The Metropol Parasol looks from afar like it's constructed from popsicle sticks -- but it is actually built from bonded timber with a polyurethane coating (translation: extra-strong glue). The unusual materials have given it two unique claims to fame: It's the largest wooden building in the world, and the largest structure to be held together by glue.
The fantastical, undulating parasols and interlocking wooden honeycombs rise from concrete bases. It's an ultra-modern sight marvel soaring high above the medieval city.
The structure houses a museum, a restaurant, and a farmer's market, most of which are open-air. The coolest part: The roof is open to the public, and visitors can stroll on elevated promenades and take in amazing views.
The Guardian raved, "From some angles it is a wonderful thing, daring, inventive and impressively consistent."
The site of this remarkable building, which opened late last month, was originally slated to become a parking garage. Aren't we glad that didn't happen!
If you have photos of stunning and strange architecture, the photo sharing site Flickr is calling for submissions of unusual building pics.
- popsicle sticks
- Dr. Seuss