Council housing block shaped like swastika

The housing block

One Google Maps user was browsing maps of Devizes when he stumbled across a view of a local council block, and was shocked to discover that it looks like a swastika from the air. The building has become an internet sensation.

However, it is not the only time this symbol has accidentally put in an appearance.
The block is built on Waiblingen Way - named after the German town that Devizes is twinned with. The twinning took place around the same time as the block was built in the 1960s.

According to the Metro, the council does not know who designed the building. The Telegraph quoted one resident as saying: "We had no idea that our houses looked just like the swastika symbol but there isn't much we can do about it now."

Not the first

It's easy to see why people are drawing conclusions about whether the design was an accident or not. However, it may just be a convenient design. After all, it's not the first building to hit the headlines for looking like a swastika from the air.

A US naval base in San Diego, California, is designed along similar lines and became another Google Earth discovery. Then there was the Wesley Acres retirement home in Decatur Alabama: the fact that it was built in the shape of a swastika was spotted in 2008 and the building's design was altered.

The two buildings in Munich that have the same shape include the one on Hanfstaenglstraße which was built in the 1930s. The architect argued that it saved energy.

And it's not just architects producing the symbol. A newspaper in Sweden was in trouble this week, for publishing a photograph of Christmas cookies which appeared to be in the shape of swastikas. Svenska Dagbladet Today confirmed that they were intended to look like poinsettias, but the editor spotted his mistake once it was pointed out to him.


Some mysterious swastikas are more deliberate. There's a group of larch trees in a Brandenburg forest, which were found growing in a yellow swastika amidst the green. They were discovered by an intern for a landscaping company checking out photographs in 1992. The trees were planted in the 1930s as a tribute to the Nazi Party, and after the discovery, they were destroyed.

Another deliberate move was the building of the village of Hessenaue in South Hessian in the shape of a swastika. It was built in the 1930s, and after the fall of the the Third Reich, the villagers knocked down some buildings to change its shape.

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Council housing block shaped like swastika

According to webdesignerdepot, the arrow under the word Amazon from the A-Z has two purposes. First, it is meant to highlight that the company sells everything from A-Z, and second it's a smile - meant to emphasise a focus on customer satisfaction.

The same website highlights that if you focus hard on the logo you can see a white arrow between the E and the x, emphasising speed and precision. It's this which won the logo - designed in 1994 - a vast number of awards.

The F is clearly written in black, but the 1 emerges out of the white space between the F and the red lines representing speed. For every person who says 'yes but that's hardly hidden is it?' there's someone saying 'oh... yes...'

According to the company the white ribbon was introduced under the name in 1969. When competitors first entered the market, Coke made much of its curved bottle design which distinguished it from those that followed. As fewer and fewer people drank from bottles, the ribbon was produced as an alternative distinctive curve.

On the left hand side of the packaging is a picture of the Matterhorn mountain. However, if you look closer there's the image of a bear lurking within - to show that the company is based in Bern - known as The City of Bears.

According to mokokoma, the apple is the fruit of the tree of knowledge. There is some question as to whether the bite taken out of it is a play on the word byte, symbolism of the fruit being eaten and the knowledge imparted, or just to make it look more like an apple and less like a cherry tomato.

According to urlm, the reason for the odd V and A is because it's a wave - symbolising the basic analogue signal, while the I and O look like a 1 and a 0, representing digital.

The same website highlights the reason behind the Roxy logo - a brand for female surfers. The brand is actually part of Quicksilver, and is made up of two Quicksilver logos pushed together to form a heart.

As graphicdesignblog points out, this isn't just white text on a series of coloured blobs. Each blob represents the outline of London at a specific time - and shows the growth of the city through history.

The letters are made of one unbroken line - as if drawn in the air with a conductor's baton.

The portions of the B and R coloured pink aren't just an accident. They form the number 31 - the number of flavours sold by the brand.

As pointed out by, if you look more closely at the letters o,u and r, and put them together with the sun, they form a cyclist.

Why the extra-large C? Because the way it wraps around the o creates a 3D tyre of course.

One blogger has been researching the origins of car logos. He highlights that the wings on the car logo are designed to reflect the company's past as an aircraft engine manufacturer during WWI.

This is another wartime company reflecting its past. The colours are the Bavarian flag, representing the company's origins, and the cross inside the circle represents a propeller - harking back to the company's past making aeroplanes during WWII.

Apparently the diamond was an integral part of the design of the early cars - which was fitted around an air hole in the bonnet.

If you look closely you can see the map is showing Apple's address - complete with a pin dropped at its front door.

The arrows pointing in each direction reflect that the name means Crossroads. If you look a bit closer, the C looms out of the white space.

The logo was actually designed by professor Vaughan Pratt of Stanford University. It is an ambigram - which takes advantage of the fact that a U and an N sitting next to one another can be made to look like an S, and therefore read 'sun' in every direction.

According to funonthenet those three stripes are actually in the shape of a mountain, signifying the challenges ahead, and the goals you can achieve.

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