Architects, by nature, are imaginative and like to think outside the box. But what happens when this creative instinct pushes all limits and stretches into the realm of unusual, weird and plain bizarre? We explore some of the strangest buildings in the world that fascinates more because of the depth of architectural thinking behind their beautiful complexity…
Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Strikingly leaning at an angle of 18 degrees to the west, this 520 ft, 35-storied architectural wonder is one of the tallest buildings in the city and has been certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the furthest leaning man-made tower in the world.
Capital Gate is owned and developed by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company. It is also called ‘the Leaning Tower of Abu Dhabi’ for obvious reasons.
Lotus Temple, Delhi, India
The Lotus Temple, one of the seven major Bahai temples in the world, captivates the senses for its flowerlike design and has expectedly become a prominent attraction in the city. In 2001, CNN reported it as the most visited building in the world.
The architectural spectacle, which has won many design awards, has 27 independently constructed marble-covered unique features in the shape of flower petals and arranged in clumps of three to make nine sides with nine doors. The entrance points open onto a main hall with a height of 40 metres and a capacity to hold 2,500 guests.
Krzywy Domek, Sopot, Poland
Krzywy Domek, which means “crooked little house” in Polish is a queerly designed building in Sopot, Poland, and considered one of the seven wonders of the tri-city region of Sopot, Gdańsk, and Gdynia.
Despite its weird appearance, Krzywy Domek is largely an office building and forms parts of a shopping centre. It measures 43,000 sq ft and was created by Szotyńscy & Zaleski, who drew their inspiration from the region’s famous animated arts and drawings.
Longaberger Headquarters, Newark, Ohio, USA
The Longaberger company sells baskets and other accessories and therefore got its architects to create a concept of its corporate headquarters that will reflect their trade. The result is the 7-storey ‘Basket Building’ designed in the shape of a wooden basket – only 160 times larger than the company’s medium market basket. This outstanding architectural piece beautifies the Ohio skyline. Now, that’s some thinking outside the box (or basket?).
Dancing Building, Prague, Czech Republic
There is a charming strangeness to the way the buildings in the ‘Dancing House’ or Fred and Ginger are cuddling up to each other like people in the ball room. This architectural masterpiece by Vlado Milunic in conjunction with Frank Gehry has become a symbol of the city of Prague.
Habitat 67, Montreal, Canada
Habitat 67 is one of the strangest building complexes in the world that defy logic and yet is stable and comfortable for living. It is built in the form of a mesmerising set of cubes. It comprises 354 identical prefabricated concrete forms but arranged in different combinations and reaches up to 12 stories in height. Altogether, these units create 146 apartments of various sizes and styles and connect to at least one private terrace, with sizes that range from approximately 225 to 1,000 sq ft. Habitat 67 was designed by Israeli–Canadian architect Moshe Safdie as a key attraction for Expo 67.