30 Photos of the World’s Most Uniquely Designed Buildings

A sampling of contemporary architectural gems from around the world.

Great buildings have the power to break convention, defy logic, and inspire visions of the future. Here, we celebrate thirty marvels of modern architecture, from the classic Le Corbusier (Frank Lloyd Wright) to mind-boggling inflated plastic biomes. These gems encompass a wide range of structures, from individual homes, to art museums, to skyscrapers that extend high into the sky. One can only wonder what will result from a greater focus on green building practices in the future.

(above) Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles

Stone Container Building and Cloud Gate, Chicago

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain

Gare do Oriente, Lisbon, Portugal

CCTV Headquarters, Beijing, China

Space Needle, Seattle, Washington

Casa Mila, Barcelona, Spain

Fallingwater House, Mill Run, Pennsylvania

Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE

Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar

Reichstag, Berlin, Germany

Esplanade, Singapore

Turning Torso, Malmo, Sweden

Empire State Building, New York, USA

Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia

Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp, France

Jewish Museum, Berlin, Germany

Auditorio Ibirapuera, Sao Paolo, Brazil

Eden Project, Cornwall, England

Bruder Klaus Kapelle, Wachendorf, Germany

Yokohama International Port Terminal, Yokohama, Japan

Villa Savoye, Poissy, France

Tancici Dum, Prague, Czech Republic

Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Library of Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt

Burj Al Arab, Dubai, UAE

Phaeno Science Center, Wolfsburg, Germany

30 St. Mary Axe, London, England

Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


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Jessica Marati

Jessica Marati currently resides in New York City and covers travel and sustainability for EcoSalon. Catch her weekly column, Behind the Label.