The Most Iconic Modern Buildings In The World

Buildings have the ability to inspire, exhilarate and challenge the mental model of individuals. As humans, we can feel the soul of a structure or building as it is a place that we are familiar with. We work, play and live in them. A beautifully designed and constructed building often leaves us with feelings of a grandiose stature and gives us the inspiration to believe in our own capabilities. Many times, you would have to be present there to truly feel the building and understand the meaning and art behind it. Today’s modern architectural feats are not just about building a building, but about how we as humans can interact with the building and use the space to make humanity and our relationships with each other stronger. In this article, we look at some of the most iconic modern buildings in the world.

  1. NORD/LB Bank – Hanover Germany

The NORD/LB Bank in Hanover Germany is known for its impressive modern art collection that it houses in this building from artists such as Gerhard Richter, Jeff Koons, Jannis Kounellis and many more. They have over 3,000 pieces of post-war art work that employees can use within the bank’s own exhibition program to decorate areas of their offices. Designed by Behnisch Architekten, the building occupies an entire city block and serves as an important linking element between various activities which define the neighboring quarters of the city of Hannover.

  1. Burj Khalifa – Dubai, UAE
Photo by Ashim D’Silva

No list of impressive modern buildings can exist without the tallest building in the world. Designed by Adrian Smith of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the same firm that designed One World Trade Center, the Burj Khalifa stands at a towering height of 829.9 meters. This blistering height makes it the tallest building in the world and cost’s approximately US$1.5 billion dollars to build.

  1. Perot Museum of Nature and Science – Dallas, USA
Credits: PaperCityMag

The building of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science is in itself a marvel and an exhibit. Designed by Architects Thom Mayne who is a Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate, the building has been called the “boldest piece of modern architecture to hit Dallas” by the Dallas Morning News. The building’s water is heated by solar panels and it’s cube shape is more energy efficient than a rectangular building. The building’s structural glass in the lobby is supported by tensioned cables that hold 100,000 pounds of stress per square inch.

  1. Museum of Tomorrow – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Inaugurated in December 2015, the building received 25,000 visitor in its first weekend of operation. It subsequently became the most visited museum in Brazil and was built by Spanish Architect Santiago Calatrava. It’s construction cost approximately 230 million reals (USD $41 Million) and was opened by then Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. The museum focuses on digital exhibits and ideas instead of objects or traditional art forms.

  1. Metropol Parasol – Seville, Spain
Credits: VistaSevilla

The Metropol Parasol is a wooden structure located at La Encarnacion square, in the old quarter of Seville in Spain. It was designed by Jurgen Mayer and was completed in April 2011. The structure ran into a couple rounds of financial difficulties but was eventually completed amidst strong controversy and criticism. The space is used by an archaeological museum, a farmers market, an elevated plaza and multiple restaurants and bars today. 

  1. Absolute World – Ontario, Canada

These towers were built by the Fernbrook Homes and Cityzen Development Group in 2004. One of the buildings was nicknamed the “Marilyn Monroe” due to its curvaceous, hourglass figure liked to actress Marilyn Monor. The development is a residential condominium and was reported that the towers were among the world’s best new skyscrapers in 2012 by the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

  1. Guggenheim Museum – Bilbao, Spain
Credits: Guggenheim Bilbao

Designed by the legendary architect Frank Gehry, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao building is a groundbreaking 20th-century architectural marvel. With over 24,000 meter squared of space, the museum has beautiful and seductives curves that were designed to integrate with its surroundings and water. It has been said that the building is one of the most important works completed since the 1980s by the World Architecture Survey among architecture experts.

  1. Learning Hub at the Nanyang Technological University – Singapore, Singapore
Credits: Wikipedia Commons

Costing SGD $45 million dollars to build, the Learning Hub, also known as the Hive is located in the National Technological University in Singapore. The Hive was a finalist for the 2015 WOrld Architecture Festival for the Commercial Mixed-Used Award in Future Projects subcategory and was designed by designer Thomas Heatherwick. The building has mixed reviews but there is much to admire at the uniqueness of the structure.

  1. Experience Music Project Museum – Seattle USA
Credits: Wikipedia Commons

The Museum of Pop Culture is a nonprofit museum building in Seattle, Washington. It was founded by Paul Allen, Microsoft’s co-founder as the Experience Music Project. The structure itself was designed by Frank Gehry and has a mixed bag of reviews in terms of its aesthetics. As the last structural steel beam was put in place, it bears the signatures of all construction workers who were on site on the day it was erected.

There are many more modern buildings that have beautiful and aesthetic value in the modern architecture world. These are just of them in which we felt were interesting enough to be highlighted besides the most mainstream ones we usually encounter.