Novelty architecture is a type of architecture in which buildings and other structures are given unusual shapes as a novelty, such as advertising, notoriety as a landmark, or simple eccentricity of the owner or architect. Many examples of novelty architecture take the form of buildings that resemble the products sold inside to attract drive-by customers. Others are attractions all by themselves, such as giant animals, fruits, and vegetables, or replicas of famous buildings. And others are merely unusual shapes or made of unusual building materials.
Some hotel casinos on the Las Vegas Strip can be considered novelty architecture, including the pyramid-shaped Luxor Hotel and the New York-New York Hotel & Casino, a building designed to look like the New York City skyline.
- Coral Castle, an strange estate built out of coral stone in Homestead, Florida
- Corn Palace, a building decorated with murals made of maize in Mitchell, South Dakota
- Wonder Works, an upside down museum in Orlando, Florida
- Ice hotels, temporary hotels made of ice and snow, found in the coldest regions of the world
In the 1930s, as automobile travel became popular in the United States, one way of attracting motorists to a diner, coffee shop, or roadside attraction was to build the building in an unusual shape, especially the shape of the things sold there. "Mimic" architecture became a trend, and many roadside coffee shops were built in the shape of giant coffee pots; hot dog stands were built in the shape of giant hot dogs; and fruit stands were built in the shape of oranges or other fruit.
- Tail O' the Pup, a hot dog-shaped hot dog stand in Los Angeles, California
- Brown Derby, a derby-shaped restaurant
- Bondurant's Pharmacy, a mortar-and-pestle pharmacy in Lexington, Kentucky
- Louisville Slugger Museum, a building in Louisville, Kentucky that features a giant baseball bat
Water towers, often a prominent feature in a small town, have often been shaped or decorated to look like other objects, such as the coffee pot, bottle of ketchup, or piece of fruit.
- Peach-shaped water tower in Gaffney, South Carolina
- Coffee pot water tower in Stanton, Iowa
- Ketchup bottle water tower in Collinsville, Illinois
Several breweries and other businesses have designed holding tanks in the shape of giant cans of beer or other containers.
- "World's Largest Six-Pack" brewery holding tanks in La Crosse, Wisconsin