Book talks for readers at Chisago Lakes Middle School.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bizarre Buildings by Paul Cattermole with Ian Westwell

Bizarre Buildings by Paul Cattermole with Ian Westwell is a collection of pictures of unusual architecture around the world. As artists in the 20th century broke the boundaries of convention, this book seems to show how architects are not only breaking the rules, but defying the laws of gravity in the 21st century. Some of the designs you'll see in this book seem to hover, fly, and even burst out of the vertical and horizontal dimensions that we are used to seeing.

Here are some of my favorites from the book:

The Twisting Torso High-Rise Apartment Tower in Malmo Sweden. The tower is 623 feet high. It has nine five story blocks. The blocks twist as they rise.

BurJ Al Arab Hotel in Dubai. This is the tallest hotel in the world. It is designed to look like a sailing ship. It claims to be the world's only 7-star luxury hotel. Its 590 foot atrium is largely covered in 22-carat gold leaf. I wonder how much it costs to stay there for a couple nights.

Selfriges Department Store in Birmingham England. The author descibes the exterior of the store like a reptile's skin. "Its reptilian skin is a glittering array of more than 15,000 anodized aluminum disks bolted to an undulating facade of sprayed concrete rendered over contoured layers of expanded steel mesh."

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