Looking at uniform, predictable, and uninspired construction gets old. Architecture is more than just building the most cost-effective properties without room for any form of expression or artistic value. It’s for that reason that when we see a building that breaks the mold, literally and figuratively, we stop and look, and we remember them for the rest of our lives. Here are 10 of our favorite buildings in America that you should add to your ‘bucket list’.
This is a giant basket that isn’t just some wonky gimmick building, it’s a thing of beauty in-person. Standing seven stories tall, this record-setting basket was formerly the HQ for Longaberger Basket Company. The interior is almost as impressive as its exterior, with marble flooring and luxurious furniture. It certainly doesn’t look or feel like a corporate office space, and that’s why we love it.
Address: 1500 E Main St, Newark, OH 43055
2: Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
On the outside, you would assume that this impressive library building was of the actual library itself, but it’s actually the face of Kansas City’s Public Library parking garage. Standing tall are the bindings of 22 of the most iconic books in pop culture. Because it would probably be impossible for one person to pick 22 books that would satisfy all fans of literary classics, the city left it up to the people to vote on their favorites. You’ll need to see the famous garage in-person to see if any of your picks made the list.
If you want to experience something you’d otherwise never be able to outside of the virtual world of computer graphics, go to Pigeon Forge, TN and stop by Wonderworks. It doesn’t look real, but it most certainly is; it shouldn’t exist, but it most certainly does; it’s a building that makes your brain do backflips. Step inside this upside-down structure and you’ll be treated with lots of fun activities and more brain-teasing to really make you view your everyday life in a new way.
Not to be outdone by the basket building, our next place is a shoe. That’s right, a building that looks like a giant shoe. The detail is impressive on this architectural marvel, especially in the sole. The Haines Shoe House is a beloved state landmark, one that has been spotted in many TV shows and movies. We’d like to thank the zany shoe salesman who decided to be creative, rather than go the Al Bundy route of moaning and groaning about their choice of career.
One of many impressive buildings along the Vegas Strip, we choose to highlight the Luxor because of its highly skilled craftsmanship and amazing level of extravagance, inside and outside the hotel casino. You’ll find pyramid rooms inside with slanted walls, they spared no opportunity of enhancing the experience of sleeping inside a giant pyramid of luxury and excitement.
Address: 3900 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119
This building looks hand-crafted, accompanied with precise, measured, and precarious construction plans. Massive shards of granite, 46 meters tall, demand attention, which seems fitting for the US Air Force Academy. The building turns heads of not only the civilian populace, but also the American Institute of Architects, nabbing their National 25 Year Award.
Address: 2306 Sijan Dr, U.S. Air Force Academy, CO 80840
This is a one-of-a-kind building that has lasted for many years, thanks to the hard work and upkeep of the owners. A mammy is a maid, usually an older woman, which is a common nickname people from the South use, and this building is built in the shape of one by using the wide cone-shaped skirt as the foundation. Up top is the rest of the mammy, with her red scarf and white blouse. It is certainly an unusual building and difficult to miss while driving by.
Another library makes our list, this time we travel to the University of California in San Diego. The library building is a proverbial maze for the eye to wander. The rough exterior seems almost intimidating, yet it carries a type of charm that is hard to resist. Inside the library you will find plenty of reading with over seven million books, and traversing it will leave most visitors in a dizzying adventure.
It only makes sense for one of the world’s most beloved abstract artist to be housed in a building that is as imaginative as he was. Salvador Dali would probably create a museum that is completely outside the scope of any average-thinking individual, however his museum in St. Pete, Florida is still a wonderfully misshapen, jutting, curved, winding structure of glass, concrete, and metal that does a great job of at least providing a nice frame to hang his most cherished works of art.
Speaking of beautifully curved and hand-crafted architecture, Disney (who has collaborated with Dali, as well) has their own work of art located at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. This smooth steel structure looks almost functional as it borrows inspiration from that of a sailboat. The concert hall inside is much more traditional, yet also expertly-crafted.