More than 4 billion people live in urban areas globally. It’s now projected that by 2050, more than two-thirds of the world population will live in urban areas. So no wonder we pay more importance to the buildings and structures around us.
And among countless poorly executed, dysfunctional, and aesthetically nauseating architecture examples (just take a look at our previous post with architecture so bad it got shamed by people), there are some gems that landed in this list.
From vertical gardens to incredible brickwork, and anything that combines function, creativity, skill and complements the surrounding area in a beautiful way, there’s a real feast for your eyes. Scroll down through the examples of architects outdoing themselves, and upvote your favorite ones! Psst! Part 1 of this post awaits right here.
Entrance Gate Of The St. Petersburg Mosque, Russia. Designed By Architect Nikolai Vasilyev
When you think of architectural wonders, you think of the beautiful Sydney Opera House, the Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris (partially destroyed by a huge fire accident in 2019), The Guggenheim, New York City or La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona. These architectural icons deservedly land on t-shirts and coffee mugs that tourists bring home along with their great memories.
In many cases, however, such iconic examples that shaped modern architecture and gave new meanings to how generations of the past century saw the spaces they live and spend time in are rather rare. In reality, mass urbanization is exploding around the world, meaning that around 50% of the 7 plus billion people on this planet have moved to cities. And this number will almost certainly increase to around 80% by 2050.
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And there are many threats that come with urbanization, from pollution and uncollected waste to social inequality and greater poverty, with local governments unable to provide services for all people. Since there are so many more people living in urban areas, the housing problem is another key problem in big cities where the prices of real estate are affordable for the very small fraction of society with higher than average income.
No wonder, these days, cities are packed with utilitarian apartment slabs with unrelieved gridded façades, infill condo housing that looks as if it's been trucked in from the suburbs, and a grim precast concrete retirement home that takes up a whole block. You wish nobody had built them. Dystopian architecture has been captivating people’s imagination, making them fear a scenario where modernism went wrong. What if it already has?
The 17th Century Shah Jahan Mosque In Pakistan, Notable For Its Geometric Brick Work
Sumela Monastery, A Greek Orthodox Monastery Originally Established Around Ad 386 Nestled In A Steep Cliff At An Altitude Of 1200 Meters, Trabzon Province, Turkey
Bored Panda spoke with Lisa Yaszek, a Regents Professor of Science Fiction Studies at Georgia Tech, who said that dystopian and brutal architecture we often see in megacities captivates our imagination because it reminds us of the images of dystopian science fiction cities that we’ve seen on the big screen for a century.
“The cities featured in movies such as Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927), George Lucas’s THX-II38 (1971), Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982), and Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One (2018) all have a very distinctive look,” Lisa said.
The professor explained that such architectural dystopias have a very distinctive look. They are vertical dystopias rendered in dull, industrial-colored palettes (the colors of concrete, steel, rust, and smoke, with an occasional shot of neon); they are marked by either the total absence or total contamination of nature; and they are completely out of scale to the humans who live in them.”
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Moreover, Lisa added that “the scale of science fiction dystopias reminds us of the gap between rich and poor, with the rich literally at the top of skyscrapers while the poor huddle underground or at street level, trying not to be crushed under the weight of the dystopian city and its crumbling infrastructure,” she explained. It makes you wonder whether we already live a science fictional dream?