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Dutch Architect Decorates Building Façade with Concrete Cast Emoji Instead of Gargoyles

Dutch architect Changiz Tehrani, from Attika Architekten, decided to replace the traditional gargoyles, portraying the heads of kings and royal figures, with emoji. Believing that these small digital icons are expressive of the 21st century, the architect cast 22 emoji in concrete and used them to decorate a building in Amersfoort, Netherlands.

Image: Attika Architekten / Bart van Hoek

The building in Amersfoot is a conventional structure from red-brick pillars and glass windows which conform a regular vertical grid, met by another horizontal grid from concrete stripes which line the space between the floors, only on the street façade. The perfect circle shapes of the emoji can be seen at the intersection of both grids. The mixed-use building, with shops on the ground floor and apartments on the upper floors, is located on a square which, also, houses a library, a theater, and a school, so it will have its fair share of young visitors, familiar with the digital icons.

Image: Attika Architekten

Tehrani used the same template used by WhatsApp to create his 3D emoji. They were made into 3D models by Attika Architekten and then sent to the construction company which converted them into molds for casting concrete. The unusual decoration of the building, which has officially opened last summer, has been regarded, generally, in a positive manner. Tehrani believes that the even though the current popularity of the emoji might fade one day, the shapes on the building will remain as a reminder of what was once significant in our time period.

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