Design can sometimes be mundane- except when it’s novelty architecture. These buildings uniquely and identifiably break away from the abstract, metaphorical, and often monotonous buildings that have classified modern-day design. Instead of favoring the steel and glass skyscrapers that serve as landmarks in cities around the world, they aim to poke fun at architecture in a way that’s jovial, commercial, and perhaps slightly more functional and expressive. Unlike other buildings, they are the literal embodiment of a thing itself, putting its function widely on display instead of hiding it within four austere walls.
Ducks: The Latest Architecture and News
They exist for a reason.
Coined by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown in Learning from Las Vegas, “Ducks” are buildings that project their meaning in a literal way . No architectural metaphors here - they are exactly what they look like. Many emerged alongside interstate highways, a lone doughnut or dinosaur punctuating the road trip across America. Places like Las Vegas and Macau have built their identity in the kitsch and literal language of architecture – with the duck a strong contributor. Though they get relegated to one of the weird forays of the postmodern era, ducks still make current-day appearances (like the Chicago Apple Store’s recent Macbook roof). Are they fun, kitschy, or just plain ugly? Love them or hate them, ducks have a light-hearted presence in our architectural history. Below are 9 weird and wonderful examples of buildings that make no apologies for being exactly what they are: