11 Buildings That Look Like Animals

Bet you didn’t know you could spend the night in the world’s largest beagle or buy souvenirs inside a giant koala. Check out houses, hotels and other buildings inspired by animals.

Cat-Shaped Lodge

Tashirojima, Japan
Manga artist Tetsuya Chiba designed this cat-shaped building on Tashirojima, also known as “Cat Island.” The island earned its nickname for its large cat population, which greatly outnumbers its human population of approximately 100.
Tashirojima Cats Island

Photo by: Sankei/Getty Images A lodge on Tashirojima – AKA “Cat Island" – in Ishinomaki, Miyagi, Japan

Dog Bark Park Inn

Cottonwood, Idaho
As seen on HGTV’s Extreme Homes, this bed and breakfast is also the world’s largest beagle. Guests enter the 30-foot canine from the second-story deck. Once inside, there’s a master bedroom, a loft in the head and a cozy alcove in the muzzle.
Dog Bark Park Inn in Cottonwood, Idaho

As seen on HGTV's Extreme Homes, Dog Bark Park Inn in Cottonwood, Idaho

Elephant Building

Bangkok, Thailand
Also known as the Chang Building, this 335-foot-high, 560-foot-long structure is the world’s largest elephant building. (Yes, there’s more than one.) The elephant’s ears are multi-story balconies, the eyes are huge windows, and the tusks serve as offices.
Elephant Building in Bangkok, Thailand

Photo ©iStockphoto.com/justhavealook Elephant Building in Bangkok, Thailand

The Giant Koala

Dadswells Bridge, Victoria, Australia
This massive marsupial is one of Australia’s “big things,” a set of large buildings and sculptures across the continent that also includes a pineapple, a guitar and a lobster. You can step inside the 49-foot koala to pick up souvenirs, visit the petting zoo, or grab a snack at the café.
Australia's Giant Koala

Photo by: William West/AFP/Getty Images The Giant Koala in Dadswells Bridge Victoria, Australia

Earthquake-Proof Fish House

Berkeley, Calif.
Though it was inspired by a creature called the Tardigrade – known as the most indestructible living thing on the planet – neighbors thought this home looked more like a giant fish. Designed to withstand fire, flooding and earthquakes, it’s been called the safest home in the world. Watch the video below to learn more.
Click the video above to learn more about the earthquake-proof fish house in Berkeley, Calif.

Big Sheep Wool Gallery

Tirau, New Zealand
Inside this giant corrugated iron sheep, you’ll find the largest wool store in New Zealand. Not pictured: The dog-shaped information center right next door.
Big Sheep Wool Gallery in New Zealand

Photo by: Phillip Capper/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic Big Sheep Wool Gallery in Tirau, New Zealand

Crocodile Hotel

Jabiru, Australia
An aerial view of the Holiday Inn Gagudju Crocodile shows that it’s shaped like one of the Down Under’s indigenous animals.
Holiday Inn Gagudju Crocodile

Holiday Inn Gagudju Crocodile in Jabiru, Australia

The Big Duck

Flanders, N.Y.
Built in 1931, The Big Duck was originally a shop that sold ducks and duck eggs. Now it’s on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Big Duck in Flanders, N.Y.

Photo by: Jemattox/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported The Big Duck in Flanders, N.Y.

Chicken Church

Madeira Beach, Fla.
Though its real name is Church by the Sea, tourists have flocked (pun absolutely intended) to Madeira Beach to get a look at the "Chicken Church" and its bell tower with two eyes and a beak. The church became an internet sensation after a photographer snapped a picture that went viral.
Church by the Sea in Madeira Beach, Fla.

Photo by: iStock/Thinkstock Church by the Sea, AKA the "Chicken Church," in Madeira Beach, Fla.

Underground Shark House

Mexico City
Architect Javier Senosiain designed this home to resemble a huge, stylized shark. The shark’s head and vast mouth make up the above-ground portion of the house, with everything else built below ground. Iridescent paint colors add a shimmering glow. Watch the video below to learn more.
Click the video above to learn more about the underground shark house in Mexico City.

The Whale House

Mexico City
Also designed by Javier Senosiain – who apparently has a penchant for homes that resemble sea creatures – this house looks just like a whale when viewed from the hilltop above. Watch the video below to learn more.
Click the video above to learn more about the whale house in Mexico City.

Zillow Real Estate Search

Photo Tour

Living Room: Brooklyn Clock Tower Penthouse

The Best of Cool Houses Daily

Check out some of our all-time favorite Cool Houses.

Celebrity Homes

Robert Pattinson

Robert Pattinson’s Crush-Worthy Home

Twilight fans: Swoon over R-Patz’s dreamy Spanish-style estate.

House Hunting

The Hunger Games Meets House Hunters

Living in Panem is the worst. Here are six homes where Katniss et al would be much more comfortable.


The Viral Ad Borne Of San Francisco's Crazy Rental Market

The Best Roommate Ad Ever

Photoshop and social media helped one creative renter find an apartment.

Winter Getaways

Cozy Up in a Cabin Under $250,000

Tour three rustic retreats miles away from your hectic schedule.

Celebrity Homes

Jerry Garcia Headshot

Jerry Garcia’s Grateful Spread

The Grateful Dead frontman’s former Bay Area home, described with song lyrics.


Mediterranean Villa in Scottsdale, AZ.

FrontDoor's Top 50 Most-Pinned Photos

Take a look at the FrontDoor pics you couldn’t resist pinning.

Awesome Architecture

Chicago’s Architectural Masterpieces

Check out the stunning spaces that were on display during Open House Chicago.

Celebrity Homes

Anjelica Huston at Airbnb’s Hello LA Event

Anjelica Huston’s Luxe Bedroom

Tour the sumptuous space the actress designed for Airbnb.

Photo Tour

Home Exterior: Lakefront A-Frame in Lakeside, Mont.

9 Adorable Tiny Houses

Look back at all the cozy homes we toured for our Tiny House Tuesday series.

Related Keywords:

See Also