Sometimes, I feel as though internet estate agents have it easy. All they have to sell is two-up, two-downs, maisonettes, flats and bungalows. All relatively tame and ordinary stuff, a soft sell really. The demand is there.
Architects, by contrast, have to sell ideas. They have to bottle lightning, tame thunder, and make rain stop doing that thing where it goes all kind of sideways and gets in under your coat even though you pulled the hood in really tight.
I hate when rain does that.
Anyway, back to my original point: architects have it tough.
Imagine trying to make the pitch one of these bizarre constructions to a client!
The Baroque Fairytale Palace
Image by Xavier Devroey.
So…an overgrown palace. Except all the growth is sculpted from stone rather than actual plants, because plants are too easy. It’s all slightly wonky. It has inexplicable Carmen Miranda-style ornamentation all over the place. It’s ridiculously intricate, will take forever to build, and we’re going to use a completely untrained builder to construct it.
Over twenty years.
Yes, Ferdinand Cheval’s personal labour of love, the Cheval Palace, would be almost impossible to sell. It is, however, glorious to behold.
Often cited as the most impressive example of naive art, the slightly patronising title belies the immense difficulty and sheer amount of labour behind this almost-gothic monstrosity.
Wonderworks, Pigeon, Texas
You know that time you and your friend got really drunk and decided that you should totally start, like, your own theme park, but, like, upside down, to show how, like, crazy everything was?
Well, someone did that.
Haha, take that squares! Let’s see how you handle THIS! Image by Madison Berndt.
It might look like a relic of a hurricane, but it’s actually a semi-educational, semi-fun entertainment centre in Pigeon, Texas. Visitors re-orient themselves after walking through a tunnel, and then participate in wacky japery and physical exertion.
It all sounds most unpleasant. Pass.
The Crazy Guest House
Image by Tom Ravenscroft.
“Why, that’s not crazy!”, I hear you cry, internet-ingrained sense of privilege fast approaching terrifying, egomaniacal levels. “That’s actually a rather interesting way of incorporating African elements, including motifs of African animals, termite mounds and baobab trees, into an environment that suits it.”
Well, yes, you have a point, bizarrely specific and easily refuted internet argument dude. However (and here comes the refutin’) this is not in Africa.
It’s in Vietnam.
So – why?
Damned if I know.
If you could create any house you wanted, and no-one was around to put the brakes on your crazy, foolish ideas, what would you create? I would probably build a treetop house the size of a small village. Let’s hear those suggestions, what would you build?
Louise Blake writes about architecture for eMoov, an online estate agent who can help you find the ideal house, or sell for a fraction of the prices charged by high street agents.