Forget mixed-use developments, each of these buildings have one function and one function only. And while those duties range from the bizarre to the insane, we promise you’ll get a kick out of everyone one. So, without further ado…
Purpose: To capture burglars
Photo: West Midlands Police/YouTube
Much like the bait car concept, capture houses are increasingly used by police in the UK to entrap thieves. The false homes are rigged with hidden cameras and chemical sprays which mark and contaminate intruders. As Gizmodo explains it: “It is really an elaborate ploy of interior design and electrical engineering, all in the name of creating representationally accurate fake spaces indistinguishable from the real thing.”
Purpose: To protect its occupants from the zombie apocalypse
Photos: KWK Promes
Okay, so maybe design firm KWK Promes didn’t build their “Safe House” with only the zombie apocalypse in mind. But the structure could certainly withstand one. Located just outside Warsaw, Poland, the concrete home boasts one and a half feet thick walls, as well as a seven-foot-high retractable perimeter fence. There is only one entrance into the structure, located on the second floor and accessible by a drawbridge. An anodized aluminum shutter 45 feet across rolls down to protect the rear of the house, while nine-foot-tall shutters protect the windows. “The whole building is a concrete monolith, while its mobile parts — for the sake of considerable size — are light steel trusses filled with mineral wool,” KWK Promes explains on its website. “As a result, the building is perfectly insulated when closed.”
Purpose: To disguise an unsightly pump station
Why doesn’t this house have a driveway or walkway to the front door? Because it isn’t really a house at all, rather a shell erected by the City of Raleigh, North Carolina to hide a pumping station. According to public radio station WUNC, the “house” was built with sound dampening materials to hush the noisy goings-on inside the station.
Purpose: To drop things from
Photo: H.F. Wiebe Group
The aptly named Drop Tower in Bremen, Germany is a 475-foot hollow tube that was built so scientists could study the effects of weightlessness by dropping objects from its peak. For example, a live fish in free-fall will tell researchers a little bit about the effect microgravity can have on human astronauts in space.
Purpose: To battle tornadoes
Photos: Q4 Architects
The 2013 Designing Recovery competition challenged participants to design homes that would stand up to natural disasters without looking and feeling like an ominous bunker. One of last year’s winners was Q4 Architects, who imagined a tornado proof home for areas of the United States where the geology makes it impossible to build tornado cellars or basements. As the Atlantic Cities explains, Q4 Architects’s design is essentially a home within a home. In the center of the structure, a 600-square-foot kitchen/bathroom core of concrete masonry, hurricane shutters and tornado doors that would be surrounded by more flexible and practical living spaces.
Purpose: To show people what it would be like to be Spider-man
Photos: New Wave Architecture
Both the exterior and interior of this recreational facility is made entirely of climbing walls. Designed by New Wave Architecture, the 48,437-square-foot structure is to be built in Polur, Iran — an area that is quickly becoming a mecca for rock climbing enthusiasts.