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World's 20 most spectacular buildings

Last updated on: June 24, 2011 11:20 IST

World's 20 most spectacular buildings

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These are the modern wonders of the world. Corporate offices, museums, stadiums, shopping malls these buildings reflect the new wave in modern architecture. We take you through some of the most unusual and creative buildings across the globe.

Lotus Temple (New Delhi, India)

This temple situated in India's capital city is amongst the most visited buildings in the world.

Known as the Lotus Temple for its flowery petal shaped architectural design, it is also holy place for the Bahai community. This Bahai house of worship in Delhi was completed 25 years ago.

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Image: Lotus Temple, New Delhi.

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Dome House (Florida, United States)

This four-bedroom house was designed to resist natural disasters. The house with a pool and an elevator has withstood some hurricanes as well.

The dome-shaped building is offered to people who wish to stay here on a rental basis.

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Image: Dome House.

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Olympic Stadium (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

A multi-purpose stadium in Montreal, Canada was built as the main venue for the 1976 Summer Olympics.

Designed by French architect Roger Taillibert, it has a retractable roof, which is to be opened and closed by a huge 175-metre (574 ft) tower - the tallest inclined structure in the world.

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Image: Olympic Stadium, Montreal.

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Lloyd's building (London, UK)

The Lloyd's building also known as the 'Inside-Out' building is the headquarters of insurance company, Lloyd's of London.

Designed by architect Richard Rogers, it was built between 1978 and 1986.

The building is unique with services such as staircases, lifts, electrical power conduits and water pipes on the outside, making the interiors uncluttered.

The twelve glass lifts were the first of their kind in the United Kingdom.

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Image: Lloyd's building, London.

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Fuji Television building (Japan)

The impressive Fuji Television building in Odaiba, Minato was designed by Kenzo Tange.

Fuji TV moved from their old headquarters in Kawadacho, Shinjuku, into the new building in March 1997.

It took three years to build this is earthquake-proof building.

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Image: Fuji Television building.

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Turning Torso (Malmo, Sweden)

Turning Torso is the tallest skyscraper in Sweden and the Nordic countries. Designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, it opened in August 2005.

The tower's height is an impressive 190 metres (623 feet) with 54 storeys. It is second tallest residential building in Europe.

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Image: Turning Torso, Malmo.

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Gherkin Building (London, UK)

One of London's most stunning buildings, Gherkin houses the global reinsurance company, Swiss Re.

Winner of the prestigious RIBA architecture award, the building constructed by Skanska, was completed in December 2003.

The building with an eco-friendly design uses 50 per cent less power compared to other similar towers. With gaps in each floor creating six shafts, it has a natural ventilation system.

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Image: Gherkin Building.

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Nord LB building (Hannover, Germany)

The building is made mostly of glass and steel boxes placed together.

Owned by Behnisch, Behnisch & Partners, it the main headquarters for the bank Nord LB. This eco-friendly building was completed in 2004.

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Image: Nord LB building.

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Tenerife Concert Hall (Canary Islands, Spain)

Situated on the waterfront in Los Llanos, the auditorium connects the city to the ocean.

The wave-like roof rises to height of 58 meters over the main auditorium before curving downward and narrowing to a point.

The complex has an auditorium that seats 1,800, a chamber music hall, technical facilities, general services and dressing rooms.

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Image: Tenerife Concert Hall.

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Gas Natural headquarters (Barcelona)

The new headquarters of Gas Natural has three buildings placed together. Opened in 2005, the design of the building, was selected from a competition among Barcelona's best-known architects.

This design by Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue was chosen to build the 20 storey glass.

The building's unique shape represents a waterfall flowing into the sea and an imaginary shark bite over the main entrance. The lower part shows marks made by the shark's teeth.

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Image: Gas Natural headquarters.

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Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles, California, USA)

The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California was designed by Frank Gehry.

The project was completed in 2003 at an estimated cost of $274 million, including the parking garage, which alone cost $110 million.

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Image: Walt Disney Concert Hall.

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Solar Furnace (Odeillo, France)

The largest solar furnace is at Odeillo. Opened in 1970, it has an array of mirrors to collect sunlight, reflecting on a larger curved mirror.

A solar furnace is a structure that captures sunlight to produce high temperatures, usually for industry.

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Image: Solar Furnace.

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House Attack (Vienna, Austria)

Designed by a renowned Austrian artist in 2008, this building shows a house hanging upside down on the Museum Moderner Kunst.

According to the architect, this is symbolic of worries people face across the world. His idea is also to inspire architects to think out-of-the-box.

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Image: House Attack, Vienna.

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Air Force Academy Chapel (Colorado, United States)

The Cadet Chapel at the Air Force Academy was designed by SOM as part of the grand plan to design the US Air Force Academy campus.

Glass and aluminum spires, each with 100 tetrahedrons enclose the upper level. Panels of stained glass lets light into the chapel. The building rises to a height of 150 feet.

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Image: Air Force Academy Chapel, Colorado.

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Beijing National Stadium (Beijing, China)

One of the most brilliantly designed buildings, the Beijing National Stadium is built in the form of a bird's nest.

Designed for the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, it cost a whopping $423 million to build this amazing stadium.

It was designed by Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron. A shopping mall and a hotel are planned here to make the venue more attractive.

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Image: Beijing National Stadium.

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Fashion Show Mall (Las Vegas, United States)

A shopping mall located on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada, it is owned by the General Growth Properties Inc.

With 1,888,151 sq ft of space, this is one of the largest malls in the world. The mall has over 250 stores, 7 anchors, an elevated stage, a fashion runway.

'The Cloud' at the entrance is about 128 feet above the sidewalk and is 480 feet long. At night, it serves as a movie screen.

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Image: Fashion Show Mall.

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Mammy's Cupboard (Natchez, United States)

Mammy's Cupboard is unique restaurant built to represent a 28-feet-tall woman.

The original restaurant opened in 1940, it was later revamped and interiors wear a new look now. The restaurant is open for lunch from Tuesday to Saturday.

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Image: Mammy's Cupboard.

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Pickle Barrel House (Michigan, United States)

The Pickle Barrel House is a two-storey cabin built of two barrels. The house's design is based on cartoon characters.

The main part of the house is a 16-foot (4.88 m) tall barrel. The main floor is for the living area and has a bedroom upstairs. A smaller barrel is kitchen and the two barrels are connected by a pantry.

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Image: Pickle Barrel House, Michigan.

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The Egg (Empire State Plaza, New York, United States)

The Egg is a performing arts centre in Albany, New York. Designed by Wallace Harrison, it was built between 1966 and 1978.

The building is held by a pillar that goes down six storeys into the plaza. A concrete girdle that surrounds 'The Egg', helps it retain the elegant shape.

The Egg houses two amphitheatres, the 450-seat Lewis A Swyer Theatre and the 982-seat Kitty Carlisle Hart Theatre.

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Image: The Egg.

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Edificio Mirador (Madrid, Spain)

One of the most impressive buildings in Spain, it is 63.4 metres high with 21 storeys. The highlight of this building is the large central open space, which is 36.8 metres above the ground.


Image: Edificio Mirador.

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