The Commercial Inspector | Six of the Most Unique Buildings in No

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Six of the Most Unique Buildings in North America

 February 23, 2022 |  CRE News |  just for fun

When you envision a commercial property, it might not be the most visually stunning. The standard square, or even brutalist architecture is commonly associated with apartment and office buildings alike. But over the years, some creative architects have sought to break away from the traditional styles.

1. Absolute World
Location: Mississaugua, Ontario
Architect: Fernbrook Homes and Cityzen Development Group

Definitely not your average condominium complex, 50 Absolute World in Ontario puts a twist on property design. Completed in 2012, the two buildings stand at 50 and 56 stories tall. The buildings’ contorted exteriors slowly angle the higher up you move. They certainly stand out next to other more conventional block buildings. The towers include a lounge on the 48th floor, private pool, touch screen elevator controls, and even a car wash.

2. Apple Park
Location: Cupertino, California
Architect: Foster + Partners

This giant disk-shaped property near San Jose is guaranteed to catch your eye. The brain-child of Apple founder Steve Jobs, Apple Park combines life and work. The campus is 175 acres to house thousands of employees and various amenities. In addition to being uniquely designed, the Park has also incorporated the environment around it. The rings are constructed to allow breezes to pass through and solar panels help provide electricity.

3. Habitat 67
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Architect: Moshe Safdie

Built during the time brutalist architecture was rolling on, Habitat 67 still breaks the mold. Architect Moshe Safdie originally created the 12 story apartment complex as part of his master’s program while attending McGill University. There are 146 units of different sizes, all connected together by walkways and common areas. Units are stacked off set of each other and make for some creative views. The combination of single home amenities and apartment luxuries make it a one-of-a-kind place to live.

4. The Oculus
Location: New York, New York
Architect: Santiago Calatrava

Amid other famous structures, The Oculus rises out of the ground like a living creature. The winged building sits near Ground Zero, and serves as a transportation hub for the different subway lines and buildings around it. Calatrava designed this piece to offer both comfort and security to those who pass through it. The sleek interior provides a stunning view and intuitive layout for easily navigating your subway line.

5. Vancouver Public Library
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Architect: Moshe Safdie, Richard Archambault, and Barry Downs

Take a look at the Vancouver Public Library, and you may feel as though you’ve traveled back in time. The coliseum lookalike stands seven stories tall and is surrounded by circular walls and walkways. This has made it quite the destination for both book lovers and TV producers. The large glass windows allow for sunlight to shine inside nearly all day. There’s even a rooftop garden to help collect rainwater.

6. Longaberger Headquarters
Location: Newark, Ohio
Architect: NBBJ and Korda Nemeth Engineering

No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. That really is a gigantic basket. The Longaberger Basket Headquarters in Ohio stays true to its name by being a super scaled-up version of a woven basket. Completed in 1997, the giant basket housed 500 employees. However, hard financial times forced the company to sell the building and it now awaits a new buyer.


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