No two snowflakes are alike, and neither are building plans, apparently, which is why the latter make fantastic variations of the former. This clever reimagining is exactly what Maria Spada of British architecture firm Allies and Morrison used to create holiday decorations for the office.
Earlier this year, international practice Kosmos Architects also looked to notable building projects to approximate intricate ice crystals through planimetric graphics on their new year’s greetings.
So what makes an architectural plan resemble a snowflake? Symmetry, for one, whether that’s circular, triangular, or the shape of anything in between, and, of course, geometry.
And in the case of Kosmos’s snowflakes, ephemerality: “[W]e have collected some fairy, radical, and utopian plans, which were either never built or have already disappeared,” as ArchDaily reported. Some of the projects include the Death Star from the Star Wars movie franchise, Le Corbusier’s unrealized Radiant City project, and Jeremy Bentham Panopticon Penitentiary.
As for Allies and Morrison’s “Archiflakes”, the more traditional radial shapes taken from buildings like the Castle of Good Hope in South Africa and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Friedrichstrasse Skyscraper were laser printed and hung around the office, with smaller ones being sold to raise money for charity.