Following the creation of a cabin in France that was disguised as a large boulder, we round up eight buildings with rock-like forms including prayer halls, museums, theatres and houses.
Danish architecture studio CEBRA created a cave-like prayer centre within a landscape of jagged, rock-like forms in Abu Dhabi. The building rises out of a small pool of water next to the Qasr Al Hosn Fort – Abu Dhabi’s oldest stone structure.
“The geometries intentionally land somewhere between building and landscape,” said CEBRA.
Chilean architect Smiljan Radić created a pebble-like form for the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in 2014 from a paper-thin layer of white fibreglass. He raised the bulbous pavilion off the ground on a series of rough quarry stones.
“I feel like a giant made this model as a gift for London,” Radić said at the time.
Chinese studio Open Architecture designed this open-air concert hall for a site in a valley near the ruins of the Great Wall of China. The rock-like structure is formed from a series of concrete layers designed to mimic surrounding cliff faces.
“We were very aware of the responsibility we had to contribute a thoughtful structure that fits naturally into such a unique landscape,” said Open Architecture.
“The symphony of nature is what we really wanted people to experience here.”
Its four rock-shaped volumes, which are clad in pale grey zinc, contain two auditoriums as well as rehearsal spaces, a restaurant and a cafe.
The project is named after Thérèse, a character in the novel Derborence who was married to a shepherd who was trapped under rocks following a landslide.
Swiss studio Bureau encased the entire wooden cabin in a concrete shell so that it is disguised as a large boulder.
While not immediately taking the typical rounded form of many of the rock-like buildings on this list, the National Museum of Qatar in Doha is informed by the shape of the desert rose – a mineral formation created when minerals crystallise.
“The desert rose is a symbol of the desert because it’s an architecture created by time and the desert itself,” said its architect Jean Nouvel.
“Nobody knows what the inside of a desert rose looks like, and we created a typology of intersections that makes you question what is inside it.”
Appropriately named Rock House, this home in Kuwait is designed by local studio AGi Architects with a predominantly-solid outer wall to protect the resident’s privacy.
The facades of the house, described by the studio as “origami-like”, are entirely clad in stone.