1. Capital Gate — Abu Dhabi, UAE
One of the tallest buildings in the city, the Capital Gate has been certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “world’s furthest leaning man-made tower.” The building leans 18 degrees, four times more than the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
2. Svalbard Global Seed Vault — Longyearbyen, Norway
With blast-proof doors, airlocks, and motion sensors, the Global Seed Vault has been designed to contain millions of varieties of seeds to allow for the replanting and growth of various crops in the case of any major global disasters.
3. The Crooked House — Staffordshire, United Kingdom
4. The Piano House — Anhui, China
The name is self-explanatory - the building is shaped like a giant piano with a grand glass violin for an entrance. The open top of the piano serves as a canopy for the home’s roof terrace.
5. Palace of the Parliament — Bucharest, Romania
Built during the era of the Soviet Union, this Stalinist symbol is the second-largest administrative building in the world. It’s so large that it can even be seen from space.
6. Turning Torso — Malmö, Sweden
Designed by Santiago Calatrava, the Turning Torso is the tallest residential building in all of Sweden. From the bottom to the top, the building twists a full 90 degrees.
7. Antilla — Mumbai, India
The world’s first billion-dollar home, Antilla is owned by Indian businessman Mukesh Ambani - although he and his family have never actually moved in full-time, even though construction was completed in 2010.
8. Kunsthaus — Graz, Austria
The Kunsthaus is a contemporary art museum with a “biomorphic” shape that stands out against the traditional architecture of the surrounding buildings.
9. Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center — Baku, Azerbaijan
Designed by world-famous architect Zaha Hadid, this recent construction has been described as a real-world implementation of the principles behind the Möbius Strip.
10. Crazy House — Dalat, Vietnam
11. Monte Rosa Hut — Zermatt, Switzerland
This Swiss hut incorporates various technological advances that make it over 90% self-sufficient in terms of energy needs.
12. Lotus Temple — Delhi, India
The Lotus Temple is a Bahai house of worship completed in 1986. It is one of only seven major Bahai temples around the world.
13. Ontario College of Art and Design — Toronto, Canada
This “table-top” addition to the Ontario College of Art and Design sits over 25 meters above the ground. It received the “Award of Excellence” from the Toronto Architecture and Urban Design Awards, the highest architectural honor bestowed by the city of Toronto.
14. Palais Idéal du Facteur Cheval — Hauterives, France
15. Krzywy Domek — Sopot, Poland
Sopot’s Krzywy Domek, which despite its appearance is a largely typical office building, is considered one of the seven wonders of tri-city region encompassing Sopot, Gdańsk, and Gdynia.
16. Ryugyong Hotel — Pyongyang, North Korea
North Korea’s attempt to build an imposing hotel as a symbol of their power has gone awry, with the Ryugyong Hotel still empty and incomplete after over 25 years of construction.
17. Kansas City Library — Kansas City, Missouri, USA
The Kansas City Library contains a unique “Community Bookshelf” wall on its exterior, designed to showcase the spines of 22 books suggested by the citizens of Kansas City.
18. Longaberger Headquarters — Newark, Ohio, USA
Because of its work selling baskets and other accessories, the Longaberger company headquarters is designed in the shape of a giant wooden basket. The handles are even heated to prevent ice forming and causing destruction or injury to the rest of the building and the employees.
19. Winchester Mystery House — San Jose, California, USA
This home’s owner, Sarah Winchester, allegedly believed that the building was haunted and so designed the home in a labyrinth-like fashion to confuse any spirits who might try to haunt her. Because of that, she insisted that the home be constantly under construction, incorporating architectural oddities such as a cabinet that extends through 30 rooms of the house and doors that lead nowhere.
20. Kugelmugel — Vienna, Austria
Designed by Austrian artist Edwin Lipburger, this spherical building has actually claimed to be an independent micro-nation. Lipburger allegedly argued that the building’s spherical shape gave it a unique center point that freed it from Austrian law.
21. Coming soon: Tower Infinity — Incheon, South Korea
This South Korean skyscraper has been designed with special LED screens and high-definition cameras that are able to make the building literally disappear into the skyline. The “invisible tower” is set to begin construction next year.
- President Obama apologized to Doctors Without Borders for the airstrike that killed 22 people at a clinic in Afghanistan. ›
- The U.S. Coast Guard said it will suspend the search for the crew of El Faro, the cargo ship that went missing in the Caribbean during Hurricane Joaquin last week. ›
- Hillary Clinton says she's "not in favor" of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the 12-nation trade deal championed by President Obama. ›