Sunday, February 18, 2018
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Weird Zoological Buildings from Around the World

Architecture can come in many forms – everyone knows this. In prior weeks, we’ve covered some unusual designs found throughout the world. This week, a different style of architecture demands our attention — buildings that look like animals. Upon first discovering the giant fish complex in India, a whole slew of other zoological buildings came to light. Here is a list of the top eight:

1) The Big Fish – Hyderabad, India

This four-storey regional office for the National Fisheries Development Board was inspired by the “giant fish sculpture” in Barcelona. The building opened in April 2012 and has remained a fully functional structure in Hyderabad ever since.


2) Vila Olimpica – Barcelona, Spain

Here’s another example of architecture resembling aquatic life: a 114 by 177 foot metal fish (or whale – it’s difficult to be certain) near the Hotel Arts. Frank Gehry, the accredited architect, built this structure for the 1992 Olympics, as a way of representing what he believed to be humanity’s oldest ancestor. This is the first of several fish-like structures Gehry built.


3) Kindergarten Wolfartsweier – Karlsruhe, Germany

The collaboration between artist Tomu Ungerer and architect Ayla Suzan Yondel resulted in this unorthodox ingenious preschool. Children enter the school through the cat’s mouth and exit by the building’s tail-end. Most classrooms reside in the animal’s head.


4) The Bick Duck – Flanders, New York

Originally build in 1931, by Martin Maurer, the Big Duck was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. Again listed on the Nation Register of Historic Places in 2008, the Big Duck Ranch now serves as the central building on the Big Duck Ranch in Long Island. The structure is 18 x 30 x 20 feet and is built primarily out of wood.


5) The Dog and Sheep Buildings – Tirau, New Zealand

Serving as prime examples of mimetic architecture, the Dog and Sheep buildings of Tirau were built in the 1990s and act as both the town’s Information Centre and wool/craft store. Due to the fact New Zealand has more sheep than people, these zoological buildings were intended to boost tourism in a fun, creative manner.


6) Gagudju Crocodile Holiday Inn – Kakadu National Park, Australia

The Gagudju Crocodile Holiday Inn is an indigenous owned hotel that represents one of the most feared animals in Australia. Acting as a base for National Park tours and activities, the inn is situated in a place of both cultural and environmental significance.  The hotel is dedicated to promoting sustainable development in Kakadu and is invested solely in green initiatives.


7) The Turtle – Niagara Falls, New York

Although vacated in 1981, this building used to act as Niagara’s Native American Cultural Center. During the mid-2000s, proposals were raised to turn the building into a Mongolian museum, but no motions were made in favour of the plan. In the meantime, the building sits as just another zoological building in North America.


8) Ladprao Tuk Chang – Bangkok, Thailand

A contender for one of the world’s ugliest buildings, this 335-foot tall Elephant Tower is the creation of architect Ong-ard Statrabhandhu. This building deserves more credit than has been given over the years.


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