11 Architectural Fantasies That Will Make Your Brain Hurt

The city has long been a source of inspiration for artists, who have throughout history flocked to cultural meccas like Paris, London, and New York. A eye-catching new book of art and photography called Imagine Architecture probes the way architecture and the urban realm have influenced visual artists in almost all mediums, whether it’s digitally altered photographs, large-scale sculptures, black-and-white sketches, or folded paper. The works that appear in the book are no ordinary cityscapes. These buildings bend, twist, flip, and float in impossible ways–architectural reveries rendered in uncanny contexts.

“This partnership between architecture and the visual arts enriches and broadens our perception of both the built environment and visual culture. Architecture–understood in the broadest sense–has become a highly influential form of imaging in the visual arts,” editor Lukas Feireiss writes in the book’s introduction. “We have witnessed a renaissance of the most diverse spatial and architectural imaginings in the arts.”

Featuring artists like Victor Enrich, James McNabb, Simon Schubert and even Alfred Hitchcock, the book explores architectural visions of all scales: houses, skyscrapers, and mega-metropolises. Much of the works are surreal, if not blatantly apocalyptic, depicting houses fallen from the sky, buildings turned upside down, and cities floating in the clouds. These fanciful creations catalogue how artists respond to the built environment, and how they render (and occasionally destroy) cities and buildings within their work.

Imagine Architecture is available for $65 from Gestalten.