There are some amazing architectural wonders around the world, from ancient monuments to modern innovations. We’ve brought you just a few to arouse your senses and get you travelling!
National Centre For the Performing Arts, China
It’s basically a giant futuristic egg, and inside, you’ll find golden performances (get it?)! In Beijing, this famous performing arts centre was designed by French architect Paul Andreu. It’s a perfect ellipsoid dome constructed of 1,000 sheets of ultra-white glass and more than 18,000 titanium plates. The surrounding man-made lake (that is immune to algae and also freezing over in winter) gives it a truly ‘other wordly’ feel.
Taj Mahal, India
We all know the Taj Mahal was built as a monument of love, but did you know that it is also renowned for being the most famous embodiment of Mughal architecture? It takes its influence from Islamic, Persian and Indian architectural styles and its beautiful symmetry and use of light make it stand out in the artistic world.
Tokyo Skytree, Japan
With a name like ‘Skytree’ you can bet that this thing offers amazing views over Tokyo! A relatively new addition to the architectural world, this cool broadcasting tower was completed in 2011 and is the second tallest building in the world (the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest). Aside from the views, the base-located shopping centre and aquarium is this wonder’s biggest highlight.
Mezquita de Córdoba, Spain
This stunning Spanish mosque-cathedral is a must if you’re ever in the region of Andalusia. Despite being located in Spain, the cathedral is a fantastic triumph of Moorish (Arab, African, Hispanic) architecture and is said to have taken over two centuries to build. The best view, however, is from the inside, where almost 900 columns and giant, striped arches will take your breath away.
Guggenheim Museum, UAE
There are plenty of Guggenheims around the world, from New York to Venice. But perhaps the most architecturally impressive is the one at Abu Dhabi. Featuring gigantic blue glass cones and gorgeous internal timberwork, the aim of the design is to heighten the museum experience. Located on Saadiyat Island, this gem is reportedly worth around €800 million and was designed by Frank Gehry, who also created the Dancing House in Prague.
California Academy of Sciences, USA
Another feat of the modern architectural world, this San Franciscan construction 05/not look like much, but it’s got it where it counts. One of the best natural history museums in the world, the California Academy of Sciences houses huge rainforest exhibits, an aquarium with a colony of African penguins, a gigantic digital planetarium and a living landscape on its roof.
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
What do you get when you build 3 amazing skyscrapers and connect them all with a mouth-watering Skypark? Singapore’s most iconic resort! Its design is based on a deck of cards and the architects created this hotel as a peaceful oasis in the midst of a busy city. With luxury suites, an observation deck, infinity rooftop pool and built-in museum, this place is hard to resist.
Habitat 67, Canada
No, it’s not an animal reservation or some weird, off-world colony! Hiding away in Montreal, Habitat 67 is a multi-complex housing unit designed in modular blocks, which spilled from the creativity of famed architect Moshe Safdie in 1967. Multi-level apartment living is the main feature of this construction, with private terraces, greenery, water views and amazing natural light throughout. No wonder it’s one of the most popular places to live in Montreal!
Dynamic Tower, Dubai
Okay, so it’s yet to actually be built, but when it is, it’s sure to amaze. Dynamic Tower is set to be a fully-operational rotating tower in Dubai, where each of the 80 floors will be able to revolve a full 360°! Architect David Fisher is behind this project and plans to run the building completely by wind and solar power.
So, if you had to pick, which architectural achievement would you most want to visit?