Blobitecture  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Blobitecture from blob architecture, blobism or blobismus are terms for a current movement in architecture in which buildings have an organic, amoeba-shaped, bulging form. Though the term 'blob architecture' was in vogue already in the mid-1990s, the word blobitecture first appeared in print in 2002, in William Safire's "On Language" column in the New York Times Magazine in an article entitled Defenestration. Though intended in the article to have a derogatory meaning, the word stuck and is often used to describe buildings with curved and rounded shapes.

Precedents

One precedent is Archigram, a group of English architects working in the 1960s, to which Peter Cook belonged. They were interested in inflatable architecture as well as in the shapes that could be generated from plastic. Ron Herron, also member of Archigram created blob-like architecture in his projects from the 1960s, such as Walking Cities and Instant City, as did Michael Webb with Sin Centre. There was a climate of experimental architecture with an air of psychedelia in the 1970s that these were a part of. Frederick Kiesler's unbuilt, Endless House is another instance of early blob-like architecture, although it is symmetrical in plan and designed before computers; his design for the Shrine of the Book (construction begun, 1965) which has the characteristic droplet form of fluid also anticipates forms that interest architects today.

Also to be considered, if one views blob architecture from the question of form rather than technology, are the organic designs of Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona and of the Expressionists like Bruno Taut and Hermann Finsterlin.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Blobitecture" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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