Thursday, October 26, 2017

More Unusual Buildings

Stave Churches:
  • A stave church is a medieval wooden Christian church building made of posts and lintels.
  • The name comes from the load-bearing posts, called stafr in Old Norse and stav in modern Norwegian.
  • Once common in north-western Europe, most of the surviving stave churches are in Norway.
  • The only remaining medieval stave churches outside Norway, which has 28 still in existence, are those of circa 1500 at Hedared in Sweden and one Norwegian stave church relocated in 1842 to the outskirts of Krummhübel, Germany.
Urnes stave church in Luster, Norway, listed as a world Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Borgund Stave Church, Norway, built around 1180 and dedicated to the Apostle Andrew. The church is exceptionally well preserved and is one of the most distinctive stave churches in Norway. Some of the finest features are the lavishly carved portals and the roof carvings of dragons' heads.

Heddal stave church, Notodden, the largest stave church in Norway

Interior of Borgund Stave Church

National Library, Minsk:
  • The National Library of Belarus houses the largest collection of Belarusian printed materials and the third largest collection of books in Russian behind the Russian State Library in Moscow and the Russian National Library in St Petersburg.
  • The library building in Minsk, Belarus has 22 floors and was completed in January 2006.
  • The building can seat about 2,000 readers and has a 500-seat conference hall.
  • Its main architectural component has the shape of a rhombicuboctahedron (diamond) and was opened in 2006.
  • The building is covered with glass panels and during the day all 24 sides sparkle like a real diamond. The architects wanted to also preserve and convey this vision at night, when various lighting displays can be seen from quite some distance away.


Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain:
  • The Sagrada Família, in English The Church of the Holy Family, is a large unfinished Roman Catholic church in Barcelona.
  • It was designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926) and was consecrated in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI, who proclaimed it a minor basilica, as distinct from a cathedral, which must be the seat of a bishop.
  • Construction commenced in 1882. Gaudi took over in 1883 when architect Villar resigned, transforming the project with his architectural and engineering style, combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms. Gaudí devoted the remainder of his life to the project, and at the time of his death at age 73 in 1926, less than a quarter of the project was complete.
  • Relying solely on private donations, Sagrada Familia's construction progressed slowly and was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War, only to resume intermittent progress in the 1950s. Construction passed the midpoint in 2010. However, some of the project's greatest challenges remain, including the construction of ten more spires, each symbolising an important Biblical figure in the New Testament. It is anticipated that the building could be completed by 2026—the centenary of Gaudí's death.
Detail of the roof in the nave. Gaudí designed the columns to mirror trees and branches
Interior of the Sagrada Familia

China Central Television Headquarters:
  • The CCTV Headquarters is a 234-metre (768 ft), 44-story skyscraper in the Beijing CBD.
  • The tower serves as headquarters for China Central Television (CCTV) and was completed in 2012.
  • The main building is not a traditional tower, but an irregular grid on the building's facade with an open centre. The building is formed by two leaning towers, bent 90° at the top and bottom to form a continuous tube.
  • The local nickname for the building is "big boxer shorts". It is also called "big pants".

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