Isn’t this building incredible? This whimsical fantasy is the work of an Austrian architect called Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
This is one of two huge buildings, designed by Hundertwasser, on the island of Maishima in Osaka’s port area. They are waste treatment (incineration) plants. Their façades, rich in detail and humour and primary colours, seem to rebel against the forces of sterile modernity, efficiency and maturity. They seem to say “Why not?” and never fail to bring a smile to my face.
The chimneys are gold-topped minarets. With portholes.
Trees are planted at various levels on the exterior of the buildings, and on a helical ramp encircling the lower levels of the chimneys like ivy.
Clearly Mr Hundertwasser had a great love for windows (and no desire whatever to make any two the same).
I reached the island by walking across this bridge, one of an incredible number of suspension bridges that criss-cross the harbour area, linking all the artificial islands. It was a very hot day for this kind of walk!
While walking across, I felt the bridge shaking up and down under my feet in a way that felt a bit alarming. But looking back at the structure from underneath, and seeing how thin the deck is, it’s not so surprising that it flexes along its length.
The incineration plant apparently has a garden that is open to visitors—I wonder what fanciful delights are to be found within?
Unfortunately by the time I reached this point after walking for an hour, with precious little shade, I was getting dangerously overheated and couldn’t risk staying any longer in the open.
Here’s an information plaque with a picture of Mr Hundertwasser.