Link - article by Avi Abrams

Drunk Builders and Mad Architects, Part 5

In this hilarious series we catalogue structural designs that should've never seen the light of day. Or, even if they were designed properly and within reasonable skill, then apparently something BAD happened on the way to their completion.

Perhaps a drunk worker, or an overly motivated one with a twisted imagination? Either way, these building ended up to be a visual abomination... the only hope remains that they would not stand long, as they are probably structurally compromised and unsafe to boot.

We'll start with buildings, then progress to sculptures, pipework and, worst of all, precarious stairs and elevators.

(Beautiful! Complete with the appeal to some mysterious Lucy)

On the left is weird building in Lagos, Nigeria. On the right is "cat" house in Japan:

"Last summer on our road trip in Balkan area we came across this weird concrete ship in the middle of Albanian countryside..." - says Joonas Antikainen, who sent us this picture:

(image credit: Joonas Antikainen)

Russian "penthouse":

"New" on top of "old":

Rainbow Land:

A Crooked Skyline

Looking like dominoes ready to fall: this is Santos, Brasil - more than 97 crooked buildings line up the coast, some of them leaning as far as two meters to the side!

(image via)

Check out the before and after photographs for one of these buildings (apparently they have to blame poor soil and shoddy construction in the 1960s):

They fixed this one, but a lot more still stand crooked, stacked together like a City of Cards:

(image via)

... or you can keep buildings together like this (seen in China):

"Best Western" has one window clearly out of line -

(top right image: it actually adds some visual interest!)

Strange, but perhaps... beautiful to some people?

Outrageous splash of blue in the sea of grey (left); on the right is a house made from a wrecked ship in Kazakhstan:

Awesome surreal sculpture seen inside Keisei Ueno station in Tokyo:

This. is. Weird:

Faulty Towers

This is Torre de la Escollera tower construction in Cartagena, Colombia. The tall structure was predictably buffeted by winds, which caused torsion and out-of-shape twist of one meter - leading to construction suspension, and eventual demolition in 2007:

(images via)

At least this tower did not suffer the fate of some collapsed buildings, like this one in China - see video. or this one in Surat, India - more info:

(image via)

This building keeled over in Shanghai, while still under construction:

(images via)

The foundation under this 13-story building was compromised, more info. I bet people who are going to move into the same sort of buildings that still stand around, will feel sort of... uneasy.

Update: it turns out that workers were digging illegally near the building, and so it collapsed - seems like other buildings are safe. Good!

Yet another apartment building in China splits in two... and collapses:

(image via)

It happened in the city of Liuzhou, China, during the controlled demolition that went wrong. No lives were lost, fortunately. But one half of the building remained standing, leaning precariously. Pedestrians do not seem to mind too much.

(image via)

Here is another faulty construction which resulted in demolition of skyscraper, reportedly worth 100 million dollars. This high-rise condominium in South Padre Island, Texas, "was to be opened in 2008. The building began to have settling problems. It sunk as much as 14 inches." See the video of its demolition:

(image via)

Another classic example: John Hancock tower in Boston, renamed the "Plywood Palace" because of the design flaw - a lot of windows had to be replaced with plywood:

(images via)

"On top of the window problems, it was also found that the tower could be blown over on the narrow side, so extra bracing had to be added."

Structural Perils and Unfinished Supports

Great brick work:

This part of the building is balancing on a... single brick! Built sometime in 1985 in Russia, it did not age well:

(image via)

The picture above is taken from a fascinating trip to the abandonded sugar-producing factory, a visual treat in itself - see here (in Russian).

More dubious supports:

This crane is going to stand! We promise! -

Bridge made out of old rusty train cars? Sure, why not -

Here are some creative construction workers... from Russia, of course. Can you tell the difference between the tiles in the image below? If you look closely you will notice that some are tiles... and some are just lines drawn in the concrete with a stick!

(images via)

This happened at "Mayakovskaya" metro station right downtown in Moscow. Look closely under your feet, maybe quite a bit of tile work is also drawn out by hand, who knows:

Still, it's better than plain masquerade, spotted in Moscow:

Same fake building idea is popular in China: check out the fake facades in Henan Province, Luanchuan County, Jiahe Town:

(image via)

Now... what could THAT possibly be? -

(also spotted in China)

Placing stairs and pillars still proves to be a challenge:

(right image via)

Handicapped are out of luck in this parking lot:

...fences, too:

Sensational staircase. We simply love it:

(art installation by Bruce Allen, in Forest of Dean, UK - info)

Stairway to Nowhere (photo sent in by Ferdinand Buitenhuis):

(photo by Ferdinand Buitenhuis)

Image on the left is the obvious FAIL; image on the right is... not so much, this is an art installation Arco Iris:

Doors are all-important. You gotta build the building around them:

(this is actually a 3-D mural painting. I am sure you figured this out)

This will do:

Is this the work of some frustrated builder? -

Bathroom Danger Zones

Simplicity rules:

This fairy tale WC house cheerfully proclaims that it's open! -

Literally a "Throne Room":

House cleaning?? -

This is actually ingenious: WC doors made out of car doors -

Pipes crowding each other:

Roads to Nowhere

Image on the right is a photo-manipulation made by Erik Johansson:

(right image via)

A lot of what you've seen has been thankfully unfinished and left for good. For some FINISHED mad architectural masterpieces, head over to this page.

Seeing all these adventures in hazardous architecture and structural design, I can't help but wonder what weird shape will be used for a building next? Perhaps a question mark? (surely, gravity will cooperate!) -

(left image by Erik Johansson, right image: original unknown)





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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The cat building is in Japan rather than Finland.

Source: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=38.290212,141.42171&spn=0.001659,0.002384&t=h&z=19&vpsrc=6&iwloc=lyrftr:com.panoramio.all,14581544128592428345,38.29017,141.421546&lci=com.panoramio.all

Anonymous Benjamin said...

That is the John Hancock Building in Boston, not the one in Chicago.

Blogger Elvee Kaye said...

The chair made out of old steam radiators gave me a chuckle. Very creative way to recycle them, even though the chair would be uncomfortable as well as nearly impossible to move.

The "cat house" is quite cute. I wouldn't mind having that as a guest house.

Etching fake bricks into concrete is pretty clever, I think. If you want to match the existing bricks, but can't afford to put real ones down, then scratching a brick pattern into the concrete is the next best thing.

The funky blue building in the sea of grey ones may look weird, but at least it brightens the neighborhood.

Love the pics of stairways going nowhere, and toilets in strange places!

Blogger Phoebe Dancing Cat said...

I like the stairs to nowhere (the ones in the woods).

As for the leaning towers. Humans really must learn that not everyplace is New York. That island is built on rock! Most places simply cannot handle such tall towers for too long.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The weird baby mosaic is actually in Keisei Ueno station in Tokyo. I walk past it daily.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fake tiling is not that uncommon a practice; I remember back when I was in college, a landscaping project in the quad did this -- the contractor laid down a white concrete base, then a thin layer of a brick red concrete on top, and went over it with a machine that carefully scored away the red layer in a pattern to make it look like brickwork and grout while retaining the durability of a single sheet of concrete.

Blogger Lambert Schlumpf said...

"Sensational staircase. We simply love it:" is Observatory by Bruce Allen, in Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, Great Britain.

Blogger Avi Abrams said...

Thank you Lambert, page updated.

Anonymous Nasuhorn said...

How strange, I could swear that the picture with the Cramo lift and those fancy supports is taken on the street where I used to live when studying in the university of Oulu, Finland.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The blue and green figures on the
"This. is. Weird:" photo are "balloons". The platforms under their feet blow air into the figures and makes them move. They actually look like stick-men dancing.

Blogger Matt Steninger said...

As for the crack listed under "this will do", I'm afraid that tape simply won't do.
You see it's not a crack in the wall; it's a crack in time and space. Remove the wall and the crack would remain...

Blogger Avi Abrams said...

CJ: a fine example of existential humour, sir. The crack abides.

Anonymous fondos para twitter said...

That was a lot of pictures, really liked the first ones, the albanian would be like an inverse pyramid or something, obv without the peak.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there, the concrete ship is in Croatia (Cista Provo) not Kazahstan! :) Been driving there alot...

Best regards

Anonymous Miratz said...

Hey there, we have a correction to make, the ship as you say "on the right is a house made from a wrecked ship in Kazakhstan" - thats not true. Its a concrete boat house in Cista Velika, Croatia. Inland to be correct! :))) Here is the link http://www.cistavelika.com/index/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=230%3Abrod-mirko-jelin&catid=34&Itemid=103


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