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12 Stunning works of Architecture that inspire awe and true admiration

24 August 2011 2 Comments

Beautiful buildings can certainly inspire, with people willing to travel thousands of miles to discover the masterpieces of famous architects.

Whilst some architects like to adhere to the traditional lines and trends in the field of architecture, others simply love to experiment and leave a personal trace throughout their creations.

By allowing their creativeness and passion to flow freely, architects have been able to create wonderful structures that bring in front of people edifices that inspire awe and true admiration.

1. Infosys Building – Hinjewadi, Pune, India

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The Infosys Headquarters in Pune, India is a beautiful high-tech building. The entire structure actually looks like a descending spacecraft, and this illusion is mainly created by its shape technology: an ellipsoid structure with a tilted angle at approximately 10 degrees.

The building was the first occupant of the IT Park called “Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park”. Within this park, there are currently approximately 20 software company headquarters, among others names like Mindtree, Tata Technologies, Tech Machindra and CISCO.

The Infosys building definitely stands out from all the others, and it is dubbed as being one of the most innovative and beautifully designed structures in Pune area. The giant “spaceship” style futuristic building was constructed based on the designs of architect Hafeez Contractor, a highly respected Indian architect known lately for his involvement in “green” architecture designs.

The Infosys building has 5 stories and it is made of a combination of steel, glass and aluminum.

2. Milwaukee Art Museum – Lake Michigan, Milwaukee- Wisconsin

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The Milwaukee Art Museum is a wonderful landmark, which is comprised by three main parts: the War Memorial Center, the Quadracci Pavilion and the Cudahy Gardens.

The museum was designed by three outstanding architects, namely Santiago Calatrava, David Kahler and Eero Saarinen. Out of the three component parts, the Quadracci Pavilion is the most visually impressing, built in the postmodern architectural style, according to the plans of Calatrava.

The Windhover Hall is the main attraction of the structure, and it has a glass ceiling which is 90 feet in height. The Pavilion lies on water, and it is connected to mainland through a wonderful suspension bridge (the Reiman Bridge).

3. Dutch Institute for Sound and Vision – Hilversum, The Netherlands

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The overall effect of the building is mesmerizing: colorful and translucent glass panels, with a joyous outlook, luxury and opulence- all these combinations have resulted in a wonderful work of art.

The building was designed by Neutelings Riedijk Architects, and it has five levels underground and just as many above the ground. The underground levels contain the archive files and materials while within the above levels there is the media museum open to visitors.

The glass panels on the façade feature a collage of extremely famous pictures and stills from the Dutch movies and television.

4. Denver Art Museum – Denver, USA

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The building of this beautiful museum started as early as 1948 when designer Burnham Hoyt, (after a huge restorative process) designed the structure which was known as the Schleier Gallery.

Throughout the years, several expansions have been made to the original buildings, since the museum needed more and more space to accommodate its treasures. Two of the most famous additions are the Frederick C. Hamilton Building and the North Building.

Frederick C Hamilton Building

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The Frederick C. Hamilton was designed by architect Daniel Liebeskind, and the design actually resembles the beautiful peaks of the Rocky Mountains, and of all kinds of geometric rock formations so specific to Denver’s geology. Then, the entire building was covered by huge titanium panels, which according to the designer himself, “reflect the Colorado sunshine”.

The North Building

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The North Building was a joint effort of designers Gio Ponti and the Denver architectural firm James Sudler Associates. The building is actually veiled in beautiful and shiny glass tiles, and the entire façade of the structure reminds of that of a beautiful modern castle.

5. Federation Square – Melbourne, Australia

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The Federation Square of Melbourne is the second greatest tourist attraction of the city, after the Crown Casino. The building process of the square was shadowed by a huge amount of controversy, yet even so, it is one of the mostly admired structures.

The structures of the Federation square are built in the deconstructivist style, bearing a sense of fragmentation and an overall minimalist outlook. The façades of the buildings are covered with glass and sandstone tiles, perforated zinc & metal frames and with the help of these there is a multitude of interesting geometric patterns.

The designers of the project were the London architectural firm Lab Architecture Studio with master designers Donald Bates and Peter Davidson, and the local Bates Smart firm.

6. La Tete-au-Carre – Nice, France

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This strange yet extremely powerful and visually impressive, almost philosophic building is the central library building located in the heart of Nice, France. It is the first ever inhabited sculpture of the world, and it is made entirely of aluminum. Famous sculptor and painter Sacha Sosno together with architects Yves Bayard and Francis Chapuis created it.

The literal translation of the French naming is “Thinking inside the Box” or “Square Head”. Within the “head” there are actually 3 floors of the library filled with digital and paper print media and literature. The building is 26 meters high, and it remains one of the most interesting and modern sculpture-buildings of France.

7. Montreal Biosphere – Montreal, Canada

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This museum is located in Montreal, Canada, and it is entirely dedicated to the environment. The designer of this unusual structure was architect Richard Buckminster Fuller, who created a complex dome style structure, which was actually the United States Pavilion for the World Fair Expo ’67.

The structure is 61 meters high and the diameter of the sphere is 78 meters. It’s main frame is made of steel pipes, and uses around 1,900 acrylic panels on its facades. Today, the sphere serves as a location where there are often several interactive exhibits for children, and several other special cultural and entertainment programs for all ages.

8. Peter B Lewis Building – Cleveland – USA

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This building was designed by Famous architect Frank Gehry, and it is actually the home of the Weatherhead School of Management. The building has some wonderful curvaceous lines, and although to some it looks quite strange, it is still a very important work of art in the city of Cleveland.

The structure was named after the president of the Progressive Insurance, Peter B Lewis, who donated $37 million for its construction. The overall cost of the work was $62 million, and it stretches over 152,000 square feet.

The tone, style and structure of the building are clearly reminiscent of the Guggenheim Museum in Spain, which was also built by master ‘pop’ architect Frank Gehry.

9. Bibliotheca Alexandrina – Elshtaby – Egypt

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Bibliotheca Alexandrina is one of the most famous cultural centers and libraries in the world, and is located in the city of Elshtaby, in Egypt. The building boasts a quite an unusual yet extraordinarily beautiful architecture style, belonging to the Contemporary Egyptian style, resembling a tilting disc under the sun.

The library can accommodate as many as 8 million print books, the main reading room is enormous (70,000 square meters), and there are as many as 11 harmoniously cascading levels inside the building. On the exterior walls one can see calligraphic inscriptions carved in the Aswan granite wall, and the roof that is right besides the reading room has a stunning 32 meters in height.

The architects, planners and designers of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina were professionals from the Hamza Associates and the Snohetta firms. The library and cultural center received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2004.

10. Dome House – Pensacola Beach – Florida, USA

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This structure is a geodesical dome home, which besides being extremely comfortable, taking up relatively smaller place than a traditional home, and being extremely solid in all kinds of weather conditions, is also a very unusual yet stylish structure.

From the inside, the guests are offered breathtaking views upon the ocean and the sea- being a spherical styled structure one can have access to a truly panoramic view of the nature’s beauties. The master mind behind the design of this Monolithic Dome is Bob Bissett.

11. Parc Guell – Barcelona, Spain

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This park is filled with the wonderful architectural pieces from master architect Antonio Gaudi. The park is located in Barcelona, and it was built between 1900 and 1914.

Some of the most notable pieces in the park include the entrance, which gives you the sensation that you are going to enter a castle. As well as the multicolored mosaic dragon fountain (which unfortunately was subject to vandalism in 2007 but was nicely restored since!) and the two main buildings right at the entrance of the park.

Antonio Gaudi’s legacy is immeasurable not only for the Spanish people, but for all the people on Earth who love beauty and art.

12. Honey Bee Hive House – Jerusalem, Israel

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This cute residential building has definitely broken all the rules of traditional architecture. It is located in Jerusalem, and it was built in the 1970’s, based on the plans of local architect Zvi Hecker.

The National Ministry of Housing wanted at the time a major breakout from the typical housing patterns around the city. They definitely managed to make a difference…

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2 Comments »

  • Tony the Architect said:

    Some amazing images from the leading worlds leading architects, I particularly like the Peter B Lewis Building in Cleveland, USA. I Think the curvaceous lines makes the building look soft.

  • Matthew said:

    I think the Sydney Opera House would not be out of place on this list.

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