Weird is one of many words whose common usage is a far cry from its historical meaning. The word actually dates back to Old English, where it meant fate or destiny. By the Middle English period it was used to describe the three Fates of Greek and Roman myth; incarnations of destiny and life. Later in Scotland, Shakespeare used weird to label his three witch-like sisters in Macbeth. However, its present day meaning denoting something strange or odd first appeared in 1815 and since then has been the most commonly used adjective for something or someone uncommon or not regular; often as a pejorative. Today we take a look at some of the strangest houses across the globe.
This bizarre house beside the Niagara Falls in Canada looks like it dropped straight out of the sky; falling from an over packed intergalactic spaceship. It was in fact constructed and built by Marek Cyran with support from Daniel Czapiewski—two creative Polish men. In his home country, Czapiewski built a similar upside down house serving as both a tourist attraction and an icon for communism.
Another entry from the Polish; this house by Irek Glowacki and Marek Rozanski is located in Tyrol, Austria and has been open to the public since May 2012. Inside the house, familiar objects transform into the unknown from the perspective of a hanging bat. Warning not everyone is brave enough to enter!!
The famous Dancing House in Prague is a very well-known tourist hotspot in the beautiful capital city of the Czech Republic. Fred and Ginger is the building’s nickname. It was designed by Croatian-Czech architect Vlado Milunic and was completed in the year 1996. The house was very controversial at the time as it stood out among a backdrop of traditional Baroque and Gothic architecture styles; popular in the previous design epochs. The house was designed to resemble a pair of dancers, an homage to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers—two famous American performers.
The Tours Aillaud aka Tours Nuages is a collection of residential buildings in Nanterre, Paris. The building was named after its architect Emile Aillaud and comprises 18 towers with a combined total of 1,607 apartments; the tallest two towers stand 105 meters and share the same shape as several fused cylinders and are clad in frescoes of clouds (nuages in French).
Lake Prespa is the name given to two beautiful freshwater lakes in Macedonia, Albania, and Greece. This wooden house rests on long posts and it makes you wonder what kind of person lives there? Is it a stork who designed it as a mirror image of his own reflection; that he saw in the clear waters of the lake? Or perhaps a slender long-limbed architect who has no need for a larger residence. The truth is out there…
The so-called Hundertwasserhaus in Vienna, Austria is a brainchild of the Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser (hundred water); the family must have been a very thirsty bunch of people. The expressionist landmark contains 53 apartments, four offices, 16 private terraces and three communal terraces. And with 250 trees and bushes residents get to feel like they are at one with nature.
Considered by locals or any visiting tourists to be the most provocative public sculpture ever seen, the upside-down church in Vancouver has sparked heated debate since its erection. Titled ‘Device to Root Out Evil’, this inverted church is at a minimum controversial but flirting controversy has been a hallmark of the church in recent decades.
The artist Dennis Oppenheim asserts that he did not intend to be contrarian but rather wanted to play with patented architectural ideas. The more uptight Americans refused to erect an Oppenheim at his alma mater in Stanford University.