Extraordinary spaces | Inquirer Business

Extraordinary spaces

People are often drawn to big cities when they want to gawk at awe-inspiring structures, ornate homes or offbeat spaces. But the outskirts are not to be overlooked. They may be hiding interesting and extraordinary gems that are worth the trip outside the city. We list down some of those places here.

Big Dog and Sheep

Tirau, New Zealand

The small town of Tirau in New Zealand used to be a thriving farming community, until it experienced a serious decline in the late 1980s. In an effort to draw visitors to the town, local businessman Henry Clothier and land owner John Drake teamed up to build the Big Dog and Sheep, structures made of corrugated iron designed by Steven Clothier.


The Sheep houses a wool and crafts store while the Big Dog serves as a visitor information center, car park and picnic area to tourists passing through the highway nearby.


In 2016, a third building was added to the mix. The Ram is designed to increase showroom space and amenities.

Sweets Bank

Hamamatsu, Japan

Designed in the concept of “a large living room in the city”, Sweets Bank is indeed large. Located in Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, it is the headquarters of confectionery company Shunkado Co. Ltd. It features supersized wooden tables and chairs with glass buildings underneath. Designed by Nikken Sekkei, it aims to live up to the company’s corporate slogan, “We want people to spend family time at the table with sweets.”

“In the modern age of social media, in which a single photo can instantly capture hearts and minds, the image of the building itself becomes the medium, (attracting) people to regional cities, and (creating) memorable experiences for posting to the world,” explains Nikken Sekkei on its website.

Sweets Bank is a mixed-use facility with offices, a restaurant, shop and cafe, as well as a branch of a local bank.

Dog Bark Park Inn

Idaho, USA


This bed and breakfast will surely draw dog lovers the world over. Dog Bark Park Inn in Cottonwood, Idaho, is built in the shape of a beagle. A popular and well-loved landmark in the area, locals have nicknamed it “Sweet Willy”.

The two-story structure was designed and built by the husband-and-wife team of Dennis Sullivan and Frances Conklin who are both chainsaw artists. Inside, there is a two-bedroom bed and breakfast inn, gift shop, visitors center and gallery. You can bet that the interior is peppered with images and carvings of man’s best friend.

Casa do Penedo


One look at Casa do Penedo and you would immediately see why it is called “Stone House” or “House of the Rock”. Located in northern Portugal, just between Celorico de Basto and Fafe, it consists of four massive boulders that serve as its foundation, walls and ceiling. A concrete mix links all four to form one solid structure.

The pre-historic looking house is said to be inspired by the long-running comic strip The Flintstones. Initially intended to be a local family’s vacation home, Casa do Penedo has been transformed into a small museum due to the influx of curious tourists that want to examine it up close.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Sources: Planradar.com, Designingbuildings.co.uk, Nikken.co.jp, Uniqhotels.com

TAGS: Business

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.