Architecture: Curveballs Are In Play

After the Bilbao Guggenheim, architects are taking ever wilder trips into the light fantastic

As far as architecture is concerned, if the 20th century was the age of the box, the 21st is fast becoming the age of the wiggle. Over the past few years, and especially after the debut of Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, the sturdy glass-and-steel rectangle, for decades the default mode for serious buildings, has begun to give way to the parabola, the whiplash curve and geometries so irregular, there's no point in looking them up in geometry books. Thanks to a combination of insistent forward thinking by architects and ever more ingenious computer-design software, buildings that once would have...

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