Emojis have worked their way into our everyday lives—and now they’ve infiltrated the built world as well. Over 20 expressive emojis have been cast in concrete and used as modern-day gargoyles on the facade of two mixed-use buildings in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. Designed by Attika Architekten, “Emoji Architecture” taps into the world of social media to create a subtle and unusual embellishment to otherwise ordinary brick-and-concrete architecture.
Set on a street corner in Vathrost, the Emoji buildings are mostly residential with shops located on the ground floor. To match the surrounding architecture, Attika Architekten designed the two connected buildings with a traditional brick design gridded by white concrete. Hoping to inject a bit of whimsy to the staid structures, architect Changiz Tehrani of Attika Architekten enlisted the help of masons at Millro to cast 22 emojis (from the WhatsApp messaging app) in concrete.
“In classical architecture they used heads of the king or whatever, and they put that on the façade,” Tehrani told The Verge. “So we were thinking, what can we use as an ornament so when you look at this building in 10 or 20 years you can say ‘hey this is from that year!’” The expressive ornaments were left unpainted and are only installed on the building facades that face the town square, which includes a library, theater, and school. While some architecture critics may be dismissive, Tehrani says the response from the community has been mostly positive, with perhaps the most enthusiastic support coming from social media-savvy students of the nearby school.
Via The Verge
Images © Bart van Hoek