20+ Wacky Architecture Designs We Could Stare at All Day Long

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4 years ago

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Humans have been building structures for as long as they can remember themselves (and probably long before that, judging by landmarks like the Pyramids of Giza and Stonehenge). It’s in our nature to build structures that keep us safe from the environment and, in some cases, from other people as well. But human imagination is so lively that we could never just build a plain box to live in – we always try to embellish our homes, houses, and even offices with something extra. From crazy balconies to dancing houses, we present you with a collection of the wackiest, coolest, and weirdest architecture designs we’ve ever seen.

A Beast in the City

What is this weird creature lurking behind the neat buildings of Graz in Austria? It looks like a giant alien with some funky parts that remind us of an octopus. It’s just too surreal!

Well, naturally, it’s no ordinary building – it houses the Graz Art Museum that specializes in all kinds of modern arts including film, design, new media, internet art, and architecture.

The building itself is a vivid example of blob architecture and, as you can see, the structure does resemble a blob quite a lot! Locals call it the Friendly Alien, and at night the museum looks like an otherworldly submarine or a spaceship with all lights on.

Welcome to New Zealand!

New Zealand is popular for many things, including breathtaking landscapes and icy glaciers, but we bet you've never heard about its 'Corrugated Capital', Tirau.

It turns out that the small town of Tirau, located in South Waikato, is a real treasury of touristic hotspots. It's packed with amazing buildings that look like something you would see in a movie, but not in real life.

This sheepdog building, for example, is the tourist's information centre, so if you do decide to pay this town a visit - this is one of the first places you'll see! The town proclaimed itself the Corrugated Capital of New Zealand due to all the buildings created from corrugated iron.

The Dragon Temple

We’re used to thinking that all temples are strictly religious buildings and never look out of the ordinary. Well, most of them are like that, but there are exceptions to the rule – like this temple in Thailand adorned with a huge dragon.

Seriously, we’ve never seen a Buddhist temple like this and we doubt they were building them like that in ancient times. But it’s definitely a spectacular construction!

Wat Samphran Temple is located 25 miles from Bangkok and consists of this spectacular Dragon Tower, a beautiful statue of Buddha, and a huge garden that surrounds them. You can actually go inside the dragon and climb numerous stairs to get to the top of the tower and enjoy the spectacular view.

The Upside Down House

Did you ever dream of living in an upside-down house, where you walk on the ceiling and all the objects are reverted as if you’re the one standing on your head? No? Well, we didn’t either, but there is a place in Poland where you can experience exactly that.

Called the Upside Down House (duh) this architectural weirdness is located in Szymbark, a village in Poland with beautiful natural surroundings.

The house is perched at the foot of the mountain, but you probably wouldn’t be able to enjoy the view from inside of it – everything in the house is upside down, creating a very disorienting effect! The furnishing inside is all ‘70s inspired, reminiscent of the Communist regime in Poland.

These Houses Are up to Something

It seems that we aren't the only ones who can't go by a house that has such a mischievous face. And yes, it might seem weird to refer to a house's face, but some buildings just seem to have more soul than others!

Do you agree? Looking at these two cute structures we simply can't ignore their cartoon-like facial expressions. They look like characters from some funny animation movie.

Well, a lot of people see faces like this everywhere. This phenomenon is called pareidolia - the tendency to see meaningful images in random objects, be it a house, a baked potato, or a sandwich you made yourself for lunch.

Luminous Earth Grid

When it comes to art, nothing is over-the-top. In fact, the most impactful art pieces are usually totally wacky, but also simple. This Luminous Earth Grid created by Stuart Williams, an environmental artist, is a vivid proof of that.

Williams spent two years driving around looking for the perfect location to create his art piece, and then some more time to raise the necessary funds.

Finally, he chose the hills between San Francisco and Sacramento, and installed a luminous grid that covers the area of 8 football fields. He needed 12 miles of electric cable for that! According to Williams, he wanted to create an inspirational piece that would merge both technology and nature in a harmonious way.

Welcome to Discovery Channel

If you've watched any documentaries on Discovery Channel you know that their coverage of the animal kingdom is top-notch. It's like watching a superb reality TV show, but instead of people there are animals and lots of drama and suspense.

That's why it doesn't really come as a surprise that once a year during the Shark Week the head office of the Discovery Channel transforms itself into a giant shark.

The shark consists of five separate pieces and needs to be constantly inflated with special machines. This might not be the most environment-friendly transformation, but it surely looks breathtaking!

The Walls of Steel

We don’t see power plants too often, but we’re pretty sure they don’t look like this in most cases. This power plant in Utrecht, Netherlands, looks like something we would see in a sci-fi movie depicting the buildings of our future, but not in real life.

According to the architect behind this building, its design is strictly functional and was determined by the technical requirements of the energy plant itself.

Nevertheless, the end result is more than just a power plant – it’s a strong sculptural piece that has changed the landscape of this area tremendously. We can’t say we love it, but we definitely don’t hate it either!

The Chicken Church

So, you know how people tend to see faces literally everywhere? Whether it's a toast, fried bacon, or a bowl of cereal, we tend to find some funny-looking silhouettes or actual faces of real people.

Some see Jesus, other see Madonna... Well, in this case everyone who stops by this church in Florida sees only one image - a chicken! With it's round window eyes and a cute beak made of a triangular rooftop, this chicken church became a real tourist attraction.

The Church by the Sea in Tampa Bay, Florida, was never meant to look like a chicken, but as soon as the uncanny similarity was spotted, it quickly became viral and flocks of tourists started gathering by the church to enjoy its façade and take a few memorable photos.

The Kitsch Balcony

So we’ve all heard of hoarders and how they just can’t stop collecting things and stashing them away in their homes and houses. But rarely do we see a hoarder who gets creative with his stuff!

It’s such a chaotic and versatile collection of things that we can hardly imagine how the owner of this balcony collected all of this. It must have taken them years!

The guy on the balcony seems totally chill and quite content with the way it looks. But now we are wondering if the balcony looks like this, how does the apartment look inside?

A Controversial Work of Art

When talking about art there will always be some kind of controversy. Who decides what is beautiful and what is not? Or whether a certain sculpture should be viewed by the public or hidden somewhere in the attic.

Well, this sculpture, created by Atelier Van Lieshout, was deemed as too immodest for the Louvre in Paris, France, so it was pulled off from the exhibition there.

But that was not the end of story for two buildings that seem to be making love out in the open. The sculpture was accepted by the Centre Georges Pompidou and displayed on its main square.

Would You Like to Dance?

Located in Prague, Czech Republic, this building stands out from the architectural ensemble of the city. Well, it’s called a Dancing House for a reason!

Prague is known for it’s baroque architecture along with art nouveau buildings and gothic cathedrals, making this deconstructivist building stick out like a sore thumb. But we believe it’s actually very beautiful!

It may seem a bit out of place for some people, but it’s very refreshing to see such original style among all the classical buildings.  The Dancing House was built in 1996 and it’s home to a Dutch insurance company Nationale-Nederlanden.

One Balcony to Rule Them All

All people want nice balconies, especially those who live in teeny tiny apartments with no extra space to chill or simply go out for a breath of fresh air. And while most people are content with what they have, others put on their engineer caps and try to build something out of thin air.

In this case, the balcony emerged literally out of nothing! There was just rooftop above that apartment, but for some reason the owners decided that one balcony wasn't enough, so they built another one on top.

This looks hilarious on so many levels! But at least the balcony's design doesn't stand out from the rest. Still, it's impossible to ignore this atrocity because it's so in-your-face!

The Amsterdam Dream

Amsterdam is famous for its neat architecture with beautiful houses, but never have we seen so many little houses stacked together to form one huge building! Located in Zaandam, this stacked house hotel is like an architects dream come true! Or a nightmare - depends on how you look at it.

Inside the building, you will find the Inntel Hotel, which means you can actually rent a room at this spectacular place and spend a few nights there!

To do this, you will need to travel to Zaandam and look for this hotel near the train station – it’s impossible to miss it! While the architecture of all these houses is inspired by the buildings found in the Zaan region, the blue house in the upper right corner was actually inspired by a house from Claud Monnet’s painting of Amsterdam.

Taking a Bath is Not an Option

Sometimes we have no idea about what goes through people’s minds. We can understand why someone would want to put a brick wall instead of a balcony (no, we don’t, not really), but leaving a bathtub outside like that?

Is this some kind of surreal art statement piece that was left there for everyone to see? We seriously doubt this, but at least that offers some kind of explanation.

People and balconies – it’s like a never-ending saga that keeps on delivering. Let’s see what else they came up with!

This Exquisite Cat Ladder

Well, why not? Looking at this cat ladder we wonder why more people haven’t built bridges like this for cats. Maybe because it ruins the whole backyard atmosphere?

It looks kind of ridiculous and amazing at the same time. We believe the cat living inside that apartment really appreciates this little escape and can come and go as it wants. Which is not a bad thing for little wildlings like cats.

We have only one complaint about this – the construction doesn’t look sturdy at all! The cat must be very fit and graceful to walk on that ladder because we know very well that some of our furry friends can be quite clumsy at times.

The Transparent Church

When we talk about religion transparency isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, but one architect managed to connect the two notions and created a fully transparent church.

This amazing building is completely see-through but can be perceived as a solid building if you look from certain angles. Gus Van Vaerenbergh created this masterpiece using 2000 columns and 100 layers of steel as a part of his art project.

You can find this exquisite building in the countryside of Haspengoow, a region in Belgium. This see-through church is a part of the project called ‘Reading Between the Lines’ – in this case, quite literally! This unusual design offers a one-of-a-kind visual experience to all visitors.

Half Man, Half Building

If you're wondering what this huge half of a human being is doing sitting next to an equally huge building, well, here's a hint - it has something to do with science. While the building looks a little bit creepy, you will not find anything supernatural inside.

Actually, there's nothing but facts and science inside this peculiar structure because it is home to the Corpus Museum in the Netherlands. But it's not your average museum with boring exhibitions - this science and biology museum also works as an amusement park!

Young visitors can take a journey through the giant human part of the museum and get acquainted with the inner workings of the human body - with visual effects, sounds, and stunning 3D models.

A Refuge in the Alps

If you’re wondering what’s a house doing in the middle of nowhere (quite literally) perched deeply inside the steep cliff of the Italian Dolomites, well, we have an answer for your and it’s as surprising as it is dreary.

This is a WWI shelter left from the times when Italy was at war with Austria-Hungary. Right now this whole area is part of UNESCO World Heritage, but back then it was a place of active warfare.

The sheer cliffs and vertical walls didn’t stop the Italian army from building special refuges in the Dolomites – and now they’ve become a huge tourist attraction. But make no mistake, getting to such houses isn’t easy as there are no comfortable paths leading there – you’d have to actually climb those rocky walls to rest in one of those shelters!

What Are You Staring at?

This must be the most suspicious rooftop we've ever seen! Can you believe this design? We can't believe that someone made this on purpose, but it's also hard to imagine that the creators of this masterpiece had no idea what they were doing.

There's always some kind of plan that gets approved before the building begins, so this must have been intentional. Or maybe the owners of this house wanted their rooftop to look so suspicious?

It almost feels like this rooftop is staring into our souls... This is definitely one of the eeriest buildings on this list!

What's in the Basket?

It’s not every day you see a building of such a unique shape. Well, there’s nothing weird about a basket, but a huge basket-shaped office space that can house up to 500 employees? That’s something really special.

Built by Dave Longaberger back in 1997, the building was a tribute to his own Longaberger Company, featuring an image of the medium-sized maple wood basket – one of the many products the company was famous for.

Now the building is for sale as the company slowly went to a stop after the death of its founder in 1999. It ceased operations in 2018 and there was talk about turning the huge basket house into a hotel. We still don’t know what will become of it, but the current owner wants to save its original basket look no matter what.

I See You!

So we've already established that seeing faces everywhere is kind of normal. But it's one thing to see a smiley face in your bowl of porridge (which can actually make your day better), and it's a different thing when you pass by a house and suddenly see this...

It's just so eerie! Imagine stumbling upon this smirking house in the middle of the night - it looks like some kind of evil spirit staring at you from above.

But this time the masterpiece wasn't created by sloppy builders - it was time itself! The wall started crumbling down, revealing a huge smiley crevice in the the building, forming a very evil-looking face with the rest of the house.

When You’ve Always Dreamt of Becoming a Captain

The owner of this highly sophisticated, yet slightly crazy-looking balcony must have dreamt of becoming a captain at some point in life. Or maybe a pirate? And if you can’t ride an actual ship, you can at least pretend you’re having one – even if it’s just your balcony!

The balcony is built in art nouveau style with delicate stained glass pieces. It must feel great having your morning cup of coffee standing right on the ‘deck’ of this masterpiece!

This is one of those rare cases when a balcony makeover totally paid off. It does look a bit strange compared to the non-adventurous architecture around it, but that’s what makes it so special!

Berlin’s ‘Statue of Liberty’

If you’re wondering why on Earth did someone put an ATM inside a piece of wall that sticks out like a sore thumb in some courtyard, well, we have an answer for you and it’s an unusual one.

This piece of wall is actually a part of what used to be the wall dividing east and west Berlin – now it’s situated in the courtyard of Hamburger Bahnhof Museum. Once it used to be a symbol of liberty, hence the name of this art piece – the Statue of Liberty, after the one located in the U.S.

But now, as history gets more and more commercialized, the designers behind this art piece are worried that Berlin’s history is being sold off, becoming just a means to earn money. That’s why they installed this ATM in the ‘symbol of liberty’.

The Worst Balcony in the World

This balcony is so horrendous that we simply couldn't pass it by. This has to be seen by the world! Although, there is not much information about it, apart from the fact that it was built somewhere in Russia.

We understand how someone would want more balcony space, especially when the apartment is not very big, but this? It's a monstrosity that should be punished by law!

Not to mention that this whole construction look incredibly dangerous. All the neighbours must feel terrible leaving in the shadow of this creation.

Fairy Tale Cabin

Looking at this little house it’s hard to imagine that people could actually live inside – it’s like something you’d only see in a fantasy movie! But it’s a real-life cabin and you could even rent it and live there for some time.

Jacob Witzling, the designer behind this cozy masterpiece, started building cabins when he was just a teen – he enjoyed living in one, so he naturally went on building more cabins for other people to enjoy.

His work is inspired by fantasy movies, fairy tales, and his own inner kid, whose imagination runs wild when he creates his cabin masterpieces. We would really love to spend at least a few days in one of his cosy houses in the woods!

Who Needs Floors, Anyway?

We are used to thinking that balconies are built in a very straightforward way – there’s a floor and there’s a frame of some kind. Some balconies are open, while others are closed and have unique designs.

But these balconies are the worst! They define the most basic functions of a balcony that allow you to go out and enjoy the outside world. Otherwise, why have a balcony at all?

These balconies have no floors, which make them absolutely useless. And imagine having a party at your home and then some tipsy friend decides to go out for some fresh air… That’s a big no-no!

The Floating Tea House

Did you ever want to enjoy a cup of Japanese tea in a cozy building that’s hanging in mid-air? No? Well, you probably just didn’t know that such tea houses exist, and, frankly speaking, we didn’t know either – until we found out about Terunobu Fujimori and his creations.

With a curled rooftop and a bowl-shaped bottom, this quirky tea house reminds us of something that we would see out in the wild – a bird’s nest or something insects would build for themselves.

Inside, the tea house is incredibly neat and comfortable. The building is too small to live in, but it’s a great pit stop for everyone who wants to rest from the business of the city and enjoy a more natural interior. As this tea house is suspended in the air, it can easily withstand earthquakes, which happen in Japan on a regular basis.

In the Mid-Air

Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you – there’s a man sitting at a dining table and reading a book right on the side of a perished building. Meet Thierry Mandon, one of the few people who voluntarily leaves the comfort of his home to create these snippets of everyday life outside old and demolished houses.

You can often see him resting on half of a bed that’s attached to a wall facing a busy street. He’s not only resting or reading a newspaper – he’s the living and breathing object of art!

Thierry Mandon loves exploring human nature and how mundane solitary activities can become a spectacle once put outside of the usual environment of the enclosed house. Needless to say, people always stop to take a few shots of his performances!

They Had One Job…

How can someone mess up building an escalator? Well, judging by this spectacular piece of design it’s quite possible.

We don’t know if it was a prank or some kind of a wicked way to trick people into walking more, but it’s definitely evil. Just imagine being all tired and waiting for the steps to lift you up, but then nothing happens. Nope, it’s just stairs.

Well, we don’t mind working out a little bit more, but this doesn’t change the fact that this is some lazy construction. Where were the designers when this ‘escalator’ was built?

The Tsar-Balcony

If you think only royalty deserves having huge terraces and posh balconies with nice views – well, you’re wrong. For some people, even living in an apartment building is not something that would make them give up on the dream of having a huge balcony.

And this is a really big and posh balcony! It’s built with golden-yellow and blue colours – the national colours of Ukraine, the country where this crazy balcony was created.

And it’s not the ugliest balcony on the list, but the scale of it is truly outstanding. It stands out like a sore thumb on that building’s façade! We are pretty sure building something like this was illegal and no sane person would have granted a permit for a balcony like that.

Ivanna Y

Published 4 years ago