Architectural Risks: Top 5 Most Stunning Buildings of the World

1. The Kunsthaus Graz, Austria The Graz Art Museum, designed by Peter Cook and Colin Fournier in 2003, is a must see for those who...


1. The Kunsthaus

Graz, Austria

The Graz Art Museum, designed by Peter Cook and Colin Fournier in 2003, is a must see for those who can really understand the latest tendencies in contemporary art. The huge “nozzles” sticking out from the roof are in fact solar panels which enable the building to generate its own energy and make it environment-friendly.

Thanks to the weird architecture and unique computerized lightning system which illuminates the building from beneath the transparent acrylic panels of the roof , the Museum reminds some supernatural creature and is sometimes even called a ‘friendly alien’. Being one of the world’s greatest exhibition venues, this highly functional and technical building meets all the requirements the most demanding modern art owners could only think of.

2. The Haines Shoe House


Hallam, Pennsylvania
The Haines Shoe House, designed by Mahlon Haines in 1948, is an example of the dramatic roadside advertising which was quite popular in the early 20th century. Mahlon Haines was a shoe salesman and the House is a copy of his best selling model – high topped work shoe. Haines never sold footwear from the Shoe, neither did he live there himself. Instead he invited people to celebrate anniversaries or sometimes even live there for a couple of days.

The advertising power of the House proved to be so strong that Haines never demanded any pay for living in it as the amount of shoes bought by the amazed visitors was tremendous and covered all the construction expenses. The Shoe House is still open to the public, so if you want to feel like a dwarf stuck in a huge cosy boot you should remember the address.

3. The Crooked House

Sopot, Poland

The Crooked House, designed by architects Szotynscy and Zaleski in 2004, is now home to the shopping center and definitely one of the most popular tourist attractions of Poland. Once you visit the place, a picture of you in front of the Crooked House is a must have, otherwise what’s the reason coming here?

When you look at the building you get really puzzled at first: it is hard to understand whether something happened to your eyes so that everything gets blurred, or you suddenly find yourself inside some fairytale  where houses can be of any forms possible. The blue and green shingles of the roof make the building look like some fantastic dragon, especially at night, when everything is illuminated. Though the building is absolutely astounding from the outside, there is not really much to see inside: a couple of shops and a coffee place may seem quite disappointing after all.


4. The Guggnheim Museum

Bilbao, Spain

The Guggenheim Museum, also known as the Palace of Fish Scales, is a real feast for the eyes from both inside and outside. Opened in 1997, it totally changed modern vue of contemporary art and architecture in particular.

The idea of building the museum in the first place was the attempt to revitalize  the economy of the city of Bilbao – and the attempt was more than just successful. The museum able to host the greatest exhibitions of world’s contemporary art, and which is itself a piece of amazing modern architecture, annually attracts millions of tourists from around the globe which made it possible to cover the building expenses in the first few years. The museum now contains contemporary artworks alongside with more traditional exhibitions such as paintings by artists of the second part of the 20th century.

5. 30 St Mary Axe

London, UK

30 St Mary Axe, the skyscraper in the financial district of London, is more widely known as The Gherkin due to its unusual form. The building was erected in 2003 on the site of the former Baltic Exchange which had been almost completely destroyed by the bomb explosion 10 years earlier.

Though it has become one of the symbols of modern London and is a must see for every tourist alongside with Buckingham Palce and Trafalgar Square, it is not open to the public, so unless you have some business inside the building you can enjoy its beauty and grandeur only from a certain distance. Andf if you want to make some really good pictures in front of The Gherkin, make sure you come here on Sunday, otherwise you will meet thousands of office workers here who will make it quite difficult to enjoy the beauty of the landscape.

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