10 Eccentric Buildings In the World That Will Blow Your Mind

Architecture is a reflection of the designer’s style and crystallization of human intelligence and technology. Great architects are often artists who love fresh ideas and individual expressions. Moving away from the monotonous concrete jungles, let’s explore the world’s most peculiar architectural wonders.

1. “Sky Tennis Court” at the Burj Al Arab Hotel

No tennis court in the world can match the view of the “Sky Tennis Court” at the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai. In 2005, when Roger Federer and Andre Agassi were in Dubai for a tournament, they were invited to play a few rounds at the Burj’s helipad-converted-tennis court. The exact height of the tennis court is not known, but the hotel is 321 m (1,053 feet) tall and the court is located very near the top. Since there are no barriers on the edge of the helipad, if a player hits a winning shot, the tennis ball would falls into the sea.

2. Atomium in Brussels, Belgium

The Atomium stands on the Heysel Plateau in Brussels, Belgium, constructed for the 1958 World’s Fair. It is a steel framework that represents an enlarged iron crystal structure by 165 billion times. Its nine spheres symbolize nine iron atoms and also represent the nine provinces of Belgium. The spheres are connected by escalators, surrounded by large, bright panels of Plexiglas, and equipped with several telescopes for up to 250 visitors to enjoy the view. Each sphere has an exhibition room featuring scientific knowledge on the peaceful use of atomic energy, space technology, solar energy, astronomy, geography, and general science knowledge.

3. Cube Houses, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Located in the picturesque tourist city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, these uniquely shaped houses break away from traditional residential design concepts, resembling enlarged Rubik’s cubes. The exterior walls of the Cube Houses are painted in bright yellow, creating a strong visual impact. Visitors to this area feel as if they have entered another magical world. The sunlight here is particularly good in the afternoon, and it’s very pleasant to bask in the sun with your eyes closed. As a result, the Cube Houses are very popular among the local people, with most of them being used as private residences, while some are used as distinctive bed-and-breakfasts.

4. Kunsthaus Graz, Austria

The Kunsthaus Graz, located on the banks of the River Mur, is a work by British architect Peter Cook, composed of blue plastic glass. Locals affectionately refer to it as the “Friendly Alien,” “Gilled Beast,” “Giant Bladder,” and “Caterpillar.” This surrealist building in the heart of Graz contrasts sharply with the red-tipped spires and clock towers of the ancient castle, forming the most classic landmark of Graz.

5. Reading Between the Lines(Transparent Church), Belgium

Designed by Gijs Van Vaerenbergh, this church stands about 10 meters tall and is made up of a multitude of steel plates stacked together, creating a mottled and transparent wall that produces an incredibly surreal light and shadow effect. When viewed from the outside, the church appears to be a floating pixelated block in the air, mysterious and unreal, leaving one in awe. The designer used 30 tons of steel and 2,000 steel plates to construct the church. When appreciated from the outside, due to its openwork design, it blends well with the surrounding scenery, and the rust-red color also adds a touch of scenery to the site in winter.

6. Dancing House, Prague, Czech Republic

In the heart of Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, by the Vltava River, there exists a building known as the “Dancing House.” Built between 1994 and 1996, its design was inspired by the legendary Broadway actors Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. The building’s novel and twisted shape resembles a couple holding hands and dancing together. Upon completion, the building was awarded the “Design of the Year” by Time magazine and was later humorously referred to as the “Dancing House.” Today, the building serves as a commercial office building and is not open to the public, but it still attracts countless tourists and is a popular attraction in the city of Prague.

7. Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle

The Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle is not only one of the top ten eccentric buildings in the world but is also considered by many as one of the ugliest buildings in the world. Its design is extremely bizarre, tightly wrapped in aluminum and stainless steel, making it truly unique and unforgettable at first glance.

8. The Basket Building, Ohio, USA

The Basket Building is a building located in Newark, Ohio, and its entire structure is designed to resemble a basket. This “basket,” built in 1997, is the headquarters of the famous American basket manufacturer Longaberger. Longaberger mainly sells baskets made by hand from maple wood. The building was constructed in imitation of the company’s best-selling basket, following the founder Dave’s idea.

9. Kansas City Public Library, Missouri, USA

Located in Kansas City, Missouri, this building was completed in 1873 and has an extremely rich collection of books. It is known as “America’s Coolest Library” because one can admire a variety of colorful books both inside and outside the library. Local residents suggested influential books to be used as exterior decorations, turning the walls into a library shelf-like appearance, which is both practically and visually fitting.

10. Hallgrímskirkja Church, Reykjavik, Iceland

Hallgrímskirkja is a famous church located in the heart of Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. It is one of the tallest buildings in Iceland and was essentially completed in the late 1960s. The church was funded by the church itself and donations from believers, taking almost half a century to complete. The church has an organ-like structure, with the main hall being over 30 meters high and accommodating 1,200 people. Hallgrímskirkja also has a very prominent tower, which is its most distinctive feature. The tower stands 72 meters tall, and visitors can take an elevator to the top floor to overlook the entire city of Reykjavik, Iceland, and also enjoy the surrounding mountains.