The field of architecture has over the years created some truly magnificent designs. Some catch our interest with their sleek visage, whilst others possess a certain quirky appeal. But what of those downright bizarre creations littered around the world? They’re not necessarily bad, but certainly unusual. Here we round up some of our favourite office buildings to stem from the weird world of architecture.

ING House, Amsterdam, Holland
Constructed in: 2002


Built by architects Meyer & Van Schooten, Amsterdam’s ING House earned the nicknames of the shoe, and the dustbuster, due to its unusual aesthetic. For me, it is somewhat reminiscent of something from Starship Troopers, rising high on its many legs. The building served as headquarters of ING Group until 2012.

Office Centre 100 (The Banknote Building), Kaunas, Lithuania
Constructed in: 2008


Featuring a giant enamel representation of the nation’s 1925 currency design, the Banknote Building certainly has a unique look plastered across the 4,500 individual glass pieces which make up its face. A truly breathtaking sight, especially when lit up at night, the building is the work of architects Rimas Adomaitis, Raiamundas Babrauskas, Darius Siaurodinas, and Virgilijus Jocys.

Nakagin Capsule Tower, Tokyo, Japan
Constructed in: 1972

Img: Flickr
Appearing more like a game of Giant Jenga than an office building, the Nakagin Capsule Tower’s unusual attributes are more than just skin deep. Each of the individual ‘units’ can be completely removed, replaced, or updated as necessary, depending upon the tenant’s needs. Originally intended to be a residential building for bachelors, the tower is now mixed-use, incorporating both homes and businesses.

Selgas Cano Architecture Office, Madrid, Spain
Constructed in: 2007


The home of architecture firm Selgas Cano displays, as you might expect, an intriguing approach to office design. Sunk into the ground and surrounded by beautiful woodland, those within are as harmonised with nature as one can be while maintaining a professional environment. Incorporating a full length curved on one side and a shaded area on the other, the building strikes the perfect balance, allowing workers to sit under the sun as they work, or take cover when desired.

Tančící Dům, Prague, Czech Republic
Constructed in: 1996

Img: Flickr
Translating to ‘The Dancing House’, is it clear to see from where this unconventional building gets its name. Heavily criticised in its earlier years due to its contrast with much of the city’s architecture, Tančící Dům is now hailed as a contemporary classic. Most of the building is occupied by offices, with a restaurant taking up the top floor.

Krzywy Domek, Sopot, Poland
Constructed in: 2003

Img: Niederkasseler
‘The Crooked House’ in Poland is considered by many to be one of the most unusually designed buildings in the world, and for good reason. The entire building appears almost as though melting, slowly falling in upon itself. The unique aesthetic was in fact inspired by the works of artist and illustrator Jan Marcin Szancer, and local artist Per Dalhberg.

The Basket Building, Ohio, U.S
Constructed in: 1997

Img: Barry Haynes
Now we approach the truly unconventional, as the remaining entries on this list bear little resemblance to the typical office, or just about any other building for that matter. Point-and-case: The Basket Building. Home to the headquarters of The Longaberger Company, the building takes the shape of the company’s best-selling product, marketed as the Maple Wood Medium Market Basket, albeit somewhat larger.

The Piano Building, Huainan, Anhui Province, China
Constructed in: 2007


While the next two entries on this list are, I would argue, decidedly more bizarre, The Piano Building is easily my favourite. A sure fire hit for anyone with an interest in music, architecture, or both, the building is considered to be one of the most beautiful and romantic locations in all of china thanks to its breath-taking aesthetic, featuring in countless couples’ holiday snaps. Designed by architectural students from the Hefei University of Technology, the violin holds the staircase and elevators which carry you up into the piano, where government developmental projects are proudly displayed.

Fisheries Department Building, Hyderabad, India
Constructed in: 2012


It’s a giant fish; enough said? This downright bizarre building is home to the National Fisheries Development of Rajendranager, Hyderabad. Standing four storeys tall and carrying a gormless facial expression, the building has been described as creepy by many. Within the low-budget-Godzilla-villain of a building, the National Fisheries Development is hard at work innovating technologies for India’s fisheries and agriculture.

Wuliangye Yibin Building, Yibin, Sichuan province, China
Constructed in: 2010


Designed to tie in fully with the brand’s identity, the home of Chinese alcohol company Wuliangye Yibin is shaped exactly like a bottle of their trademark beverage, complete with branded label. Holding both their factory and visitor centre, the building serves as their base of operations. The approach to the iconic building is lined with buildings in the shape of their packaging alongside even more oversized bottles. Sorry in advance for this terrible pun, but it’s a truly intoxicating view to behold.


Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.
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