Colorful Architecture around the World: Part II

Colorful architecture around the world

Old properties or buildings are made anew by forward-thinking architectures and engineers. Now, bridges are the second installment of the Colorful Architecture around the World series.

Bridges stand alone as isolated structures in the air. Often looming over expanses of water, they link two different lands physically and symbolically. Many of them, such as the Golden Gate Bridge or the Sydney Harbour Bridge, are architectural feats and well-known symbols of their cities. Bridges do not have to amaze through sheer size, however; they can also entertain the eye through beauty, grace, and creativity.

Xiying Rainbow Bridge in Penghu, Taiwan

Colorful architecture around the world

Neon lights reflect off of rippling water in Penghu, Taiwan, home of the Xiying Rainbow Bridge. Lights are attached to the side of the pedestrian bridge that, at night, illuminate the water below with a rainbow spectrum. Users, visitors, and faraway passersby are sure to be enchanted with a design that interacts and extends itself to nature.

Colorful architecture around the world

Slinky Springs to Fame Bridge in Oberhausen, Germany

Colorful architecture around the world

The American slinky toy is the inspiration of the Slinky Springs to Fame Bridge in Oberhausen, Germany. The pedestrian bridge, by Tobias Rehberger, was designed for the EMSCHERKUNST.2010. It arches over the Rhine-Herne Canal to connect two parks on either side.

Four hundred and six meters long, the footpath is made of alternating colored squares. From afar, it looks like a colored ribbon enclosed in a massive, winding spiral. The bridge is an easy, beautiful travel for pedestrians or bikers with a low-angle incline. Although already eye-catching in the day, the walkway and rails are illuminated at night to become a giant, lit ribbon at night.

Colorful architecture around the world

Colorful architecture around the world

(via DesignDaily, EMSCHERKUNST.2013, UrbanPeek)

Colorful Architecture around the World: Part I

Colorful buildings dot landscapes and cityscapes around the world. Eye-catching and inviting photography subjects, they bring variety to otherwise everyday sights. Here are three of these fun and creative works to kick off the new blog series, “Colorful Architecture around the World.”

Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in Hilversum, the Netherlands

Neutelings Riedijk Architects completed the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in Hilversum in 2006. A perfect cube with five levels above ground and five below, it houses the national archives of Dutch radio and television, a media museum, and the institute’s offices.

The building, despite its colorful cast-glass panels, houses a critique of a media-saturated world. Working with graphic designer Jaap Drupsteen, the outer glass panels were made to depict a blur of famous images from Dutch television. The blurred images, discernible from only certain angles, express the daily bombardment of images and information from the media.

The three components of the interior – the archives, media museum, and offices – surround a large atrium. Different parts of the building offer contrasting experiences and atmospheres, evoking images of the calm versus and inferno. This New York Times article further details the building’s interior. (Sources: Neutelings Riedijk Architects, New York Times)

Poplar Kid’s Republic in Beijing, China

Poplar Kid’s Republic is a children’s bookstore with a design attracting and inviting to children. In this interior project, SAKO Architects wanted to create a space to cultivate children’s curiosity.

Colorful ribbons stretch throughout the first and second floors of the bookstore, coming into contact and becoming a part of the bookshelves, floors, ceiling, staircase, and more. The ribbons, like the books themselves, provide cheerful visuals to invite children to read. Also inviting for children, holes in the bookshelves serve as playful reading spaces.

Bound by the project’s feature, the colorful ribbons, there is no separation between the pieces of furniture and the structure of the interior. (Source: SAKO Architects)

Your Rainbow Panorama (ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum) in Aarhus, Denmark

Your Rainbow Panorama provides its visitors with a panoramic, color-tinted view of the city it sits above. Designed by Olafur Eliasson and completed in 2011, the circular walkway was built on the roof of one of the largest art museums in Europe. The walkway is 150 meters long and has a diameter of 52 meters.

The panoramic walkway is both an experience and a work of art. According to Eliasson, the project “erases the boundaries between inside and outside – where people become a little uncertain as to whether they have stepped into a work or into part of the museum.” In their visits to the art museum, patrons will wonder if they have become a part of the artwork themselves. (Source: koikoikoi)

Pennsylvania and Wales Hobbit Holes


(Image source: KULfoto)

Still in time for the run of The Hobbit (2012), see two hillside homes based off of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. Although several Hobbit-styled buildings dot the world, few achieve the spirit of the hobbit-holes of the Shire. These two homes were chosen because like hobbit-holes, they are built accordingly into the surrounding terrain, utilize nearby resources, are simple, and of course, are comfortable.

Archer & Buchanan: Chester County, Pennsylvania

Archer & Buchanan built this cottage in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Completed in 2004, the 600-square foot building now houses the client’s Tolkien memorabilia.

The firm aimed to build according to the property’s landscape. Designers set the building into a hillside and existing 18th century stone wall to minimize its visual impact. Notable features are a 54″ diameter Spanish cedar door, “butterfly window,” and landscape materials chosen from the area. The interior is furnished and its design hides electical, air, and security systems. According to Archer & Buchanan’s website, the cottage is meant to provide a “quiet sanctuary for solitude and contemplation.”

Additional sources: Architecture Linked, Associated Press, Landscape Architects Network

Simon Dale: Wales

With a chainsaw, hammer, 1-inch chisel, no experience in architecture, and four months, Simon Dale built his family their own Hobbit house in Wales. By using reclaimed material and natural resources in the surrounding area, Dale created a home physically and metaphorically close to nature.

The home is dug into the hillside and made primarily of wood, straw, stone, and mud. A skylight lets in natural light, while solar panels provide electricity. Water travels by gravity from a nearby spring. The structure lacks a circular door, but makes up for this deficiency with its architectural ingenuity.

Of his work, Dale writes that with effort, anyone can make this kind of building.