Five Buildings Shaped Like Obsolete Technology - Atlas Obscura
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Five Buildings Shaped Like Obsolete Technology

Designing a building resembling the height of technological innovation of the day can seem like forward-looking architecture, but as the years go by and technology moves forward while the building remains static it can resemble an outdated vision of the past. We’ve previously compiled the best in animal architecture of the world, and here are five buildings that resemble obsolete technology. 

PC BUILDING
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

article-image(photograph by Lana M/Flickr user)

This building in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, is shaped just like an old PC, complete with an on-button, and CD drive. Not surprisingly, it is a computer store.

RADIO 2BH
Broken Hill, Australia

article-image
(photograph by Mattinbgn/Wikimedia)

In Broken Hill, New South Wales, is a brick building constructed like an old timey radio, with round windows on the first level marked for tuning and volume. It serves as the headquarters for Radio 2BH studios, although we imagine few people are getting their transmissions through such a device. 

article-image(photograph by Blueturtle01/Wikimedia)

PHOENIX FINANCIAL CENTER
Phoenix, Arizona, United States

article-image(photograph by Jason Corneveaux)

The soaring façade of the Phoenix Financial Center resembles an old computer punch card. Designed by modernist architect Wenceslao Sarmiento in 1968, the punch card was the mode of the day for transmitting information through new fangled computing machines. 

article-image(photograph by Kevin Spencer)

CAPITOL RECORDS BUILDING
Los Angeles, California, United States

article-image(photograph by Jason Cook)

The appearance of the 13-story Capitol Records Building is of a stack of records on a turntable. Although the resemblance is claimed to be a coincidence, it’s hard not to imagine the 24-year-old Lou Naidorf — whose graduate school drawings are the basis for the architecture — being influenced subliminally by the spinning vinyl. As an added bonus, the spike at the top blinks out the word Hollywood in Morse code, and was first switched on by Leila Morse, granddaughter of Samuel Morse himself. 

article-image(photograph by Wieland Van Dijk)

DIGITAL BEIJING
Beijing, China

article-image(photograph by Edward Liu)

The futuristic media center for the 2008 Beijing Olympics was built to resemble a circuit board, being especally impressive at night when light gleams through the windows (although not enough windows to keep it from likely being a bit gloomy inside).  While it’s not on the same level of retro-tech as other buildings here, it does still resemble a view of the future with concrete data systems that is already looking a bit like the sets from Tron

article-image(photograph by Michel Sutyadi)