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Guilty Pleasures

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Some things we like even when we know we shouldn’t.

For example, I quite like this building and prefer it to the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre which it bizarrely reminded me of. With this building, I sense a human mind at work.


Even google translate can’t kill this blogger’s enthusiasm. The grammatical conversions as well as the content make me think the source language was Japanese.

Designed from Tony Owen Architects, this concrete country house construction was concept in robotic look. If we remind with several film, we will see this house design was inspiring from that. Actually, I agree with you since if we look for a while, this house was design in amazing design and use futuristic inspiration. When we come inside to this house, we will see the minimalist house interior décor that can be seen from the furniture idea and the decoration concept of the furniture. The standing fireplace was design in the middle of the living room space so that here the owner can shows their prestigious style and modern personality. Those decorations were completed with the modern white furniture idea that can be seen from the set of leather sofa decorations. The glass pendant lamp that place on the ceiling will make bubble shadow since the lamp was decorated in round shape. Using glass wall ideas, this modern country house designs looks eye catching and match with the entire furniture and decoration not only from the outdoor space but also from the inside space of this house. To complete your inspiration, let take a look into this unique country house plans picture.

I won’t thanks – I’ve seen enough and don’t want to be disappointed. Another of my guilty pleasures the Swiss Re.’s London Headquarters (a.k.a. 30 St. Mary Axe, a lot of things).

Digital StillCamera

Hugely expensive, inefficient floor plans, invisible gardens. dubious energy performance claims: “50% less energy than a conventional office tower.” (Of comparable gross floor area? Of comparable gross lettable area? Of comparable gross lettable area:gross enclosed volume ratio?) Who cares? It’s a pretty thing on the London skyline in a right-thing-in-the-right-place kind of way. A very English picturesque composition.


Or at least it was from certain angles … at least for a little while …

london skyline

Since this is confession time, I’d also include the idea that this next photo represents.

Yes, I’m a closet Villa Savoye liker-person – not everything about it, mind you, but I do enjoy the fact it’s the only artificial object we can see in that image. I don’t like the more modern image/reality – not because of the neighbours peeking through the bushes, but because the landscape is now as artificial as the building.

villa savoye

However, to like a building for being artificial is not saying much – it’s the same thing I like about this next building.


And this. It just says something fundamental about human activity on this planet – nothing more or less.


Ahh my list goes on. There’s John Hejduk’s Wall House from a few posts back. I’ve included an image of the model because the pleasure of imagining it goes back further than the image of the actual reality that’s almost a disappointment.

hejduk wall house 2

Speaking of models, here’s a model of an odd little building by Sou Fujimoto. Again, images of the model have brought more pleasure over the years than images of the actual building. If ever you have to do a Powerpoint presentation and need an image to emphasise the heading “Community”, go with this one.

house stack

Still over in Japan, here’s one for Philip Starck spotters. What amazes me about this building is how – as in any design process – someone could have reached this point, stopped, and said “It’s done!”


I think REX took Museum Plaza with them after the divorce.


But (“chip-off-the-ol’-block”) we can still spot the resemblance in its younger step-brother, De Rotterdam. These bridge-like things at the top (bridges, maybe?) kind of kill this one for me – sorry, but if you’re going to do it, do it properly.

OMA . de rotterdam . rotterdam (2)

Kingdom Tower in Riyadh, by Ellerbe Becket/OMRANIA. Wrong in so many ways, yet oh so right. My guiltiest pleasure.


A hotel proposal for Abu Dhabi, by Atkins – circa 2008 of course. This is probably my most perverse. A bad boy building that says a big “Up yours!” to conventional notions of function, culture, logic, climate, taste, scale, urbanity …. Denial as an aesthetic. I thought I’d seen it all, but it never ceases to amaze me what you can get columns and slabs to do.

Image B

I could go on. By rights, I should dislike all of these buildings for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who’s even an occasional reader of this blog. But guilty pleasures are just that. With all these architects working so hard to amuse us, attract our attention and push their product in one way or another, it’s difficult to remain aloof, detached, immune.

To admit that guilty pleasures have a place in our lives is to admit their power to alter our minds and make us want more. I admit it. I’m not proud of it.

Acceptance is the first step to recovery.



  • Good one, Graham. So long as we’re having this “coming out” session, I have to admit a certain guilty enjoyment of some of Frank Gehry’s works. I know they’re unacceptable on so many levels (according to my principles at least) and that they represent all the gratuitous expensiveness and vacuous form-making that is so distasteful…but – for what they’re worth – they are ‘sensual’ forms. One wants to be able to pick up the different bits of the Disney Concert Hall and fondle them between thumb and forefinger!! His works in Germany are enjoyable [to look at]; there are some good moments in the Gehry residence and Winton guesthouse; and 550 W 18th, NY, somehow just floats my boat. It’s still all b.s., but at a stretch there are merits to be found.

    • Quite right, Koff. You just me reminded of the 1999 Dusseldorf buildings for which I still harbor an affection. Gehry Dusseldorf United we can overcome this – thanks for sharing!