5 Great Feats of Architecture Clearly Designed by Perverts
Sex! Its influences are everywhere. Great works of art, literature, and music have all taken inspiration from our love of boning and the sexy parts we use during said boning. Sex permeates almost all outlets of human creative expression, and architecture is no exception.
Architects have grappled with the dilemma of "form follows function follows does this get me off?" since man first rammed earth and cob together. While construction budgets are much larger and building materials more advanced, the tradition of creating sexy structures continues to this day. As in the case of Zhou Qi's infamous Chinese Communist Party newspaper building, it's never really clear if the results are a coincidence or an elaborate prank. Either way, these contemporary buildings have prurient characteristics that are hard to ignore.
Torre Agbar -- Barcelona, Spain
The coast of Spain is known for its trendy resorts, drunken debauchery, and being one of the best places to flaunt your dong in the European Union ...
... so, it's really no surprise that Spain is also home to a giant dick-shaped skyscraper. Rising like a mighty Priapus over the cityscape, the Torre Agbar dominates the skyline of Barcelona.
Can you spot the gigantic dick in this picture?
This architectural masterpiece is more than just a salute to the privy member; it's also engineered with an eye toward the environment. Built with two concrete towers, one nestled inside the other, and then coated with a skin of aluminum and thousands of glass louvers, the Torre Agbar is an example of bioclimatic architecture, which is a fancy way of saying, "We can open the windows, instead of blasting the air-conditioning."
One of the most striking design features (besides looking like a giant dildo) is the building's futuristic and nocturnal light system. At night, the glass panels are illuminated by LED lights, allowing the building's facade to change colors in a rapid fashion. It's a pretty fantastic light show that, depending on how smutty your mind is, also appears to be a giant penis trying on a rainbow assortment of multicolored condoms against the night sky.
But, not everyone thinks the Torre Agbar looks like a penis. Locals commonly refer to it as "El Supositorio," which seems like an odd choice, as living in the shadow of a metaphorical dong would seem to be preferable to a giant suppository.
30 St Mary Axe -- London, England
Some sex-obsessed architectural theorists have posited that modern cities being dominated by upward-thrusting steel and concrete towers, as opposed to sprawling vaginal-like edifices, is a form of masculine aggression. Logic would dictate that's probably more a byproduct of real estate constraints, rather than some sort of diabolical, systematic gender oppression. However, if there was ever a place to erect a raging testosterone-filled boner of a building, London's financial district would be it.
Designed by Norman Foster and Arup Group, 30 St Mary Axe is more commonly known by its nickname: "The Gherkin." Rising amid London's notorious Square Mile, the epicenter for all of the best global financial meltdowns over the last several years, The Gherkin is the U.K.'s award-winning magnum architectural boner. Not that size matters, but if you guessed Swinging London's big swinging dick building was bigger than Spain's, you'd be right. At nearly 591 feet tall and a maximum circumference only about 7 feet less than its height, The Gherkin handily bests the Torre Agbar in both length and girth.
Way less interesting after dark, though.
While certainly endowed with impressive dimensions and accolades, owning London's most recognizable homage to manhood isn't always the party in your pants you would imagine. Swiss Re, the tower's original owner, sold the building to German real estate group IVG Immobilien in early 2007 for a record 600 million pounds. Thanks to that transaction, IVG Immobilien suffered massive debts, and The Gherkin was forced into receivership and put up for sale. Before you get too excited, it was recently purchased by Brazilian billionaire Joseph Safra, so it's no longer up for grabs.
The most hilarious thing about London's giant cock structure, though, is that the building you see in front of it in this picture ...
... is actually a church called St. Andrew Undershaft. How perfect is that?
They can't all look like dicks, though. Case in point ...
San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station -- California
... boobs! Drivers along the stretch of freeway between Los Angeles and San Diego have more than just a scenic view of Catalina Island to take their minds off the inevitable bumper-to-bumper traffic. Approaching the San Diego County border, the vista is endowed with what can best be described as a pair of humongous concrete breasts.
The nipples are an especially nice touch.
Before you start daydreaming about motorboating these gargantuan cans, be forewarned. Like something straight out of a Freudian nightmare, these immense boobs are filled with deadly radiation. As stiff and perky as many of the ones you'll see attached to humans on nearby beaches also are, these mammoth-sized mammaries are part of the now inoperative San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.
The view is actually a lot less sexy from the ocean.
In their heyday, the twin reactors generated enough nuclear juice to provide power to more than a million homes each year. After the steam generators went on the fritz in 2012, radioactive material began leaking, which led to the facility being permanently shut down in 2013. Decommissioning this potentially lethal rack isn't going to be cheap or easy. The estimated cost to completely retire the inactive plant is $4.4 billion and will take 20 years to complete.
Anyway, who's up for looking at another dick?
Ypsilanti Water Tower -- Michigan
Once tourists have experienced all that Detroit has to offer, and, let's face it, there's only so much a tourist can do in that city until someone finally gets that RoboCop statue up ...
Get this done!
... a road trip over to nearby Ypsilanti may be in order. Travel just 35 miles west of the Motor City, and, as you near the campus of Eastern Michigan University, you'll find America's most famous contribution to cock-shaped architecture: the Ypsilanti Water Tower. While certainly not as fancy as its Euro brethren, "the brick dick" (as the locals call it) does have a distinguishing feature that sets it apart.
And that's how you build a dick in this country.
Unlike the smooth, streamlined shafts of The Gherkin and the Torre Agbar, this phallus appears to have gone under the knife. It's been noted that the darkened dome on top of the tower is reminiscent of a circumcised penis tip, which seems apropos given the popularity of the practice in the U.S., compared to Europe.
Forged of Joliet limestone and standing only about 150 feet tall, the brick dick may not be as imposing and definitely hasn't racked up any hoity-toity design awards, but it does have its own claim to fame. In 2003, Cabinet Magazine launched a contest to decide which man-made erection truly was the most dong-like, and the pride of Ypsilanti was declared "The World's Most Phallic Building," a title that, more than 10 years later, is yet to be challenged.
Virgin Galactic Space Station -- New Mexico
Whether he's kitesurfing with a naked model on his back ...
... or rappelling down London's Centre Point skyscraper in a Spider-Man outfit ...
... Virgin Galactic founder and consummate showman Richard Branson knows how to get people talking. His most ambitious endeavor to date, Virgin's Spaceport America, is no exception.
The future is now, and it looks like a vulva.
Brought to you by Norman Foster of Foster + Partners, the same team behind London's The Gherkin (go figure), the space station design also created quite a buzz. With a low, elongated form and a center slit that ends with a circular flourish, it's not much of a stretch to see why the Virgin Galactic terminal building has been likened to a clean-shaven vagina.
This is where you enter space.
Of course, in looking at the early drafts of the structure, it's hard to blame the design team at Foster + Partners for this fiasco. After all ...
It's a vagina angel!
... it's not like they could have known it would turn out the way it did.
Whatever the case, any titillation regarding the design of the building has been overshadowed by the delays in getting the space tourism program off the ground. After last year's fatal flight disaster, there was speculation that the inaugural launch would be pushed back, yet again. However, a second space ship is almost ready, and test flights are set to resume this year.
Once up and running, nearly 800 wannabe space cowboys, including physicist Stephen Hawking, singer Sarah Brightman, and X-Men director Bryan Singer, have anted up as much as $250,000 apiece for the chance to experience a two-and-a-half-hour sub-orbital space trip AND several minutes of zero gravity. And what better send-off for uber-rich thrill-seekers than to be thrust into space from the launch pad of a giant vagina?
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