It's exciting to see how many new green buildings are being created these days. But, in the midst of all the clean-lined, high-tech, futuristic constructions that are appearing, let's not forget other designs that have taken the concept of 'futuristic' a little less seriously. Take, for example, the fantastically whimsical Hundertwasser building, Waldspirale ('Forest Spiral') in Darmstadt, Germany.
Built between 1998 and 2000, the building is host to 105 apartments, underneath a twisting green roof of beech, maple and lime trees – all wrapped around a landscaped courtyard, complete with running stream.
The colorful bands of the Waldspirale were inspired by the sedimentary rock found under the building, making the building an extension of the very ground it stands upon. No two of its thousand windows are the same shape, size or design. At is very top (12 floors up) is a restaurant and cocktail bar under an onion dome.
The building is the creation of architect and painter Friedensreich Hundertwasser, a sort of Austrian Gaudi, who is known for his wildly original designs that use irregular, organic shapes and forms. Sadly, Hundertwasser died in February 2000, just before the building was completed.
Maybe soon we'll all be living with minimal carbon footprints but still allow our imaginations to run wild. RM