By Mark McConville
THE WORLD’S quirkiest buildings have been captured in a series of stunning photographs showcased in a new book.
Spectacular images show off the unique designs including The Wave building in Vejle, Denmark, which looks like two huge waves breaking.
Other buildings featured include the 8 House in Copenhagen which is shaped like a number eight, Verde in Turin which features a lot of plants throughout the building and the Interlace in Singapore which features a series of buildings overlapping each other.
The incredible creations are featured in a new book, Building Community: New Apartment Architecture, by Michael Webb and published by Thames & Hudson.
“There is an urgent need to build many more apartments to relieve an acute shortage of housing, to use land more economically, to save energy wasted on long commutes to distant suburbs and to revitalize cities abandoned by an earlier generation,” said Mr Webb in the book’s introduction.
“Nearly all apartments are shoehorned into generic blocks and towers: faceless, placeless, and differing only in the expense of the decorative veneer.
“Claustrophobic cells, as uniform as those in a cheap hotel, open off double-loaded corridors. Light and air come from one side only and balconies are usually vestigial.
“I have selected thirty recent examples from around the world to demonstrate the huge but largely unrealised potential of the apartment building.
“There is a mix of large and small, tall and ground-hugging, frugal and costly. All were completed in the past ten years and a few future projects are included in the final chapter.
“The common thread is creativity: finding new ways to shape and share space while maintaining a balance between community and privacy.”
Communal living is as old as the first cave dwelling according to Mr Webb while the concept of privacy and the single-family house is a recent invention that will become much rarer.
“In the medieval cities of Europe, everyone lived at close quarters within the straitjacket of the city walls,” he explained.
“The first middle-class apartments evolved out of townhouses subdivided by families that no longer required or could afford the upper floors and the first purpose-built apartment buildings resembled mansions in their scale and character.
“A balance of privacy and sociability turns proximity to advantage. Residential blocks should be mixed-use so that different activities can mingle.
“Ground-floor stores stimulate street life and raise apartments above the traffic flow.”
Building Community: New Apartment Architecture by Michael Webb is published by Thames & Hudson, £40.