Extreme Architectural Makeovers: 12 Startling Frankenmuseums


The idea for Mary Shelley’s most famous novel, Frankenstein, came to her in a dream while summering in Switzerland with the notoriously melancholy poet, Lord Byron, and the manic creator of the vampire genre of fantasy fiction, John Polidori. As you do when you’re bored, conflicted writers obsessed with the occult on holiday, you hold a competition to see who can come up with the best horror story. Mary’s tall tale about a hideous creature created by a science experiment gone awry clearly won.

We’re all for trial and error, and as our favorite visionary architect and staunch advocate of pushing the limits, Bucky Fuller, said “there is no such thing as a failed experiment, only experiments with unexpected outcomes.” A boundary pushing bout of genius is the hope when you’re a castle-builder looking to change the world, but there’s a fine line between botched and brilliant (ahem, Lady Gaga). Click through to check out twelve extreme experimental designs that we think are too brave for their own good. Let us know in the comments if you agree, then tell us what modern buildings you think should have been left on the design world’s equivalent of the cutting room floor.

The Military History Museum by Studio Daniel Libeskind — Dresden, Germany

Image credit: Bitter Bredt via DesignFun

Akron Art Museum Expansion by Coop Himmel(b)lau — Akron, Ohio

Image credit: Roland Halbe via ArchitypeReview.

The Rapperswil-Jona Municipal Museum by :mlzd — Rapperswil, Switzerland

Image credit: :mlzd via knstrct

Royal Ontario Museum Crystal by Studio Daniel Libeskind — Toronto, Ontario

Image credit: Bloor-Yorkville; Sam Javanrouh

Art Museum Gösta by PRAUD — Finland

Image credit: 51Arch

Jean Cocteau Museum by Rudy Ricciotti — Menton, France

Image credit: Musée Jean Cocteau via Vogue

The Darwin Centre at the Natural History Museum by CF Møller — London, England

Image credit: Diffusion Group

The Rosenthal Contemporary Arts Center by Zaha Hadid — Cincinnati, Ohio

Image credit: Erissa MacKaron via The University of Cincinnati

The Contemporary Jewish Museum by Studio Daniel Libeskind — San Francisco, California

Image credit: Architizer

Enzo Ferrari Museum by Future Systems — Modena, Italy

Image credit: dezeen

Groninger Museum by Philippe Starck, Alessandro Mendini, Coop Himmelb(l)au and Studio Job — Groningen, Holland

Image credit: blogtelopia; BK59; dezeen

The Museum of Transport by Zaha Hadid — Glasgow, Scotland

Image credit: I Love My Architect; Lal Qila