8 Buildings Shaped Like Animals


It’s a Jonah-and-the-whale kind of moment. You wake up, and your guest room appears normal. But as you get your bearings, you realize that you’re in the belly of a reptile — otherwise known as Australia’s Gagudju Crocodile Holiday Inn. The curious trend of zoomorphic architecture — that is, buildings that look like animals — has been around for millennia (ever heard of the Sphinx?). And new species of animal-like buildings continue to turn up in concrete jungles like Bangkok, along roadsides or in national parks. Even serious tastemakers like Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry have been inspired to inject a playful animalistic motif into their building plans. For the Vila Olímpica in the seaside city of Barcelona, Gehry managed to capture the sleek, muscular movement of a fish in motion in a way that is utterly sublime. Read on for more strange buildings that — beastly or beautiful, by design or by accident — pay tribute to the animal kingdom. Long may these crazy critters stand.

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