Round Shaped Structures for a Square Minded Culture

A few years ago, an architecture student told me it’s very frustrating to finish university and get flushed to the real world with all those innovative ideas, only to be faced with the harsh reality and discover people insist on living in simple rectangle shaped houses with boring square rooms. A few years after replying him with “it’s only natural” I want to recall my statement. Snowflakes and hive chambers are hexagons, dew drops and sea urchins are round, planets and moons dance in elliptic orbits. Four sided polygons are not natural!

It is just recently that architecture began to fight back at us square minded civilization, imitating nature and inspired by art. This concert hall being built in my home town Rechovot by Haim Dotan Architects, was inspired by this painting of a flower. The same firm also designed this academic campus you see in the picture with these pebble shaped buildings - so beautiful! Some guys go to college just for the girls; some guys go there just for the buildings.

If we want to make the shift toward round or elliptic houses, some adjustments are in order. We are going to need some round back furniture, elliptic carpets etc. It is obviously not as easy as manufacturing stuff for rectangle shaped spaces, but I think a few world-wide industry standard radiuses can do the job. I foresee that in a few decades we’ll get fully accustomed to round buildings and all these straight angles will feel like a key scratch on a Ferrari.

~~~
p.s. The black piano keys sit above the white ones; is this a case of positive discrimination?

9 comments:

GoSmelltheFlowers said...

That is an um..interesting picture of an academic campus, you said? Maybe the architect went a little too au natural? Or as some would say, one building in particular looks like a freudian slip up...

Uri Kalish said...

:-)

legbamel said...

Part of the reason that people build those rectangles is that it's so much easier than computing the structure of a curve. Using steel, concrete, and alternative materials allows a lot more freedom of design and thus actual buildings with interesting shapes.

Lovely as these creations may look, what holds them up has to do its job for decades or centuries. That's tough to accomplish with 2x6 planks.

Uri Kalish said...

It's the way of the future.

Jon Limjap said...

The black piano keys sit above the white ones because white piano keys give better contrast to the width of the keys as opposed to having them black.

They were also traditionally symbols of status, as the white keys were encrusted with ivory.

Dr. T said...

There's one 4-sided polygon that is natural: the golden mean rectangle. That's why it's found throughout architecture throughout history. Measure your furniture. Most of them are golen rectangles. Most money is shaped with the ratio of the square root of 5 to 1, which constitutes a square and two golden mean rectangles.

Uri Kalish said...

@Jon Limjap,
Thanks for the interesting information!

@Dr. T,
Yes, the golden ratio is used in architecture, but is it natural?
It is true that some natural spiral forms can be contained within golden rectangles. The golden ratio may be natural, but I think the natural form here is the spiral itself, and not the imaginary golden rectangle that can be drawn to contain its loops.

Niro said...

I want a Round house some day.. Hmmm he he I wish.. ... Nice post .. Hmm Im from sl blog, met ffrom blog catelog

Anonymous said...

That's one a great pic... it looks like CGI, but like modificated with tradional matte and watercolour painting or something... How was it actually made??