Astounding Architecture

Fascinating Buildings Around the World

While tourists usually flock to places with ancient monuments and wonder at the achievements of ancient cultures, getting the chance to visit incredibly beautiful modern architecture or unusual structures by brilliant architects, is no less impressive and enjoyable. Here are a few examples of amazing and unusual modern architecture around the world that are worth a visit.

Lotus Temple in New Delhi, India

Built in 1986 by Iranian architect Fariborz Sahba, the lotus temple in New Delhi is one of the city’s most notable landmarks. The building is a house of worship for the Bahai faith and its structure is inspired by the faith’s religious requirements specifying that houses of worship must have nine sides in a circular shape. Resembling the structure of a lotus flower, the building features 27 individual white marble cad petal shapes that form the sides of the temple. The marble, which adds a cool tone, comes from Greece and is used in most of the Bahai houses of worship. The astonishing building has its very own nine ponds and a beautiful garden.

Cube Houses in Rotterdam, Netherlands

Located in the heart of Rotterdam, one of the hotspots of modern architecture, the cube houses are one of the city’s most fabulous and eye-catching attractions. The yellow box buildings offer an utterly unique living experience. Designed by Dutch architect Piet Blom, these 38 interconnected cube houses are built with an actual tilt of 45 degrees, to make most of the space. To create a stable base for the houses, Blom created a hexagon-shaped pylon right underneath them. He describes his project as a village where each house resembles a tree and the houses combined create a forest.

Habitat 67 in Montreal, Canada

Designed by Israeli-Canadian architect Moshe Safdie, Habitat 67 is a community and housing complex in Montreal, Quebec. Initially, designed as Safdie’s master’s thesis, they were named after the Expo 67: The World’s Fair in Montreal Canada. Boasting an astonishing view over the Saint Lawrence River, the buildings are one of Canada’s most recognisable structures and form an architectural landmark consisting of 364 prefabricated concrete forms uniquely arranged to create 146 units varying in size. You can join guided tours of Habitat 67 during the summer season, where you can learn more about its history and architecture.

Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, USA

Designed by Frank Gehry in 2000, this modern building was dedicated to contemporary popular culture. The structure resembles many of Gehry’s other contemporary metal buildings like the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Located in the music mecca of Seattle, Washington in the US, the most attractive thing about the building is its shiny sheet metal construction. The concept of the design is derived from studying images of smashed guitars and their components. While some find the building ugly, the deep red, blue and shimmering purple along with the fusion of textures and colours provide a modern creative representation of the American rock experience.

Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE

Designed by Adrian Smith, George J. Efstathiou and Marshall Strabala and owned by Emaar Properties, the iconic Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, is the landmark of downtown Dubai. The building symbolises Dubai’s international recognition as a cosmopolitan city. The tower is 828.9 meters high with 163 floors. Construction began in 2004, and its doors opened six years later, in 2010. You can visit level 148 and enjoy a spectacular view of the Arabian Gulf and Dubai’s astonishing dancing fountain, along with Dubai’s modern buildings.

Dancing House in Prage, Czech Republic

The unique design of the dancing house of Prague features two side by side towers that intertwine like a pair of dancers. The building was designed by the Croatian-Czech architect Vlado Milunic in 1992. Upon its creation, the building was criticised for deviating from the traditional Gothic and Art Nouveau building style Prague is known for and adopting a modern deconstructivism twist. Despite this, the Czech president at the time, Vacláclav Havel, supported the project, hoping the building would become a centre of cultural activity. Its eye-catching design has gained the public’s attention over the years and made it one of Prague’s distinctive attractions.

Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain

This amazing building by architect Frank Gehry has an unparalleled physical structure. One of the most admired works of contemporary architecture, the building has been hailed as a “signal moment in the architectural culture.” Built on a site along The Nervión River, the interconnected shapes of stone, glass and titanium, along with its glass interior, allow for a unique view of Bilbao’s landscape and surrounding Basque country hills. The exterior of the building was intended to look random, in order to catch the light at all angles.

Fallingwater in Mill Run Pennsylvania

Designed by the architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1964, this iconic house was established as a getaway retreat for the Kaufmann family, a prominent family in Pittsburgh. The building is inspired by Japanese architecture, whose influence can be seen throughout the building’s wooden cantilevers and tranquil style. Built slightly over a waterfall on Bear Run, the house was subject to large exposure to humidity and sunlight and started to deteriorate. It went through several reconstructions and revamps and was converted into a museum in 2002.