At the time of construction, the Empire State Building in New York City pushed the boundaries of structural engineering, and was billed as the Eighth Wonder of the World. It’s principle architect, William Lamb, was tasked with creating a building which was as tall as possible, whilst still being structurally sound. At 381 meters, it held the record as the tallest building in the world from 1931-1972 and has become an iconic landmark of not just New York City, but also of the whole of the United States of America. 

At the time of construction, the Empire State Building in New York City pushed the boundaries of structural engineering, and was billed as the Eighth Wonder of the World. It’s principle architect, William Lamb, was tasked with creating a building which was as tall as possible, whilst still being structurally sound. At 381 meters, it held the record as the tallest building in the world from 1931-1972 and has become an iconic landmark of not just New York City, but also of the whole of the United States of America. 

Recently, a skyscraper in London known as “The Walkie-Talkie" was blamed for causing damages to a parked car on the street opposite. As it turns out, due to the parabolic shape of the building combined with the reflective materials it was built from, the building was reflecting and concentrating light incident on its surface onto the very spot where the car was parked, causing parts of it to melt under the intense heat. This is an interesting example of how the aesthetics of a building can cause problems with its functionality.

Recently, a skyscraper in London known as “The Walkie-Talkie" was blamed for causing damages to a parked car on the street opposite. As it turns out, due to the parabolic shape of the building combined with the reflective materials it was built from, the building was reflecting and concentrating light incident on its surface onto the very spot where the car was parked, causing parts of it to melt under the intense heat. This is an interesting example of how the aesthetics of a building can cause problems with its functionality.

I visited The Alhambra when I was around 10 years old, which helped spark my interest in architecture. This classic example of Islamic architecture is actually located in Granada, Spain. It was originally built in 889, and then renovated and rebuilt in 11th century. By far the most striking feature of this building is the incredible decorations and intricate patterns which cover every inch of the palace, which amaze and overwhelm the stream of tourists which visit the monument every year.

I visited The Alhambra when I was around 10 years old, which helped spark my interest in architecture. This classic example of Islamic architecture is actually located in Granada, Spain. It was originally built in 889, and then renovated and rebuilt in 11th century. By far the most striking feature of this building is the incredible decorations and intricate patterns which cover every inch of the palace, which amaze and overwhelm the stream of tourists which visit the monument every year.

The Lotus Temple in New Delhi, India, is a Bahá’í House of Worship most notable for its flower-like shape. The building’s layered, parabolic shapes bare many similarities to other contemporary buildings such as the Clyde Auditorium and Sydney Opera House. Personally I think that the building more resembles the shape of a globe artichoke than the shape of a lotus flower, but both images are discernible in the design. 

The Lotus Temple in New Delhi, India, is a Bahá’í House of Worship most notable for its flower-like shape. The building’s layered, parabolic shapes bare many similarities to other contemporary buildings such as the Clyde Auditorium and Sydney Opera House. Personally I think that the building more resembles the shape of a globe artichoke than the shape of a lotus flower, but both images are discernible in the design. 

What makes The Guggenheim museum by Frank Lloyd Wright so interesting is that it showcases its art displays in a way no other museum does. Upon entry, visitors are directed up an elevator toward the skylight, and the start of the tour. They then proceed to follow the gently declining spiral path down to the ground floor, viewing the brilliant artwork along the way. It is believed that the design of the building was based off of the shape of a nautilus shell due to its helical form and Wright’s reputation for having an interest in all things natural. Interestingly, with its conspicuous design, this building opposes Wright’s usual practice of shakkei which implies that buildings should disrupt its surroundings as little as possible.

What makes The Guggenheim museum by Frank Lloyd Wright so interesting is that it showcases its art displays in a way no other museum does. Upon entry, visitors are directed up an elevator toward the skylight, and the start of the tour. They then proceed to follow the gently declining spiral path down to the ground floor, viewing the brilliant artwork along the way. It is believed that the design of the building was based off of the shape of a nautilus shell due to its helical form and Wright’s reputation for having an interest in all things natural. Interestingly, with its conspicuous design, this building opposes Wright’s usual practice of shakkei which implies that buildings should disrupt its surroundings as little as possible.

The Clyde Auditorium, more commonly known as The Armadillo, earned its nickname due to its close resemblance to the shell of an armadillo. The building is mostly used as a concert venue but has also been used to host other large scale events. I myself am very fond of the modern, layered design and symmetry, which makes it stand out amongst the masses of older buildings in Glasgow. 

The Clyde Auditorium, more commonly known as The Armadillo, earned its nickname due to its close resemblance to the shell of an armadillo. The building is mostly used as a concert venue but has also been used to host other large scale events. I myself am very fond of the modern, layered design and symmetry, which makes it stand out amongst the masses of older buildings in Glasgow. 

Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright was built hanging over a small waterfall using cantilevered principles, giving it the appearance of levitating. It was designed in a way that meant the gentle sounds of the waterfall could be heard from within the building, making for a very peaceful home. One of the most inspirational features of the house, in my opinion, are the stone walls, the materials for which were taken from a nearby quarry and designed in a way as such to mimic the surrounding rock formations, elegantly blending the building into the background. 

Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright was built hanging over a small waterfall using cantilevered principles, giving it the appearance of levitating. It was designed in a way that meant the gentle sounds of the waterfall could be heard from within the building, making for a very peaceful home. One of the most inspirational features of the house, in my opinion, are the stone walls, the materials for which were taken from a nearby quarry and designed in a way as such to mimic the surrounding rock formations, elegantly blending the building into the background. 

L’Hemisferic in Valencia is modelled after the shape of a human eye. Interestingly, the building itself only exhibits half of the eye, and the image is completed by its reflection in the surrounding water feature. The theme of the eye is important to the building’s function as an IMAX theatre, Planetarium and Laserium, each of which hosts impressive feats of visual art. 

L’Hemisferic in Valencia is modelled after the shape of a human eye. Interestingly, the building itself only exhibits half of the eye, and the image is completed by its reflection in the surrounding water feature. The theme of the eye is important to the building’s function as an IMAX theatre, Planetarium and Laserium, each of which hosts impressive feats of visual art. 

The Burj Al Arab in Dubai takes after the shape of a sailboat, specifically a Dhow. I particularly like the contemporary curvature of this design which makes it stand out from many of the other skyscrapers close by. The architect, Tom Wright, was asked to design a building which would be recognizable from a 30 second sketch, and the result has become a stunning symbol of Dubai.

The Burj Al Arab in Dubai takes after the shape of a sailboat, specifically a Dhow. I particularly like the contemporary curvature of this design which makes it stand out from many of the other skyscrapers close by. The architect, Tom Wright, was asked to design a building which would be recognizable from a 30 second sketch, and the result has become a stunning symbol of Dubai.