Top 10 Architectural Marvels: Iconic Buildings Shaping Skylines


Natural landscapes, whether mountains, lakes, or pastures, have a calming effect on us. However, it couldn't be said for the skyscrapers but the sense of awe that many architectures, whether new or old, are a testament to what humans can do. No matter where you go or travel, these fantastic structures add an element of beauty to these places. Today we are discussing 10 such iconic buildings that are not just architectural marvels but have effectively shaped the skylines of the future.

1. The Sydney Opera House

Undoubtedly, it is one of the most iconic buildings of our modern history, which has long since become a world heritage site. It is really amazing to know that the design wasn’t just sanctioned, but Danish Architect Jorn Utzon presented his design in a competition. From over 200 designs, he won the competition easily, and now we see one of the most iconic designs in the world.

Though looking like the sails of a colossal ship ready to begin its adventure, Sydney Opera House has many venues to hold events and art exhibitions. Every year it can help 1,500 performances which over 1.2 million people can watch.

2. 2nd International Airport in Beijing

If you see it from the sky, this sprawling structure spanning 7.5 million sq. feet looks like a starfish due to its sinuous shape. The purpose of building a 2nd international airport was because the first one couldn’t accommodate the increasing demand for travel in the region. Now this airport can easily accommodate 75 million passengers during the whole year, which is planned to increase further to 100 million in the next couple of years. While being a comparatively new iconic building on our list, it also brings a sense of awe because it’s now the most extensive transport hub, quickly replacing Istanbul.

3. Shanghai Tower

China’s tallest building, having the 2nd faster elevators, highest and tallest observation deck, and more, are the accolades that come with Shanghai Tower towering 2,073 feet high. The fun bit about this building is that the corners were rounded during the design, as it was easier to make this final asymmetrical form to help save $58 million in just the material costs alone. The other fun bit is that it also helps the building to easily withstand the winds on the typhoon force level that Shanghai is well known for.

4. La Sagrada Familia – Barcelona Spain

Most people know it well due to its unique art style, which Gaudi is known for, but Francisco de Paula del Villar initially designed it. Also, it wasn’t to be a cathedral at first, but its unique styles and surreal combination of Art Nouveau and Gothic styles make it one of the best and most unique architecture. While the building is still incomplete, and the Spanish government is still piecing together design manuals destroyed in the Spanish civil war, it is slated to complete in the coming three years.

5. Eiffel Tower

What iconic architecture list will be complete without this iron lattice tower built by Gustave Eiffel? It is undoubtedly one of the main attractions of Paris and the most visited attractions of the world still to this day. Every year, it is known to be visited by over 7 million people. When standing at the top, the view alone is worth all the money, and it is magical.

6. The Oculus – New York

Entirely made of steel, stone, and definitely concrete, this behemoth structure looks as if it’s ready to fly, which is one of the significant aspects Santiago Calatrava is known for. The best part about this design is that it easily connects 11 subway lines and tons of retail stores while accommodating thousands of people every day passing through it.

7. Burj Khalifa – UAE

World’s highest building, encompassing 828.9 meters and 160 floors, this marvel will be forever in the history books and won’t be easy to overcome. It is exactly like Eiffel Tower in the sense that when you are in Dubai, there isn’t any reason that you shouldn’t visit this amazing monument and an icon in its own right.

8. Notre Dame de Paris

There are many cathedrals in Paris and more so in Rome, but there is so much beauty and mystery in Notre Dame, translated to "our lady of Paris," that it had to make this list. Furthermore, it has been the official seat of Paris’ Archbishop for a very long time, which allows it to be maintained regularly and visited by tourists all year round. That’s not enough. It also has one of the world's biggest surviving organs and bells, which enhance its charm when they finally play.

9. Apple Park – California

Most people associate it with the last achievement by Steve Jobs and consider it as his final vision of what Apple should have been. One of the prime reasons for this design is the vision of Steve Jobs in his dream, where he wanted to combine and assimilate building and nature. He wanted the campus to be as close to nature as possible, which couldn’t be far from the truth as the whole building runs on sustainable energy.

10. Leaning Tower of Pisa – Pisa

Another item on the list that is a must in these articles owed its construction to 200 years which was marred by not just wars but many other stories. The way it leans can easily be spotted and recognized anywhere in the world, including the pillars all around on each floor, giving it a fantastic look. These pillars are equally spaced on each floor, and the special design shows the potential of Romen-styled architecture that is second to none.

Final Words

Many other iconic historical and modern architectural marvels aren't on this list because making a small list to give them full justice is impossible. Nonetheless, this list tries to combine modern, eye-catching, new modern design, and more when it presents these top 10 iconic looks.