Architecture fans know that one of the best parts of traveling is seeing the most amazing buildings in the world up close and in person. Alongside ancient sites and masterpieces by prominent and renowned architects are quirky venues including the Dalí Theater-Museum with the top of an egg and an Ohio building that looks like a wooden basket.
Whether you’re a world traveler or planning your next vacation, these are the architecture buildings you won’t want to miss. Take the names of these 13 inspiring architectural masterpieces and discover a world of truly unique architecture.
Beijing National Stadium, China
Better known as the Bird’s Nest, the Beijing National Stadium was designed by Herzog & de Meuron, China Architectural Design & Research Group, and Ai Weiwei for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. Chinese ceramics served as the inspiration for the eye-catching venue in Beijing, China.
Niterói Contemporary Art Museum, Brazil
Late architect Oscar Niemeyer designed the Niterói Contemporary Art Museum in 1996, at the age of 89. The UFO-like museum is perched over Guanabara Bay in Brazil and features a 322-foot long winding red ramp.
Ayutthaya Temple Complex, Thailand
The city in Thailand was a trading hub from the 14th to 18th centuries, but was destroyed by the Burmese in the 18th century and abandoned. Monasteries, reliquary towers, and murals still remain at the site, in Ayutthaya.
Big Basket, Ohio
Completed in 1997, the Big Basket was designed by NBBJ as the Newark, Ohio, offices of the Longaberger Company, which was known for its woven wood baskets.
Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, Qatar
Set in Doha’s Education City is Mangera Yvars Architects’ Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies. The building combines spaces for learning and prayer, and the design incorporates five columns, symbolizing the five pillars of Islam.
Shah Mosque, Iran
The Masjed-e-Shah, or Shah Mosque, is considered one of the Islamic world’s most spectacular buildings. Located in Esfahan, Iran, the mosque is decorated with seven-color mosaic tiles and calligraphic inscriptions.
Casa Terracota, Colombia
Environmental activist Octavio Mendoza Morales sculpted the 5,400-square-foot abode entirely from clay, using no other materials to support the two-story structure. He then let it bake and harden in the sun, which transformed the pliable clay into solid, sturdy ceramic. He refers to the home as the biggest piece of pottery in the world.
While it may look ancient, Casa Terracotta in Villa de Leyva, Colombia, was actually completed in 2012.
Palácio Nacional da Pena, Portugal
Architects Wilhelm Ludwig von Eschwege and Nicolau Pires built the ornate castle in Sintra, Portugal, in 1836. The hilltop palace features painted terraces, gargoyles, and trompe-l’oeil interiors.
Kunsthaus Graz, Austria
The Kunsthaus Graz, also known as Graz Art Museum, was designed by Peter Cook and Colin Fournier, fuçç completed in 2003. The bubble-like building sits within the traditional town and is referred to as the “friendly alien” by the locals.
Metropol Parasol, Spain
Architect Jürgen Mayer designed Seville, Spain’s controversial Metropol Parasol. The wooden structure—the largest in the world—shades the city’s Plaza de la Encarnación.
Hang Nga Guesthouse, Vietnam
The Hang Nga guesthouse, also known as Crazy House, was built in 1990 in Đà Lạt, Vietnam. The audacious home features themed guest rooms and organic decorations that give the space an otherworldly feel.
The Egg, New York
Architecture firm Harrison & Abramovitz designed the performing arts venue in Albany as part of the Empire State Plaza. Named from its ovoid shape, the Egg, in Albany, New York, contains two theaters.
Turning Torso, Sweden
Turning Torso from Santiago Calatrava puts a literal twist on the traditional skyscraper. The 650-foot residential building from Malmö, in Sweden, is the tallest building in Scandinavia and was part of the revitalization of the city’s waterfront.
Space brings to all of us infinite possibilities for numerous visual experiences, making the game of observation even more interesting!