The World’s Absolutely Coolest Buildings
Gardens by the Bay in Marina Bay, Singapore
The Gardens by the Bay is found in Singapore, and it is among the top ten gardens around the entire world. These gardens have been designed to become a premier urban outdoor space for recreation, and they have become the symbol for the nation of Singapore. The Gardens by the Bay have three large parts, the east garden, the central garden and the west garden. The gardens include two conservatories, a Cloud Forest and a Flower Dome.
The dominant feature in the Garden by the Bay is the supertree grove. This is a large structure that looks like trees, and it is around 25-50 meters in height. They also appear as vertical gardens and they help in offering shade and shelter to different plants. The supertrees have environmental technology and they mimic the ecological function of natural trees. There are solar panels that help in providing the supertrees with the energy that lights the area, and they collect the rainwater used in these gardens. The garden also has a children’s section that includes an adventure trail and treehouse.
Taj Mahal, in Agra, India
This beautiful marble mausoleum found in Agra, in the city of Uttar Pradesh of India has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1983. It is considered to be one of the finest examples of Mughal architecture, and it has had a rich history since it was built in 1632. The building was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Juhan in memory of his wife named Mumtaz Muhal. The Taj Mahal was not completed until 1653. There are many craftsmen and artisans who were involved in the building of the Taj Mahal, and it has beautiful artwork within the structure that captures the Islamic, Indian, Persian and Turkish cultures. It has many gardens, including magnificent moonlight gardens, with a bazaar and a mosque at the side of the Taj Mahal. It also has a tomb which is the focus of this structure, and it contains Shah Juhan and Mumtaz Muhal in its lower levels.
Ninos Conarte in Monterrey, Mexico
This building is found in Monterrey, the largest city of Mexico. The Ninos Conarte Library has become famous because of how beautiful it is. It has a geometric structure in its interior and it depicts the geography of the areas that surround the library. Conarte is a council of culture and arts for Nuevo Leon, and it has a number of convention centers, gardens, museums, auditoriums and theme parks that surround Ninos Conarte. The shelves for the books and the floors in the library are geometric and asymmetric and they are in the shape of mountains that surround the city of Monterrey. The colors used are cheerful and the space is meant to be a fun place in order to ignite the imagination of the children while reading and playing. In the library, there is also the cultural center of the auditorium that has unique lighting with colors that match the architecture of the building. The place where Ninos Conarte has been built is called Fundidora Park, and it was the site of a massive steelworks location that was established in the year 1900.
Colosseum in Rome, Italy
This is a well-recognized building that is full of Ancient Roman traditions and culture. It was commissioned in the year 70-72 AD by Emperor Vespasian, and he was in the Flavian Dynasty. This colosseum was designed to become an amphitheater, and it hosted different forms of entertainment for the people around Rome, including the brutal combat of gladiators, animal fights and games. This arena opened in the year 80 AD, and there were 100 days of entertainment and games for its opening. It was used for more than four centuries afterwards. Archaeologists found evidence that there were drinking fountains with the bathrooms that were built in this Colosseum, which is an amazing architectural advancement during that time. After four centuries of use, the Colosseum was used as a source of building materials up until the 18th century. Even though about two-thirds of it got destroyed, some part of it still stands and is a tourist destination that is a representation of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire.
The Shard in London, United Kingdom
The Shard is a skyscraper with 87 floors located in London. It is part of the Bridge Quarter in this district, and it is also called the Shard London Bridge or Shard of Glass. This Shard is now the tallest building in the entire European Union, and it is around 1,014 feet high. It is a pyramidal tower with over 72 floors where people can live, and it has a viewing gallery with an open air observatory on its 72nd floor. The architect behind this design, Renzo Piano, had a vision that this structure would look as if it was emerging in the Thames River. It got its name from the original design that got much criticism from the English Heritage as they were saying that this building will look as if a shard of glass had been pushed into the heart of the city of London. However, Piano replied by saying that his design may look like the steeples of different churches found around the city of London. It is being powered by natural gas from the national grid.
Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia
This structure is found in the Sydney Harbor close to the Sydney Harbor Bridge. The Sydney Opera House is a stunning performing arts center which was opened in the year 1973. The Sydney Opera House was designed by Jorn Utzon, who is a Danish Architect, and he won the international design competition of 1955. He went to Sydney for the first time in the year 1957 when he was supervising the construction, and in 1963 he moved there with his office. The Sydney Opera House was completed in three different stages, and it was not meant to be only an opera house but a multifunctional venue for performing artists. It was declared as a UNESCO Heritage Site in the year 2007, and it hosts over 1500 performances every year. The average people who are in attendance are at least one million per year. There have been many changes to the original design of Utzon to give it the current design it has now. The original design of Utzon was admired before, but some of the things had to be changed for practical and aesthetic purposes.
Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia
The Petronas Towers are the twin skyscrapers in downtown Kuala Lumpur, and they have become the best known landmark in the city. They are also known as the tallest twin towers in the entire world, replacing the World Trade Center of New York. The towers are created in a post-modern style and they were designed by the Argentine American architect Cesar Pelli. Their construction was completed in March of 1996, and they were built on the site of Kuala Lumpur’ racetrack. The towers are made using glass and steel facades, and they were meant to resemble Islamic art as a tribute to the Muslim religion in Malaysia. In the year 2009, an urban climber from France, Alain “Spiderman” Robert, climbed and reached the top of Tower Two using only his feet and bare hands without using any safety device. He had already made two attempts before, but got arrested both times after being caught.
One World Trade Center in New York City, United States
The One World Trade Center was built in New York City; it is a replacement building for the World Trade Center buildings which were destroyed by terrorist attacks that took place on September 11, 2001. It is 1776 feet high, which makes the building the tallest in the entire United States of America. It has a massive amount of office space, which includes an observation deck and world-class restaurants. The building is energy efficient due to it use of renewable energy, recycled construction materials, and interior daylight. It also has a system in place for the reuse of rain water. The building has an improved safety system, and it exceeds current building codes that are required in New York City. It also has some retail spaces at lower levels. One World Trade Center opened its doors for the first time in 2014 and it has become a landmark in the city of New York. It is also a symbol of peace and home for people living in the United States.
Guangzhou Opera house, in Guangzhou, China
The Guangzhou Opera House is found in the city of Guangzhou in China. It is a massive and beautiful performing center, and it has become one of biggest theaters in the country. It opened for the first time in May, 2010. It was designed by an Iraqi architect named Zaha Hadid. She is the first female who won a Pritzker Architecture Prize, and the structure took five years to finish. It is a freestanding building made with steel frames that are glass-clad with composed granite. The opera house also became the inspiration behind fashion designer Vivienne Tam’s fall 2010 collection. It overlooks the Pearl River, and it is a state of the art monument that has open access to docks and the riverside. There is also a metro station that reaches this opera house. It is ranked among the top ten best opera houses around the world, and it features theater performances and operas throughout the entire year.
Metropol Parasol in Seville, Spain
This structure has been built in the old quarter in Seville, Spain in the La Encranacion square. It was completed in 2011, and it is the largest structure made of wood in the entire world. It is around 26 meters high and it is 150 by 70 meters in length and width. The building is made with six parasols in the form of large mushrooms, and it was inspired by the vaults of the Cathedral of Seville and the nearby ficus trees. Metropol Parasol has four levels, and it offers panoramic views with sidewalks on top of the structure. It features an open air public plaza, public event spaces, restaurants, and a museum where there are remains of Moorish and Roman cultures. Construction of the building was stopped for some time in 2007 because there were problems with the materials that were being used, mainly that they were not available. It was built using wood from birch trees that are grown in Finland. Its design had to be revamped so that they could use a glue-like reinforcement in order to finish the building. It took over 100 million euros to complete the building of the Metropol Parasol.
Absolute World in Mississauga, Canada
This is a twin tower that is a residential condominium found in Mississauga in the city of Ontario. It is known as Absolute World. This building was built with a rotation shape, and the construction lasted from 2010 until 2012. Absolute Twin Tower is part of a five tower complex, and the twin towers make up its fourth and fifth level. The towers are 50 and 56 stories tall. Fernbrook is the owner of these towers, and they were designed by the Cityzen Development Group. The Competition for International Design was announced at the 24th annual Mississauga Urban Design Award Ceremony, and the contest was to design its fourth tower. Architects from around the world participated in it and they submitted their designs for the competition. Only six finalists got announced in January 2007. They were from China, Mexico, United Kingdom and Canada. Each one of these finalists had to prepare the final submission and the public had to vote for the design that they liked most. The winner was announced in 2007 as Yansong Ma, the founder for the MAD office in China.
Leaning Tower of Pisa in Pisa, Italy
This structure is the campanile or bell tower of the cathedral of Pisa, and it is among the most remarkable structures of Medieval Europe. This tower was first built to stand in a vertical manner, but it started to lean during the construction since the foundation was uneven and it was on soft ground. It is tall at around 60 meters high. It is one among four buildings that make up the cathedral complex of Pisa in the city of Italy. The Tower of Pisa was named as the crown jewel of piazza. This tower is made with 207 columns with around eight stories, and its construction started in 1173. The construction of the tower took place over a span of two hundred years since there were many wars that were taking place in that time. The architect who was behind the design of this Tower of Pisa is not known. It has been designed to be a circular bell tower that is made with white marble. The tower was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 1987 together with three other structures in the Piazza.
Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, Russia
It is located in the Red Square of the city of Moscow in Russia. The cathedral is colorful and it was finished in 1561. It was constructed under the orders of Ivan the Terrible to commemorate the capture of Astrakhan and Kazan. It stood as the largest structure in the entire city up to the time the Ivan the Great Bell Tower was built in the year 1600. The cathedral is used as a museum and it is called the Cathedral of the Intercession for the Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat. Before, the cathedral had eight churches while the ninth was found in the center. A tenth church was built on the grave of Saint Basil in the year 1588. Many people called it Jerusalem and it was an allegory for the Jerusalem Temple in the Palm Sunday Parades. This building was designed to be in the shape of a bonfire that goes up towards the sky, and it does not look like other buildings in Russia.
Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey
This building is found in Istanbul in the country of Turkey, and it was a Greek church that was built from 537 up to 1453. The Hagia Sophia was an Eastern Orthodox Cathedral and later it became an imperial mosque up to the time it became the museum that it is now. For some time during the construction, from 1204-1261, it was also made into a Roman Catholic cathedral in the Latin Empire. Its famous dome is the epitome of Byzantine architecture, and it changed architecture’s history in the area. It held holy relics, including a silver iconostasis measuring 49 feet. It became a focal point of the Eastern Orthodox Church for over 1000 years. Ottoman Turks conquered Constantinople in 1453 and made the church into a mosque until it was converted into the museum in 1935. Islamic and Byzantine influences can be found in the structure of this building.
Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain
This is a museum of contemporary and modern art. It is a beautiful building that is found alongside the Nervion River in downtown Bilbao, Spain. It was named among most important works that got completed since 1980 in the World Architecture Survey. This museum was opened in the year 1997. It was built in a more decrepit area around the river in downtown Bilbao with the hope of improving the surrounding areas. On the outside the building has titanium, glass and limestone, and it gives an impressive look while reflecting the river. It has greater exhibition space compared to the three Guggenheim collections of Venice and New York. This museum in Bilbao is well known for housing the largest collection of site specific work for contemporary artists and also includes the work of Basque artists in its collection. At the opening of the museum in 1997, it had a 300 piece overview that was dedicated to the Cubism movement. The exhibitions that take place at the Guggenheim Museum change frequently, and there were over 4 million tourists that visited during its first three years.
Turning Torso, in Malmo Sweden
The Turning Torso in Sweden is the highest skyscraper in the country and in all of Scandinavia. The Absolute World Residential towers of Ontario got their inspiration from this Turning Torso. It is a private residential place, and there is no access to the public. This tower is 190 meters tall, and it has around 147 apartments with other amenities like a wine cellar, spa, lounge and gym. It was designed by Santiago Calatrava, who is a Spanish architect, and it opened in August, 2005. The design of the building was based on a sculpture of a twisted human being that Santiago Calatrava created with the name of the Twisting Torso. Among the reasons behind the creation of this building was to give the city of Malmo a recognizable skyline because the removal of Kockums Crane also changed the original skyline of the city. A part of this building’s construction was the subject of Extreme Engineering, a television show on the Discovery Channel.