Here are some of the strangest structures built around the world! 10 – Habitat 67, Montreal Back in 1967, Canada was probably filled with excitement with the millions of visitors that had come to Expo 67, which was a Category One World’s Fair with 62 nations participating. One of the prime objectives was to showcase to the world a housing project designed by Israeli-Canadian architect Moshie Safdie. The government-funded project was called Habitat 67, which was a modern take on the urban housing that Canadians were used to see around town. Safdie’s inspiration was a little known architectural movement called Metabolism, which believes in creating interconnected structures that look like they’re living and breathing entities. The project is regarded as both a success and a failure. Safdie’s goal for the project to be affordable housing largely failed, as demand for the building’s units had made them more expensive than originally planned.
When the complex was finished, the government had set rent prices so high because of the demand, not many people could afford to live in the apartments. Although it seemed like a doomed creation as it ultimately failed to revolutionize affordable housing or launch a wave of prefabricated, modular homes as Safdie had envisioned, over time the apartment complex still holds to the concepts that were fundamental to its design, such as the themes of reimagining high-density housing and improving social integration through architecture. 9 – Minsk National Library, Belarus Known as the largest compilation of Belarusian literature, Minsk National Library was originally created in 1922. In 2006, after a new addition was constructed, its popularity increased enormously. Why? Well, take a good look at the main thing standing on top of this structure. It’s pretty much as abstract as its name, the rhombicuboctahedron. Yeah, that’s a lotta syllables right there. This thing up top is a geometric figure composed of 8 triangular sides and 18 squares! This avant-garde design was created by architects Mihail Vinogradov and Viktor Kramarenko.
The crown jewel of this 236-foot tall building that contains 22 levels of books, which is around million books in case you were wondering, is the 500-seat auditorium. The rhombi… this THING on top has become a tourist spot so popular, that it prompted the Belarusian government to create a park surrounding the library grounds. They also decided to build an observation deck on top, that way visitors can get a good view of Minsk when they visit. 8 – Cubic Houses, Netherlands In case you guys didn’t know it, Dutch or Scandinavian architects have sort of a reputation of being able to use their imagination in ways no one would’ve ever thought possible.
This is the case of the Cubic Houses, located in the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Designed and built by Piet Blom, the cube-shaped housing complex was a request by the Rotterdam town hall, which was trying to solve the city’s overcrowding issues. They were even creating houses on top of a pedestrian bridge. The tilted structures, along with their bright yellow coloring are definitely some crazy looking buildings that commands attention. Made completely of concrete, from floor to ceiling, the houses are made up of three levels: a ground floor used as a living room area, a second floor for bedrooms and bathrooms, and a third level that can be used for whoever that lives there wants to do. The whole structure is angled, including its windows and walls, which means that the used living space can only amount to 25% of the structure’s size. You might think this was a unique invention for Blom, but actually, this wasn’t his first rodeo; he was asked to build a similar set of houses in the town of Helmond in 1977. Blom has said that his inspiration for the design was an abstract representation of a forest, with the triangular tops of the houses being trees.
7 – House Attack, Austria You guys ever see a house attack anything?! Me neither! Although it’s not a permanent structure, House Attack is definitely a modern art piece that’s made more than one person turn their neck when entering the MUMOK, the largest contemporary art museum in Austria. Created by Erwin Wurm, an Austrian artist and sculptor known for his outrageous and sometimes funny pieces, this art installation opened in 2006 and has become a fixture for art fans visiting this museum in Austria. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see what looks like an upside down house that’s pretending to have crashed against a museum? What Erwin has tried to accomplish, and has done successfully throughout his career, is to confuse visitors about how anything in any state can be considered art.
He’s popular for his short-lived sculptures that generally take one minute to make, as it generally just involves real people and random objects. His installations tend be a ground for commentary and discussion, and House Attack isn’t an exception. 6 – Nautilus House, Mexico You guys ever wonder what being a hermit crab would be like? Okay, this house isn’t gonna make you feel like a hermit crab since hermit crabs don’t have huge houses, but at least this house looks like shell. One thing that’s for sure is that the owners decided to create a home that was anything but boring.
Javier Senosiain is the guy behind this shell-shaped designed house, which has become a popular tourist destination after its creation. This place is said to be inspired by the works of Dalí, which comes as no surprise given its enormous dotted, multicolor window panels, which provides a rainbow of hues when the sun goes through it. A combination of modern taste intertwined with nature is the main inspiration for this house– the interior is decorated with hundreds of plants that create a natural covering for the living room and common spaces. Although it’s not the best use of space as some of the rooms seem to be quite small, the notorious concave walls allow for subtle rays of light to bathe every corner inside the house. This place definitely seems like it’s straight out of a book or a fairytale, as Alice in Wonderland or Willy Wonka could probably live here. 5 – Longaberger Headquarters, Ohio, USA This may not be one of the world’s fanciest or most elegant structures, but it certainly has an award to its name: it’s considered the biggest basket in the world.
It makes sense that the Longaberger Basket Company would’ve wanted something to display the spirit of their business. They decided to make a 7-story building into the shape of a basket in the middle of Newark, Ohio, just so their company headquarters can match what they sell. The man behind the idea was the company’s founder Dave Longaberger, who supposedly had always dreamed of making a statement through his business, and this was his way of doing it! The building is a replica of their medium-sized basket, with a size of 192 by 126 feet at the bottom that spreads to 208 by 142 feet on the top. Apparently, the company has become so notorious for their love of baskets, that they decided to create many other replicas in nearby towns such as Dresden and Frazeysburg. Known for its exaggerated proportions, the building has actually been empty since 2016, almost 20 years after its creation. Apparently the reason is for consolidation, as a result of poor sales throughout the past several years, and also because the company faced some legal problems for evading taxes.
Ouch. 4 – Kunsthaus, Austria A modern day architectural landmark, Kunsthaus Graz is an art museum created for the 2003 celebrations of the European Capital of Culture, and is notorious for its extremely outlandish design. I mean, just look at it….it looks like giant piece of raw sashimi or something! Its alien-like outer shell is visible from afar for anyone looking over the Graz skyline. Using influences from blob architecture, which of course is comprised of amoeba-like shapes for structures, its creator wanted to make the building a big contrast between the building design and the rest of the city’s red rooftops. Designed by Colin Fournier and Peter Cook, the “friendly alien”, as it’s popularly known, is an exhibition center with no permanent art collection. It serves as a contemporary art structure for temporary exhibitions.
The surface of the building has over a thousand beaming lights that can create patterns for decoration, which definitely comes in handy whenever a special event is going on in town. 3 – Lucky Knot Bridge, China You guys ever what infinity looks like? Okay, the symbol for infinity anyways! This bridge is what infinity turned into real life looks like. Located in the Dragon King Harbor in Changsha, China, this 600-foot long red bridge has a shape that many people are still trying to understand– its twirled architecture is technically never-ending. Because there’s no ending…..is there really a beginning?! Created by the Chinese design firm Next Architects, this monument has become a modern-day attraction for the city. The idea behind it was to unite all types of activities and levels that are connected via the bridge, which explains its multi-leveled bending shape. The ancient Chinese art of knotting, which is a way the chinese represent prosperity and luck through, has played an important role in the structure’s design.
Another inspiration that designers had was from the Mobius strip, a shape known to symbolize the concept of infinity. This bridge apparently gives visitors some of the best views of the city, so it’s no surprise why this architectural gem has become a direct competition for the Great Wall of China! 2 – Atomium, Belgium Built in 1958 as part of the Brussels World Fair, many people thought that this decoration would be a temporary fixture in Brussels’s landscape. Wellllll…….they were wrong. The structure became so popular it became a permanent element of the city. This atomic-inspired tower stands 335 feet high and is made of iron. The shape is supposed to resemble nine iron atoms in the shape of a cubic unit cell of an iron crystal, magnified of course.
What surprises many visitors is that, although the structure’s grand design indicates an intricate construction work, it wasn’t designed by a sculptor. André Waterkeyn, the director of the federal metallurgical companies, was the creator. Initially they thought of presenting an upside down version of the Eiffel Tower, but with the atomic theme being so popular during the 50’s, they went along with an idea that became a notorious staple of the Belgian capital. Guess they made the right decision after all, since the building is still up! 1 – Krzywy Domek, Poland The story behind this structure’s design is almost as weird as its name is unpronounceable.
Created with an infusion of fairytale-like references, this Polish building is part of a shopping center, and if you look at it long enough, you might just feel like you went down a rabbit hole! This structure was built in 2004 and has become a popular location for both locals and tourists. With the “melted” window panels and walls, do I really need to say that the main trait of the building is its warped shape? Its Polish name translates to “crooked house”, which if you ask me, is probably the best name someone could come up with for the building. Jan Marcin Szancer has been named as one of the main inspirations behind the building’s dramatic form. Szancer is a renowned illustrator who’s created at least 200 fantasy-related books, which provided enough references for the creators of this structure to some wild artistic influence from. With two entrances, the Polish Crooked House is certainly a new way of approaching the shopping experience, even if you get a little dizzy just by looking at it. If any of you guys ever visit this place, let us know if it actually does feel like the building is going in one direction and you feel like you’re going in another! Here’s what’s next!
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strangest structures built – the strangest structures built around the world!