Asia is home to an incredible variety of buildings, ranging from ancient temples to modern skyscrapers. Among these, some structures stand out because of their unusual and innovative designs. These buildings not only showcase the creativity of their architects but also reflect the diverse cultures and traditions found across the continent.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the strangest buildings you can find in Asia. From a temple shaped like a lotus flower in India to a house in China that looks like a giant piano and violin, these architectural wonders are sure to surprise and delight you. Join us as we explore these unique structures and the stories behind them.
Lotus Temple, New Delhi, India
The Lotus Temple in New Delhi, India, stands out for its remarkable design, which is shaped like a lotus flower, making it a unique landmark in the city. Constructed in 1986, this Bahá’í House of Worship is open to people from all walks of life, regardless of their religious beliefs. Its structure, composed of 27 white marble-clad petals, creates a serene and inviting space for meditation and prayer.
Surrounded by lush gardens and tranquil ponds, the Lotus Temple offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. Inside, the vast central hall, devoid of any icons or religious images, emphasizes the Bahá’í faith’s principles of unity and inclusivity. Visitors are drawn to its beauty and the quiet contemplation it inspires, making it a popular spot for reflection and spiritual solace.
Piano House, Huainan, China
The Piano House in Huainan, China, is a striking architectural piece that captures the imagination with its musical inspiration. Built in the shape of a grand piano and a violin, the structure serves as a unique blend of music and architecture, creating a visual spectacle. The grand piano part of the building is laid horizontally, and the violin, made of glass, acts as an entrance and staircase leading into the main structure, providing a transparent contrast to the solid form of the piano.
This building is not just a marvel to look at but also serves a practical purpose, housing practice spaces and exhibition areas for music students and artists. The blend of functionality and whimsical design makes the Piano House a symbol of artistic creativity and innovation in Huainan, drawing visitors and architecture enthusiasts from around the world to admire its unconventional beauty.
Kakapo Building, Tokyo, Japan
The Kakapo Building in Tokyo, Japan, is an architectural curiosity inspired by the rare and nocturnal Kakapo parrot. This building stands out in the urban landscape with its vibrant green exterior and feather-like panels that mimic the bird’s distinctive plumage. The design not only captures the essence of the Kakapo’s appearance but also brings a touch of nature into the bustling city, creating a visual connection between urban life and the natural world.
Beyond its striking facade, the Kakapo Building incorporates sustainable design principles, reflecting a commitment to environmental consciousness. The building’s exterior panels serve a dual purpose, enhancing its aesthetic appeal while also contributing to energy efficiency by optimizing natural light and insulation. This innovative approach to architecture showcases how buildings can be both functional and a form of artistic expression, making the Kakapo Building a noteworthy addition to Tokyo’s diverse architectural scene.
Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Gardens by the Bay in Singapore is a futuristic nature park renowned for its extraordinary Supertrees and the world-class Flower Dome and Cloud Forest conservatories. The Supertrees, towering vertical gardens, are designed with large canopies that provide shade during the day and come alive with an enchanting display of light and music at night. These iconic structures, ranging between 25 to 50 meters in height, are not only a feast for the eyes but also serve environmental functions, such as air venting ducts for the conservatories and rainwater collection.
The two conservatories, the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest showcase an impressive array of plant life from different climates and regions around the world, all within intricately designed, climate-controlled glasshouses. The Flower Dome replicates a mild, dry climate and features plants from the Mediterranean and other semi-arid tropical regions, while the Cloud Forest is a mist-filled landscape of rare vegetation and features the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. These architectural marvels blend cutting-edge technology and natural beauty, making Gardens by the Bay a symbol of Singapore’s status as a City in a Garden.
Hanging Temple, Shanxi, China
The Hanging Temple, located near Mount Heng in Shanxi Province, China, is an architectural wonder that defies gravity. Built more than 1,500 years ago, this temple is anchored into a sheer cliff face about 75 meters above the ground, creating an awe-inspiring sight. The structure is supported by wooden beams inserted into holes chiseled into the cliff, with the main body of the temple clinging to the rock with only a narrow pathway connecting its various halls and pavilions.
This unique temple is not only remarkable for its precarious position but also for its synthesis of influences from Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism, which is reflected in its statues and inscriptions. The Hanging Temple’s design and construction demonstrate an extraordinary understanding of mechanics and the natural environment, making it a masterpiece of ancient Chinese engineering and architecture. Its ability to withstand the test of time, despite its seemingly vulnerable position, continues to fascinate visitors and scholars alike. This is indeed a strange building in Asia. But, Have You Seen These Unusual Buildings Across Europe?
Fish Building, Hyderabad, India
The Fish Building, officially known as the National Fisheries Development Board building, is located in Hyderabad, India, and is notable for its distinctive architecture that resembles a giant fish. This unusual design choice is a symbolic representation of the building’s purpose, which is to promote fishing and related activities in India. The structure’s exterior is covered in scales-like panels, and the eyes of the fish serve as windows, creating a playful yet functional facade.
Beyond its whimsical appearance, the Fish Building is a modern office space equipped with the latest technologies to support its role in the development of fisheries. The building’s unique design not only makes it a landmark in Hyderabad but also serves as a conversation starter about the importance of the fisheries sector in India’s economy and ecology. Its innovative approach to architectural design demonstrates how buildings can blend form with function while also conveying a message about their purpose.
Crazy House, Dalat, Vietnam
The Crazy House in Dalat, Vietnam, officially known as Hang Nga Guesthouse, is a remarkable example of expressionist architecture that stands out for its organic, non-linear design. Conceived and built by Vietnamese architect Dang Viet Nga, this guesthouse is a whimsical complex of buildings that resemble a fairy tale forest, complete with tree-like structures, cave-like rooms, and intricate, winding staircases that lead to nowhere. The unconventional shapes and forms mimic natural elements, creating an almost surreal experience for visitors.
The exterior and interior of the Crazy House are adorned with sculptures of animals, mushrooms, and spider webs, further enhancing its dreamlike and fantastical ambiance. Each room within the guesthouse is uniquely themed, offering guests an immersive experience in what feels like an enchanted world. The Crazy House is not only a popular tourist attraction but also a fully functional hotel, inviting guests from around the world to step into a storybook setting unlike any other. ere are a lot more strange and unique architecture to explore around the world. If you want to see more, read our article about the most unusual buildings in Australia.
Robot Building, Bangkok, Thailand
The Robot Building, located in the Sathorn business district of Bangkok, Thailand, is a testament to the city’s modern and innovative architectural landscape. Designed by the architect Sumet Jumsai to reflect the modernization and technology boom in Asia, the building is modeled after a giant robot. Its features include two large “eyes” that serve as windows on the upper floors, “antennae” that top the structure, and a facade that incorporates metal shutters and protrusions resembling robotic arms and legs, giving it a playful yet functional appearance.
This distinctive building houses the United Overseas Bank’s Bangkok headquarters and stands as a symbol of the fusion between technology and architecture. The Robot Building’s design not only adds a unique silhouette to Bangkok’s skyline but also challenges conventional architectural norms, making it a landmark of creativity and a point of interest for both locals and tourists visiting the city.
In exploring these architectural wonders across Asia, we’re reminded of the boundless creativity and innovation that define human construction. These buildings not only stand as unique landmarks but also reflect the cultural, environmental, and artistic values of their regions. They invite us to appreciate the diversity of architecture and the imaginative spirit that can turn buildings into iconic symbols of human ingenuity and artistic expression.