Like paintings and sculptures, buildings can be beautiful works of art.
We asked architects to tell us the one building that’s a game-changer for building design, inspired them to become architects, or that they simply find stunning.
Here are 22 of the most breathtaking buildings in the world, according to people who build them for a living.
The Parthenon in Athens, Greece.
“It’s the quintessential beautiful architectural form,” Tara Imani says. “The Doric order, the use of entasis [a slight curve in columns] to make sure the columns didn’t look spindly from a distance … the siting on a hilltop — it gave us our initial ABCs of architecture that we keep trying to use and improve upon today.”
Imani is the founding architect of Tara Imani Designs.
The National Congress of Brazil in Brasília.
“In 1974, my father, a scientist took our family to see the new city of Brasília. It captured the imagination of the world,” Julia Donoho says. “Planned in the shape of an airplane, Corbusian [the modern architectural style of Le Corbusier] housing blocks lined the wings like feathers, the body was filled with embassies, government buildings, cultural institutions, and a house of God.”
Donoho is the principal and project lead at Equinox Design and Development.
The São Paulo Museum of Art in São Paulo, Brazil.
“It is daring,” Damaris Hollingsworth says. “Designed in 1968, it is made of concrete and glass. The main body is hung from the two beams and it barely touches the columns on the side. I also love the fact that it was designed by a woman.”
Hollingsworth is the project manager for DLR Group.