Ideas + Inspiration, Tours

Blobitecture: Building Design in the Digital Age

Is it a blob, or is it a building? Technically, it is both! Technology has allowed for advancement in all aspects of life, and it has had a major impact on the design world. Over the past couple of decades, architects have been using technology to design unique, jaw-dropping buildings that push the boundaries of what the conventional building is. This new style of architecture is called blobitecture.

What is Blobitecture?

Selfridges Department Store, Birmingham, UK. Design by Future Systems. Photography by Wojtek Gurak. Image via

A mashup of the words “blob” and “architecture,” blobitecture is the name for the architectural style of buildings designed with totally unique, organic forms, often resembling a blob or amoeba shape. This style of architecture is also often referred to as blob architecture, blobism or blobismus.

However, a building that simply features an unusual shape does not qualify as blobitecture. Rather, it is the design process that determines whether it falls under this style of architecture. The plans for blob buildings are created through computer modeling software instead of physical models. In fact, the creation of blob architecture is impossible without the use of computer software. With such programs, architects create their buildings’ forms by taking digital modeling platforms and manipulating their algorithms–something that cannot be done with standard models.

The History of Blobitecture

The Fresh Water Pavilion, Vrouwenpolder, The Netherlands. Design by Lars Spuybroek of NOX Architects. Images via

The first blobitecture building was the Fresh Water Pavilion, which was designed by Lars Spuybroek of Nox Architects and built by Kas Oosterhuis in the Netherlands in 1993. It stood until 1997, and was the first building completely designed through computer generation. However, the idea of blob architecture was not introduced to the masses until 1995.

That year, architect Greg Lynn wrote an essay, “Blobs, or Why Tectonics is Square and Topology is Groovy” for ANY Magazine, where he describes his experiments using graphic software to create new, blob-like designs. With that essay, Lynn is credited with giving “blob architecture” its name.

Iconic Blobitecture Buildings

In addition to the buildings already shown, there are many other examples of designs that fall under the blobitecture category. These are a just a few of my favorites.

Philology Library, Berlin, Germany. Design by Foster + Partners. Photography by Rienhard Gorner. Image via

One of the most iconic blobitecture buildings is the Philological Library for the Free University of Berlin in Berlin, Germany. Nicknamed “The Berlin Brain,” this library was designed by Norman Foster and looks just like a brain both on the outside and inside.

Sage Gateshead, Gateshead, UK. Image via

Foster designed another iconic blob building, the Sage Gateshead. Located in Gateshead, England, this musical hall hosts concerts and music classes.

Kunsthaus Graz, Graz, Austria. Design by Peter Cook and Colin Fournier. Photography by Zepp-Cam. Image via

In Austria is the stunning Kunsthaus Graz museum, designed by Peter Cook and Colin Fournier. It is dubbed the “Friendly Alien,” as it is a gigantic, ultra-modern building surrounded by historic buildings.

Blobitecture is just the beginning in terms of innovative building designs. Architects will continue to push the limits and think outside-of-the-box to create bold and creative designs, changing the way cityscapes look today.

Becca Bird

Becca Bird

Becca is a Senior Site Merchandiser for YLighting and a firm believer in the idea that sometimes more really is more. As a lover of bright colors and bold patterns, Becca loves for her affinity of color to transcend into all aspect of her life - from her clothes to her home decor. When not at work, Becca can often be found online shopping, watching the latest scary movie, or brushing up on her fun facts.

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