The World’s 18 Strangest Buildings—And Why We Love Them


I like architecture and sometimes unusual buildings. Humans are such showoffs. They create the most ridicolous things to look better than the others. Some are interesting.


1. Waldspirale
City: Darmstadt, Germany

Background: Friedensreich Hundertwasser, an Austrian architect and painter, designed this building, which contains 105 apartments and a restaurant.

How It’s Strange: Buildings are not usually this gaudy. “It’s fantastical,” says Toby Israel, a design psychologist and author of Some Place Like Home. Hundertwasser, known for his colorful, irregular-shaped buildings, chose windows of different shapes and sizes for this apartment. In addition, the building’s colors are meant to represent layers of sediment rock.

2. 30 St. Mary Axe
City: London

Background: This is the second tallest building in the City of London. Opened in 2004, it is commonly referred to as the Gherkin, after the cucumber-like fruit. Its suggestive shape also earned it the nickname “Towering Innuendo.”

How It’s Strange: The building’s roundness is striking; its maximum circumference is only two meters less than its height. Such roundness is rare because it requires computer-aided design, as well as a more costly construction, Israel says. In addition, the Gherkin is mostly windows, with 24,000 square meters of external glass, a unique, energy-efficient building approach.

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