Contemporary architectural wonders around the world
Posted on Friday 13 April 2012
in General, Travel, Spain
By Rory MacTavish
New York is known for the Statue of Liberty, California for the Golden Gate Bridge, Paris for the Eiffel Tower and London for Buckingham Palace, but contemporary architects are making their mark on international design with chic new buildings that exude character and sophistication. From Canadian-born Frank Gehry's undulating global installations to the late Kisho Kurokawa's revolutionary designs, the newest generation of architects are changing skylines for millions of tourists.
The Oslo Opera House in Norway was designed by the internationally popular architecture firm Snohetta and opened its outdoor space to the public in 2008. An important landmark and the home of the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, the building is the first part of a large transformation of the coastal area to rejoin the harbor with the main city. The structure consists of three separate elements: the wave wall, main carpet walkway and the factory. Bridging together the natural world with man-made marvels, the opera house spreads its wings in all directions as if welcoming visitors from every corner of the world. It neither blends into nor obstructs the beautiful views surrounding the city.
Designed by eclectic architect Frank Gehry, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, is a breathtaking building that looks more like a metal sculpture than a museum. As the seasons change, so do the hues across the prismatic titanium metals on the building's exterior, which seem to sway in the wind. A work of art itself, the building houses one of the largest collections of modern and contemporary pieces by renowned sculptors, painters and photographers such as Julian Schauble, Andy Warhol and Mark Rothko. Many of the interior rooms are designed specifically for certain works, such as the large copper sculptures by Richard Serra, which fit perfectly into the gallery space.
The Parque Biblioteca Espana in Medellin, Colombia, is an attempt by the government to revitalize low-income areas. The former mayor, Sergio Fajardo, believed that public architecture was a solution to improving impoverished villages. By bridging connections between tourists and locals, commerce can spread evenly throughout the nation.
"Our most beautiful buildings must be in our poorest areas," Fajardo has said on numerous occasions.
This simple and elegant library is perched on top of a hill in a village once known for drug and gang violence. Resembling boulders, the three separate structures represent the resilience of the people as they fought their way out of tough times. Natural light shines through porous exterior walls and at night, the library stands illuminated as a resonating reminder of how the country has changed.
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