Fomento Territorial – Blog

Creature Comforts: 12 More Animal-Shaped Buildings

See the creature, be the creature… live in the creature? These animal-shaped buildings take the concept of surreal estate to a newer, wetter-nosed level.

Whose necks? Youse necks! The Giraffe Childcare Center in southwestern Paris’ Boulogne-Billancourt district certainly stands out amongst the French capital’s classic architecture.

Then again, the design by Paris-based Hondelatte Laporte Architects would probably stand out just about anywhere.

The giant yellow giraffe appears to provide support to the building’s cantilevered roof while creating visual interest for students and staff who pass by its tree-trunk-sized legs as they come and go. Flickr member Inter- snapped the shots above in the summer of 2013.

See Food

Café Fish (also known as the Fish Dance Restaurant) in Kobe, Japan was designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry and was built in the late 1980s.

Located in Kobe’s gritty docklands district, the four-story-tall sculpture sits cheek-by-jowl (do fish have jowls?) with the actual restaurant, so don’t expect to dine Jonah-style. Flickr member Jacome (jacomejp) captured the metal-scaled eatery in November of 2013.

World’s Coilest Tower

Who knew Thailand had kaiju too? The coral-hued Wat Samphran Dragon Temple near Bangkok towers 16 stories into the sky.

The dragon is hollow and features an internal stairway. Flick member Serg Brandysvisited the temple complex in late 2014.

Terrapin Stationary

The Kura Kura Ocean Park on Kartini Beach in Jepara, Indonesia opened in February of 2011. The park combines the attractions of a water park with those of an educational aquarium.

The main building is cast in the shape of an enormous sea turtle (“kura-kura” in the Bahasa Indonesia language) and is divided into two floors. Flickr member Diza Abdulloh (Diza5) visited the park in April of 2016.

Looking for the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) in Hyderabad, India? Look no further than the “Big Fish” building – you were expecting maybe a jumbo shrimp?

The four-story government low-rise opened in 2012 and while visually appealing in its own right, it’s sort of a “fish out of water” compared with Hydrabad’s wealth of traditional architecture. Flickr member Santosh B. Mande (JaiHind2110) captured the scaled-up but still fishy office building in late 2014.

Dear Dairy

A cute cow-shaped building thought to be a former ice cream kiosk stands alone in a lush meadow near the abandoned Sun Park Hotel in Kiyosato, Yamanashi prefecture, Japan.

The hotel closed around 1990 after the collapse of Japan’s economic bubble. The cow kiosk has no connection to the nearby Sun Park Hotel, abandoned in early 1990 and photo-documented by Bleak Scenes. – perhaps the location served as a convenient dumping place.

Dubbed “The Lost Cow” by urbex blogger Jordy Meow of, the small but surprisingly spacious building is thought to be a former ice cream kiosk though there’s no explaining why a busted projection TV sits in the center of the single room.

The cow-shaped kiosk was well-known among local haikyo (“ruins”) explorers but sadly, it appears to have been removed and possibly scrapped sometime in the past year or so.

Fishing Tails

The National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward, WI is so big… well, our arms just won’t stretch that wide. That’s no fish story neither – the hollow fiberglass replica Muskie that’s the HoF’s centerpiece measures 143 feet (44 m) long. Wonder what they used as bait.

In any case, the massive muskie has become a local landmark and the observation deck built into its lower jaw has been used for weddings. With this hook I thee wed? Flickr member Mike Fitzpatrick (Piedmont Fossil) snapped these fishy fotos during a visit to the HoF in April of 2011.

Try the Sole Claw

The long-abandoned Alimango Restaurant in Dagupan City, the Philippines, has managed the leap from kitschy seafood restaurant to beloved local landmark. That said, can you imagine a cooler place to play some pick-up basketball?

Blogger Asiong visited the decaying crab shack in March of 2011 and luckily for us, he brought his camera with him. Several ideas have been floated to renovate or re-purpose the restaurant but so far, it’s proven to be a hard shell, er, sell to potential investors.

“Best” Korea has the best zoos, amiright? Actually, things kinda peter out once you walk through the enormous tiger’s mouth that acts as the Pyongyang Central Zoo’s main entrance… and exit as well – what WERE you thinking? Better not tell President Trump about this or he’ll start jealously tweeting about “Little Tiger Man” or some such.

Hey, imagine a border wall made up of thousands of giant tiger heads… oops, we’ve already said too much. Kudos to Flickr member NK News (which just might be the real deal) for posting the above images in October of 2016.

On the Catwalk

Black cat cross your path… indeed, if you live and/or work in downtown Tokyo’s Bunkyo ward, your luck might change for the worse.

We suggest not admiring the building’s huge cat face while walking through traffic. Don’t walk your dog there either… just sayin’.

The so-called “Cat Building” is a sort of office building book depository with an expansive basement stuffed with archived print media. Flickr member K.Suzukicaptured the entrancing edifice in November of 2007.

Anyone Seen Pearl?

“The Big Oyster” in Taree, NSW, Australia seems like an odd way to advertise your car dealership but they do things a tad differently down under. Like many of OZ’s “Big Things”, the building was conceived as an homage to the local oyster industry in Taree’s nearby Manning River.

The original business occupying the superlative shell failed, leading locals to dub the building “The Big Mistake”. Don’t tell that to Nissan, however – they’ve been selling cars here since at least 2003.

Our Feather…

The abandoned “Chicken Church” (Gereja Ayam) never really got off the ground, so to speak. Now it molders away, unmaintained and unloved, deep in an Indonesian forest.

Designed by Daniel Alamsjah, the awe-inspiring building was intended to be a combination children’s center and drug addict rehab clinic… not an ideal combo, if you think about it. Flickr member Itravelanddance visited the creepy yet still accessible structure in the summer of 2017.



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