To ordinary people, buildings are just a place for business or maybe something built to attract, nothing special. But to some, it’s more than that, especially to the people who built it. And sometimes, it’s not the effort used to complete a building that makes it special; it’s the reason behind their construction, for whom and what they are built for.
British prime minister Winston Churchill was quick to say, “We shape our buildings; thereafter, they shape us.” Buildings are witnesses of what the people who have dwelled on it experience. They’re always more than just pieces of blocks piled up.
Some buildings have also been standing for so many years they have become a representation of the people and the place they stand in. Because of their history, some of them have become so famous and are frequently visited. To acquaint you about some of these famed structures, we have listed fifteen of them for you.
7. Sydney Opera House
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Opened on October 20, 1973, the Sydney Opera House is a performing arts center in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It was designed by Danish architect Jǿrn Utzon who won the design competition after getting praises from judge architect Eero Saarinen when the other three ones rejected him.
The opera house is comprised of multiple performing venues that host 3,000 performances each year attended by around 2 million spectators. It features a modern expressionist design with large concrete shell-like structures, totaling to 2,194 sections. In 2007, UNESCO named Sydney Opera House as a world heritage, describing it as a “great urban sculpture set in a remarkable waterscape.”
6. Villa Savoye, France
Designed by cousin Swiss architects Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, Villa Savoye is a modernist villa located in Poissy, Paris, France. It was originally built as a country retreat for the Savoye family. The villa is Corbusier’s best-known building and has influenced the international modernism. It is considered as one of the best representations of the international style of architecture.
Villa Savoye is considered as a property of the French state since 1958, and it was designated as a historical monument in 1965. It is now opened for the public and continuously gathers a lot of visitors each year.
5. Burj Khalifa, Dubai
Burj Khalifa is the prominent skyscraper situated in Dubai. Standing at 830 meters high with 163 floors, it is named as the tallest artificial structure in the world. Because of this, the building attracts more visitors than ever. It was constructed with the joint effort of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill of Chicago, with Adrian Smith as the chief architect and Bill Baker as the chief structural engineer.
This building was designed to be the centerpiece of a large-scale, mixed-use development. It houses 30,000 residential homes, nine hotels, three hectares of parkland, nineteen residential towers, and a manmade lake that is twelve-hectare wide.
4. Buckingham Palace, London
The Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of the sovereigns of Britain since 1837. It also serves as the administrative headquarters of the British Monarchs. It has 775 rooms—19 state rooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices, and 78 bathrooms. This houses the offices of those who help The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh in their daily activities and also serves as home of these leaders’ immediate family.
Although it is designed for many official events and receptions organized by The Queen, the Buckingham Palace is now opened for visitors to see, and it gathers catches the attention of many who want to experience a royal life even for a day.
3. The White House, Washington
The White House is located in Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC. It serves as the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. First US president George Washington was the one who chose the site for the White House in 1971. The design chosen for the building was submitted by Irish architect James Hoban.
The White House has 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, and 6 levels in the residence. Previously, it was called the President’s Palace, the President’s House, and the Executive Mansion, until it was officially named the White House in 1901 by Pres. Theodore Roosevelt.
2. Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is a 102-story skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It is currently the fourth-tallest completed skyscraper in the United States and the twenty-fifth tallest in the world. It was designed by William F. Lamb from the firm Shreve, Lamb, and Harmon. The construction of the building was completed on April 11, 1931, twelve days ahead of its completion schedule.
The Empire State Building is considered an icon of American culture. It is also named as one of the seven wonders of the modern world, chosen by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Also hailed as a historic landmark, the building is open 24/7 to the public.
1. One World Trade Center
Originally dubbed as the “Freedom Tower,” the One World Trade center has a total of 104 stories, and it was intended to help revitalize Lower Manhattan. American banker David Rockefeller spearheaded the construction project, and the building was designed by Minoru Yamasaki who came up with the idea of building twin towers.
The One World Trade Center is considered as one of the most valuable buildings in the world after being a witness to the terrorist attack instigated by al Qaeda on September 11, 2001, at 8:46 a.m. Five hijackers crashed American Airlines Flight 11 into the northern façade of the North Tower. After seventeen minutes of the crash, another one happened when they hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 into the southern façade of the South Tower. The incident resulted to the death of 2,996 people.
After the attack, the building underwent several reconstructions. Today, it serves as a must-see spot for tourists and remains a historical figure in world history.
These are just seven of the world-famous buildings we have today. If you venture out for a tour around the world, be sure to check out these sites, and see the beauty behind every door and window of these structures.