Updated: Mar 13, 2021
Explore the world's best architecture with this not-so-common list of astonishing buildings.
Either if you're a travel nerd or you're just getting the hang of it, you want to see for yourself the most magical places on Earth, places that will leave you in awe and with your jaw wide open. After all, life is short and there's so much to see on this Earth. That's why I've compiled a list of 10 wonderful architectures in the world to get you started.
“Once a year, go somewhere you've never been before.” - Dalai Lama
10 Iconic Places Around The World You Must Go To
I must say, the following list doesn't follow a particular order, they're all amazing structures and located all around the world. Get your pen and paper ready, or just bookmark this page because you'll want to remember all of them. Let's get started!
(1) Burj Khalifa Dubai, United Arab Emirates (2010)
Construction for Burj Khalifa began in 2004 and finished in 2009, and inaugurated in 2010. It contains 57 elevators and 8 escalators. It's part of the two kilometers Downtown Dubai development that also includes Dubai Mall and Dubai Fountain. The tower features residential and office space, the Armani Hotel Dubai and Armani Residences, lounges, health and wellness facilities, four pools and two observation decks.
The Burj Khalifa has been the tallest structure and building in the world since 2009. It's total height is 829.8m (2,722 ft), it's just over a mile! Fun fact: the height of At The Top Burj Khalifa is equivalent to being on the tip of the Petronas Towers in Malaysia.
(2) Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center Reykjavík, Iceland (2011)
Image by Getty Images.
Located in the bay area, the Harpa couldn't be situated in a better place. With views of the North Atlantic Ocean and the mountains that surround Reykjavik, this distinguished landmark has attracted local guests and also people from all over the world. It is the house of The Iceland Symphony Orchestra and The Icelandic Opera, and throughout the year various music festivals are held there all of which are very well attended.
The name of this Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre was a matter of importance for Icelandic people since they wanted a name in their language but that could also be articulated in most languages. That's when Harpa came about. The winning name was among over four thousand entries. It refers to a month in the old Nordic calendar that marks the beginning of summer and brighter times.
(3) Lotus Temple New Delhi, India (1986)
Also known as the Bahai House of Worship or Bahai Mashriqul-Adhkar Temple, this place is a unique place of worship since it attracts people of all faiths from all parts of the world. Popular for its flowerlike shape, this marble structure is composed by 27 "petals" arranged in groups of three, forming nine sides, with nine doors that lead to a central hall that's 34 meters tall.
It opened in December 1986 and it is still one of the most visited places in the world. Musical renditions and prayers can be sung but no musical instruments can be played inside. Fun fact: The Lotus Temple is one of the first temples in New Delhi to use solar power.
(4) Gardens by the Bay Marina South, Singapore (2012)
This award-winning nature park spans 250 acres in the Central Region of Singapore. It aims to entertain while educating visitors from other countries about plants rarely seen in that part of the world. It is comprised of three waterfront gardens: Bay South, Bay East and Bay Central; the first one having the most "attractions". Bay East and Central still have lots of potential to create a waterfront promenade and garden.
In January 2006, an international design competition was launched to seek world-class design ideas for Gardens by the Bay. Out of over 70 entries, only two were chosen to develop the master project. Fun fact: The Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay is the largest glass greenhouse in the world.
(5) Cube Houses Rotterdam, Netherlands (1977)
Can you believe people actually live in those houses? It might not be the most practical design for a home but it for sure is cool to see. There are a total of 38 homes. The design partly intended to serve a village within a city but mostly it was meant to optimize the area inside of the home set in an urban space. Fun fact: The owner of one of the cube houses decided to open a "show cube" and makes a living out of offering tours to visitors for €3 per person.
(6) The Shard London, United Kingdom (2012)
Also referred to as Shard of Glass, this 72-story skyscraper is the tallest building in the UK and 6th tallest in Europe. The Shard is comprised of a 26-floor office complex, three restaurants, the five-star Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, ten residential apartments and the UK's highest viewing gallery. Inspiration for this building came from the spires of London churches and masts of tall ships portrayed by the 18th century Venetian painter Canaletto.
According to The Shard developer and joint owner Irvine Sellar, "the vision for The Shard was to create an architecturally striking vertical city incorporating retail, offices, hotel, apartments, restaurants and a public viewing gallery."
(7) Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Bilbao, Spain (1997)
One of the largest museums in Spain, this astonishing building is a great example of 20th century architecture. It was conceived in 1991 as part of a revitalization effort for the city of Bilbao, especially the port area. It was the Basque government that suggested to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to build a museum in that region.
Nowadays, this cultural metropolis has a lot to thank for this project. A few years later after its opening in 1997, the old industrial seaport along with its dusty dockyards said farewell and were replaced by promenades and beautiful green areas.
(8) NORD LB Building Hannover, Germany (2002)
This is the headquarter building for the Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale, a group of state-owned banks, known in Germany as Landesbank. Known as NORD/LB, this is one of the largest commercial banks in Germany. The building occupies an entire city block and serves as a space for retail, commercial, residential, cultural, sport and leisure.
(9) Petronas Towers Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1996)
Image by Peter Nguyen from Pixabay
Also known as the Petronas Twin Towers, they were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004. Even though they lost the record to the Taipei 101, they remain till this day the tallest twin towers in the world. It was Tun Mahathir Mohamad's vision for Malaysia to be a global player, and so the project's developers started to look for a winning scheme that would fit the goal. The American architect, Cesa Pelli, provided just what the investors were looking for: a design that reflected the Malaysian and Islamic culture and heritage.
(10) One Central Park
Sydney, Australia (2013)
One Central Park. Image Copyright: 2014 Rob Deutscher.
This award-winning building is located in the suburb of Chippendale, Sydney and was constructed as the first stage of the Central Park urban renewal project. Developed as a joint venture between Frasers Property and Sekisui House, the building constitutes two residential apartment towers, in addition to six floors of retail shopping center at the base of the towers.
Its vertical hanging gardens, along with the heliostat and panoramic views from the top makes this building a desirable place for locals to live in, and a great stop for tourists to take in its beauty.