Architecture is like any other form of art: it is an expression of an artist’s vision and frequently evokes feelings and emotions from those who view it. However, architecture takes artistic expression to a new level, creating a piece of art that is not just visual but also tangible and usable.
Numerous buildings around the globe are architectural masterpieces while also serving a practical purpose. The combination of form and function is what sets architecture apart from other art forms.
So, with that in mind, here is a list of some of the most beautiful architectural structures in the world.
A list like this one wouldn’t be complete without including Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. Built in 1935 as a weekend home in southwestern Pennsylvania for Kaufman family.
The home consistently is rated as Wright’s best work and frequently is listed as one of the best pieces of architecture in America as well as bucket list must-sees.
Inspired by Japanese architecture, Fallingwater builds off of the surrounding landscape and interpenetrates interior and exterior spaces. It is a balance between man-made structure and nature and a leading example of organic architecture.
The Lotus Temple
Located in Delhi, India, the Lotus Temple is a Bahá’í House of Worship dedicated in 1986. This building’s famous lotus shape has made it a notable attraction and one of the most visited buildings in the world.
Iranian architect Fariborz Sahba’s design has won numerous architectural awards and even been called “the Taj Mahal of the 20th century.”
This unusual piece of architecture is a model community and housing complex found in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It was designed by Moshe Safdie, an Israeli-Canadian architect, as his master’s thesis.
It was built as a pavilion for the 1967 World’s Fair and remained one of the most well-known landmarks in Canada. Its design has led many architects to rethink high-density housing and the future of housing complexes.
Swedish for “cogwheel” and home to real estate company Chalmersfastigheter, this building follows Sweden’s tradition of environmental stewardship and incorporates green technologies including adaptive ventilation and lighting, interactive heating and cooling, and effective use of sunlight.
The building is designed to create the most space while using the least amount of area. The architecture firm who designed the building, Wingårdh Arkitektkontor, accomplished this through its circular design and added bays on each floor that adds to its size.
Kuggen was built in 2011 and has won several awards for its structural design and eco-friendly elements.
One of the most famous buildings in Japan, this ZenBuddhist temple is located in Kyoto and is a designated World Heritage Site.
The temple has a tumultuous history. Initially built in 1397, it was burned down during wartime in the mid-15th century, rebuilt, and then burned to the ground once more in 1950.
The temple’s architectural design incorporates shinden, samurai, and zen throughout its three floors and emphasizes the surrounding landscape. Besides an attraction for tourists, the temple remains symbolic for the elements of religion, death, and nature.