1. The Crooked House (Sopot, Poland)
A first look at The Crooked House would be enough to make you think you were drunk or had taken a knock to the head. As impressive as it appears what’s more impressive is that construction began in January 2003 and finished in December the same year! The architecture was based on pictures and paintings by Jan Marcin Szancer (a famous Polish artist and childrens books illustrator) and Per Dahlberg (Swedish painter living in Sopot).
2. The Basket Building (Ohio, United States)
Those crazy Americans! What will they think of next? Next you’ll be telling me they’ve designed a building in the shape of a wicker basket! What? They have? It’s the home of the Longaberger Basket Company, stands at 180,000-square-feet, cost $30 million and took two years to complete? Wow, now I’ve seen everything!
3. Kansas City Public Library (Missouri, United States)
Libraries are not usually the most eye-catching of buildings are they? So what would really make a library stand out I wonder? How about a library made out of giant books! The local community of Kansas had a part to play in the design as well. Everyone was asked which books should make up part of the building and the most popular books included The Lord of the Rings, Romeo and Juliet, and Charlotte’s Web. Pretty cool huh?
4. Turning Torso (Malmö, Sweden)
We’re all familiar with Ikea but instead of using the talents of their countrymen the bigwigs at HSB decided on renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava to design the twisting tower that stands at 190 metres (623 feet).Perhaps the interior is laid out in Ikea’s finest?
5. Sagrada Família (Barcelona, Spain)
Designed by the legendary Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, the Roman Catholic church is still incomplete despite work beginning in 1882. Regarded by many as Gaudi’s masterpiece, the architect sadly has not lived to see its progress having passed away in 1926. So much intricate gothic detail has been lavished on the exterior and interior, with the amazing high-rise towers reaching up to 170 metres. The Sagrada Família is not expected to be finished until 2026.
6. Atlantis (Dubai, UAE)
The amazing behemoth that is the Atlantis hotel can be found on Dubai’s famous man-made island – The Palm. With a total of 1,539 rooms, a water Aquaventure theme park, a Dolphin Bay and 20,000 square feet of retail space, not only is the Atlantis one of the strangest looking hotels in the world in what is probably the most commercial city, but it is also one of the most impressive. No surprise it’s got seven stars!
7. 30 St. Mary Axe – “The Gherkin” (London, UK)
You wouldn’t think a gherkin would be the source of inspiration for a building’s look would you? Yet that is what we have in London – the Gherkin building, otherwise known as 30 St Mary Axe. Since its unveiling in 2004 its somewhat suggestive shape has also led to some naughty nicknames, such as the “Towering Innuendo”. Oo err!
8. Waldspirale (Darmstadt, Germany)
Described as “fantastical” by design pyschologist and author Toby Israel, the building was designed by an Austrian architect and painter – Friedensreich Hundertwasser. It certainly is fantastical with its array of colours, quirky concept and odd shapes, notably the onion on top of the tower. The name of the building translates as “forest spiral”. Indeed.
9. Dancing House (Prague, Czech Republic)
Nicknamed Fred and Ginger this building certainly stands out in downtown Prague. It’s called Dancing House because the shape of the building resembles a dancing couple. Not just any old dancing couple either but Ginger Rogers and Fred Astair, hence the building’s nickname. The building even has a skirt that’s designed to look like its swaying as the couple dance!
10. Wonderworks (Pigeon Forge, TN, United States)