There are some wacky buildings out there. Truly weird and seemingly unnecessarily strange ones. It looks like these days architects often choose to design shocking or puzzling buildings, rather than just beautiful or practical ones. Then again, can you blame them? We all want to be unique and unusual, so why should they be any different? Let’s look at some examples of the most unexpected architecture designs from around the world.
1. Dunmore Pineapple (Stirlingshire, Scotland)
The EMP Museum building was designed by Frank O.Gehry. The outside of the building is encased in 400 tons of custom made stainless steel and aluminium shingles. If you were to melt it all and make banjo string out of it, it would be long enough to get you a quarter of the way to Venus. Stainless steel and painted aluminium panels change colour depending on how the light hits them, that’s supposed to represent the constant change in music and tell us how it’s evolving and changing all the time.
3. Solar Furnace (Odeillo, France)
This cool building was built by Felix Tombre, a French engineer. The shape of this building isn’t just a coincidence. It’s actually designed this way, so that all the mirrored surfaces can reflect light from the sun, and concentrate it in one spot, the size of a cooking pot. That spot is on the building in front of it, and it reaches crazy temperatures of 3500 degrees Celsius. This building is often used by various companies, agencies and scientist for their experiments. If you’re wondering how helpful can it be, well, let’s just say NASA uses it, so it must be really impressive.
4. CCTV Tower – China Central Television Headquarters (Beijing, China)
This 44 storey skyscraper isn’t a regular skyscraper, as you can tell. It’s actually a loop of 6 different horizontal and vertical structures, that create this weird shape with a hole in the middle. It was designed by 2 European architects, and at first was considered too dangerous to be built because of the high seismic activity, but in the end the project was approved and the building was built. It’s often seen as a great example of cooperation. One of the architects who designed the building said that this building “could never have been conceived by the Chinese and could never have been built by Europeans. It is a hybrid by definition”.
5. Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles, California, USA)
This glorious metal building was designed by the one and only Frank O. Gehry, the same person who designed the EMP Museum in Seattle. Clearly this guy loves huge, reflective metal structures. He did a wonderful job with this building, except that in the original design some of the walls were matte and some reflective. When it was first built, they ran into a little problem. The light, reflected by the shiny walls cased the nearby apartment complexes to suffer from glare and overheating, so they had to make some changes and make the whole building matte. Either way, this concert hall is used for all sorts of performances and the acoustics here are said to be amazing.
6. Forest Spiral Building (Darmstadt, Germany)
This is probably the coolest apartment building in Germany. Its design doesn’t follow traditional rules. It’s strange shape and color stand out among other buildings, not to mention the fact that all the windows seem to be placed in some random order and are all differently shaped. The coolest thing about this building is the roof. There’s a reason why it’s called the “Waldspirale”, which means “forest spiral” in English. The roof of the building is home to all sorts of plants, trees, grass and flowers. Isn’t that great? You’re never too far way from nature, ‘cause it’s literally above you, on your roof.
7. The Basket Building (Ohio, USA)
This building is home to the Longaberger Company, a company that makes and sells handcrafted maple and wood baskets. It’s a perfect example of great marketing. If you sell baskets, why not make your office look like a huge basket? More companies should take up this strategy. Just think about how much more interesting the world would look, and you’d always know exactly what building you’re walking by.
8. Air Force Academy Chapel (Colorado, USA)
It’s hard to believe that this futuristic looking building was built in 1962. It’s even harder to believe that it’s a chapel. We’re used to chapels looking all traditional, but not this one. This chapel has different spaces inside, created to serve the needs of people of different religions. There’s three main levels inside. The top level is for Protestants, the middle one is divided between Catholics, Jews and Buddhists, and the bottom one is used for Islamic services, and there’s 2 more rooms for “other” religions. The coolest thing about it is that you can have services on all levels at the same time, without them interfering one another.
9. Nordpark Cable Railway (Innsbruck, Austria)
How cool is this railway?! I mean, seriously, have you ever seen a railway station that looks this freaking awesome? I sure haven’t. This design is called “Shell and Shadow” and it was created by Zaha Hadid, who says he was inspired by ice formations. This beautiful piece of architecture blends seamlessly into the landscape of the Austrian mountains, and only enhances the natural beauty of this region. If only all railway stations could look this beautiful.
10. The Valencia Opera House (Valencia, Spain)
This beautiful work of art is the Valencia Opera House. It’s futuristic and unexpected shape was designed by the famous Santiago Calatrava. The building is 17 stories tall, and is 75 meters in height. It’s actually the tallest Opera House in the world. It is comprised of 4 separate halls that are filled with the newest technology needed to stage all sorts of theatrical and musical performances.
11. Grand Lisboa ( Macau)
Grand Lisboa is a very impressive building. It’s one of the finest casino hotels in Asia. Located in Macau, Grand Lisboa houses 15 restaurants, 800 gaming tables and 1000 slot machines. It’s a hotel and entertainment complex that’s open 24/7 . The building comprises 47 floors and is 261 meters tall, which makes it the tallest building in Macau.