Skip to main content

10 of the world's 'blobbiest' buildings

By James Durston, CNN
October 9, 2013 -- Updated 0943 GMT (1743 HKT)
The Metropol Parasol is one of the world's largest wooden structures. Located in Seville, Spain, it stands in stark contrast to the city's historical and urban environment. Its architect, J. Mayer H., received the Red Dot Design Award in 2012 for its sophisticated design.
<strong>Architect</strong>: J. Mayer H. The Metropol Parasol is one of the world's largest wooden structures. Located in Seville, Spain, it stands in stark contrast to the city's historical and urban environment. Its architect, J. Mayer H., received the Red Dot Design Award in 2012 for its sophisticated design. Architect: J. Mayer H.
HIDE CAPTION
Metropol Parasol (Spain)
Kunsthaus Graz (Austria)
Experience Music Project (United States)
New York by Gehry at Eight Spruce Street (U.S.)
Selfridges Building (England)
The Sage Gateshead (England)
De Admirant Entrance Building (Netherlands)
Golden Terraces (Złote Tarasy) (Poland)
City Hall (England)
DZ Bank Building, Pariser Platz (Germany)
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • "Blobitecture" comprises buildings with few or no right angles and fluid, flowing forms
  • Experience Music Project in Seattle, locally known as "The Blob," is a prime example
  • Blob building Fondation Louis Vuitton pour la Création, designed by Frank O. Gehry, to open in Paris in 2014

(CNN) -- "Gigantic, alien-looking buildings" that bring to mind melted guitars, mushroom-like parasols and UFOs.

That's how some of the world's finest examples of "blob buildings" have been described, by the company that wants to celebrate them.

Building data company Emporis of Hamburg, Germany, usually gives kudos to more traditional architectural triumphs, such as these new skyscrapers completed last year.

But this time "we felt that it's time to highlight this interesting and visually appealing topic," says Sarah Krenz, in the Emporis public relations office.

What makes a building a blob?

"Unconventional, right-angle-free geometric shapes," according to the report. It's also known as "liquid architecture."

Emporis cites the Experience Music Project in Seattle, locally known as "The Blob," as a prime example.

Others include the Golden Terraces in Warsaw, "whose wavy roof, created from 4,700 separate glass elements, rests like a frozen liquid over the atrium of this multi-story shopping center."

As well as standing out from other buildings in their vicinity, blob buildings often conjure imaginative responses from the public, not always complimentary.

While the Selfridges Building, a shopping center in Birmingham, England, is known as the Beehive due to its honeycomb-like façade, the London City Hall was once described as a "glass testicle."

This list anticipates the opening next year of another "blob" -- the exhibition building Fondation Louis Vuitton pour la Création in Paris, designed by Frank O. Gehry.

What do you think? Are blob buildings creative and inspiring or ugly and over the top? Comment below.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 0626 GMT (1426 HKT)
the Teufelsberg or
Spooks have left their mark on a once-divided city still thought to be an espionage hotbed.
August 24, 2014 -- Updated 2206 GMT (0606 HKT)
nanjing, handicrafts
With more than 6,000 years of history, Nanjing is one of the few cities in China still practicing the country's endangered traditional crafts.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1610 GMT (0010 HKT)
Rock and weather collide over millennia to create natural bridges. Here are 15 of our favorites from around the world.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 0539 GMT (1339 HKT)
A one-nun brewing operation, Sister Doris is putting Germany's women beer makers on the map. Sort of.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 0607 GMT (1407 HKT)
From Myanmar to Mickey Mouse, Stefan Zwanzger, aka The Theme Park Guy, gives his rundown of the best.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1510 GMT (2310 HKT)
Four hundred years after the death of Countess Elizabeth Bathory, her murderous exploits prove a grisly attraction.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1250 GMT (2050 HKT)
Formed by volcanoes and steeped in a rich history of Polynesian culture, Hawaii sounds more like a place in a fantasy novel rather than an American travel oasis.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 2356 GMT (0756 HKT)
Despite Kyoto's allure, until this year there's been a glaring absence from the city's travel scene -- a top tier, super-luxury hotel brand.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
Why global adventurer Alastair Humphreys now looks for 'microadventures' close to home.
August 13, 2014 -- Updated 1133 GMT (1933 HKT)
Don't order Corona and don't freak out when you see Jessica Alba without makeup and you might pass for local.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 2301 GMT (0701 HKT)
History buff? Hardcore surfer? These South Pacific islands have every traveler covered.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 1514 GMT (2314 HKT)
Airlines and airports are going high-tech to reduce your time in line.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 0858 GMT (1658 HKT)
Summer isn't over yet. These new hotels are keeping it alive and fresh.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 1832 GMT (0232 HKT)
Eight of the top 10 scoring cities in the Economic Intelligence Unit's annual Liveability Survey are in Australia and Canada.
August 18, 2014 -- Updated 2221 GMT (0621 HKT)
When a man tells me to "trust him," my typical reaction is to run.
ADVERTISEMENT