burg dubai.:-)

  27. October 23, 2008 2:51 am

    the 5th alien inviting pic is right infront of my office..I never saw it the way you projected :)

    Weird pics…

  28. October 23, 2008 7:45 am

    Aathira, Chirax, Indian Homemaker, Odzer, Vishesh, Lallopallo, Jennifer, thanks,

    suburbanlife, as you said the black building if it was a lighter colour would look quite nice, I thought the design was alright too. And about the Kumar builders building, I think that is exactly what it is – attention getting…these guys are one of the top builders this side of the country.

    Gugin, I didn’t know about that, but I am not at all surprised as in the developed world they have strict rules about what type of building can come up and which cannot. But you know, I quite liked the skyline in Shanghai, even though some of the individual buildings were not so good.

    Shefaly, From the pictures I have seen I too don’t think too much of American buildings. They remind me of Leo Mattel toys! I think in India we should do more to preserve the old structures and the old style streets. But unfortunately, it is all going, little by little. Old pune city is changing very fast (an old post of mine).

    Krishna, thanks. As you mentioned, lighting and air should be the main considerations otherwise a good design is of no use.

    chumpman, no, that’s my photography! :)

    Bombay wadapav eater, In Mumbai they have done a better job of preserving old buildings as compared to Pune. Those buildings you mentioned are still there, though more places in the suburbs are being torn down. I do not like the modern structures much but some of them stick out like sore thumbs which I tried to portray here. And that skyline looks pretty. Skylines are night always do.

    Dinesh Babu, worth entering that last building and seeing what it is like from inside.

    Reema, me too. :)

    Arpit, yeah, I think architects here get a free hand to do anything. And draw free hand!

    Kanagu, as you said these architects want to stand out, but they stick out instead!

    Ram, that was one point I wanted to make. As to how unique our buildings are, and how people can make any sort of building they want, no regulations to bother about where design is concerned! In fact I almost thought of saying, just as how different each of us in India are allowed to be or something like that. But then I thought it wasn’t a good comparison.

    Sharad, something we see everyday can grow on us!

  29. October 23, 2008 2:03 pm

    The profession and practice of architecture in India has undergone a complete transformation in this decade. The last eight years have been a boom time, not seen since the heady days of Post Independence India. The booming economy and the burgeoning middle class has prompted developers to bring in foreign architects with foreign fees to design everything from airports to residential and office towers and bungalows and resorts. Foreign architects bring in the tried and tested processes and function precision to bring about a complete turnaround in the way projects are designed and built. They pair up with Indian firms who have the expertise on the ground to get things done and built. Foreign architects for the most part are bringing in foreign solutions and design principles which may not all work in India, but the public does not think a second before lapping it all up. We are literally bringing New York, Chicago, Tokyo or Shanghai to Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta, Madras and countless other towns and cities. Only time will tell if this is successful in the long term. India is not the only place in the world where this is happening. China is way ahead of us in transplanting urban fabric from the West into their cities.

    Thanks for the info Ria. – Nita

  30. Joss permalink
    October 23, 2008 3:51 pm

    If you want to see some even funnier buildings look up the work of German artist/architect Hundtertwasser. He started out painting pictures of fantasy houses and villages, all in the most rioutous colours, very Indian, but seems to have then been allowed to go on and actually build them (or adapt old ones). Look him up, he’s a treat!

    Joss, I will certainly check out this guy ! Thanks. – Nita.

  31. Joss permalink
    October 23, 2008 3:51 pm

    Sorry, the spelling is Hundertwasser.

  32. October 23, 2008 4:17 pm

    @ Joss:

    Hundertwasser was Austrian/ Viennese, as far as I know. I think his most spectacular complete project is the full apartment block that he designed in Vienna – the privately owned Hundertwasser Haus.

    I have found his work quite mesmerising and I don’t mean that just metaphorically :-)

    I think he would cringe at the buildings that Nita has photographed. His inclination was to work with nature, the environment and the eventual inhabitants (the last bit not very different from the principles underlying the Arts and Crafts movement). These may explain his fascination with undulating floors, curves and the use of natural materials.

  33. October 23, 2008 8:01 pm

    LOl …
    last one is really funny .,
    well weird too :D
    thanks for sharing

    Weerd aren’t they, most of them!! – Nita.

  34. Padmini permalink
    October 24, 2008 3:52 am

    Anything to grab the viewer’s attention. Some of them were really in bad taste. It looked like some amateur architects, probably students,practicing their skills, which unfortunately, we have to view.

    Padmini, I thought so too, and all to grab attention. But I think the architects actually thought they were being clever! – Nita.

  35. wishtobeanon permalink
    October 24, 2008 7:01 pm

    Good post, Nita – would love to get more posts(with pictures) like these from you.

    Of late, haven’t been doing too many picture posts have I! Well, go to think about some as I really enjoy doing them. – Nita.

  36. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    October 24, 2008 9:40 pm

    Hi all!

    Nita’s sentiments expressed in this post have been articulated very perceptively and entertainingly by Gautam Bhatia nearly 15 years ago. I don’t know if the book is still in print, but here’s a review, and there are some more on the net.

    http://www.the-south-asian.com/Jan%202004/book_review_punjabi_baroque.htm

    For a rather more cerebral comment on the phenomenon, by the same author, you may wish to read the following online:

    http://www.india-seminar.com/2001/501/501%20gautam%20bhatia.htm

    Nice articles. – Nita.

  37. October 31, 2008 7:24 pm

    “Another attempt at heroism. But what the point if the windows face downwards?”
    This is a corporate office of Kumar Builders. Mr. Lalit Kumar Jain of Kumar Builders is the president of Promoters & Builders Association of Pune. The architecture of the building not only reflects his personality and business philosophy of real estate developers in Pune – humble devotees who consider building homes is not only “Karma” but “Bhakti” a form of worship. If you had looked at the building not from the camera but with open eyes, you could have seen this. Being a Pune real estate blogger, I can feel that devotion even when i look at the photograph of the building. God bless you!

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