Long gone are the days when skyscrapers, offices, hotels, and residences had to be plain and boring on the outside just to fit into the neighborhood. These days, architects are taking risks by thinking outside the basic square box and designing exteriors that are literally works of art. When that happens, these structures can change the neighborhood, and sometimes the skyline, making passersby stop and take notice. Take a peek at 10 buildings with unique facades that have us pause and take a second, and sometimes third, look.
Part retail, part residential, the in Copenhagen were designed by and in the shapes of a V and an M with balconies that jut out like bird beaks.
It’s no surprise that won the competition to design the in Washington, D.C. with its stunning, highly detailed bronze filigree exterior that wraps the building.
If only every bank looked as bright and colorful as the Sugamo Shinkin Bank Shimura Branch that was designed by . A stack of rainbow layers extend out from the facade to welcome visitors into its equally colorful interior.
It’s hard not to stop and pause when the comes into view when you’re walking the streets of Chicago. The designed multi-use building’s undulating, white facade is quite mesmerizing against blue skies.
Sitting right on the water in Reykjavik, Iceland, the by looks like carved gemstone with sunlight reflecting off the unique glass paneled windows.
, or Bjarke Ingels Group, is responsible for , a massive, triangular structure on New York City’s West Side that houses 600 apartments. Just over a year old, the twisting form was designed to give as many apartments as possible views of the Hudson River.
The Antwerp Port House might be one of the most unusual buildings ever. Designed by , the project entailed repurposing an old fire station and building an additional modern structure on the top to house the Port of Antwerp’s growing staff.
Located in Cap d’Agde, France, the Nakâra Residential Hotel, designed by , features a crisp, all-white exterior that’s perfect for its Mediterranean coast location. Instead of a boring exterior, the hotel is clad in an open geometric pattern giving it a light and airy feel.
Designed by , is a cultural center and concert hall constructed atop an old warehouse building on the water. The top looks like the rippling water from the river below and its glass facade incorporates curved cutouts that break up the iridescent glass.
How could you not be happy staying in this short and long term residence hotel? The in Paris was designed by on a triangular site with its base looking as if it’s been squeezed to fit the lot. The angular building with its colorful facade of greens and blues definitely stands out in its neighborhood.