The world has so many amazing buildings that it can be hard to know which ones are truly above the rest. These include old and new pieces of architecture all over the world, including museums, wineries, religious spaces, skyscrapers, transportation hubs, hotels, and more. Buildings can tell us a lot about a country’s way of life and the culture during the period when it was built; a bit like looking at a historical photograph. But unlike a photo, buildings continue to change after construction is finished. Time affects the building’s aesthetic – the usual wear and tear demands renovation and the changing tastes of society have their own impact on the design and functionality of a building.
1. Gardens by the Bay
The Gardens by the Bay is a 110-hectare urban nature park in the Marina Bay area of the central region of Singapore, adjacent to the Marina Reservoir. The park consists of three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden (in Marina South), Bay East Garden (in Marina East) and Bay Central Garden (in Downtown Core and Kallang). Gardens by the Bay was part of the nation’s plans to transform its “garden city” into a “city within a garden”, with the aim of improving the quality of life by improving the city’s greenery and flora. First announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the Singapore National Day Rally in 2005, Gardens by the Bay was destined to be Singapore’s first urban outdoor recreation space and a national icon. Being a popular tourist attraction in Singapore, the park received 6.4 million visitors in 2014, while surpassing its 20 millionth visitor mark in November 2015 and over 50 million in 2018.
2. Burj Khalifa
- Located: Burj Park by Emaar
- address: 1 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
- Floors: 163
- Open: 24 hours
3. The Shard
- Address: 32 London Bridge St, London SE1 9SG, United Kingdom
- Height: 310 m
- Area: 398,490 m2 (4,289,300 sq ft)
The Shard, also called the Glass Shard, Shard London Bridge and formerly London Bridge Tower, is a 72-story skyscraper, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, in Southwark, London, part of the Shard Quarter development. At 309.6 meters (1,016 feet), the Shard is the tallest building in the UK and the sixth tallest building in Europe. It is also the second tallest free-standing structure in the UK, after the concrete tower of the Emley Moor transmission station. It replaced Southwark Towers, a 24-story office building built on the site in 1975. Construction of the Shard began in March 2009; it was completed on March 30, 2012 and inaugurated on July 5, 2012. The practical work was completed in November 2012. The tower’s private observation platform, The View from The Shard, was opened at public on February 1, 2013. The glazed pyramid tower has 72 habitable floors, with an observation gallery and an open-air observation deck on the 72nd floor, at a height of 244 meters.
4. Milwaukee Art Museum
- Address: 700 N Art Museum Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53202, United States
- Tickets: $17–19 · mam.org
- Founded: 1882
- Architect: Santiago Calatrava
The Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) is an art museum located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Its collection contains nearly 25,000 works of art, making it one of the largest museums in the world. In 1888, the Milwaukee Art Association was formed by a group of German panorama artists and local businessmen. That same year, British-born businessman Frederick Layton built, endowed and supplied works of art for the now demolished Layton Art Gallery. In 1911, the Milwaukee Art Institute, another building constructed to house other exhibitions and collections, was completed, next to the Layton Art Gallery. The Milwaukee Art Museum was founded in 1888 and is said to be Milwaukee’s first art gallery. This claim is disputed by the Layton Art Gallery, which opened the same year. The Milwaukee Art Center, now the Milwaukee Art Museum, was formed when the Milwaukee Art Institute and the Layton Art Gallery merged their collections in 1957 and moved into the new Milwaukee County War Memorial, designed by Eero Saarinen.
5. Lotus Temple
- Address: Lotus Temple Rd, Bahapur, Shambhu Dayal Bagh, Kalkaji, New Delhi, Delhi 110019
- Height: 34 m
- Hours: Opens 8AM Mon
6. Wine Museum La Cité du Vin
- Address: 134 Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux, France
- Founded: 31 May 2016
- Architect: XTU agency: Anouk Legendre & Nicolas Desmazières
La Cité du Vin is a museum as well as a venue for wine-themed exhibitions, shows, film screenings and academic seminars located in Bordeaux, France. The cost of construction was underestimated. In January 2011, the cost of construction was estimated at 63 million euros excluding taxes. But at the end of 2014, while construction was in progress, the cost of the structure was reassessed to reach 81.1 million euros excluding taxes. Its official opening by French President François Hollande and Alain Juppé took place on May 31, 2016. It was followed by the public opening on June 1, 2016.
7. Odeillo solar furnace
- Address: 7 Rue du Four Solaire, 66120 Font-Romeu-Odeillo-Via, France
- Height: 54 m
The Odeillo solar oven is the largest solar oven in the world. It is located in Font-Romeu-Odeillo-Via, in the Pyrénées-Orientales department, in the south of France. It is 54 meters (177 feet) high and 48 meters (157 feet) wide and includes 63 heliostats. It was built between 1962 and 1968 and started operating in 1969, and has an output of one megawatt. It serves as a scientific research site studying materials at very high temperatures.
Wat Rong Khun
- Address: 60 หมู่ที่ 1 Phahonyothin Rd, Pa O Don Chai, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand
- Opens 8AM
- Architect: Chalermchai Kositpipat
Wat Rong Khun, perhaps better known to foreigners as the White Temple, is a privately owned art exhibit in the style of a Buddhist temple in Chiang Rai Province, Thailand. It is owned by Chalermchai Kositpipat, who designed, constructed, and opened it to visitors in 1997. When completed, the white temple compound will have nine buildings, including the existing ubosot, a hall of relics, a meditation hall, an art gallery, and living quarters for monks. The bridge of “the cycle of rebirth”: the main building at the white temple, the ubosot, is reached by crossing a bridge over a small lake. In front of the bridge are hundreds of outreaching hands that symbolize unrestrained desire. The bridge proclaims that the way to happiness is by foregoing temptation, greed, and desire. Next to the lake stand two very elegant Kinnaree, half-human, half-bird creatures from Buddhist mythology