Jeremy Pardoe/Alamy

Selfridges Department Store, Birmingham, England

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The Birmingham branch of Selfridges is a billowy mattress of a building, clad in 15,000
shimmery aluminum discs like that famous Paco Rabanne dress. It was designed by
Future Systems—the name tells you pretty
much everything you need to know about the firm—to be a landmark and a catalyst
for the revitalization of a largely moribund city center. “An ersatz urban
cliff, a giant sea anemone, a friendly, blob-like alien, the mother of all
magic mushrooms,” wrote Guardian architecture critic Jonathan Glancey.
“This is the department store as unalloyed architectural entertainment.”

Step Inside: The interior, with floaty white
escalators crisscrossing in an open atrium, looks like a scene from Fritz
Lang’s Metropolis.
—Karrie Jacobs

World's Strangest Buildings

Selfridges Department Store, Birmingham, England

The Birmingham branch of Selfridges is a billowy mattress of a building, clad in 15,000
shimmery aluminum discs like that famous Paco Rabanne dress. It was designed by
Future Systems—the name tells you pretty
much everything you need to know about the firm—to be a landmark and a catalyst
for the revitalization of a largely moribund city center. “An ersatz urban
cliff, a giant sea anemone, a friendly, blob-like alien, the mother of all
magic mushrooms,” wrote Guardian architecture critic Jonathan Glancey.
“This is the department store as unalloyed architectural entertainment.”

Step Inside: The interior, with floaty white
escalators crisscrossing in an open atrium, looks like a scene from Fritz
Lang’s Metropolis.
—Karrie Jacobs

Jeremy Pardoe/Alamy

World's Strangest Buildings

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