When talking about architecture, there's a fine line between creative and ridiculous. Bold and funny. Tasteful and appalling. And when a project crosses it, people often notice. And shame it.
Ugly Dutch Houses is an Instagram account that does just that. Radiating a similar vibe as its Irish and Belgian "cousins", this online project shares photos of structures that it believes to deserve the demolition crane. Or at least a good makeover.
And it's quite thirsty, too. "I will look for you, I will find you and I will post you," the bio of the Insta says. Liam Neeson approves!
More info: Instagram
Preparing a piece about a Facebook group dedicated to architecture shaming, my colleague Jonas spoke about what separates good and bad design, the need to democratize the access to quirky private property designs, as well as about the roles that architecture plays with an expert in the field from Sweden who has a background in urban planning.
The urban planner explained to Bored Panda that while public spaces must meet safety and accessibility standards, aesthetic standards can be much more fluid for buildings.
"Most of the time, the elements of the built environment should be in harmony amidst each other and with the surroundings. However, sometimes, something bolder and out-of-the-box might form an engaging contrast," she said. However, the expert added that, in her personal opinion, our built environments have to engage us, as well as stimulate our minds and senses. In fact, she believes that architecture’s ability to make us think is one of its most powerful aspects.
Which, you have to admit, these Dutch houses accomplish with ease.
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“There are circumstances where the architecture should create a sense of calmness and safety, yet there are instances in which it is not bad if the architecture provokes us and makes us think, ‘Why don't I like the look of this building?’”
The urban planner said that we should give people the freedom to express themselves as they wish when it comes to designing their private property. As long as they have the means, nearly everything is allowed, in her opinion. Just like we're allowed to have an opinion on their 'experiments' too!
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“Quirky architecture comes from our innate desire to demonstrate our [own] uniqueness. However, not everyone who has the means has an average taste for aesthetics. Yet, as long as it is for the people who inhabit or use their private space, I mean why not?” she told Bored Panda that as long as you’re not actively harming anyone else with how bad your designs are, you should be able to be as unique as you want. Even if it falls short of objective aesthetic standards.