With its unusual design, sharp angles, broken lines, and layers of beautiful glass, modern architecture often turns out to be amazing. Some buildings have such a futuristic appearance that they seem to have come straight out of a sci-fi movie, but usually, their purpose is more conventional: apartment buildings, trade and culture centers, educational facilities, etc.
Forest Spiral – Hundertwasser Building
Architect: Heinz M. Springmann
This is a residential building complex located in Darmstadt, Germany. The building has a unique façade which doesn’t follow a regular grid pattern and the windows appear as if they are dancing out of line and appear out of order. It was designed by Viennese artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser and finally planned and implemented by architect Heinz M. Springmann. It contains 105 apartments, an inner courtyard, a small artificial lake and also a playground for children. The building has 12 floors.
The Torre Galatea Figueras
The first things you notice are the giant egg sculptures along the roofline. Then it hits you that the Salvador Dali Theater Museum in Figueras, Spain, is no ordinary building. The museum’s tower, Torre Galatea, was named for the surrealist artist’s deceased wife, and Dali himself lived there until his death in 1989. Interestingly, the museum sits next to the parish church where Dali was baptized in 1904; he is buried in an unmarked crypt in the museum’s main exhibition hall.
The Basket Building
This may look like a picnic basket kept in the park. But this actually is a 7-story building which is Longaberger’s Home Office located in Newark, Ohio. This monument is in-fact world’s largest basket. Its 192 ft. long by 126 ft. wide at the bottom, spreads to 208-ft. long by 142-ft. wide at the roofline.
Kansas City Public Library
This installation is permanent, on a much larger scale, and is designed to conceal the library’s car park. Here the public were asked to nominate books that they felt represented Kansas City. The library was founded in 1873 A.D, and is the oldest and the third largest public library in Kansas City area.
Ferdinand Cheval Palace a.k.a Ideal Palace
Cheval began the building in April 1879. He claimed that he had tripped on a stone and was inspired by its shape. He returned to the same spot the next day and started collecting stones.
For the next 33 years, during his daily mail route, Cheval carried stones from his delivery rounds and at home used them to build his Palais idéal, the Ideal Palace. First he carried the stones in his pockets, then a basket and eventually a wheelbarrow. He often worked at night, by the light of an oil lamp.
Hang Nga Guesthouse
This fantastical place is like a journey into the world of Alice and Wonderland. Designed by a woman artist who hangs around the grounds, it is one of wonder.
The house is owned by the daughter of the ex-president of Vietnam, who studied architecture in Moscow.
It does not comply with any convention about house building, has unexpected twists and turns, roofs and rooms. It looks like a fairy tale castle, it has enormous “animals” like a giraffe and a spider, no window is rectangular or round, and it can be visited like a museum.
Chapel in the Rock
This beautiful Roman Catholic church is literally built into the rock. The views from outside are unbelievable but the serenity inside is awesome.
Designed by: Architect Vlado Milunić in co-operation with Canadian architect Frank Gehry on a vacant riverfront plot.
The building was designed in 1992 and completed in 1996.
A modern, glass building surrounded by historic architecture.
The top floor of Dancing House is home to one of the city’s leading restaurants, Celeste Restaurant.
Diners can enjoy delightful cuisine and magnificent views over the river and up to Prague Castle.
Calakmul Building Or La Lavadora
This fake looking awesome stone house is located in Fafe, Guimarães (Portugal).
Nested among the urban streets of Barcelona are some unusual and beautiful buildings by infamous architect Antoni Gaudi. His unique approach to the Art Nouveau movement generated some of the most creative buildings the world have ever seen. And La Pedrera is no exception.
One of the most imaginative houses in the history of architecture, this is more sculpture than building. The façade is a varied and harmonious mass of undulating stone that, along with its forged iron balconies, explores the irregularities of the natural world. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognised this building as World Heritage in 1984.
One World Trade Center
The latest addition to New York’s skyline, the One World Trade Center, is the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. Construction began in April 2006 and the final component of the building’s spire installed five years later in 2013, making it the fourth tallest skyscraper in the world.
The One World Trade Center’s design is no coincidence, standing at a symbolic height of 1,776 feet (541m) in a direct nod to the year of the US Declaration of Independence.
Designed by David M Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the 104-story glass tower raises from a cube base before transforming from the 20th floor into eight sleek isoceles triangles. Stood adjacent to the city’s beautiful 9/11 memorial, the One World Trade Center is a shining beacon for the city.
St Paul’s Cathedral
London’s most iconic building, St Paul’s Cathedral, was designed by English architect Sir Christopher Wren. Sitting at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, its famous dome is one of the world’s largest, measuring nearly 112 metres high.
The original church on the site was founded in the year 604AD. Work on the present English Baroque church began in the 17th Century by Christopher Wren as part of a major rebuilding program after the Great Fire of London.
Wren started working on St Paul’s in 1668, his designs for the cathedral taking a decade to complete and the actual construction taking a further 40 years. St Paul’s has played an integral part of London life ever since – as a domineering element in the city’s skyline, as a centre for tourism and religious worship, and most recently as a focal point for anticapitalist protests.
Standing at 170 metres above ground, the Petronas Towers are twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The buildings, which held the titled of tallest in the world between 1998-2004, are an iconic landmark of the capital city.
The distinctive postmodern style was created by architects Cesar Pelli and Achmad Murdijat, engineer Deejay Cerico and designer Dominic Saibo under the consultancy of JC Guinto.
Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most remarkable architectural structures in Europe. Most famous for its tilt, the tower began to lean during construction after soft ground on one side was unable to properly support the structure’s weight.
Building work on the tower began in 1173 and went on for over a whopping 300 years. There has been much controversy surrounding the true identity of the architect behind the tower – the design originally attributed to artist Bonnano Pisano but studies have also implicated architect Diotisalvi.
The Kaaba, meaning cube in Arabic, is a square building located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. A most scared place in Islam, the Kabba is elegantly draped in a silk and cotton veil. Every year millions of Muslims travel to the Kabba for the hajj, an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca.
The small square building is about 60 feet high and it’s walls a metre wide, with it’s total size occupying roughly 627 square feet.
Also referred to as the shard of glass, The Shard is an 87-storey skyscraper, which sits in the heart of London. Construction began in 2009 and was completed three years later in 2012, making it Western Europe’s tallest building.
Designed by architect Renzo Piano, The Shard is the second tallest free standing structure in the UK. It’s exterior boasts 11,000 glass panels – that’s equivalent in area to eight football pitches or two-and-a-half Trafalgar Squares.
The building was developed to have multiple uses, described on the website as a ‘vertical city where people can live, work and relax’. This motto was clearly taken on board by a fox, nicknamed Romeo, that was found on the 72nd floor towards the end of construction.
St Basil’s Cathedral
No, we haven’t included a piece of Disneyland architecture on our list. This garish, candy coloured cathedral is in fact Moscow’s most visited tourist attraction. The famous landmark, shaped to resemble the flame of a bonfire rising into the sky, is located just outside the Kremlin gates and marks the geometric centre of the city.
Built between 1554 and 1560, the cathedral was erected during the reign of Ivan IV (Ivan the Terrible). Little is known about the building’s architect Postnik Yakovlev, but he was clearly a fan of onion domes, sharp spikes and polygonal towers.
This futuristic building looks like it belongs in a sci-fi movie rather than Lime Street in London. The award-winning Lloyds building (also known as the Inside-Out building) is an iconic architectural landmark and one of the most recognisable constructions on the London skyline.
Architect Richard Rogers was the brains behind the innovative design, which has its services – including water pipes and staircases – on the outside. Built between 1978 and 1986, the building also features 12 exterior lifts, which were the first of their kind in the UK.
This elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of Rome is considered as one of the greatest architectural feats achieved by the Ancient Romans. The stadium was capable of seating 50,000 spectators and used mainly for gladiatorial games.
Built from concrete and stone, construction began on the Colosseum began around 72AD and finished in 80AD. The design and shape of the Colosseum has been the inspiration for many modern day stadiums. Today it is one of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions, attracting thousands of visitors each year.