- 1 – 30 St Mary Axe
- 2 – The Guggnheim Museum
- 3 – The Crooked House
- 4 – The Haines Shoe House
- 5 – The Kunsthaus
- 6 – The Basket Building in Ohio
- 7 – Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center — Baku, Azerbaijan
- 8 – Crazy House — Dalat, Vietnam
- 9 – The Piano House — Anhui, China
- 10 – Lotus Temple — Delhi, India
- 11 – Kansas City Library — Kansas City, Missouri, USA
- 12 – Kugelmugel — Vienna, Austria
- 13 – Habitat 67 (Montreal, Canada)
- 14 – Wooden Gagster House (Archangelsk, Russia)
- 15 House Attack (Vienna, Austria)
1 – 30 St Mary Axe
30 St Mary Axe, the skyscraper in the financial district of London, is more widely known as The Gherkin due to its unusual form. The building was erected in 2003 on the site of the former Baltic Exchange which had been almost completely destroyed by the bomb explosion 10 years earlier.
2 – The Guggnheim Museum
The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, also known as the Palace of Fish Scales, is a real feast for the eyes from both inside and outside. Opened in 1997, it totally changed modern vue of contemporary art and architecture in particular
3 – The Crooked House
The Crooked House, designed by architects Szotynscy and Zaleski in 2004, is now home to the shopping center and definitely one of the most popular tourist attractions of Poland. Once you visit the place, a picture of you in front of the Crooked House is a must have, otherwise what’s the reason coming here?
When you look at the building you get really puzzled at first: it is hard to understand whether something happened to your eyes so that everything gets blurred, or you suddenly find yourself inside some fairy-tale where houses can be of any forms possible. The blue and green shingles of the roof make the building look like some fantastic dragon, especially at night, when everything is illuminated. Though the building is absolutely astounding from the outside, there is not really much to see inside: a couple of shops and a coffee place may seem quite disappointing after all.
4 – The Haines Shoe House
The Haines Shoe House, designed by Mahlon Haines in 1948, is an example of the dramatic roadside advertising which was quite popular in the early 20th century. Mahlon Haines was a shoe salesman and the House is a copy of his best selling model – high topped work shoe. Haines never sold footwear from the Shoe, neither did he live there himself. Instead he invited people to celebrate anniversaries or sometimes even live there for a couple of days.
The advertising power of the House proved to be so strong that Haines never demanded any pay for living in it as the amount of shoes bought by the amazed visitors was tremendous and covered all the construction expenses. The Shoe House is still open to the public, so if you want to feel like a dwarf stuck in a huge cosy boot you should remember the address.
5 – The Kunsthaus
The Graz Art Museum, designed by Peter Cook and Colin Fournier in 2003, is a must see for those who can really understand the latest tendencies in contemporary art. The huge “nozzles” sticking out from the roof are in fact solar panels which enable the building to generate its own energy and make it environment-friendly.
Thanks to the weird architecture and unique computerized lightning system which illuminates the building from beneath the transparent acrylic panels of the roof , the Museum reminds some supernatural creature and is sometimes even called a ‘friendly alien’. Being one of the world’s greatest exhibition venues, this highly functional and technical building meets all the requirements the most demanding modern art owners could only think of.
6 – The Basket Building in Ohio
If you like unusual things and want to admire unusual buildings then you must go to Ohio, USA. It does not sound that interesting, but it is, believe me. Here you can admire the world’ s largest basket- shaped building. It is actually an office building and it houses the headquarters of Longaberger Basket Company. I guess that explains the unusual shape.
7 – Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center — Baku, Azerbaijan
Designed by world-famous architect Zaha Hadid, this recent construction has been described as a real-world implementation of the principles behind the Möbius Strip.
8 – Crazy House — Dalat, Vietnam
This guesthouse has been compared to the works of both Dalí and Gaudí, with the main building being inspired by natural structures and the surrounding environment.
9 – The Piano House — Anhui, China
The name is self-explanatory – the building is shaped like a giant piano with a grand glass violin for an entrance. The open top of the piano serves as a canopy for the home’s roof terrace.
10 – Lotus Temple — Delhi, India
The Lotus Temple is a Bahai house of worship completed in 1986. It is one of only seven major Bahai temples around the world.
11 – Kansas City Library — Kansas City, Missouri, USA
The Kansas City Library contains a unique “Community Bookshelf” wall on its exterior, designed to showcase the spines of 22 books suggested by the citizens of Kansas City.
12 – Kugelmugel — Vienna, Austria
Designed by Austrian artist Edwin Lipburger, this spherical building has actually claimed to be an independent micro-nation. Lipburger allegedly argued that the building’s spherical shape gave it a unique center point that freed it from Austrian law.
13 – Habitat 67 (Montreal, Canada)
Habitat 67, or simply Habitat, is a model community and housing complex in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, designed by Israeli/Canadian architect Moshe Safdie
14 – Wooden Gagster House (Archangelsk, Russia)
Dominating the skyline of Arkhangelsk, a city in Russia’s far north-west, it is believed to be the world’s tallest wooden house, soaring 13 floors to reach 144ft – about half the size of the tower of Big Ben.
The house that Sutyagin built is also crumbling, incomplete and under threat of demolition from city authorities determined to end the former convict’s eccentric 15-year project.
15 House Attack (Vienna, Austria)
Erwin Wurm, a renowned Austrian artist and Museum Moderner Kunst (MUMOK) combined to create some architectural buzz in 2006, and the result was the “House Attack” artistic installation on the external side of the building of MUMOK. The Installation was realized with the help of Strabag, Felbermayr and Knauf. MUMOK is the largest art museum in Austria with the collection of modern art from the 20th and 21st centuries. The museum has a collection of 7,000 modern and contemporary art works, the most expansive show of the artist’s work to date.