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13 animal-shaped buildings

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

Photo: Sheep: MD111/Flickr; Whale: Nicolas Henderson/Flickr

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Architectural menagerie

Novelty architecture can take on many fantastical forms — think municipal water towers done up like peaches — 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.