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Architecture Gone Wrong

posted by Chris Valentine

The world is marked by some incredible man-made features; feats of architectural genius that have shaped the modern world and act as pillars of the growth of civilization. The Colosseum, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Great Pyramids in Egypt, The Great Wall of China and so many others mark the passage of time on this planet by humans. We do not understand how some of them came to be, but our ancient ancestors set a pretty high standard for us, and sadly, in modern times, we are not doing a great job. Take a look at some of the most disastrous architectural embarrassments of recent times;

Qatar released their plans for building a new stadium that would seat 45,000 spectators. They are hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The design that they were planning to implement was similar to an ancient boat that they used for pearl diving traditionally called a Dhow. The design however, went viral, when the blueprints for the top-notch climate-controlled Al-Wakrah sports stadium were made available.  A large number of fans tweeted about the design and likened it to the private parts of a woman.

The sails of the dhow that was atop the structure was part of the design to ensure that the searing heat of Qatar was not going to effect the spectators inside or outside the ground. The temperatures would be controlled at 30C to 32C. The plans did not give specific details of the working of the cooling system though it mentioned mechanical cooling, aerodynamics and shading components. This is an obvious practical necessity in the desert city, however, as a result of poor design; the entire stadium now looks like a vagina. The cost of the project has been kept secret, and it’s rumored that leading architects on the project have gone into hiding.

It is not the first scandal to reach global status, a similar blunder was made in Chicago in the early eighties. The Crain Communications Building in Chicago that was completed in 1983 had also been dubbed as the “Vagina Building” as the design displayed a vertical slit that was prominently visual in the front. Perhaps it is time that more female architects started designing buildings…

However, this seems relatively inoffensive compared to some more dramatic errors. There have been a few scandalous cases that have arisen because of complaints of sectarianism and prejudice. In England recently, it was uncovered that and entire housing estate was designed as a massive swastika. The housing blocks were linked to appear as the Nazi symbol, which only came to light when Google released the images. An aerial view revealed that nearly dozen houses in Devizes, Wiltshire were designed and formed to look like Hitler’s symbol. The council estate was built in 1960 at Waiblingen Way which is a road named after the twin settlement in South West Germany. The residents and Wiltshire council were unaware of the shape of the estate furthering speculation that the architects of the project did this on purpose!

So there we have it, and that’s just a couple of examples. At least we can take comfort in the fact that we have achieved a lot of other successful architectural works in recent times; the World Islands in Dubai. Right next to the, the similarly impressive Palm Islands, made from reclaimed sand from the sea in the map of the world and shape of a palm tree respectively. If this is anything to go by, then hope is not lost, and maybe our designers are just having a bit of fun; a practical joke we weren’t supposed to notice.

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