I hinted at zoomorphic architecture briefly in a recent post. If Art Nouveau took advantage of plants for novel architectural stylings, then ZA did it with animals. The V&A exhibition is long gone, but the website lingers.
Zoomorphic presents a startling new trend in architecture – buildings that look like animals. Animal resemblances arise for various reasons. An architect may wish to create a symbol, as architects have always done. Or, there may be a functional explanation for why a building comes to share elements of its design with that of some living creature.
Until now, the Art Nouveau was perhaps the high water mark of architecture’s attempt to embrace nature. Today, with computers and new materials, architects are able to design and build more freely so they are exploring the natural world once more.
hmm. Given that I believe, as all good misfits do, that to attempt to design a building to appear like it is a natural object is going to be extremely uneconomical – unlike Nature which, contrarily, prefers economy of design – I doubt Art Nouveau was really the high point of architecture’s attempt to ’embrace’ nature. More like, it was an exceedingly low point in architects’ attempts to selectively represent nature and claim some God-like authority/inevitability for those representations.
Is it from here that architects’ obsession with the creation of NATURALISTIC forms really derives? Could this perhaps be the big unspoken Q?
I totally agree with the Islamic prohibition on the representation of God’s creatures. I’d like to add to that list leaves, plants, flowers, rocks, miscellaneous crystalline formations, sand dunes, hills, mountains, caves, waves and clouds.
Anyway, check out the site. Enjoy zoomorphic architecture for what it is.