Architect Incorporates Concrete Emojis Into His Building Design

Attika Architekten
Attika Architekten / Attika Architekten

Emojis aren't the quintessential example of timeless design—and that’s why architect Changiz Tehrani decided to stamp them into the facade of his building in the Netherlands. As The Verge reports, the cheeky emoticons are a way to link the structure to the 2010s for decades to come.

The building, which includes retail and residential space, is made from red brick striped with concrete bands. The wall facing the town square in Amersfoort features 22 emoji faces peering out from the concrete. On the other sides of the building those spaces are filled with plain circles.

To make the emojis, Tehrani—of the Dutch architecture firm Attika Architekten—chose designs from the WhatsApp emoji keyboard. The pictographs were then made into molds and cast in concrete before going up on the side of the structure.

When explaining his thought process, Tehrani compared the web-era ornaments to the stone busts of kings and queens used in architecture centuries ago. “If you look at history, people always think ‘Oh this is timeless,’ or ‘This will stay forever,’ and they’re always wrong,” he told The Verge. “So we were thinking, what can we use as an ornament so when you look at this building in 10 or 20 years you can say ‘hey this is from that year!’”

The building was completed in 2015, and the emojis have managed to stay relevant for at least two years. Students in the nearby school are constantly snapping pictures of the facade, though Tehran says he doesn’t know if older residents like (or recognize) the design elements.

[h/t The Verge]

All images courtesy of Attika Architekten