Dave Longaberger wasn’t an architect when he conceived one of America’s uncanniest structures—a seven-story office building shaped like a giant picnic basket—but nothing could deter him from erecting it. “If they can put a man on the moon,” he contended, “they can certainly build a building that’s shaped like a basket.”
As it turned out, Longaberger was right. In 1997, the headquarters of his eponymous basket company opened its doors, its form mimicking Longaberger Co.’s best-selling Medium Market Basket, right down to its arched handles and shiny, imitation-brass tag.
The Longaberger Co. building is one of many structures worldwide that plainly reveal their function—or a product they hawk—via their design. In Queensland, Australia, you’ll find a tropical fruit store in the form of a towering pineapple; in Meitan, China, a tea museum is housed within a 242-foot-tall teapot; and in Bailey, Colorado, a diner specializing in hot dogs takes the form of a mustard- and relish-slathered frankfurter.