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
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
The Museum of Transport by Zaha Hadid — Glasgow, Scotland