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Iconic architecture of the world

Architecture icons

Architecture can make or break its surroundings. It can be the very centrepiece of its home city – like a picture it can speak a thousand words.

When you think of a city, state or country, you will automatically imagine something that you associate with that place. It could be a statue, a person or a building.

We’ve put together a list of some of the most iconic pieces of Architecture which are synonymous with their city.

1. 30 St Mary Axe, London

The GherkinBuilding type: Office
Architectural style: Neo-futuristic
Location: St Mary Axe, London, EC3 United Kingdom
Construction started: 2001
Completed: 2003
Opened: 28 April 2004 (14 years ago)
Cost: £138 million (plus land cost of £90.6 million)
Owner: Safra Group
Architect: Foster and Partners

30 St Mary Axe (known previously as the Swiss Re Building), informally known as The Gherkin, is a commercial skyscraper in London’s primary financial district, the City of London. “The Gherkin” has 41 floors and is 180 metres (591 ft) tall.

2. Empire State Building, New York

Empire State BuildingBuilding type: Office and observation deck
Architectural style: Art Deco
Location: 350 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, New York 10118
Construction started: March 17, 1930
Completed: April 11, 1931
Opened: May 1, 1931 (87 years ago)
Cost: $40,948,900 (£31.8 million)
Owner: Empire State Realty Trust
Architect: Shreve, Lamb and Harmon

The Empire State Building is a 102-story Art Deco skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. The building has a roof height of 1,250 feet (380 m) and stands a total of 1,454 feet (443.2 m) tall, including its antenna.

An American icon, the Empire State Building sees millions of sightseers per year, keen to get a glimpse of New York city from its observation deck on its 86th floor.

3. Taj Mahal, Agra

Taj MahalBuilding type: Mausoleum
Architectural style: Mughal architecture
Location: Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India
Construction started: 1632
Completed: 1643 (376 years ago)
Opened: n/a
Cost: 32 million rupees (approx £350k)
Owner: Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan now Government of India
Architect: Ustad Ahmad Lahauri

The Taj Mahal attracts over 8 million visitors a year and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

4. La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Sagrada FamiliaBuilding type: Church
Architectural style: Art Nouveau & Modernisme
Location: Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Construction started: 1882 (137 years ago)
Completed: incomplete
Cost: Annual construction budget of 25 million euros (£22 million)
Leader: His Eminence Juan Josep Cardinal Omella, Archbishop of Barcelona
Architect: Antoni Gaudí

Designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, the Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família is an unfinished Roman Catholic Church. The original Architect Francisco de Paula del Villar began work on the church in 1882 and Gaudi took over a year later. By the time of the Architect’s death in 1926, the project was less than a quarter complete. It is anticipated that the building can be completed by 2026.

5. Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur

The Petronas Twin TowersBuilding type: Commercial offices and tourist attraction
Architectural style: Postmodern
Location: Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Construction started: 1 March 1993
Completed: 1 March 1996
Opened: 31 August 1999 (19 years ago)
Cost: US$1.6 billion (£1,233 million)
Owner: KLCC Holdings Sdn Bhd
Architect: César Pelli

Listed as the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004, the Petronas Towers, or Petronas Twin Towers are a landmark of Kuala Lumpur. The 88-floor towers is influenced by Islamic art and features a double decker skybridge connecting (but not attached to) the two buildings.

6. Sydney Opera House, Sydney

Sydney Opera HouseBuilding type: Performing arts centre
Architectural style: Expressionist
Location: Bennelong Point, Sydney, Australia
Construction started: 1 March 1959
Completed: 1973
Opened: 20 October 1973
Cost: A$102 million (£56 million)
Owner: NSW Government
Architect: Jørn Utzon

The Sydney Opera House features a modern expressionist design, with a series of large precast concrete “shells”, each composed of sections of a sphere of 75.2 metres (246 ft 8.6 in) radius, forming the roofs of the structure, set on a monumental podium. The building covers 1.8 hectares (4.4 acres) of land and is 183 m (600 ft) long and 120 m (394 ft) wide at its widest point. It is supported on 588 concrete piers sunk as much as 25 m (82 ft) below sea level.

Do you have a piece of Architecture you associate with a place? Or do have have any ideas or submissions for our blog? Email marketing@hunterdunning.co.uk.

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