Emoji replace gargoyles and kings on new Amersfoort building

Photo: Attika Architekten / Bart van Hoek

A new building in the Amersfoort district of Vathorst has a novel decoration on its façade – a selection of the 22 most popular emoji.

Emoji are going to be some of the most recognizable icons of the 21st century, says architect Changiz Tehrani, which is why he decided to cast them in concrete.

‘In classical architecture they used heads of the king or whatever, and they put that on the façade,’ Tehrani 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 answer was obvious: emoji.’

It is not the first time architects from the Attika practice have used smileys to decorate a building. Eight years ago, they placed two on another building in Vathorst – but they date from the Nokia period, broadcaster RTL said.

The new emoji are on a brick building which is part of a new shopping centre.