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13 animal-shaped buildings

By: Matt Hickman on April 27, 2015, 1:54 p.m.
blue whale and merino sheep

Photo: Nicolas Henderson/flickr;Phillip Capper/flickr

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Architectural menagerie

Novelty architecture can take on many fantastical forms — think municipal water towers done up like peaches and soft serve-shaped ice cream stands — but animal-shaped buildings are in a league of their own.

Often built as roadside attractions meant to lure motorists off the highway, these completely functional structures serve a greater purpose than just kitschy ornamentation. Some are truly mimetic — that is, the building is representative of its original purpose be it a poultry shop, seafood restaurant or woolen clothing boutique. Others are more symbolic, which is probably a good thing.

We’ve rounded up several examples of zoological-inspired architecture from around the globe, focusing on an array of critters, terrestrial and aquatic, domesticated and wild, cute and fearsome. And if we’ve left out an animal-shaped building — no dinosaurs or sculptures, please — that you’ve visited, tell us about in the comments section. (Text: Matt Hickman)