Some of the Greatest Architecture in the World
by Fitzroy of London
Burj Khalifa, Dubai
The world's tallest building Burj Khalifa is a mammoth skyscraper and magnificent centerpiece of Downtown Dubai stands at a whopping 828.9 metres high.
Construction began on the 160-floor building in 2004 with its doors opening six years later in 2010. The task of creating the world's tallest manmade structure was awarded to the Chicago office of American architectural and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings and Merril LLP.
Flatiron building, New York
The eye-catching Flatiron building in Manhattan was designed by Chicago architect Daniel Burnham and built in 1902. The distinctive triangular shape allowed the building to fill the space located at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway.
Another of New York's skyscrapers, it was never the tallest but remains one of the most memorable and has been a source of inspiration for artists and architects for over a century now.
Rome is home to many amazing buildings, and the Pantheon is no exception. And, like the city itself, it was not built in a day. Destroyed twice and rebuilt each time, the building started as a rectangular structure, which, over time, evolved into the gorgeous dome building seen today.
An inspiration to architects all over the world, the Pantheon roof remains the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. There is much debate between historians over which emperor and architects were responsible for the Pantheon's design although it is known that this 'Temple of the Gods' was built around 126AD.
Buckingham Palace, London
Originally known as Buckingham House, George III bought the property in 1735 when the mansion was little more than a red brick house. Since then, various architects have worked on the building to make it what it is today, including John Nash and Edmund Blore.
The palace also had to undergo extensive work after being bombed no less than nine times during World War II. However, it's still very much in operation, and is one of the few working royal palaces remaining in the world today.
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
Once a church, later a mosque, and now a museum, Hagia Sophia is an architectural masterpiece. A perfect example of Byzantine architecture, Hagia Sophia is located in Istanbul, Turkey.
The building was originally constructed between 532AD and 537AD and due to many factors, including being burned down in riots and earthquakes, the ancient cathedral has been rebuilt many times since. Despite this, Hagia Sophia is widely recognised as one of the great buildings of the world. The building also features in the opening scenes of the Bond film, Skyfall.
Space Needle, Seattle
The futuristic Space Needle in Seattle, Washington was built for the 1962 World's fair. The famous landmark stands at 184m high and 42m wide at its widest point.
The design was a collaborative effort between architects Edward E Carlson and John Graham. Not only is the architecture a marvel to look at but it's a solid structure too – it was built to survive wind velocities of 200mph and earthquakes of up to 9.1 magnitudes.
Sydney Opera House, Sydney
The Sydney Opera House is widely regarded as one of the greatest architectural works of the 20th century. The innovative design came from architect Jørn Utzon, who was relatively unknown until January 29, 1957 when his entry to the 'International competition for a national opera house at Bennelong Point, Sydney' was announced the winner.
The beautiful building comprises of three groups of interlocking shells, which cover two main performance halls and a restaurant. A masterpiece of modern architecture, the opera house has become an iconic symbol of both Sydney and the Australian nation.
Chrysler Building, New York
In the early part of the 20th Century, people everywhere were in a race to build the tallest building. At the time, this gorgeous Art Deco skyscraper was almost outdone by the Bank of Manhattan but its spire (which was constructed in secret) enabled it to take the title of 'tallest building in the world' in 1930.
It didn't last long though. Just a year later the Empire State Building was erected. Designed by architect William Van Alen, the skyscraper was commissioned by car manufacturer Walter P Chrysler, hence its name.
Taj Mahal, Agra
Recognised as 'the jewel of Muslim art in India', the Taj Mahal was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Often mistaken as a palace, this famous landmark was actually built as a tomb for the Emperor's wife after she died giving birth to their 14th child.
The Taj Mahal is regarded as one of the finest examples of Mughal architecture – an amalgamation of Persian, Turkish and Indian styles. Construction on the mausoleum began in 1632 and was completed in 1643. The surrounding buildings and gardens took around five more years to finish.
This elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of Rome is considered as one of the greatest architectural feats achieved by the Ancient Romans. The stadium was capable of seating at least 50,000 spectators and used mainly for gladiatorial games.
Construction – mainly using concrete and stone – began around 72AD and finished in 80AD. The design and shape of the Colosseum has been the inspiration for many modern day stadiums. Today it is one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions, attracting thousands of visitors each year.
Lloyd's Building, London
This futuristic building looks like it belongs in a sci-fi movie rather than Lime Street in London. The award-winning Lloyd's building (also known as the Inside-Out building) is an iconic architectural landmark and one of the most recognisable constructions on the London skyline.
Architects Roger Stirk Harbour + Partners were behind the innovative design, which has its services – including water pipes and staircases – on the outside. Built between 1978 and 1986, the building also features 12 exterior lifts, which were the first of their kind in the UK.
Empire State Building, New York
We couldn't put together a list of world-famous buildings without including this grand Art Deco skyscraper. Once the tallest building in the world, construction began on the Empire State building on St Patrick's Day 1930 and was completed just 410 days later.
The building was designed by William F Lamb of architectural firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon. It was declared by the American Society of Civil Engineers to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World and is known around the world as an icon of New York City.
Las Lajas Sanctuary, Nariño
This church is built inside a canyon and connects one side of it to the other, if that isn't impressive, we don't know what is. This gothic-looking church is in Southern Colombia, the site where a woman and her daughter reportedly saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary in 1754, which made the previously deaf and mute daughter able to speak.
Since then, various shrines have been built, and the current construction was created between 1916-1949.
The Shard, London
Also referred to as the shard of glass, The Shard is an 95-storey skyscraper, which sits in the heart of London. Construction began in 2009 and was completed three years later in 2012, making it Western Europe's tallest building.
Designed by architect Renzo Piano, The Shard is the second tallest free standing structure in the UK. It's exterior boasts 11,000 glass panels – that's equivalent in area to eight Wembley football pitches or two-and-a-half Trafalgar Squares.
The building was developed to have multiple uses, described on the website as a 'vertical city where people can live, work and relax'. This motto was clearly taken on board by a fox, nicknamed Romeo, that was found on the 72nd floor towards the end of construction.
The White House, Washington
Irish architect James Hoban was the man behind the design of the White House. In 1792 Hoban submitted a plan for the presidential mansion and subsequently got the commission to build the White House. Construction began in 1793 and was completed in 1801. The mansion, which has been home to every US leader since the country's second president John Adams, is made from white-painted Aquia sandstone.
Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur
Standing at 451.9 metres-tall, the Petronas Towers are twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The buildings, which held the title of tallest in the world between 1998-2004, are an iconic landmark of the capital city.
The distinctive postmodern style was created by architects Cesar Pelli and Achmad Murdijat, engineer Deejay Cerico and designer Dominic Saibo under the consultancy of JC Guinto.
St Paul's Cathedral, London
London's most iconic building, St Paul's Cathedral, was designed by English architect Sir Christopher Wren. Sitting at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, its famous dome is one of the world's largest, measuring nearly 112 metres high.
The original church on the site was founded in the year 604AD. Work on the present English Baroque church began in the 17th Century by Christopher Wren as part of a major rebuilding program after the Great Fire of London.
Wren started working on St Paul's in 1666, his designs for the cathedral taking nine years to complete and the actual construction taking a further 35 years. St Paul's has played an integral part of London life ever since – as a domineering element in the city's skyline, as a centre for tourism and religious worship, and most recently as a focal point for anticapitalist protests.
One World Trade Center, New York
A relatively new addition to New York's skyline, the One World Trade Center is the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. Construction began in April 2006 and the final component of the building's spire installed five years later in 2013, making it the fourth tallest skyscraper in the world.
The One World Trade Center's design is no coincidence, standing at a symbolic height of 1,776 feet (541m) in a direct nod to the year of the US Declaration of Independence.
Designed by David M Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the 104-storey glass tower raises from a cube base before transforming from the 20th floor into eight sleek isosceles triangles. Stood adjacent to the city's beautiful 9/11 memorial, the One World Trade Center is a shining beacon for the city.