Backstage

  • <b>Chrysler Building, New York City:</b> The famous Art Deco-style building was designed by architect William Van Alen and completed in 1930. The Chrysler Building is highly recognized for its terraced crown composed of seven radiating arches ornamented with a sunburst pattern.
  • <b>Lloyd’s Building, London: </b>Also known as the Inside-Out Building, the Lloyd’s Building of London is the leading example of Bowellism architecture, which means that services for the building, such as the elevators, are located on the exterior to maximize space. The building was completed in 1986 by Richard Rogers and has been placed on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest in the United Kingdom.
  • <b>Sydney Opera House, Australia: </b>The multi-venue performance arts center situated on the Sydney Harbor is an iconic Australian image. The facility’s roof of “shells” are often said to be reminiscent of the sailboats that commonly cruise through the harbor.
  • <b>Fallingwater, Mill Run, PA: </b>This house was built between 1936 and 1939 by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Kauffmann Family of Pittsburgh, PA, as a weekend home. The modern architecture of the house is famous because it doesn’t appear to stand on solid ground; rather, it stretches over a 30-foot waterfall. Fallingwater is considered Wright’s greatest masterpiece both for its dynamism and integration of the natural surroundings.
  • <b>Guggenheim Museum, Spain: </b>The Guggenheim Museum was established in 1997 and built by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry in the style of Deconstructivism, which is a form of architecture characterized by design that appears unpredictable and chaotic. The museum, which houses modern and cotemporary art, is said to be one of the most admired works of contemporary architecture in the world. Located along the Nervion River in Bilbao, once the industrial heart of the city, the curves of the stone, glass and titanium building are intended to appear random and catch light. The interior of the museum is designed around a large, light-filled atrium housing the organizing center as well as spectacular views of the Basque Country hills.
  • <b>Villa Savoye, Poissy, France: </b>This modernist villa built on the outskirts of Paris was designed by Swiss architects Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret between 1928 and 1931. The house is one of the most easily recognizable examples of International Style and was emblematic of Corbusier’s “Five Points” architectural aesthetic, characterized by a free floor plan, freely-designed facades, long horizontal windows, a functional roof and ground level piers to elevate the structure from the earth allowing for continuation of the ground beneath.
  • <b>Burj Khalifa, Dubai: </b>This skyscraper has held the title of tallest man-made structure in the world since its completion in 2010, coming in at 2,722 feet. The building is reported to have cost $1.5 billion and was built to garner international recognition and increase tourism in the United Arab Emirates. Currently, the Burj Khalifa houses corporate offices, several luxury hotels and residences. The architecture and engineering were performed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill of Chicago, IL.
  • <b>Eiffel Tower, Paris:</b> Erected in 1889, the Eiffel Tower is an iconic symbol of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. Built as a centerpiece for the 1889 World’s Fair, the Tower is characterized by its four lattice girders that stand apart at the base and merge to a point at the top. The tower is built of wrought iron and, consequently, must be painted every seven years with 50 to 60 tons of paint to protect it from rusting. Three different colors of paint are used to enhance the impression of height, with the darkest on the bottom and the lightest on top. The structure was named after Gustave Eiffel, whose company built the tower.
  • <b>Taj Mahal, India:</b> The Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. The structure combines elements of Persian and Indian architectural styles and took more than 20 years and thousands of artisans and craftsmen to build. It was completed in 1653. Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
  • <b>Sagrada Familia Basilica, Barcelona:</b> The massive and incredibly ornate church was initially designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi in 1883, and has been under construction ever since. The basilica, considered Gaudi’s magnum opus, was less than a quarter finished before the artist’s untimely death in 1926. Due to funding, a civil war and confusion over the architect’s intended design, the church has been slow to completion. The remaining piece of the puzzle, the church’s central tower, is scheduled to be completed in 2026, the centennial of Gaudi’s death. The design of the church combines Gothic architecture and Art Nouveau forms, influenced by Gaudi’s naturalistic style.
  • <b>Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy: </b>The Tower of Pisa is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of Pisa. The tilt of the tower began during its construction, caused by soft ground on one side of the foundation that could not properly support the structure’s weight. Construction of the tower occurred in three stages across 199 years, with the lean worsening over time. Efforts were made to stabilize the tower and correct the tilt in the 20th and 21st centuries. There is great debate as to who is the original architect of the tower.
  • <b>Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow:</b> Located in the Red Square of Moscow, Russia, Saint Basil’s Church was built from 1555 to 1561 by order of Ivan the Terrible to commemorate the capture of the territories of Kazan and Astrakhan. The building is shaped as the flame of a bonfire rising to the sky, and is unlike any other Russian building in history. The church’s coloring was acquired in a series of stages after its completion, from the 1680s until 1848, as a result of a Russian attitude that favored bright colors in the 17th century.
  • <b>Palace of Versailles, France: </b>This royal chateau was known as the center of political power in the 17th century and, therefore, a symbol of absolute monarchy prior to the French Revolution. Louis IV built Versailles in the late 1600s, replacing a smaller residence built by his father earlier on in the century. The palace was designed in the Classical style with Baroque embellishments and has many beautiful features, including the Hall of Mirrors, Grand Apartments, Chapel and an expansive garden.
  • <b>Big Ben, London: </b>Officially called the Elizabeth Tower, Big Ben is the nickname of the great bell that chimes inside the clock tower of Westminster Palace. The tower was renamed in 2012 from “Clock Tower” to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II. The tower holds the largest four-faced chiming clock in the world and was built in congruence with the reconstruction of Windsor Palace. Augustus Pugin designed the clock tower in the Gothic Revival style, and its 24-year construction was completed in 1858.
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Nov 22, 2013

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14 Must-See Architectural Landmarks Around the World

From a modernist villa in Poissy, France, to an unfinished Gothic-styled basilica in Barcelona, Spain, the world’s most admired buildings are masterpieces from history’s best architects and have become iconic symbols of cities and nations. Many have even been cited as inspiration for structural clothing and hair designs. We’ve curated a list of some of the globe’s finest architectural works and found some fun facts to go with them so you can be equipped with the knowledge of a world traveler without paying for a single plane ticket.
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