Monday, July 01, 2019

duck, duck, [cheese]

i'm a fun of duck architecture.

if you're not familiar with the term "duck" architecture, it's basically any building that takes on the form of it's actual use.  a business that sells ice cream cones from a building that looks like an ice cream cone is an example of "duck" architecture. the term came about from two architects, robert venturi and denise scott brown, referencing a building in long island that sold ducks and duck eggs that was shaped like, you guessed it, a big duck.

for those of you who are curious, there is an opposite to "duck" architecture which is a "decorated shed;" a term for any generic building covered with sign on it, so you know what it's function is.  this is actually most of the buildings you see in the world. 

to me, that's why "duck" buildings are so entertaining; you don't see them a whole lot.  which is why if you're traveling in the car with me, and i spot a duck, we will for sure be turning around and stopping to take pictures of it.

now imagine my surprise when i found out there was a classic duck building not too far from portland.  it was a building that sold cheese, shaped like a giant wheel of cheese!

a company called "the cheese house" built several cheesy buildings in the new england area in the 1960's.  some have been bulldozed, some added onto, some remolded beyond recognition, but the one in wells, maine is still in pretty good shape, though it's now called "the cheese shop."

needles to say, on a recent trip back from boston, i pulled off the interstate, and made my wife take a 30 minute detour with me, to see a giant wheel of cheese.

now i'm not saying "the cheese shop" in wells, maine should be on anyone's architectural bucket list, but it is a building that will put a smile on your face...

which actually seems like a pretty good goal for any architect to have.

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