Architecture that keeps up with the times is what you will find.

Curved Architecture: BendingPublished by LannooAgata, a historian of art and design, wrote the book. It explores the artistic feats and aesthetic achievements that go into designing buildings with arching and turning shapes.

More than 60 buildings are featured in this book. These include a cloudscape opening up to the heavens in China’s Hainan Province and a Belgian brick house wrapped around the forest it occupies.

The introduction to the book reads: ‘Whether expressed in objects of everyday use or buildings, rounded design seems more communicative, natural and appealing, evoking positive emotions.’

Mazur adds: ‘A challenge in the construction process and quite expensive to build, curving architecture has been and will always be a statement in the pursuit of testing limits and envisioning some of the most striking and original structures ever.’

Scroll down to discover some of the remarkable structures that are bending the rules of architecture…

BUMPERS OAST, KENT, UK: 'Bumpers Oast is a contemporary interpretation of a typical oast house.' So writes Mazur of this intriguing home, which was built in 2020 and designed by London firm Acme. An oast house, Mazur explains, was traditionally used to dry hops for the beer-brewing process. Acme drew from the shape of these buildings when it came to the design, she says, adding: 'The key decision was to replace the traditional brick turrets and single-clad timber roof cones with an all-timber structure.' The building has a clay-tile facade and consists of five towers. Inside, 'many pieces of furniture are also curved and built into the rooms', the author reveals

BUMPERS OAST KENT, UK: “Bumpers Oast” is an updated version of the traditional oast home. This home was designed and built by Acme in London, Mazur writes. Mazur explained that an oasthouse was used traditionally to dry hops during the beer-brewing process. Acme took inspiration from these structures when designing the building. It has five towers and is covered in clay-tile. The author says that inside, “many pieces furniture are also bent and built into the spaces”.

COURBES RESIDENTIAL BUILDING, PARIS-COLOMBES, FRANCE: The Courbes Residential Building, designed by Christophe Rousselle Architecte, was built in 2019. It encompasses 134 apartments with 'generous outdoor terraces with spaces of 22 metres squared (236 sq ft) on average for each flat'. 'The wavy floor spans, perfectly visible thanks to glass balustrades encircling each level, create a dynamic illusion of movement,' Mazur says, adding: 'The sinusoid lines also playfully reflect light throughout the day, at the same time, the building also plays with transparency.' The author says that the building provides 'high-quality living conditions, ensuring intimacy and comfort for its residents while not compromising on the aesthetic aspect of architecture'

COURBES RESIDENTIAL BUILDER, PARIS–COLOMBES FRANCE: Built in 2019, the Courbes Residential Building was designed by Christophe Rousselle Architecte. The building contains 134 apartments, each with 22m2 (236sq ft) of outdoor space. Mazur states that the wavy floor surfaces, which are clearly visible due to the glass balustrades around each level, give the illusion of movement. He also says: “The sinusoid line also playfully reflect sunlight throughout the day. At the same time the building also has transparency.” According to Mazur, the building offers a high-quality lifestyle that ensures comfort and intimacy for residents without sacrificing the architectural aesthetic. 

BOSJES CHAPEL, WESTERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA: London-based architecture firm Steyn Studio is behind this stunning design, which was constructed in 2016. Mazur writes: 'The dramatic landscape with its majestic mountains inspired the stunningly sculptural volume of the Bosjes Chapel, which is located in the midst of a vineyard in a South African valley.' The roof of the chapel is made from a concrete-cast shell. The author notes that the 'spectacular curving roof seems to be floating above the ground, as it is placed on a simple glass construction'. Mazur adds: 'Due to its distinctive shape, colour, and materials, the volume stands out against the extensive landscape and seems to be a structure set in motion'

BOSJES CHAPEL WESTERN CAP, SOUTH AFRICIA: The stunning design is the brainchild of London-based architectural firm Steyn Studio. Mazur says: “The striking landscape of South Africa with its majestic mountains inspired this stunningly sculptural design for Bosjes Chapel. The chapel is set in the heart of a South African winery. Concrete-cast shell is used for the roof. Because it was placed on a single glass structure, its curved roof looks like it is floating above ground. Mazur added: “Due to its unique shape, colour and materials, it stands out against an extensive landscape and appears to be in motion. 

RODE HOUSE, CHILOE ISLAND, CHILE: 'Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen, famous for their minimalist structures favouring a Brutalist aesthetic, created a powerful house with a strikingly dynamic shape and use of timber.' So writes Mazur of this innovative property, which was built in 2017. The house, which is shaped like a crescent, sits atop a slope and faces out towards the sea. 'The presence of the whole curved case is rather asymmetrical: from one side it stands as a massive and hermetic fortified refuge, from the other it appears as a large pitched roof almost without supporting walls,' the architects tell Mazur. The book notes: 'The interiors take an equally unusual shape with the strikingly curved ceiling that seems to float above the living spaces'

RODE HOUSE CHILOE ISLAND CHILE: ‘Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen were well-known for designing minimalist structures with a Brutalist aesthetic. This house is strikingly modern and uses timber to great effect. Mazur writes about this remarkable property that was built in 2017. It is built on top of a slope, and the house looks out to sea. Mazur explains that the entire curved structure is asymmetrical. On one side, it acts as a fortified, massive refuge. From the other, it looks like a pitched roof with no support walls. According to the book, the interiors have an unusual form with the curving ceiling which seems almost floating above the living areas. 

CLOUDSCAPE OF HAIKOU, HAIKOU, HAINAN PROVINCE, CHINA: Erected in 2020, the Cloudscape of Haikou features a public-access library, a reading space, a multi-functional audio-visual space, a cafe, restrooms, a nursery room and a roof garden, Mazur reveals. It was designed by Mad Architects and was commissioned as part of a campaign to rejuvenate Haikou's coastline by developing cultural public spaces. 'Sitting on a plot at the very edge of the land, it overlooks the sea,' Mazur writes, adding: 'The architects compare the experience of this sculptural architecture made in concrete to reading a book, as it provides an adventure into the unknown and a gentle escape from everyday reality.' The author describes the design as a 'cave-like shape devoid of straight lines or sharp angles', with circular openings offering natural light

CLOUDSCAPE HAIKOU HAINAN, CHINA: Built in 2020, Cloudscape of Haikou includes a public-access library and reading area, as well as a cafeteria, restrooms, nursery rooms, and a roof-garden. Mad Architects was responsible for designing it. It was commissioned in a campaign to revive Haikou’s coastline through the development of cultural public space. It is situated on an area at the edge of the landscape and overlooks the ocean, Mazur wrote. He also added that architects liken the experience of concrete sculptural architecture to reading a book. The concrete provides an escape into the unknown as well as a sense of adventure from daily life. According to Mazur, the shape is a cave-like in appearance with no straight lines and sharp angles. It also features circular openings that let in natural light.

STILETTO HOUSE, SINGAPORE: Built in 2019, this remarkable dwelling was designed by Ehka Studio. According to Mazur, the firm was instructed to design 'a “curvy” house with maximum internal space' - and this was the end result. 'Stiletto House celebrates the beauty of free-flowing forms,' she says, adding: 'The floor slabs and sculpted roof make the house extremely dynamic and playful.' The author notes that the 'sensual forms of the floor planes create the impression of floating on air as they are fully enveloped by curved glass walls and balustrades'. She adds that the building - which is made from concrete - blends into the landscape thanks to its fluid shape

Ehka Studio created this stunning dwelling in Singapore, the STILETTO HOUSE. According to Mazur, the firm was instructed to design ‘a “curvy” house with maximum internal space’ – and this was the end result. She says that “Stiletto house celebrates the beauty and freedom of free-flowing shapes” and adds: “The floor slabs, sculpted roof and dynamic design make this home very playful and lively. According to the author, the sensual shapes of floor slabs give the illusion of floating in the air because they are completely surrounded by balustrades and curved glass walls. Her fluid design of concrete makes the building blend into the natural landscape. 

RAFFLES CITY HANGZHOU, HANGZHOU, CHINA: This spectacular 2017 building was designed by Unstudio, with Mazur describing the 60-storey structure as a 'mixed-use complex of two complementary - not identical - towers placed atop a podium and landscaped plaza'. The building houses residential units, offices, restaurants, numerous leisure facilities, a hotel and a rooftop helipad. Mazur says it's a 'harmonious complex of curvaceous volumes'. The book notes that the building's curved silhouette is a reference to the movement of the city's Qiantang River with a 'wave-like motion becoming more and more expressive towards the top'

RAFFLES CITY HANGZHOU HANGZHOU CHINA : Unstudio created this spectacular structure, which measures 60 stories. Mazur describes the complex as a’mixed usage complex consisting of two complementing towers, not identical, placed atop a podium, landscaped plaza and podium’. It houses residential units as well as offices and restaurants. There are also numerous leisure facilities such as a hotel, restaurant, and rooftop helipad. It is described by Mazur as a harmonious complex of curvaceous volumes. It is noted in the book that Mazur referred to the Qiantang River movement as the building’s curvy silhouette. This river has a wave-like motion towards the top. 

RACV CAPE SCHANCK RESORT, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: The surrounding coastal landscape informed the design of this resort, which was built in 2019 and designed by Wood Marsh Architecture studio. 'The resort, housing 120 hotel rooms, a gym, luxury day spa, restaurants as well as a golf club, sits within the dune system so it was necessary to minimise its impact on the natural context. Its monolithic curvaceous silhouette is visible from afar, but does not dominate the landscape,' Mazur reveals. The architects tell Mazur: 'The soft, rolling dune-like quality of the topography calls for an architecture that is fluid and sculptural.' They add that 'the cellular grid of the curvaceous upper level is reminiscent of pockmarked sea cliffs'

RACV CASCHANCK RESORT MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA. The resort’s design was influenced by the surrounding landscape. It was constructed in 2019 by Wood Marsh Architecture. The 120-room resort is situated within the dune system, so there was no need to minimize its effect on the natural setting. The resort’s distinctive, monolithic, curvaceous shape is easily visible from far, but it does not dominate landscape, Mazur says. The architects told Mazur that the soft, rolling and almost dune-like topography requires an architectural style that is both fluidly sculptural. “The curvaceous, curvaceous upper-level cellular grid recalls sea cliffs with its pockmarked patterns,” they add.

ELLIPTIC HOUSE, LUZ-LAGOS, PORTUGAL: 'The picturesque [coastal] landscape inspired the dynamic volume of this stunning villa,' Mazur writes. It was constructed in 2016, with architectural firm Mario Martins Atelier at the helm. The author reveals: 'The idea behind sinusoid lines of the outer shell was the creation of a fluid experience – without awareness of where the house begins or ends.' The structure, which is painted white, reflects the sunlight and 'stands out against the intensive hues of the sea as well as the sky'

ELLIPTIC HOUSE LUZ LAGOS, PORTUGAL – ‘The beautiful [coastal]Mazur writes that landscape is what inspired Mazur’s stunning villa. This villa was built in 2016 with Mario Martins Atelier as the architect. The author reveals: ‘The idea behind sinusoid lines of the outer shell was the creation of a fluid experience – without awareness of where the house begins or ends.’ White paint makes the structure reflect the sun and stand out against intense colors of the sea and sky.

GJG HOUSE, GHENT, BELGIUM: This 'elegant and minimalist single-family house' was built in 2015 and designed by Blaf Architecten. Mazur reveals: 'The architects’ goal is to find new methods for using brick, which had recently become cladding rather than a structural material, due to new energy performance standards. Gjg House demonstrates how bricks can be effectively re-used and innovatively shaped.' According to the author, the house is set in a wooded spot near a highway. She says: 'The architects decided to shape the curving walls to fit in the space between the trees on the site and not to cut them down to accommodate the structure. Its curvaceous volume visually reduces the rather massive size of the house and allows it to merge smoothly into its green context'

GJG HOUSE GHENT BELGIUM – This single-family home, which is elegant and simple, was designed and built by Blaf Architecten in 2015. Mazur reveals: ‘The architects’ goal is to find new methods for using brick, which had recently become cladding rather than a structural material, due to new energy performance standards. Gjg House shows how bricks are re-used effectively and can be creatively shaped. The house was built in the middle of a forest near the highway, according to the author. She said that the architects designed the curving walls to be in line with the spaces between the trees and the structure. The house’s large size is visually reduced by its curvaceous volume, which allows it to blend seamlessly into the green environment. 

MOAE, HUAMAO MUSEUM OF ART AND EDUCATION, NINGBO, CHINA: Mazur observes: 'While not voluminous, the museum designed by architects Alvaro Siza and Carlos Castanheira offers vast interiors.' The 2020 building leans against a hillside on one side, and on the other, it is suspended above the ground, the author reveals. The architects explain: 'Inside visitors circulate in the enormous void.' It's a 'monolithic volume with undulating elevations, rounded edges and elegant metal cladding', according to Mazur, who adds: 'Like a lizard’s skin, it reflects sunlight over its curves and corrugated aluminium sheeting throughout the day, always changing and never looking quite the same'

MOAE, HUAMAO museum of art and education, NINGBO (CHINA): Mazur says that while the interiors are not large, they have been designed by Alvaro Siza, Carlos Castanheira. According to the author, 2020’s building is suspended over the ground while it leans on a hillside one side and leans on the other. The architects explained that inside visitors move in this huge void. It’s a ‘monolithic volume with undulating elevations, rounded edges and elegant metal cladding’, according to Mazur, who adds: ‘Like a lizard’s skin, it reflects sunlight over its curves and corrugated aluminium sheeting throughout the day, always changing and never looking quite the same’