Think of them as the Easter bunny's dream abodes. While Easter eggs didn't originate from Asia — the tradition can be traced back to the ancient days of Mesopotamia — we Asians do love our eggs. Think: Century eggs, chawanmushis, baluts and such. This appetite for the humble ingredient is also apparent in our design and architectural eye. In recent years, several egg-shaped and oblong structures have cropped up in versatile means, with the renowned Zaha Hadid responsible for one of them. Here are our favourites:
1. National Centre for Performing Arts, China
Surrounded by an artificial lake and a vast green space in Beijing, the inaugural concert was held in December 2007, where guests flocked to this 46-metre high structure designed by French architect Paul Andreu. It can house 5,452 people in three halls, and guests who walk in can look up its see-through ceiling that's an ellipsoid dome, made up of over 18,000 titanium plates and over 1,000 sheets of ultra-white glass.
2. Beach cabins, South Korea
Don't the South Koreans just win at being cute? They've the whole K-pop craze going for them, and now it looks like they'll increase their fan base through design. Yoon Space Design's white mobile ovoid pods were first installed in Yangyang-gun two years ago, attracting a wave of international press. Made from lightweight and low-cost polystyrene, these domes can easily be transported from beach to beach with its floor area of two square metres ideal for all your seaside essentials.
3. Sewage treatment plant, China
Not much is known about this sewage treatment plant in Chongqing, but what we do know is its developers and architects got the colour right — gold is one of the most prosperous hues in Chinese tradition. What a way to stand out amid the city's industrial ruggedness.
4. Cybertecture Egg, India
Situated in the bustling Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai, the 13-storey high building by James Law Cybertecture is an ecosystem in itself. Housing offices in the most sustainable way possible, the steel frame and concrete structure uses solar-photovoltaic panels and wind turbines on the roof for energy conversion, a natural garden at the top for a cooling system and a water conservation feature in its bathrooms.
5. Gallery SOHO, China
Located in the Dongzhimen transportation hub in Beijing, Gallery SOHO houses office, retail and entertainment spaces within four continuous flowing 15-storey volumes set apart, fused or linked by stretched bridges. Designed by Zaha Hadid, it's a reinvention of the classical Chinese courtyard, where interior courts offer users an immersive and communal experience.