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 LodgeTashirojima, 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.
Dog Bark Park InnCottonwood, 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.
Elephant BuildingBangkok, 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.
The Giant KoalaDadswells 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.
Earthquake-Proof Fish HouseBerkeley, 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.
Big Sheep Wool GalleryTirau, 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.
Crocodile HotelJabiru, Australia
An aerial view of the Holiday Inn Gagudju Crocodile shows that it’s shaped like one of the Down Under’s indigenous animals.
The Big DuckFlanders, 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.
Chicken ChurchMadeira 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.
Underground Shark HouseMexico 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.
The Whale HouseMexico 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.