Saturday Surprise — Weird Buildings And A Cute Kitten!

Good Saturday morning, friends!  Come in out of the cold and join me for a cuppa before you head out on your weekend errands.  I was really hoping we could take a journey today, have an adventure, but I’m still not quite up for it.  I thought about having Jolly take you, but … well … while I adore the little guy, he’s even more directionally challenged than I am, and I was afraid I might not see you again for a month!  But I did find a couple of fun things for us to start the weekend.

Ever hear of Frank Gehry?  No?  I hadn’t either, until I came across some strange-looking buildings and found that they were all designed by the same architect:  Frank Gehry.

Frank GehryFrank Gehry is a Canadian-born American architect, residing in Los Angeles.  A number of his buildings, including his private residence, have become world-renowned attractions. His works are cited as being among the most important works of contemporary architecture in the 2010 World Architecture Survey, which led Vanity Fair to label him as “the most important architect of our age”.

Let’s take a look at some of his buildings …

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Fred And Ginger, Prague, Czech Republic

The Fred And Ginger or The Dancing House in the Chech Capital is one of the most controversial works of Gehry, because of the audacity that he had when he thought of and implemented the idea of building two modern, dancing buildings that don’t fit in with their classical surroundings. Yet unusual shapes have enriched Prague’s old town and now it’s iconic. Oh, and the name ‘Fred and Ginger’ was chosen because of the dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers that inspired Frank Gehry.


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Museum Of Pop Culture, Seattle, Washington

This massive construction looks like it’s melting under Seattle’s mellow sun, yet it’s far from that. This sheet-metal covered structure was inspired by the rock music and the energy that it embodies. Gehry even admitted that the preparations included buying and putting together guitar pieces in order to create a form which would inspire the soon-to-be the museum of pop culture.


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Marqués De Riscal Hotel, Elciego, Spain

A small Spanish Town in a region that is famous for its wine today is probably even better known for something way more extravagant. It’s yet another boundary-breaking Gehry’s work and it’s a luxury hotel that looks like something that would make Don Quixote forget about windmills and start preparing for a much bigger battle.


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Stata Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts

The full name of this building is “The Ray and Maria Stata Center for Computer, Information and Intelligence Sciences” and it’s was designed for none other than the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It was built in the place of Building 20, a place which was surrounded by legends and local M.I.T. folklore. Since 2004 the Stata Center has attracted so much attention that it’s become a legend of its own.


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Lou Ruvo Center, Las Vegas, Nevada

This work is not a museum, nor a concert hall, in fact, it’s something quite to the contrary. It’s a center for brain health, or as the full name goes The Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Lou Ruvo is a businessman from Las Vegas, who lost his father due to complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore he initiated the project and in 2010 it became reality.


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Vitra Design Museum, Weil Am Rhein, Germany

Despite having completed many cutting-edge projects all over the world, this one was the first in Europe. It’s a museum that exhibits furniture and interior design pieces and solutions, yet it’s the building itself that attracts the most attention. It’s special in more ways than one – it was the first time Gehry said yes to curved forms in his project. The result speaks for itself.


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Guggenheim Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain

Even though It looks like something where Ice King from Adventure Time would live in if he had a house in Spain, Guggenheim Bilbao serves a big purpose – it’s a museum of modern and contemporary art which in itself is a piece of art. Named as one of the most important works of architecture in the last decades by numerous experts, this building has many reasons why it’s unique. This construction was so successful and well acclaimed that it started attracting tourists to the city of Bilbao. Lots of tourists. During the first 12 months since the museum opened, tourists generated $160 million for the local economy. This building basically revived an entire city. This economical phenomenon even received a name – the Bilbao Effect.


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Biomuseo, Panama City, Panama

Biomuseo, an ecology museum, was yet another step for Gehry, as this was his first project in Latin America. Panamanian politicians started talks with Gehry about realizing his works in this location in hopes that this would eventually create a “Bilbao Effect” and attract more tourists and investments. The bright colors, which is not a typical characteristic of Gehry’s work, were chosen to represent the rich nature of Panama.


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Dr. Chau Chak Wing Building, Sydney, Australia

In 2015, Gehry’s influence reached the seventh continent when he finished his first project in Australia. It’s a business school building of the University of Technology Sydney and it’s estimated that in order to create an unusual brick building like this one, they had to use around 320,000 custom-made bricks.


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Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France

Fondation Louis Vuitton is a museum and a cultural center that rests in Paris, surrounded by the Bois de Boulogne park. It took 3,600 glass panels and 19,000 concrete panels to form this armada-looking structure. It opened in 2014 and is the most famous addition to the Parisian art world in the XXI century, where pieces by artists like Andy Warhol or Roy Lichtenstein are exhibited.


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The Fish, Barcelona, Spain

Yes, it’s what it looks like – a colossal abstract fish. This eye-catching sculpture was presented to the world back in 1992, during the preparations for the Olympics that took place in Barcelona later the same year. It’s made of metal plates so the humongous fish reflects sunlight and therefore changes its colors and looks even more vivid in real life.


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Marta Herford, Herford, Germany

Martha Herford was a textile factory, but with a touch by Frank Gehry, it was transformed into a contemporary art museum. An art museum that looks like it was built out of clay. On Mars. By aliens.


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Binoculars Building, Venice, Los Angeles, California

Originally known as the Chiat/Day building, it didn’t take long until people started referring to it as the Binoculars building. And it’s not difficult to see why. The whole building is more than the giant binoculars, which, actually, are an original artwork by Claes Oldenburg and serve as an addition to the building itself.


Well … what did you think?  Some pretty wild architecture, eh?  What was your favourite?  Maybe in our travels one of these days we’ll visit some of them and see them up close!  And now, because you all know how I love animals, and also for the younger readers who were likely bored by the tour of the buildings, I end with an adorable video about a kitten named Churro the Purro, born with deformed back legs, and how he overcame his disability to become a beloved family member.

Have a fun and safe weekend, my friends!

*Header image is The Iac Building in New York.  No sparkly and shiny sheet-metal in sight, which automatically made The Iac Building stand out from other creation by Frank Gehry. That’s why it’s said that above its resemblance to the sails of a ship, it’s conceptually closest to an iceberg. And indeed it looks like one, resting in the ocean that is New York.

40 thoughts on “Saturday Surprise — Weird Buildings And A Cute Kitten!

    • Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso are two whose art I have never been able to understand nor particularly appreciate. Looking back at some of Gehry’s work, I can see why you would think that he was influenced by Dali! Who knows? I like the Fred & Ginger best, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I think it would be so cool to “accidentally” come across one of these buildings with a friend and be able to say … “Oh yeah. I read about this in a blog I follow.” 🙂

    Very interesting post — and fascinating pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The buildings are not normal, and neither is Churro’s body. Was that a part of putting them in the same post. I bet you never even thought of it. Which is actually good. As far as Churro is co8ncerned, he is totally normal. He has no idea his body in not like the bodies of other cats.
    Gehry, on the other hand, knows his buildings are like no one else’s, he intentionally made them that way. Someone said apocalyptic, and I agree–they look like they were melted by huge laser beams, the product of technological warfare. Or biological warfare, the cells growing in shapes they were never designed to take. I love his sense of wonder.
    There is no such thing as normal–normal is what you make it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right … I never even made that connection! I didn’t actually think of Churro as ‘abnormal’, but more as a warrior … a fighter. And cute … ever so cute! As you know, the way to my heart is an adorable critter. As for the buildings, I am fascinated by them, but also find them slightly off-putting. I think it has something to do with the fact that I am a bit OCD and things that aren’t symmetrical tend to disturb me. But they are definitely fun and different. You’re right about ‘normal’, though … there is no definition, I think, for the word. I never liked putting people in boxes anyway.

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  3. I have to say that these are certainly among the most bizarre pieces of architecture that I’ve seen, but there is also a bit of a nightmarish quality to many of them. I will be interested to hear Benjamin’s perspective on them. Churro the Purro will most definitely be loved! Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • A few people loved them, most found them fascinating but a bit offputting. Do let me know Benjamin’s response when he sees them, and I hope he loves the kitty! Are you feeling better yet, my friend? I was just about to email you when I saw that you had commented, for I hadn’t seen you for a day or so and was getting worried.

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  4. Frank Gehry seems to like buildings with a twist. His creations are my idea of a post apocalyptic society or a feature from a movie like ‘Blade Runner.’ I find the iconography just a bit unsettling. I wonder if this is Gehry”s vision of the ‘future.’

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    • Hey Colette!!! I was thinking about you yesterday, realized I hadn’t heard from you for a while, and hoped you were okay! I thought surely the buildings would inspire a limerick 😉 Yes, I think most people find them interesting, but just a bit off-putting … disconcerting. Still, I do like seeing them, like the fact that some people still have imagination and creativity. I just wouldn’t like an entire city populated with these buildings! Hope you’re doing okay! Miss you!

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      • I am back in the UK again. To be honest, I just can’t listen to or read anything about Trump or Brexit at the moment. It is just too depressing at the moment.

        Churro is such a special kitty
        Rather twisted like a Gehry city
        Just rather unique
        though legs quite weak
        He is rather adorably pretty

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    • That seemed to be the general consensus of readers on the website where I found these. Most found them fun and interesting, but said they would not want to have to look at them day in and day out. I agree, and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to live in one of them!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Many of the comments I saw on the website where I found these said the same, that they were interesting and fun, but they wouldn’t want to have to look at them day in and day out. A few of them actually made me dizzy just to see the picture!

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