If you are like me, you have always been curious about things, such as the profession of architecture. Interesting facts about architecture will make you understand better and appreciate one of the world’s oldest and most respected professions. Architecture is an art that involves the creation of building designs. Humans building shelters have origins as far back as 10,000 years ago. During this time, the architecture profession supported humanity’s need to build beautiful structures that symbolized wealth, power, history, and culture.
Throughout the process, it also attracted many visionaries, eccentric and sometimes even stubborn individuals. Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the modern Olympics, was a true visionary because he wanted the modern Games to include muscles and the mind. Did you know? Seven Olympic events, from 1912 through 1948, included events focused on architecture, music, literature, painting and sculpture.
With architecture’s long history and richness of colorful and interesting characters, it’s not surprising that it’s a profession with unique and sometimes shocking stories.
From Lincoln Logs to Le Palais Idéal, learn about some of the top architecture-related facts you probably didn’t know before.
Table of Contents
- Famous Architects
- Architectural Style
- Architectural Design
Famous Office Buildings
- New York City (Amsterdam Avenue)
- Tallest Building
- Eiffel Tower
- Modern China
- Empire State Building
- Toronto’s CN Tower
- Great Wall of China
- Taj Mahal
- A UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Largest Movie Theater
- Construction of the Notre Dame Cathedral
- White House
- Large Temples (Angkor Wat)
- World’s Largest Gothic Cathedral
- Government Buildings
- Cathedral St. John
- Hoover Dam
- Leaning Tower of Pisa
- Cooper Union Foundation Building
- Great Gothic Cathedral of Milan
- Vietnam Veterans War Memorial
- Radio City Music Hall
- Gothic Buildings
- Iconic Buildings
- St. Petersburg
- Godtfred Kirk Christiansen
- The Winter Palace
- Le Palais Idéal (The “Ideal Palace”)
The world has benefited from many famous and talented architects who have created some of the most renowned architecture. Here are some iconic architects and a few interesting facts about them.
United States – Frank Lloyd Wright
Did you know that Frank Lloyd Wright isn’t the one behind all striking Lloyd Wright designs? The famous Lincoln Logs was the brainchild of the legendary architect’s son, John Lloyd Wright. John was an architect in his own right who took inspiration from the interlocking beams of the foundation under the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo designed by his father.
Did you know that Le Corbusier had a not-so-ordinary taste and something that everyday people don’t understand easily? Salvador Dali, a so-called friend of Le Corbusier, was happy to hear about the architect’s death and called him a pitiful creature. Dali also added that Le Corbusier used to design the world’s ugliest and most undesirable buildings.
Did you know that Frank Gehry and Anita, his first wife, lived right down the street from the house of the composer and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas? In 2003, Thomas also commissioned Gehry, who was already his friend then, to design a hall for his founded New World Symphony in Miami. It opened its doors in 2011.
Did you know that Oscar Niemeyer had to leave his own country because he was a socialist? Niemeyer was part of the Brazilian Communist Party, or PCB. They chose him to be the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s dean. However, he couldn’t get a visa because of his involvement with the PCB.
Because of his political views, Niemeyer had to leave his country during the military coup in 1964. He opened a Paris-based office during his exile and returned to Brazil in 1985 after the military dictatorship that lasted 21 years finally ended.
Edward Durell Stone
Did you know that the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, created by Edward Durell Stone, garnered praise and criticism simultaneously? Stone’s modernist design featured a rectilinear with tall, slender columns that rise to the roof. They adorned it with reflecting pools reminiscent of the Taj Mahal and tried combining Indian tradition with a modern style. But what some people found offensive was the excessive use of screens covering the expanse of windows.
Did you know that Antoni Gaudi was even mistaken for a homeless vagrant? During the later stages of the talented architect’s life, he dedicated all his waking hours to the Sagrada Familia, his ultimate masterpiece.
His humble but somewhat unkempt appearance was why, one day, after being hit by a tram on Gran Via de Les Corts Catalanes, no one recognized Gaudi, and people thought he was a homeless man.
During the end of his first year at Texas A&M, Adrian Smith’s parents took him on a buying trip to Los Angeles. Upon placing orders with the wholesaler, he spoke with the accountant Eric, the father of Bruce Graham’s wife.
Graham was a renowned architect at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and later designed some of the tallest buildings in Chicago, including the notable Sears Tower. Eric gave Graham’s number to Smith, and Smith applied for a job at SOM after college.
Did you know that Philip Johnson got ousted from his own company? John Burgee was the other half of the Johnson/ Burgee Architects. But in 1991, he pushed out Johnson completely after 24 long years of partnership. Burgee previously negotiated a minor role for Johnson. However, Burgee retired in California when he went bankrupt after arbitration.
I. M. Pei
Did you know that I. M. Pei’s pyramid developed the reputation of an “architectural joke?” Based on the Architects Magazine, President Francois Mitterrand chose Pei for the Grand Louvre Project following an architecture competition hosted for large public projects. The decision infuriated many.
The criticism wasn’t for the museum’s addition or the pyramid itself, and instead, it was for the style followed by the design. The media controversy that ensued didn’t surprise the architect since the Louvre has existed since the 12th century. This means that the historically fascinated Parisians would be less welcoming to a modernist approach.
Many felt that the concept of using glass and stainless steel combined on a colossal scale would have an aesthetical clash with the place’s classical architecture. The thought of such a strange presence was intimidating. Eventually, however, the structure blended with the city’s culture and soon made it an inseparable entity from the museum and Paris.
Peter J. Lu
Physicists Peter J. Lu (a candidate for a Ph.D. in physics) worked with the cosmetologist Paul J. Steinhardt to search for natural quasicrystals. Lu traveled to Uzbekistan, where he marveled at a medieval Islamic building. He noticed decagonal motifs that made him wonder if there were also quasi-crystalline Islamic tilings, leading to the birth of a brand-new project.
When he returned to Harvard, Lu analyzed photos of architectural scrolls, buildings, and artwork from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and other Islamic countries. He learned that architects had drawn outlines of five girih tiles on the scrolls, which were training manuals for the other architects. These scrolls included the 15th-century Timurid-Turkmen scroll currently displayed in Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace Museum.
Lu said that it is possible to explain various sets of tilings from an extensive array of architectural structures all over the Islamic world with a similar tile set, which makes it a fascinating universal picture.
The researchers showed how the Islamic architects developed overlapping patterns with girih tiles in 145. They used two different sizes to produce almost quasi-crystalline patterns that reflect mathematical procedures that the West didn’t understand for the next 500 years.
A building’s design is one of the first things that capture people’s attention. Buildings with remarkable architecture often become landmarks that define a place visited by tourists from different parts of the world.
The most notable buildings follow specific architectural styles that are often instantly identifiable and recognizable. Most design elements continue to be used by architects, adopting timeless design principles as an inspiration for every design project they make.
Read on below for some of the most recognized and renowned architectural styles applied in many famous structures all over the globe.
Ancient Greeks developed classical architecture between the 7th and 4th century B.C. in Greece. Known for the massive stone-built religious temples designed from geometry, order, perspective, and symmetry principles. A distinctive characteristic of the expressiveness of this style is the principles of architectural orders: Corinthian, Doric, and Ionic.
Ancient Greece – Ancient Greeks – Ancient Greek Architecture
The Parthenon is an extraordinary example of classical architecture artistry. Constructed in the 5th century B.C. in the Acropolis of Athens, the Parthenon showcases striking characteristics. These include a volume built on a foundation supporting the column sequence and its capitals that support a pediment.
Did you know the Parthenon didn’t initially have the white shading that everyone sees today? Greek Architecture buildings emphasized striking bold colors, and they painted the Parthenon in many splendid tones. An architectural wonder with extensive use of concrete, the Parthenon, a Doric order temple, is a structure supported by 25 Doric columns. There are elements from the Ionic order.
In the Parthenon’s interior, enough rock (marble) made its way into the design and structure. Marble, a metamorphic rock, had to be imported from North Africa, Greece, Egypt, and Asia Minor.
With the start of the 19th century, a deliberate discovery of old Greek locales had brought to the surface various models, several of which had conspicuous traces of brilliant surfaces. With the help of bright natural light, focused energy lights, and well-planned cameras, ancient Greeks painted the entirety of Parthenon Images.
Painting the marble sanctuaries was common among Greeks. It even seemed that they painted not only them; instead, they used pretentious tones, for this reason, liberally in blue, red, and gold.
Some endeavors even associated construction and tone, with prominent individuals kept remarkable and clear, with the minimal hue on the lower parts and the upper parts blooming in style as they did in the sculptural embellishment. But most proofs disappeared a long time ago.
Not all Corinthian capitals of Corinthian columns are precisely alike. A beautiful motif representing an ornamental Mediterranean plant called the Acanthus Spinosus adorns these columns. Corinthian columns’ capitals are more delicate and ornamented compared to the tops of other types of columns.
They also deteriorate quickly over time, mainly when used outdoors. Ancient Corinthians mainly used the early Corinthian columns for interior space, protecting them from the different weather elements. I can see some earliest examples of the exterior Corinthian columns at the Monument of Lysikrates in Athens.
Only master artisans can replace deteriorated Corinthian capitals. During the Berlin bombing in 1945, the Royal Palace suffered severe damage and had further in the 1950s, and they rebuilt the Palace after the reunification of West and East Berlin.
Sculptors used old photos to recreate architectural details in plaster and clay in the new façade and noted that Corinthian capitals differed.
You can easily recognize ionic columns thanks to their volutes. They feature more exceptional characteristics that distinguish them from their Corinthian and Doric equivalents. These include:
- Egg and dart designs flanked by volutes
- Relatively flat capitals
- Fluted shafts
- Flared shafts at the bottom and top
Romans used various techniques to add a sense of uniformity to the construction of their buildings. Among them was the use of norms and giving the architect a vital role.
However, one less known fact was the training of laborers to assist them with the construction activity in the future. The approach helped develop the local community and ensured the architecture’s uniformity over a vast span of land.
Did you know the Chinese used a wooden frame structure to build traditional Chinese architecture? The region is rich in wood and can adapt quickly to different climates, and it is also a suitable option in this area since it is prone to earthquakes.
The construction of dry timber used dowelling and structural joineries alone. Interlocking elements such as the Dougong are used in place of glue and nails. It prevents torsion and buckling under high compression, allowing the building to absorb the earthquake’s shock vibrations.
Qin Shi Huang
Did you know that Chinese Emperor Qin Shi Huang died at the young age of 49 amid his quest for immortality? His fear of death made the emperor obsessed with immortality. Later on, he set on a journey for elixir life. The elixir was the mythical potion believed to grant eternal life when drank.
Unfortunately, he died on September 10, 210BC, from an elixir because it contained mercury poisoning pills made by his court physician and alchemist.
Gothic architecture ditched thick walls, which add on to be one primary architecture of Romanesque architecture. To erect taller and more delicate buildings that featured thinner walls, the Gothic architects used flying buttresses for support. The stone structures allowed architects to build sky-high churches and cathedrals that reached the heavens and evoked ethereality.
The physicists J. Steinhardt and Peter J. Lu suggested the girih tiles had properties consistent with the self-similar fractal quasi-crystalline tiling like the Penrose tiling and predated them by five centuries. The finding was further supported by analyzing the patterns found on the surviving structures after examining the Persian scrolls from the 15th century. But there was no sign of how much more the architects might have learned about the mathematics involved.
The general belief was that Islamic artists made these designs by drafting the zigzag outlines with only a compass and a straightedge. They might have consulted the templates found on the scrolls, like the Topkapi Scroll, with a length of 97 feet. The Islamic artists found the scroll in Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace, the Ottoman Empire’s administrative center, believed to date from the end of the 15th century. It shows the succession of three and two-dimensional geometric patterns.
They used no text, but it featured color-coding and grid patterns to distinguish the three-dimensional projections and highlight symmetries. They used these drawings as the pattern books for artisans who manufactured the tiles. The girih tiles’ shapes determine how you can combine them to form large patterns.
Through this, artisans can create more complicated designs without the need to use mathematics or understand their basic principles.
Several films highlight the different architectural design styles. These include 24 City, Il Posto, Metropolis, My Architect, North by Northwest, Play Time, The International, and The Passenger.
Whenever people talk about interior design, it sounds like it is something recently established or an entirely new industry model. However, interior design has been around for a very long time. Some even believe it was only until the Victorian era that interior design became a new preoccupation for the wealthy.
But it was present even during prehistoric times. Some even consider the cave wall drawings as communication forms and valuable methods to decorate a space.
Older tribal cultures also used tree branches and animal skins to decorate their mud huts, while ancient Egyptians adorned their homes with animal skins, painted vases, and sculptures.
Did you know that a building should have at least 40 floors to be considered a skyscraper? A skyscraper is also called a high-rise, which is more common today. However, a skyscraper is sometimes used to describe buildings over 492 feet.
Building design is the science of planning and executing a strategy to combine all expected features of an occupied building. It involves taking the requirements and ideas of clients as a challenge and creatively processing everything into a design. Architectural designers will then deliver the output and plans that allow physical construction.
The different deliverables for building design solutions include construction process details, services, functional presentation, façade treatments, and plans. These appear as technical models and drawings, and they also reflect a single intertwined concept or idea and serve as the foundation of the building’s design.
Building design joins art, science, philosophy, and technology in a manner that supports given requirements. As a result, building design becomes central to skilled areas such as construction, engineering, power/energy, and interior design.
Did you know they did not plan European towns with vehicles in mind? With everything closer together and smaller streets, most European cities are walkable and easy to navigate from one area to another. Using smaller roads also forced people to drive slower, which makes it safer and more secure for pedestrians.
Important Buildings and Structures
From the famous office buildings across the U.S., Europe, and Asia to the Ideal Palace, the following essential buildings and structures go above and beyond their vertical height in redefining the constantly changing architectural realm.
Famous Office Buildings
Did you know that one picnic basket in America is worth a staggering $30 million? Yes, and you can find it in Ohio, USA. But this is not a picnic basket. Instead, it was a building constructed in 1997 with an area of 1,800 square meters. This office building has a remarkable story.
Dave Longaberger, a business executive, became successful in manufacturing outdoor recreation goods, with a picnic basket being the most popular item. Longaberger preserved its success and requested an unusual project from architects for the company’s headquarters. A cheerful-looking building in yellow with its roof featuring “handles” reminds tourists and locals alike that there is no such thing as trivial in business and that even the most minor items can generate the most income.
Vlado Milunic and Frank Gehry constructed the renowned Dancing House in 1996. It is one of the finest monuments of deconstructivism that sparked animated criticism among architects who associate Baroque and Gothic with Prague. The Dancing House, fondly nicknamed “drunk,” represents a pair of remarkable Hollywood dancers, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
The unusual building featured deformed elements, broken lines, an abundance of glass, and complex composition. It broke stereotypes and became Prague’s real pearl. Today, it serves as the home to the headquarters of various global companies, with the top floor occupied by Pearl of Prague, a French cuisine restaurant.
Of course, you cannot ignore Asia for some of its famous and notable office buildings.
Architect Kise Kurokawa built the Nakagin Tower in 1972 in Japan, and it was the world’s first capsule building that was initially conceived as a residential high-rise. Two towers make up the complex with a height of 13 and 11 STORIES, on which they strung together 140 modules. The modules use just four bolts. To further increase space, the capsules can connect.
Residential and office premises are available in Nakagin Tower, and even after 40 years, the architectural solution continues to amaze locals and tourists alike.
New York City (Amsterdam Avenue)
Did you know that New York City’s original name was New Amsterdam? Yes, before the Big Apple became New York City, as everyone knows it today, it was called New Amsterdam. New Amsterdam’s Dutch settlement gave way to an English Naval Squadron in 1664. Its name then became New York in honor of the Duke of York, who arranged the mission.
Amsterdam Avenue, a nod to the city’s old name, is on the Upper West Side, behind Hotel Beacon. You can also find the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Amsterdam Avenue. To architecture students, it is a beautiful example of Romanesque Revival Architecture. It has distinct features such as brick or stone, round arches for entryways and windows, and an outer wall of thick masonry.
Burj Khalifa is currently the world’s tallest building. With over 26,000 glass windows and panels that cover the tower’s exterior, it isn’t surprising that cleaning is a high-maintenance activity.
Did you know it can take up to three months for a team of cleaners to clean every single window of Burj Khalifa? And the worst is that once they have completed the task, they have to start over again. It isn’t a job for people who fear heights, though.
Did you know the Eiffel became the largest billboard in the world at one time in its history?
When dusk covered Paris from 1925 to 1936, 250,000 colored bulbs attached to the three sides of the tower’s steeple lit up to spell the 100-feet vertical letters of Citroën, a French automobile company.
This advertisement glowed so brightly that it was viewable as far as 20 miles away. Charles Lindbergh used it as a beacon during the landing of his solo trans-Atlantic flight in 1927 in Paris.
Chinese President Xi Jinping stated in 2014 that he had had enough of the fascination of China with what he referred to as “weird architecture.” The president looked at the Chinese artists and architects who designed buildings with The Avant-Garde style.
He claimed that art must be like sunshine from the blue sky and the spring breeze that inspires minds, warms hearts, cultivates tastes, and cleans up unwanted work styles. His speech called for more traditional Chinese art that is nationalistic, socialist, and patriotic at its core.
Empire State Building
Did you know? The Empire State Building Observation Decks generate more revenue than the office space occupying its 85 floors. The first buildings in the 20th century changed the nature of architecture, and the construction of high-rises included strong materials and structural design to combat the effects of a severe windstorm. Whether the Empire State Building or Toronto’s CN Tower, each will sway left or right depending on the weather.
The world’s most famous office landlord is the Empire State building, but the real moneymaker is none other than the view from this 102-story skyscraper. Empire State Realty Trust, the owner of the building, became a publicly traded company in 2013, so the annual and quarterly earnings reports are a public record.
While the office space leases of the building only netted $104 million in 2014, its two observation decks amassed a staggering $111 million in revenue.
Toronto’s CN Tower
Two other little-known facts. According to Custom Prototypes, the CN Tower can withstand an 8.5 Richter Scale earthquake. In a Toronto Star report, an architect stated it would take a 1600 km/H wind to topple the 553-meter tower, a wind that does not exist.
Great Wall of China
The concept of one unified wall to ward off invaders started when the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, connected several fortifications constructed between the 8th and 3rd centuries. The construction was nonstop until 1878, so with the original fortifications included, the Great Wall of China was under construction for over 2,600 years.
The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona has been under construction since 1882. Completion was expected by 2026, a symbolic gesture to reflect the 100th anniversary of the death of Architect Antoni Gaudi. The Coronavirus Pandemic of 2019 delayed this, and they have confirmed no new date.
Did you know they made the Taj Mahal of wood meant to be moist to remain strong? If the Yamuna River didn’t run beside the Taj Mahal, this wood would end up rotting.
Since the wood absorbs the water from the Yamuna river, the Taj Mahal would have collapsed by now if the river didn’t exist.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site
Casa Milà, another of the astonishing architectural marvels by Antoni Gaudi, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that achieved a constant curvature and organic flow of space using ruled geometry.
Taking inspiration from natural materials, it was a controversial building, with the local government even ordering the demolition of certain aspects and heavily fining Gaudi for his egregious violations of building codes.
Several movies also featured this building, including Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Michelangelo Antonioni’s The Passenger.
Largest Movie Theater
The Kinepolis Madrid is the largest movie theater in the world, and it opened its doors on September 17, 1998, in Spain. It is the largest cinema complex in the world in terms of the number of seats, with 25 screens and a total seating capacity of 9,200. Each screen seats between 211 and 996 people.
Construction of the Notre Dame Cathedral
Did you know that the Bishop of Paris Maurice de Sully started the construction of the Notre Dame Cathedral? The Bishop originally suggested the idea of converting the two older basilicas to form one building. It replaced the 6th century Notre Dame and the dilapidated Saint-Étienne Cathedral. It also introduced an all-new Gothic style approach.
On August 24, 1814, British troops entered Washington, D.C., during the War of 1812 between England and the U.S. They torched the White House to avenge the American attack in June 1813 on York City in Ontario, Canada.
When the British arrived at the White House, they discovered that then President James Madison and Dolley, his first lady, had already escaped to Maryland for safety. They reported that soldiers even sat down to feed on the leftover food in the White House scullery using the silver and dishes there before they ransacked the presidential mansion and set it ablaze.
Large Temples (Angkor Wat)
Most of the facts about Angkor Wat that people know today are still based on a Chinese explorer’s 13th-century account. In 1296, they sent Zhou Daguan as a diplomat to deliver a mandate to King Indravarman III, and he wrote a diary of the entire year he spent in the region.
Daguan’s words are among the only links that the world knows about the everyday life in the empire of Angkor Wat during its peak years. The account was even less favorable, as Daguan described the empire’s people as savages. However, he couldn’t deny the kingdom’s grand scale and everything it created.
World’s Largest Gothic Cathedral
Did you know that Seville Cathedral, the largest gothic cathedral in the world, had a donkey path right within the bell tower?
Builders saved the minaret during the demolition of the mosque to erect the new cathedral. They converted it from 1565 to 1568 into a bell tower with the addition of the Renaissance-style belfry featuring 24 bells.
The Giralda currently serves as Seville’s symbol. The bells’ ringing will resonate every 15 minutes as you climb to the top of the bell tower with a height of 345 feet. But instead of steps, you will see the 35 gently sloping ramps with 17 steps following them to the top of the tower with a width of 45 feet.
They explained why the bell tower had ramps instead of just steps alone. When it was still a minaret, the old muezzin rode a donkey to the top, where he summoned the faithful for prayers five times daily.
The Congresso Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, boasts panoramic roof “dishes” and the city’s tallest towers. A dome on the House of Representative’s roof suggests that membership is open to all different ideologies. The building’s interior is just as architecturally remarkable, and includes contemporary artworks, and an exhibit called the “Tunnel of Time.”
The New Zealand Parliament Buildings’ Executive Wing, nicknamed the Beehive, has always been a favorite topic during architectural discussions. Its modern design comprises several layers and garnered mixed reactions during the unveiling. This building in Wellington, New Zealand, serves as the Prime Minister’s official residence and cabinet offices. Completion of the Beehive took place in 1979, but only opened for business after two years in 1981.
Cathedral St. John
The renowned marble floor of Cathedral St. John has hidden messages. The co-cathedral’s polychrome marble floor alone is the reason visitors flock to it. Including the skeletons, angels, and various ethereal and divine icons in the amazingly detailed artistry, every unique part of the floor has a distinct message or theme about the visions of the afterlife and the inevitability of death.
Did you know that Hoover Dam’s water flows upwards since the principles of gravity do not apply to the dam because of the structural design?
Leaning Tower of Pisa
While the construction workers continued adding more stories to the structure that was already leaning, they confused its gravity center. Instead of fixing the posture of the building, they just changed its directions. It was initially leaning north but leaned south afterward.
Cooper Union Foundation Building
Did you know that the Cooper Union Foundation Building in New York City already featured an elevator shaft even when modern elevators did not exist then?
It was in London in 1852 when Elisha Otis presented his safety elevator for the first time and installed the pioneer successful passenger elevator in 1857 in the 5-story E. V. Haughwout Building. But none of the developments featured a modern shaft; instead, they left them open if a failure occurred.
Trusting the elevator technology, Peter Cooper included a cylindrical shaft in the Cooper Union Foundation Building in 1859, and Otis later added a custom-made elevator.
Great Gothic Cathedral of Milan
Planners consulted over 78 lead architects to develop the great Gothic Cathedral of Milan. Lord of Milan Gian Galeazzo Visconti set up the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo in 1387 to supervise the cathedral’s design, building, and conservation.
Lord of Milan Gian Galeazzo Visconti made the design per the Lombard Gothic style’s elements, delineating the Lombard Romanesque style where it inherited the structural decisions and brickwork, the traditional material.
However, when Visconti used Candoglia marble to construct the entire monument, it created a new challenge for Italian Fabbrica. To make the spectacular project come to fruition, they hired stonecutters, sculptors, and architects from outside Italy who were experts in the Central European Gothic style. This turn of events resulted in the one-of-a-kind Gothic aesthetic of the Duomo.
The Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo currently has a record for the number of architects that played a role in the restoration and creation of the building from 1387 to 1988. However, they couldn’t trace the name of the original architect who worked on the design’s delicate initial phase.
Vietnam Veterans War Memorial
Her professor urged the architecture student Maya Lin to join the national design competition held for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to be built at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
During the competition, people sent over 1,400 submissions. They even used an Air Force hangar for displaying all the entries during the judging.
With all submissions kept anonymous, the jury of 8 members chose based only on the design’s quality. In the end, they picked entry 1026. They described it as an eloquent place where the simple meeting of the sky, earth, and the remembered names contain messages for everyone.
Radio City Music Hall
Edward Durell Stone was the American architect behind Radio City Music Hall, with its interiors designed by Sidney Deskey. However, despite the marvelous spatial planning of the music hall, everyone was more enthralled by the interiors of the Art déco style. Ironically, Deskey only came to light after winning the 1930s competition for the Radio City Music Hall’s design.
London’s Westminster Palace was the first royal place from the 11th century constructed on the site. This Gothic-style building is also called the Houses of Parliament, and it is the location where the House of Commons / House of Lords holds their meetings.
They completed the existing building in Perpendicular Gothic style in 1847.
The technique was famous during the 15th century and returned to the 19th-century Gothic revival. The luxurious façade boasts of the English King’s statues and gilded pinnacles.
The tallest and largest tower, Victoria Tower, is in the southwestern portion of the Palace, while Big Ben, the world-renowned tower, is located north.
Brussels’ Town Hall is an elegant building that dates back to the 15th century and is the Grand Palace’s only remaining medieval building. They also regarded it as a civil Gothic architecture masterpiece of Brabantine Gothic.
A work of various architects, the Town Hall is notably imposing because of its asymmetrical façade, unique sculpted decorations, and size. The east wing and the shorter belfry are the building’s oldest parts.
They embellished the façade with gothic artwork comprising various statues representing allegorical figures, nobles, and saints. These are reproductions of the originals now showcased in the city museum in King’s House right across from the Grand Palace.
The museum’s architecture can be as iconic as the masterpieces it showcases inside. The perfect proof is none other than the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. I. M. Pei was behind the stunningly iconic glass pyramid. Pei was the first architect who wasn’t of French descent that works on the project, which resulted in controversy.
Since 1996, Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Twin Towers have been the tallest in the world, designed while keeping the Malaysian spirit in mind. Each building represents a star with eight points, a symbol of rationality, stability, harmony, and unity in Islam.
Daniel Burnham, a Chicago-based architect, constructed the Flat Iron Building in 1902. It is an iconic building planted in the heart of New York City. This building, together with the neighborhood 285 feet below, had its name inspired by its distinctive form shaped like a wedge.
Much of the architecture of St. Petersburg is neoclassical and Baroque. However, the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, initially constructed under Alexander III in 1883 and finished in 1907 under Nicholas II, boasts medieval Russian architecture.
Godtfred Kirk Christiansen
When the son of the LEGO founder, Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, tried to develop a LEGO model house he was constructing, it failed to come out to scale because LEGO bricks have a height-to-width ratio of 6:45. It resulted in the 1963 development of Modulex, a much smaller brick based on the perfect cubes. Sadly, the bricks became obsolete during the 1970s.
The Winter Palace
The shadow of Versailles still hovers over the Winter Palace. Catherine the Great modeled much of the architecture of the Palace after the French baroque; she also made it her policy for the courtiers to speak French as the court’s official language.
Le Palais Idéal (The “Ideal Palace”)
Le Palais Idéal (“Ideal Palace”) dedicated thirty-three years to the life of a French postman. They used the stones Ferdinand Cheval collected during his regular mail route to keep to the original concept and narrative. Ferdinand Cheval picked up stones while he was out delivering mail.
The stones were interesting because of a special type of hardened sandstone, molded by water and time into unique shapes. He used these stones to build the spectacular Le Palais Idéal in Hauterives. Regarded as the perfect example of naïve art, they identified it as a cultural landmark in 1969.
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John Thompson, Writer and Commentator, EvolutDesign.com
Soldier, writer, researcher, consultant, and bon vivant, John Thompson is the author of numerous columns, op-eds, reports, briefs, short stories and books as the “Felicity Files” and “Spirit Over Steel: A Chronology of the Second World War” (version III). Often found hunched over his computer, or in his garden, and now often found doing both. His diverse talent has led him to work in industries and projects such as energy, security and home construction and renovation.