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Architectural Marvels and Our Relationship With the Built Environment

Architectural Marvels and Our Relationship With the Built Environment

Kaeley Boyle

Modern advances in technology and science have paved the way for extreme leaps in architecture and the built environment. The built environment is a term used by urban planners, architects and civil engineers to describe our relationship with human made surroundings. These surroundings range from buildings and parks to green space in towns and cities. Elements of the built environment provide the setting for daily interactions. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at architectural marvels of our recent past and present day.

Fallingwater (United States)

No list of architectural marvels would be complete without Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1935 structure. One of the most famous feats of architecture in the United States, this modernist style home in Pennsylvania set the tone for a whole movement of home design for decades to come.

The Taj Mahal (India)

The Taj Mahal is an ivory marble mausoleum in Agra, India. The Indian Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, had the Taj Mahal built in memory of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. This architectural marvel sits on the southern bank of the river Yamuna and attracts nearly eight million visitors every year.

La Sagrada Familia (Spain)

La Sagrada Familia is Antoni Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece. The Roman Catholic basilica in Barcelona was started in 1882 and is still under construction. The Spanish Architect, Antoni Gaudi, is known for his ornate designs and Neo-Gothic style. At the time of his death in 1926, only a quarter of La Sagrada Familia was finished. But, this architectural marvel is set to be finished by 2026, a hundred years after Gaudi’s death.

Palm Islands, Dubai (India)

The Palm Islands are three artificial islands off the coast of Dubai. The Islands are the largest manmade islands in the world. And they’re affectionately known as the eighth wonder of the world. It took just four years to make, but the manmade stretch of land included 53 million pounds of sand and 12 million pounds of rocks.

Walt Disney Concert Hall (United States)

A Frank Gehry masterpiece. Home to the LA Philharmonic, the Walt Disney Concert Hall is Disney’s love letter to the city. The facade of the Concert hall is done in the same steel as Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. But this wasn’t his first choice. Gehry wanted the façade to be stone so that it would light up at night, inviting in the public.

Burj Khalifa (India)

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest building in the world. Continuing India’s excellence in architecture, this architectural marvel unveiled in 2010 is almost a half mile tall.

Beijing National Stadium (China)

Built for the 2008 Olympics, this architectural marvel is affectionately known as the birds nest. The design for the structure was based on studies of Chinese ceramics.

Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia (Spain)

The Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Spain is an opera house and performing arts theatre. The architectural marvel was designed by Spanish architect, designer, sculptor and painter, Santiago Calatrava.

Petronas Towers (Malaysia)

These twin skyscrapers in Malaysia were the worlds tallest building for a six year stretch from 1998-2004. Designed by the Argentinean architect, Cesar Pelli, the postmodern structures are a site to behold.

The Bayterek Tower (Khazikstan)

Bayterek translates to “tall poplar”. Designed after a poplar tree, the Bayterek tower is a project of the Khazikstan President, Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Turning Torso (Sweden)

 The Turning Torso is a neo-futurist skyscraper in Sweden. The Turning Torso is another in the line of incredibly designed structures by famed architect and designer, Santiago Calatrava. The building is most notable as the first twisted skyscraper in the world.

Millau Viaduct (France)

The Millau Viaduct bridge is famous for the sheer height of it. Standing at 1125 feet, the Millau Viaduct bridge in the South of France sits above the clouds.

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