The vast majority of buildings that you will see on a daily basis will be typical, run-of the-mill designs, that are incredibly mundane. While some might buck this trend by looking modern, stylish or even beautiful, they will still tend to stick to traditional ideas and not seem too far detached from what is considered the norm. However, there are some notable exceptions. Sometimes a person just wants their house to stand out from the crowd and at other times, a business or company might want to design their headquarters in a strange way to grab attention and capture the imagination of their customers. Whatever the case, there are some truly crazy building designs around the world and this article will look at the most odd that have ever been built.
12. Piano House
This music inspired building is actually a house. Situated in Huainan, China, the home was built in 2007, and was designed by a group of students studying architecture at Hefei University of Technology. The different parts of the piano and violin act as separate parts of the house, with the violin, which is made entirely out of glass, operating as an entrance that contains an escalator to the main part of the building that is located in the piano. Meanwhile, the opening at the top acts as a roof terrace, allowing visitors to spend time outdoors in the sun.
11. Monte Rosa Hut
Located at the base of the mountain Monte Rosa, close to Zermatt, the mountain hut acts as a base for the Swiss Alpine Club and allows students to research the surrounding area, as well as the advanced green energy that is produced by the building. The five-story structure was constructed with the help of more than 3,000 helicopter trips that were needed to take workers and the building material to the remote location. Around 90% of the energy needs of the hut are gathered from solar power, while water is collected from melting glaciers and stored in a reservoir, and heating is provided by sun-warmed air that is sent around the building.
10. Sheep Store
Tirau, New Zealand is home to a giant wool and craft store that has been designed to mimic the look of a sheep head and body. The strange building has not just been made to look like a sheep because of the connection between wool and the animal, but because the area has traditionally been a large farming community. Due to its unique nature, the store has become something of a tourist attraction, since its construction in 1994. In addition, an accompanying ‘Dog’ building has been constructed nearby to tie-in with the sheep building. It was built four years after the other structure and acts as an information center for the area.
9. Longaberger Basket Company
The Longaberger Basket Company specializes in creating and distributing handmade baskets. Its biggest seller is the Medium Market Basket and to celebrate the product, the headquarters of the company is a giant replica of it. At over 160 times the size of the usual basket, the building is seven floors high and takes up over 180,000 square foot of space. The headquarters were completed in 1997, after being designed by the company itself. The large handles, which weigh 150 tons, can be heated during cold weather to ensure that they do not suffer any damage from ice.
8. Kansas City Public Library
The Kansas City Public Library is very much like any other public library in the United States, except for one major difference. Instead of the usual bland car park design that you would expect, the library has what it calls, “The Community Bookshelf”. The garage, which houses visitors’ vehicles, is almost entirely hidden with a large replica of a bookshelf. Each individual book measures roughly 25 feet by 9 feet, giving the library a dramatic exterior. What makes the building even more impressive is that members of the Kansas community picked all the chosen novels, with examples ranging from Fahrenheit 451, Lord of the Rings, Romeo and Juliet and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
7. Phoenix Financial Center
Located in Phoenix, Arizona, the Financial Center building is known by many of the local residents as the “punchcard building” for its striking resemblance to a computer punch card. The southeastern side of the buildings has incredibly narrow windows, along with smaller dot shaped openings that made many assume that the center was paying tribute to the punch cards that were invaluable in the past to the financial services. However, the similarity to a punch card was completely coincidental, with the government claiming that the narrow windows were designed to prevent the inside of the building from warming in the summer, by being in direct line with the sun.
6. National Fisheries Development Board Building
The National Fisheries Development Board is the government body in India, tasked with regulating the fishing industry, as the country attempts to compete with other countries such as China and Norway in the global fishing trade. Designed to be both the headquarters for the board and to act as a tourist destination, the unique, four-story building first opened in 2012 and took over four years to complete. It is actually based on a sculpture that is based in Barcelona.
5. Hang Nga Guesthouse
The Hang Nga Guesthouse first opened in 1990. The building, commonly known as the Crazy House, is located in the De Lat area of Vietnam. The vision of Dang Viet Nga was inspired by the likes of surrealist artists, such as Salvador Dali. The building itself was never actually designed to be a guesthouse, but with no other way to pay off the debts accrued in its construction, it was opened up to potential customers. It has since become one of the most visited tourists attraction in the entire region and is popular with guests from around the world.
4. Ryugyong Hotel
The Ryugyong Hotel is not a crazy design simply because of the way it looks, even though it is incredibly striking. It comes from the fact that the North Korean building has been under construction since 1987, and is still nowhere near completion. The initial construction of the outer structure was finished by 1992, but the project was cancelled amid an economic crisis in the country. While work began anew in 2008 to complete the hotel, an opening date of 2012 was missed and the building is still under construction.
3. Palace of the Parliament
Sitting in the Romanian capital city of Bucharest, the Palace of the Parliament is a huge structure that acts as the home of the government in the country. While the building does not look that distinct at first glance, it is crazy simply because of its huge size. Housing 1,100 rooms, 12 floors, as well as four underground levels and taking up more than 3,700,000 square feet of space, it is one of the largest buildings in the world. It holds various world records, including: most expensive administrative building, heaviest administrative building and largest civilian building. It cost more than €3 billion to build and a team of 700 architects lead by Anca Petrescu to plan it.
2. Kunsthaus Graz
The Hunsthaus Graz is an art museum located in Graz, Austria. Built to house modern art from the 1960s onwards, the building has a peculiar design that the architects describe as “blog architecture”. This makes it look to many, as some sort of alien or deep sea creature. The strange shape and look are particularly dramatic because of the traditional buildings that surround the museum. It also has a large tool on one side that can be used by artists to create interactive works using a series of “big pixels” made of more than 900 fluorescent rings.
1. Meitan Tea Museum
The Meitan Tea Museum was built to mark the celebration of the Guizhou province being the home of Chinese green tea. Its design mimics the look of a traditional Chinese clay teapot, and comes together with a smaller building that has been made to look like a tea cup. The tallest part of the structure reaches a height of 73 metres and according to The Guardian, if the structure was completely hollow and filled with tea, it would be able to hold upwards of 28 million litres. That officially makes the museum the world’s largest teapot monument.
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