The Most 'Science-Fiction' Place You've Encountered?


My pick, also!


I’m surprised that no one chose the Science Fiction Museum in Seattle. The building also houses a music museum. The exterior reeks of science fiction.
Another choice that nobody chose was the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles which featured in the “Get Smart” movie.
I’m sorry that I don’t have photos of either to share.

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Two thoughts here. I’ve been through the Denver airport a bunch of times, but after one of my buddies in Longmont explained to me the Masonic symbolism theories I can’t help but see it every time. :slight_smile:

The one that I really enjoy here in Downtown Pgh is the sight of the steam tunnels when it’s cold out and water gets in…

The explanation: PACT (Pittsburgh Allegheny County Thermal sells steam to a bunch of the buildings in town for heating. When the tunnels take on water via flooding or water runoff during cold weather said water vaporizes on the pipes in the steam tunnels. Maybe more surreal than “sci-fi” but it’s still awesome the first time you walk down through town late at night and there’s steam billowing from manholes every 50 feet in places.


Disney Concert Hall:


The Atlanta Art Museum has been used in a lot of Sci-Fi movies

Photo by Joeff Davis.


The Earthships in Taos, New Mexico. When driving over to them it looks like a scene straight out of Star Wars. They are so cool.


Agreed. I live in Atlanta and have gone to many events there!


This McDonalds with a space ship embedded inside!
Can you guess where?
Hint: New Mexico


The dome of Reichstag, Berlin.


Antenna Farm atop Sandia Peak, Albuquerque NM


Alkek Library at Texas State University in San Marcos. I always felt like I was headed to a dystopian capitol building walking up those stairs.


Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) in Seoul



The capsule hotel at Narita airport.

Any building by Gaudí.

Osaka and Tokyo. For specific examples, see their classically futuristic entertainment districts replete with giant neon signs, their toilets, the automatic doors in most shops, the hot and cold drinks in vending machines located in the middle of nowhere, and the generally utopian lack of either garbage or crime.


When tasked with deciding what place feels the most science-fiction-y to me, the image that came to mind first was that of St. Louis’s Gateway Arch, which is both a historical wonder and a Sci-fi marvel. I can think of several other examples, but I chose the “Gateway to the West” because I just happened to visit there for the first time less than a year ago and was stunned by the experience because it was so unlike any other place I had ever been and not at ALL what I had expected. Mid-century retro futurism is the vibe that’s felt on arrival and that rhythm flows throughout the entirety of the experience. Architect Eero Saarinen (1910 - 1961), who was considered a structural expressionist, neo-futurist and visionary, created the design for the arch along with it’s underground visitors center and museum. His abstract vision for the monument to symbolize America’s westward expansion was chosen unanimously and praised for its dynamic forms and modernist aesthetic. Designed in 1947 and completed in 1965 (unfortunately Saarinen died before it’s completion), this mind bending stainless steel structure with it’s provocative curved form is just as wondrous today as when created. As you can see from my photos there is so much for any Mid-century Sci-fi fan to love — from the retrofuturism tramcars to the Atomic Age underground community. This place has SO much more to offer than meets the eye — and to think there was a time in my life when I didn’t believe it was possible to go up to the top — I thought it was urban legend! :wink:


This playground in Komagome, Tokyo exists so far in the future that the aliens have landed, taken over the planet, used up the resources, and then abandoned it.


The chapel where my fiance and I plan on being married is pretty sci-fi. I always think it’s what church would look like on a ST:TNG planet. Firestone-Baars chapel in Columbia, MO on the Stephens College campus. It was designed by Eero Saarinen, the same guy who designed the Arch in St. Louis.



@Lolaswhitetrashparad Yes! Very Mad Max:

@jenniferrfields Spectacular photos! I grew up in St. Louis and would take that Arch elevator once a year on a field trip. Those photos brought back memories. Certainly mid-century, but still very much of the future.

I’d nominate almost anything by the late, great Zaha Hadid, including this mix of old and new in Antwerp:

And this incredible building in Baku:


Whoa! That red floor is simply incredible. I wish more libraries would take inspiration from museum design.


Wow - I have so many new places to visit, and new appreciations for places I’d love to revisit. @jenniferrfields especially, thank you for calling out the unexpected elegance of the arch!

My contributions are in the otherworldy, dystopian, and pulp realms - respectively:


The Cushing Brain Collection in the Yale medical library is like visiting the laboratory of a mad scientist in a Guillermo del Toro film.