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Top 10: The Strangest Buildings


Dagmara Staga
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The head of the sculpture of Jesus in Świebodzin, photo by Thomas Lebie / Forum
The head of the sculpture of Jesus in Świebodzin, photo by Thomas Lebie / Forum

Whether it’s a restaurant, an office building, a statue, or family house, who says it has to be normal and boring?  Although some of these buildings might make you wonder what the architect was thinking, it’s hard to not appreciate the creativity involved.

Everybody knows the famous scene from Indecent Proposal when David (Woody Harrelson) is lecturing his students about architecture. He ends with the thought, "Every brick wants to be something".  It’s hard to disagree. Architecture is amazing, evolving, changing, and the most challenging of arts. The bricks that made these buildings are certainly something, but what exactly?
Culture.pl presents some of our favourite unusual public and private designs in a list of the weirdest pieces of architecture you can imagine. 

1. Jesus in Świebodzin

Jesus in Świebodzin with rainbow, blue sky and Polish landscape, photo by Mateusz Skwarczek / Agencja Gazeta
Jesus in Świebodzin with rainbow, blue sky and Polish landscape, photo by Mateusz Skwarczek / Agencja Gazeta

This is one of the most controversial sculptures in this part of Europe. After battles and arguments between atheists and believers, Jesus now stands in the middle of a cabbage field.  Stop by to high-five the 33-meter tall Jesus!

2. The Observation Tower in Gorzów Wielkopolski

The Observation Tower in Gorzów Wielkopolski, photo by Wojciech Wójcik / Forum
The Observation Tower in Gorzów Wielkopolski, photo by Wojciech Wójcik / Forum

No one knows if the designer of this tower was drunk or just hated Gorzów, but his work scares both citizens and visitors alike. The building was constructed as a 700th birthday gift to the city. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

3. Headquarters of National Polish Television in Warsaw

Headquaters of National Polish Television in Warsaw, photo by Andrzej Bogacz / Forum
Headquaters of National Polish Television in Warsaw, photo by Andrzej Bogacz / Forum

The concept of this building was ambitious.  The complex of buildings with a spiral tower was meant to evoke the Tower of Babel and the problems of communication – and to suggest television as the solution. Unfortunately, as before, the Tower of Babel was not so successful.

4. Petrol station in Rytro

Petrol station in Rytro, photo: fotopolska.eu
Petrol station in Rytro, photo: fotopolska.eu

It is like a post-Soviet edition of one of the Frank Gehry’s projects. A failed mixture of utility, placement, and innovation. 

5.  Crooked Little House in Sopot

Crooked Little House in Sopot, photo by Łukasz Dejnarowicz / Forum
Crooked Little House in Sopot, photo by Łukasz Dejnarowicz / Forum

The Crooked Little House in Sopot was designed by Szotyńscy & Zaleski, who were inspired by the fairytale illustrations and drawings of Jan Marcin Szancer and Per Dahlberg. It’s a little bit magical, a little bit kitschy, and very recognizable.

6. Polish Pyramids

Scientists still aren’t sure how and by whom the Egyptian Pyramids were constructed, but it is a well-known fact who’s responsible for Poland’s pyramids. From the wide range of "Polish Pyramids", let see two examples:

  •   The Pyramid Hotel in Tychy. Tutankhamun would have loved to spend his eternal life here!
Pyramid Hotel in Tychy, photo: promotional materials of the hotel
Pyramid Hotel in Tychy, photo: promotional materials of the hotel
"Pyramid" and its proud designer Maurycy Gomulicki in Kraków, photo by Michał Lepecki / Agencja Gazeta
"Pyramid" and its proud designer Maurycy Gomulicki in Kraków, photo by Michał Lepecki / Agencja Gazeta

7. Skull Chapel in Czermna

Skull Chapel in Czermna, photo by Marek Skorupski / Forum
Skull Chapel in Czermna, photo by Marek Skorupski / Forum

The Chapel was built in 1776 by parish priest Wacław Tomaszek. Instead of bricks he used the skulls of people who died during the Thirty Years’ War, the three Silesian Wars, and of commoners killed by cholera, epidemics, plague, syphilis and hunger.


8. Upside Down House in Szymbark

Upside Down House in Szymbark, photo by Rafał Meszka / East News
Upside Down House in Szymbark, photo by Rafał Meszka / East News

If you have ever wondered what it would be like to walk on the ceiling, here’s your chance. The Upside Down House in Szymbark is a typical cottage – but upside down!


9. House in Żeleźnikowa near Nowy Sącz

Jakub Potoczek's house in Żeleźnikowa near Nowy Sącz, photo: promotional materials of Jakub Potoczek
Jakub Potoczek's house in Żeleźnikowa near Nowy Sącz, photo: promotional materials of Jakub Potoczek / www.jakub-potoczek.com

This house is crawling up from the ground. The only part that is visible is a steel rooftop that mirrors the mountainous landscape of Nowy Sącz. Building was designed and constructed by architect - Jakub Potoczek. 


10. Theatre in the Closet in Toruń

Baj Pomorski Theatre in Toruń, photo: Travelphoto / Forum
Baj Pomorski Theatre in Toruń, photo: Travelphoto / Forum

Baj Pomorski Theatre in Toruń is focused on children’s plays and its building is as amusing as its productions. From the outside the theatre looks like a huge magic closet – lovely, unique, and strange.

The accounts of Polish architecture are just as tumultuous and complex as the political fate of... Read more about: A Foreigner's Guide to Polish Architecture

Category: 
Architecture