Art 2 Architecture / Top 5 Examples of Novelty Architecture

Top 5 Examples of Novelty Architecture

Novelty architecture refers to a type of contemporary architecture which uses unusual shapes in construction of buildings, garden installations, statues and other structures. Often, novelty structures are inspired by the existing buildings, animals, foods, everyday items, etc.. Since the usual shapes attract a lot of attention, novelty architecture is often also used for advertising purposes. Listed below are some of the finest examples of novelty architecture:

Longaberger Company Headquarters, Newark, Ohio

The Longaberger Company main building was inspired by hand-crafted maple wood basket, the Longaberger’s most selling product. The seven story building that was completed in 1997 is topped by 150 tonnes basket handles that are heated during the cold winter months to prevent ice formation. The founder of the company, Dave Longaberger planned all the company’s buildings to be basket-shaped but his daughters prevented further construction of basket-shaped buildings after his death. In later life, he assisted with the design of some iconic garden furniture pieces and other day to day items.

Elephant Building (Chang Building), Bangkok, Thailand

The Elephant Building, also known as Chang Building in Bangkok is another fine example of novelty architecture. Like its name suggests, the building which houses offices, a shopping centre, leisure facilities and apartments was inspired by the characteristics of an elephant. It was designed by Dr. Arun Chaisaree and Ong-ard Satrabhandhu, and opened in 1997.

Teapot Dome Service Station, Zillah, Washington

This usual teapot-shaped building was hand-crafted in the early 1920s by Jack Ainsworth. He is said to had been inspired by the so-called Teapot Dome scandal, a bribery scandal involving petroleum reserves at Teapot Dome that took place during presidency of Warren G. Harding. In 1985, the Teapot Dome Service Station was added to the US National Register of Historic Places.

James S. McDonnell Planetarium, St. Louis, Missouri

The James S. McDonnell Planetarium in St. Louis, Missouri, was built in the early 1960s according to the design of the American architect Gyo Obata from the HOK (Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum) who is also famous for designing the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.. After the Planetarium’s opening, the magazine Architectural Forum described its shape as a strange craft from the outer space.

The Peachoid, Gaffney, South Carolina

The Pechoid is a 150 feet tall water tower with a capacity to hold one million gallons of water. The tower that was commissioned by the Gaffley Board of Public Works which decided for the shape of the peach because at the time, Gaffney’s economy depended heavily on peach orchards, while the Cherokee County where the Gaffney is located produced more peaches that the entire “Peach State” of Georgia.