What are some of the great architectural wonders of the world? You might include Taj Mahal, Great Pyramid of Giza, Great Wall of China and Colosseum of Rome to your list. Undoubtedly, these ancient structures are some of greatest feat of architecture. But there are also many modern structures that represent human’s great creative genius. Here the top 9 modern architectural wonders of the world.
9 30 St Mary Axe, London, England
30 St Mary Axe is a popular landmark of London city. It is a 41 -storey curvilinear building with striking architecture. The building is also known as ‘The Gherkin’ because of its distinctive curvilinear shape. It is also the first eco-friendly skyscraper in London. Its glassed structure with lightwells provide natural ventilation.
The gherkin building was built back in 2003. It was commissioned by a Zurich based reinsurance company known as Swiss Re. The building was officially inaugurated in April 2004. At that time the building was known as Swiss Re building. In 2007 the Swiss Re company sold the building for £600 million. Later the building named after the street where it located, the 30 St Mary Axe.
The iconic gherkin building has an elongated and curved shape. The building features 744 glass panels and a glass dome at the top. The windows display an alternating pattern of dark and light colors. It gives a stunning look to the building. These double glazed windows also help to reduce the energy use by 50 percentage. The gherkin building offers 76400 square meters of office space in total. There is also a club in the top floor of the building that provide 360 degree view of London city for the visitors.
8 Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Standing at 452 m high the Petronas towers in Kuala Lumpur city is the tallest twin towers in the world. This iconic towers are symbols of culture and economic growth of Malaysia. The Petronas twin towers were built back in 1998 and officially opened in August 1999. The Petronas towers remained as the tallest building in the world until they surpassed by Taipei 101 in 2004.
The Petronas towers were designed by Argentine American architect Cesar Pelli. There were 33000 stainless steel and 55000 glass panels used for the design for Petronas towers. There are 88 floors in each tower. The special panels of the twin towers also feature light filtering and noise reduction properties. The glass façade of the twin towers resembles Islamic art motifs.
The Petronas towers features a 58.4 m long two storey sky bridge at 41st and 42nd floors. It is the highest two-storey bridge in the world. The interior of the Petronas twin towers features carvings ad fabric designs. The twin towers provide a total area of 4,252,000 square meters and the space above the 41st level are occupied by tenants.
7 Queen Sofia Palace of the Arts, Valencia, Spain
The Queen Sofia palace of the art is an amazing opera house and cultural center located in Valencia City of Spain. It is known as Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Spanish. This modern architectural marvel was designed by globally popular Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The construction started in 1995 it took 10 long years for the completion. Today it is a popular landmark of Valencia City and one of most beautiful opera houses in the world.
At a height of 75 meters the Queen Sofia palace of the arts is the tallest opera house in the world. It is a 17 storey building, has 3 storeys below the ground and 14 stories above the ground. The swooping mosaic roof is the most impressive part of Valencia opera.
The feather like roof if the opera has a length of 230 meters, constructed with laminated steel. The white concrete and delicate mosaic works, gives all time luminosity to the outer surface of the building. There are three separate sections that designed for operas, musical performances and conferences.
6 CCTV Headquarters, Beijing, China
The CCTC headquarters is a 44-storey 34 m high skyscraper located in the Beijing City of China. The building is known for its unusual shape and undoubtedly one of great architectural marvels. This iconic building was formed by two leaning towers that merge in perpendicular top and bottom to form a closed loop. The engineers described this structure as ‘three dimensional cranked loop’.
The CCTV headquarters was built by renowned architects Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren. It was built between 2004 and 2012. In 2013 the council on tall buildings and urban habitat named CCTC headquarters as ‘The best tall building worldwide’.
The leaning towers of CCTC headquarters are at 234 m and 194 m high respectively. At the merging point these two leaning towers form a 15-storey cantilever. The highly unusual structure of CCTV headquarters also has capacity to withstand in seismic activities.
5 Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain
Guggenheim museum in Bilbao city of Spain is a groundbreaking modern architectural marvel. The museum was officially opened in October 1997. It was designed by famous American-Canadian architect Frank Gehry. The museum features a series of interconnected buildings and known for its titanium curves and glass designs.
The random curves of Guggenheim museum are made of titanium. It is the most impressive attraction of the museum. These curves reflect the light and gives a stunning look to the museum. Out of 24000 square meters the 11000 square meters of the museum are dedicated to exhibition space. The exhibition space contains 19 galleries in total. Upon them 10 galleries have an irregular shape and nine have spectacular stone designs.
4 Beijing National Stadium, China
Beijing national stadium is one of largest and most impressive steel structures in the world. It is popularly described as ‘bird’s nest stadium’ because of its appearance. This $33 million stadium was built between 2003 and 2008. It was opened on 28th June 2008 as the main stadium of 2008 Beijing Olympics games. It is also the largest steel structure in the world, about 28 km of steel used for construction of this magnificent stadium.
The circular pattern of the stadium was built from the inspiration of China’s crazed style pottery. The circular shape of the Beijing National stadium also represents the heaven. The twisting steel sections are the most impressive attraction of the Beijing National stadium. The nickname ‘Bird nest stadium’ also derived from these structures.
The Beijing National stadium has a total floor area of 254600 square meters and seating capacity of 91000. To control the environmental conditions the stadium also has a movable roof.
3 National Center for Performing Arts, Beijing, China
The National Center for Performing Arts is also known as National Grand Theatre is a magnificent art center located in Beijing. This amazing ellipsoid structure made of titanium and glass also described as ‘The giant egg’. The building includes an opera house, a concert hall and a theatre in an area of 118900 square meters.
The National Grand theatre was designed by French architect Paul Andrew. The construction of this art center was started in 2001 and completed in 2007. About 18000 titanium plates and 1000 sheets of ultra-white glasses were used for the construction of the impressive oval shaped exterior of this structure.
The National Grand theatre has underwater entrances and passages. There is also an underground garage in the theatre. The grand theatre is also surrounded by a crystal like artificial lake. It gives an amazing look to the exterior of the theatre.
2 Sydney Opera House, Australia
Sydney opera house is one of most indisputable architecture marvels of the world. It is also the most recognizable building of Australia. The opera is globally popular for its amazing design, especially for its distinctive roofs that shaped like sails. By considering its great architectural form and structural design UNESCO recognized the Sydney Opera house as a world heritage site in 2007.
The construction of the Sydney opera house was started in 1957 and it took 16 long years for the completion. It was designed by Danish Architect Jorn Utzon. Today the Sydney opera house is the most popular multi- venue performing arts center. Every the opera hosts more than 1500 performances and attracts 2 million visitors from all parts of the world.
The roof sails of the Sydney opera house are made of about 2100 pre-cast concrete sections. The architect Jorn Utzon used a special kind of ceramic tiles for the design of the roof of the opera house, to make the structure more attractive and eye-catching one in the Sydney harbor.
It took more than three years for the construction of special ceramic tiles in the design of the Sydney opera house. The engineers used more than 1 million such tiles for the design of sail roofs of Sydney opera. The interior of the Sydney opera house features an attractive display of various colors including cream, red and yellow.
The Sydney opera house has five main sections – A concert hall with a seating capacity of 2679, an opera house with a seating capacity of 1547, a drama theatre with a seating capacity of 544, a playhouse with a seating capacity of 398 and a studio with seating capacity of 364. All halls feature breathtaking designs and great acoustic.
1 Bhurj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Bhurj Khalifa is the most visible architectural marvel of Dubai. At 828 meters high Bhurj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world. Bhurj Khalifa has more than 200 storeys and 160 of them are habitable. The Bhurj Khalifa is one of the incomparable feat of engineering and most iconic destination of Dubai.
Bhurj Khalifa was built between 2004 and 2010. It was designed by popular American architect firm SOM. The Bhurj Khalifa was officially opened on 4th January 2010. The geometries of hymenocallis and different pattern systems described in Islamic architecture is the inspiration behind the great design of Bhurj Khalifa.
The Bhurj Khalifa displays an upward spiraling pattern. The engineers used a ‘Y’ shaped plan for the design of Bhurj Khalifa. The central core of the structure consists of three separate wings. The setbacks for these wings at each level gives very stable configuration for the building.
The Bhurj Khalifa offers residential units, offices and retail spaces. There is also an environmental friendly condensation system. Every year this system provides more than 15 million gallons of water.