Top 10 Buildings to Put on Your Architecture Bucket List:
There are so many stunning pieces of architecture scattered all over the world; for an architecture lover, it might seem impossible that you will be able to see all of them in a single lifetime.
1. Heydar Aliyev Center – Zaha Hadid, Baku, Azerbaijan
Starting off with a marvel of modern engineering: Zaha Hadid’s ambitious Heydar Aliev Centre in Baku. While Baku may be off the beaten track for a lot of travelers, the Heydar Aliyev Center’s sweeping layers of white concrete and dramatic interiors – evocative of the symphonies performed within the centre – are well worth seeing in person.
2. Guggenheim Bilbao – Frank Gehry, Bilbao, Spain
The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is known to be one of Frank Gehry’s most remarkable designs. The museum’s seemingly logic-defying tangle of silver shapes is reason enough to make the trip to Bilbao; however, the revolutionary influence that Gehry’s iconic building had on the development of the formerly sleepy town of Bilbao – prompting the coinage of the phrase “The Bilbao Effect”- is the main reason why Guggenheim Bilbao places on this list.
3. Jewish Museum – Daniel Libeskind, Berlin, Germany
The radical design of Daniel Libeskind’s extension to the Jewish Museum in Berlin is integral to the important narrative that the building communicates. Unlike most museums, Libeskind’s design goes further than simply acting as a vessel for the exhibits inside; it is part of the storytelling, using its hulking exterior, unexpectedly complex interiors, and materiality to create a raw emotional and bodily experience for its visitors.
4. Dancing House — Frank Gehry, Prague, Czech Republic
Frank Gehry’s Dancing House is renowned for its highly unusual and almost cartoonish forms, which were designed by Gehry to evoke the image of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers dancing. Valued as one of Prague’s most important pieces of modern architecture, its witty design stands out against its more traditional surroundings.
5. Sagrada Familía — Antoni Gaudi, Barcelona, Spain
While any of Gaudi’s buildings are worth seeing, the Sagrada Familia is undoubtedly first on the list. If you visit any time in the next seven years, you’ll be witnessing history in the making; although its foundation stone was laid in 1882, Gaudi’s grand vision for the church isn’t due to be constructed by at earliest 2026. Despite it still being under construction, you can still go inside to experience the spectacular riot of colour and detail incorporated into Gaudi’s design.
6. Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque – Isfahan, Iran
The Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in Iran is arresting both in its sheer size and incredible ornamentation. Built in the 15th Century, this mosque is renowned for the kaleidoscope of intricately patterned tiles, gold filigree and hand painted inscriptions covering every inch of its interiors. Best known for its towering domed entrance, visiting the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque is an unforgettable experience.
7. Fallingwater — Frank Lloyd Wright, Pennsylvania, USA
Frank Lloyd Wright’s timeless Fallingwater house is internationally recognized for its dynamic arrangement of spaces and thoughtful incorporation of its natural surroundings. The design showcases Frank Lloyd Wright’s mastery as a modernist architect, and is a piece of architectural history not to be missed.
8. The Guggenheim — Frank Lloyd Wright, New York City, USA
While the Guggenheim in New York City houses an impressive collection of 20th Century and Modern art, Frank Lloyd Wright’s unconventional design is worth the trip in its own right. Its distinctive spiraling interior ramp and beautiful use of natural light creates a transformative experience for art and architecture viewers alike.
9. Villa Savoye – Le Corbusier, Poissy, France
This list would not be complete without Le Corbusier’s most iconic design. Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye is considered to be one of the most significant contributions to modern architecture, as the revolutionary light and airy design became a precedent for countless buildings throughout the 20th century and introduced principles which greatly influenced the Modernist movement.
10. Taj Mahal – Shah Jahan, Delhi, India
The Taj Mahal is listed as one of the seven wonders of the world, so it’s no surprise that it should place on any architectural bucket list. Not only is it one of the most recognisable buildings in the world, its monumental size and completion in the 15th century is an astonishing feat to behold.
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