Thinking Outside the Architectural Box

Shelter is a basic human need. In fact, it is one of the first things on Maslow’s pyramid of hierarchal human needs. From simple mud huts to the eternal pyramids of Egypt and grand cathedrals of Europe, architecture has been the expression of man’s desire for beauty and order. The builders of civilization knew that their living spaces and state houses communicated power and status.

However, in the modern age, living spaces have tended to become homogeneous and often boring. Luckily there are still a few architects with a broader vision willing to push the boundaries. We’ve collected a few of our favorite designs of homes and buildings that stand out as bold and innovative.

First off is the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. This mind bending design challenges the conventional notion of right angles and straight lines that have dominated architecture for so long. The design is fluid and stands out. What a fitting home for art!

modern architectural guggenheim

Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain









This next building has the distinction of being the world’s tallest building. The Burj Khalifa is located in Dubai and was designed by Adrian Smith and engineered by Bill Baker. This needle shaped building towers above as a reminder of man’s ingenuity.

Burj Khalifa

On a smaller scale some architects have sought to think out of the prefab box. One example is Architect Javier Sensonian’s practice of what he calls “bio-architecture. Pictured here is “The Nautilus” in Mexico City, Mexico. The design is meant to mimic a sea shell and the entrance blends in with the wall of glass that is reminiscent of a stained glass window.


the nautilus house










The Bottle House at Airlie Gardens in Wilmington, North Carolina is more of a sculpture than a house. The Bottle House is made entirely of glass bottles stacked with the bottom facing outward and set by mortar. This unconventional design is beautiful inside and out when the light shines through.

Bottle House bottle house whole








The National Theater in Beijing China is a sight to behold! With no corners or angles this engineering feat utilizes the reflection of the water to create a stunning effect.

National Theater in Beijing China

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Awe-Inspiring Architecture

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