Skip to main content

10 of the world's 'blobbiest' buildings

By James Durston, CNN
updated 5:43 AM EDT, Wed October 9, 2013
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
updated 9:17 AM EDT, Fri September 26, 2014
The Y-40 Deep Joy, the world's deepest swimming pool at the Hotel Millepini Terme in Montegrotto Terme, Italy.
An Italian spa complex adds new depths to the hotel swimming pool concept with a 42-meter plunge chamber.
updated 8:36 PM EDT, Wed September 24, 2014
Whether spiraling up mountains or sky-scraping attractions, these stairs give new meaning to the phrase "watch your step".
updated 10:29 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Even during the harshest periods of the communist era, being Shanghainese had a special cachet in China.
updated 8:52 AM EDT, Wed September 24, 2014
Up the Inside Passage on a heritage tugboat, sport fishermen chase British Columbia's monster salmon.
updated 3:41 AM EDT, Wed September 24, 2014
New York to London in three hours? The European aviation giant is joining the race to make it happen.
updated 6:12 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
Which cities provide the most memorable party times? A self-proclaimed "nightlife connoisseur" names his top 10.
updated 11:44 PM EDT, Sun September 21, 2014
Whether you're looking for a post-meeting pint or a wild night out, creativity is on the menu at these hot Hong Kong venues.
updated 6:28 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
An image showing the Istanbul district of Beyoglu where gentrification is changing the face of the neighborhood and leading the closure of many old shops and establishments.
Artists and migrants are moving out as a once-crumbling neighborhood goes upscale.
updated 1:02 AM EDT, Sat September 20, 2014
They irrigate our farms, are an important means of transport and a source of eco-friendly power.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT