Architecture from around the world
By Aaron Bell
From ancient temples to the tallest skyscrapers, the variety of architectural styles the world has to offer is hard to get your head around. Some cities attempt to break world records and construct buildings you would only expect to see in your latest science fiction blockbuster, others keep with their traditional origins and create some of the most picturesque cityscapes in the world. To acknowledge and celebrate the beauty and advanced engineering achievements from around the world, we have put together (in no particular order) 10 cities with amazing architecture.
London is not characterised by one architectural type as the buildings of the city have accumulated over hundreds of years. Only a handful of structures pre-date the Great Fire of London in 1666 the most famous of which include The Tower of London and Westminster Abbey. Since then the city has grown considerably, featuring a variety of styles resulting in Grade I listed buildings within a stone’s throw of the tallest building in the EU (The Shard).
When someone mentions New York City it is an almost guarantee that, their first thought will be the skyline of Manhattan island. Surrounded mostly by water, the city has become the largest and most varied collection of skyscrapers in the world. Other than the famous towers, the suburbs have seen some beautiful examples of residential architecture often inspired by Victorian and Tudor style buildings.
Barcelona is closely associated with its passion for football and Spanish beaches, but that is not to say that the architecture of the city does not hold any cultural significance. Architect Antoni Gaudi is responsible for some of Barcelona’s most iconic buildings including the famous ‘Sagrada Familia’, an unfinished church, now a world heritage site.
The capital of Denmark is certainly a city of character. With untouched buildings dating back to the 16th century and suburbs and residential areas evolving through time, it’s a true example of architectural variety. Since 2000, Copenhagen has boomed with modern examples of architecture throughout the city, some of which has been contributed by leading Danish architects.
Istanbul is particularly known for its architecture and structures especially those dating to the 6th century. With a wall erected around what is now known as the ancient part of the city, it is home to some of the world’s most impressive palaces, castles and towers.
As far as architecture and design goes, Florence is known as a smaller Rome. The city blossomed during the Renaissance, mainly due to its position as a centre of trade during which time some of Italys most culturally significant buildings were erected. The most famous of the city’s buildings include the world famous Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (St. Mary of the Flowers), Florences cathedral, baptistery and bell tower.
Dubai, the business hub of the Persion Gulf region has become world famous thanks to its collection of innovative construction projects, in particular the world’s tallest building. The Burj Khalifa stands at 829.29 metres tall, twice the height of the Empire State Building in New York. Skyscrapers are not the only architecturally significant structures in the city. Dubai is home to the Palm Jumeirah which, even before completion was the world’s biggest artificial island.
Shanghai may not be able to boast having the ‘world’s tallest’ but it is home to the largest number of art-deco buildings in the world thanks to the construction boom of the early 1900s. Although lie many traditional style buildings, the city is famous for its skyscrapers all of which vary in style and shape creating an almost futuristic skyline.
Since the 17th century, the architecture in Paris has been restricted by laws related to the height and shape of the buildings. This has given the city a certain recognisable character, noticeable throughout the majority of Paris. Notable buildings include the Eiffel Tower, the ‘Arc de Triomphe’ and ‘The Louvre’.
The capital of Portugal, Lisbon, is one of the oldest cities in the world and the oldest in Western Europe. With a variety of architectural styles, it is regarded as one of the most scenic cities around the world. With buildings and structures from the Roman period, the city has evolved to introduce modern and contemporary structures providing a unique city skyline.