Remember the future of yesteryear? It was supposed to include flying cars, humanoid robots and architecture that looked like it came out of a sci-fi illustrator’s sketchbook. Society hasn’t done very well on the car or robot servant front, but it turns out there are plenty of UFO-inspired buildings that keep the future (as imagined by the past) alive. In honor of the flying saucer-like craft that landed atop a newly constructed building in China’s Shandong province, come along on a tour of some of the world’s coolest UFO-like buildings.
Niterói Contemporary Art Museum (Niterói, Brazil)
Next stop: Brazil. Just across Rio de Janeiro’s Guanabara Bay is the city of Niterói—where an art museum that used to be an alien craft is housed in a spectacular bayside structure designed by Oscar Niemeyer. Though the museum is currently closed for construction, since it was first completed in 1996, it has made the once relatively unknown city a tourist destination in its own right, with its contemporary art exhibits, in-house restaurant and weekend music performances.