It’s Easter, which for many means cute bunnies and chocolate eggs. For TheMoveChannel.com, it’s an opportunity to look at tasty architecture and adorable building designs. After hunting around the world, we present the top 10 buildings that look like eggs.
1. National Centre for the Performing Arts – Beijing, China
Photo: Stuck in Customs
The National Centre for the Performing Arts is home to the opera and other arts in the capital of China. Designed by Paul Andreu, the striking dome – made of titanium and glass and submerged in an artificial lake – was opened in 2007 after six years of work. It’s a striking contrast to the older buildings around it; a colourful sign of new architectural life. It’s only fitting, then, that it’s informal nickname is The Giant Egg. And that’s no yolk.
2. Salvador Dali Museum – Figueres, Spain
The Salvador Dali Museum may not appear egg-shaped at first glance, but a quick glance upwards reveals the artist’s apparent obsession with the ovum: they are laid all over the ceiling and outer walls. Designed by Dali himself, who leaned towards eggs as a symbol of hope and love, their inclusion is an essential part of the building – the largest piece of surrealist creation in history. A real eggstravaganza.
3. Mobile home – Beijing, China
Four years ago, one Chinese student caught the world’s eye when he emerged from his own egg-shaped abode: a mobile home built for him to live near his office in Beijing. Made from bamboo and steel bars, along with a large helping of grass seeds and wood chips, the solar panel-powered unit was small but impressively self-sustaining. Why did he build it? There is no chicken and egg dilemma here: the hen was clearly labelled by Dai Heifei as the local housing market, which was too expensive for him to own property. Talk about hatching a great idea.
4. Chicken coop – London, UK
If humans can take inspiration from chickens and live in egg-shaped homes, why not the other way around? In 2010, one building at the London Design Festival proved it was possible, with the detailed construction of a home specifically for chickens. Called Nogg, the wooden structure was both functional and fashionable, with stainless steel trimming and a glass top: an eggstra special pet home.
5. Mobile home – Belgium
blob VB3 may not sound like much, but the project shows that Belgian firm dmvA is no chicken when it comes to small spaces: the pod boasts everything within its unique shape, from a kitchen to a bathroom. Whether it’s a guest room or an office, this portable piece of real estate shows just how eggciting a blob can be.
6. Floating Office – Hampshire, UK
Everyone knows that eggs is eggs and house boats are house boats, but artist Stephen Turner wasn’t afraid to think outside the coop and produce this houseboat that looks like an egg – but functions like an office. Measuring approximately 10 by 20 feet, the floating office boasts a hammock, a bathroom and even a stove and is made from reused and reclaimed cedar, plus other scavenged materials. The exterior is laminated and the whole structure is anchored to the shore, rising and falling with the tide of the River Beaulieu in Hampshire, UK. A floating office shaped like an egg? If that isn’t enough to scramble your brains, we don’t know what is.
7. HemLoft Treehouse – Whistler, British Colombia
The Hemloft treehouse is an inspiring yet potentially sad sight. The beautiful treehouse, designed by Joel Allen, lives in the woods of Whistler, British Colombia, and is made of free materials sourced from Craigslist. While the egg-shaped property was praised by many, Canadian officials were none too happy about the unauthorised construction on a stranger’s land and soon sought to smash the egg altogether. As of January this year, though, it still stands – suggesting that when it comes to beautiful design, it’s no bad thing to be a little bit… chicken?
8. KasaUovo – Tuscany, Italy
Photo: KasaUovo (via Tree Hugger )
If you have ever wanted to live in a Mini Egg, this is your chance. Designed by Italian Roberto Casati and a team of engineers, these cute little houses – “KasaUovo”, literally “egg house” – span just 70 square metres, but are made from sustainable materials based on wood waste and car tyres. The candy-textured properties look like a child’s snack, but the environmentally-friendly design uses solar and wind to be 70 per cent more efficient than normal homes. They are also thought to be earthquake resistant. Construction costs are estimated at €190,000, which is still far lower than many homes in the UK – and, given the in-built recycling of waste and rain water too, might well be worth shelling out for. Suddenly living in a Mini Egg doesn’t seem like a bad idea after all.
9. Project Egg
This egg-shaped building is different to all the other egg-shaped buildings out there. Firstly, it doesn’t exist. Secondly, it aims to be one of the first 3D-printed buildings in the world. The project, conceived by Michiel van der Kley, involves the construction of a pavilion from 4,760 stones, each one printed by someone with a 3D printer. When combined, the stones form a co-created egg-shaped building, which van der Kley hopes will travel the world by the end of 2014. Eggstraordinary.
10. The Cybertecture Egg – Mumbai, India
Eggs symbolise new life – or, if you live in Mumbai, a gigantic landmark. The Cybertecture Egg is a commercial building by James Law Cybertecture International, which spans 32,000 square metres and combines “iconic architecture, environmental design, intelligent systems, and new engineering to create an awe-inspiring landmark in the city”. Self-sustaining and environmentally friendly, it’s an eggcellent reminder that it’s not always just about what’s on the outside. Which, in this case happens, to be a giant egg.