Few things captivate the mind more than an ingenious piece of architectural design brought to life. Inspirational and incredible designs dot different parts of the globe, whether as public buildings, 5-star hotels or head offices of mega corporations. These edifices have become iconic symbols of not just the city but also of the country where they are sited.
Sydney Opera House
This masterpiece is regarded as one of the greatest architectural designs of the 20th century. The beautiful and innovative opera, now an iconic symbol of Sydney and the Australian nation, comprises three sections of interlocking shells that roof two main performance halls and a restaurant. It was designed by a previously unknown architect Jørn Utzon, who became a national sensation after his entry won the competition for a national opera house at Bennelong Point, Sydney in January, 1957.
Parkroyal on Pickering, Singapore
Parkroyal is a 5-star, award-wining luxury suite hotel in the heart of Singapore that is famously called the hotel-in-a-garden. Opened in 2003 and designed by Singapore studio WOHA, Parkroyal occupies 15,000 square metres of lush greenery and cascading plants (called ‘skygardens’) which stretch across balconies and walkways across four floors. It has 367 tastily furnished guest rooms and suites offering panoramic views of the city and the hotel’s amazing sky gardens.
Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
These ultra-modern twin buildings stand at 170 metres above ground and until 2004 held the title of the world’s tallest building. It was designed by architects Achmad Murdijat and Cesar Pelli.
The White House, Washington, USA
One of the most iconic symbols of the US, this distinctive and innovative mansion has housed the American First Family since the country’s second president, John Adams. Made from white-painted Aquia sandstone, the White House was designed by Irish architect James Hoban in 1792. Construction began the following year and was completed in 1801.
The Heydar Aliyev Centre, Baku, Azerbaijan
Named after the former President of Azerbaijan and created by Iraqi-born British architect Zaha Hadid, the 619,000 square feet Heydar Aliyev Centre gives off a spellbinding effect with its spectacular, fluid, curved style with no sharp angles.
The magnificent complex is a cultural centre that houses an expansive auditorium, an exhibition hall and a museum.
Sky Terrace, Soo Khian Chan, Singapore
The Sky Terrace, which won Singapore’s prestigious 5-star award for residential high-rise architecture, is a solar-powered residential towers that combine the best of eco-living. It has five residential towers, 960 apartments and an apartment complex. Made by SCDA Architects, the Sky Terrace is conceptualized with a ‘house-in-park’ theme. It is creatively designed for energy-efficient living and social interactions and built with striking cascading roof gardens, wide spaces, rainwater harvesting systems, drip irrigations and solar panels that highlight the greenery and splendour of the ambience.
Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE
Standing at an imposing height of 828.9 metres, Burj Khalifa is the renowned world’s tallest building. Designed by American architectural and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings and Merril LLP, the construction of this 160-floor massive skyscraper and stunning showpiece started in 2004 and was opened for business six years later in 2010.