2

If I were to point to a building and ask what it was, would it be appropriate to say "あれ は なん です か", "あの たてもの は なん です か", both, or something completely different?

3

Both are perfectly correct and natural-sounding.

Another word we also often use in these situations is 「あそこ」, which means "that place". You can say:

「あそこはなんですか。」

To speak more informally, we say:

「あそこはなに?」or even:

「あそこはなんなの?」

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