Throughout history, architecture has remained a crucial expression of cultural and societal growth. Today, innovative building techniques plus new materials and ways of thinking give us almost unlimited potential when it comes to this art form. Mixing old and new, natural and modern, the following 25 mind-blowing buildings from around the world might make your head spin and your jaw drop.
Indira Gandhi Planetarium, India
This mind-blowing building in India opened in 1993. Serving as a planetarium, this building’s design was obviously influenced by its function. The building conjures images of Saturn, complete with a series of rings. A truly eye-opening building that’s both unique and inspiring.
Montaña Mágica Lodge, Chile
This exclusive hotel in Chile resembles the shape of a volcano. With only nine rooms inside, this hotel spews water in place of lava. This incredible, mind-blowing building is startlingly beautiful, and is nestled in the heart of a gorgeous natural reserve in South America.
Singapore Pavilion, Singapore
The Singapore Pavilion is ingenious and inspiring. Shaped like a music box, this building is meant to represent citizens of Singapore from different cultures and backgrounds all living in harmony. Not only does this mind-blowing building incorporate interesting and unique design, it also features a large rooftop garden.
Toilet-Shaped House, South Korea
This interesting home in Suwon, South Korea, is shaped like a toilet. The fascinating, original shape was built by Sim Jae-Duck. The chairman of the committee that organized the inaugural general assembly of the World Toilet Association, this man’s passion comes through in his home.
Sutyagin House, Russia
Although it’s no longer standing, this eclectic house looked like it came out of a story book. Its builders claimed it was likely the world’s tallest wooden houses. The house began to be constructed in 1992, and reached an incredible 13 stories high, with a 44 meter tower.
Piano and Violin Building, China
This musically inspired building in Huainan City, China was built in 2007. Intended to promote a newly developed area, the building incorporated designers from Huainan Fangkai Decoration Project Company, along with help from students from the Hefey University of Technology. Though this building is stunning during the day, the mind-blowing building makes use of bright lights to really turn up the spectacle after dark.
Nautilus House, Mexico
This unique, shell-shaped house was built in 2006 by Mexican architect Javier Senosiain of Arquitectura Organica. Designed to emphasize a harmony with nature, this mind-blowing building uses organic forms to create a warm and original space. Making use of many different materials, this house has a feeling all its own. A blend of art and modern architecture, the house even features an indoor garden.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Building, United Kingdom
Claiming the title of the most environmentally friendly building in London is the PricewaterhouseCoopers building. This marvelous structure makes use of renewable energy sources and integrates an advanced IT system. This system lets workers change the light and temperature in their space to suit their individual needs.
India Tower, Mumbai
This impressive building in Mumbai is another one to make use of environmentally friendly features. Expected to be completed in 2016, the building is meant to signify the country’s step towards environmentally friendly solutions. Not only does the tower use natural lighting and natural ventilation, it also recycles rainwater.
Masdar City, Abu Dhabi
This incredible structure is not one building, but many. Occupying 64,120,320 square feet, this project is actually meant to be a futuristic city. The structure will rely entirely on renewable resources, and is planned to be carbon-neutral and car-free. Created by Masdar, also known as the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, the entire city will be self-sustaining.
Crystal Island, Russia
This eye-catching building in Moscow is set to become the world’s largest building. This incredible tower is planned to offer 27,000,000 square feet of floor space. Additionally, this tower will include a thermal buffer on the outside of the building, one that is removable in the summer for increased ventilation.
Cor, United States
This breathtaking building in Miami will be another impressive feat in energy-efficiency. The bubble-like holes will actually contain wind turbines and garden terraces, maximizing this mind-blowing building’s potential.
Ferdinand Cheval Palace (Ideal Palace), France
This unbelievable building in France took much longer to build than most structures. Struck by the stones in a particular area of his mail route, Ferdinand Cheval collected rocks for 33 years. As legend has it, first he carried the stones in his pocket, but soon moved up to using a basket and a wheelbarrow. To build the building, he often worked at night by the light of oil lamps.
BMW Welt, Germany
This space age-looking building is not only eye catching, it’s a triumph of green energy as well. The roof is covered in solar cells and the mind-blowing building makes use of natural ventilation. Additionally, large steel panels heat quickly in the sun, and help regulate the building’s temperature.
Cubic Houses, The Netherlands
These stunning houses in the Netherlands were created by Piet Blom. The architect implemented this unique design when asked to build houses over a preexisting pedestrian bridge. Said to represent abstract trees, each cube contains three levels of livable space.
Tower of Glass, Russia
This is another concept building, this time proposed to be built in the middle of the woods. Destined for Siberia, this mind-blowing building is designed to catapult the amount of solar electricity captured by solar panels due to daytime reflections. Made largely of glass, the structure is truly impressive.
Nakagin Capsule Tower, Japan
This unique building in Tokyo, Japan, was completed in 1972. Perfecting small-space living, this capsule tower features small, compact living spaces.
The UFO Houses, Taiwan
This collection of beautiful houses in Taiwan is also known as Sanzhi Pod City. Originally intended as a vacation resort, these houses were completed in the late 1970s. However, the houses were abandoned in 1980 due to investment losses and several deaths during construction. Many different stories abound regarding the cause of the deaths, with one popular account blaming dissecting a dragon sculpture near the entrance in order to widen the road. In any case, these eye-popping houses were sadly demolished in 2010, to make way for a commercial, seaside resort.
House Attack, Austria
This installation at the largest art museum in Austria, The Museum Moderner Kunst (MUMOK), conjures the image of a small family home hurtling itself onto the roof. Designed by artist Erwin Wurm, this building is appropriately titled “House Attack”.
The Bank of Asia (Robot Building), Thailand
This building looms over the business district of Bangkok, Thailand, and is home to the Bank of Asia’s Bangkok headquarters. Said to be inspired by the computerization of big banking, this architecture incorporates a love of technology and modern art. Completed in 1986, this mind-blowing building is truly one of a kind.
The Dancing House, Czech Republic
The Dancing House and the Fred and Ginger building are common nicknames given to the Nationale-Nederlanden building in the Czech Republic. The fluid building was designed in 1992 and completed in 1996.
Hundertwasser Building, Germany
This eye-opening building in Darmstadt, Germany, is a truly creative residential building. The unique front defies the typical grid pattern, with windows appearing to be out of order. The exterior is meant to mimic sediment layers in the ground, creating an arresting stripe pattern. Inside this 12-floor building there’s a small artificial lake, courtyard, playground, and 105 apartments.
Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Center, UAE
This performing arts center, to be completed in the Arabian Gulf, is said to be inspired by natural forms. Designed in 2007, this spectacular building was dreamt up by Zaha Hadid Architects to be the center of the Saadiyat Cultural District. This center is expected to begin construction soon, but may be further delayed due to uneven financial markets.
Vertical Village, Dubai
This astounding center in Dubai is currently in construction. The building features a massive spiderweb of solar cells at the south end of the building, but retains the ability to angle the solar collectors towards the sun. Not only that, the east- and north-facing sides of the building are self shading, reducing the need for artificial cooling. On top of being massively energy-efficient, the building will also have a beautiful and inspiring interior. The village is slated to include hotels, shops, cinemas, a theater, and restaurants, making this mind-blowing building an awe-inspiring center.
Incredible Cube Structure ACME United Nations Memorial Space, South Korea
Another building that sadly is still a concept is this unbelievable cube structure imagined for the United Nations Memorial Space. This design was one of the finalists in a South Korean competition looking for original ways to build up a United Nations peace park. Incredibly, individual cells are combined to make up this large cube structure.