In the 21st century, the art of shaping the city’s design has reached new heights. Ultra modern and technologically advanced buildings are emerging all around the world, creating metropolises that stun with a new kind of appearance and functionality.
Check out where to go to find the world’s best planned cities, where architecture and design form a unique cutting-edge urban landscape.
7. Toronto. Canada.
The extraordinary and striking design of the Ontario College of Arts and Design perfectly illustrates the direction in which the Toronto’s urban design is heading. The black and white cube suspended above the ground on colourful giant legs is Will Alsop’s (London-based architect) controversial piece of modern development.
Other examples of “what is to come” are such projects as the spectacular extension of Royal Ontario Museum, designed by Daniel Libeskind, an American architect and artist, or Norman Foster’s University of Toronto new pharmacy building. In truth, Toronto, the financial and cultural centre of Canada, is becoming a pioneer of modern development in the country.
6. Copenhagen. Denmark.
Danish sense of beauty and aesthetics reflected in the country’s approach towards fashion design, interior design and arts can also be observed in the unique and world-class architecture. Danish cities are superbly planned down to the last detail, though far from being boring, as exemplified by Copenhagen.
The capital of Denmark boasts such architectural jewels as Radisson SAS Royal Hotel, designed by the famed Arne Jacobsen, an iconic Danish designer, Ordrupgaard, extended by Zaha Hadid, the world-recognized deconstructivist architect or Black Diamond. The latter construction is an amazing granite and glass extension of the historical Royal Library that has become the city’s landmark.
5. Barcelona. Spain.
Barcelona is a great blend of old historical architecture with modern development. One might even venture to say that today it is the modern urban design rather than ancient buildings that attract tourists from all over the world. Among the city’s contemporary architectural highlights is Port Vell, a former run-down harbour of empty warehouses and factories that was transformed into modern public space attracting 16 million people a year.
Other striking up-to-date projects worth-seeing in the city are the wonderfully reconstructed Santa Caterina Market, Mare Nostrum Towers, one of the most spectacular skyscrapers in Barcelona, Hotel Arts, Agbar Tower and The Fish, a sculptural masterpiece by Frank Gehry.
4. New York. The USA.
New York is one of the world’s best examples of a city where architecture meets design. Although the city is mainly associated with its skyscrapers, the high-rise buildings are not the only examples of its unique modern development. While in the city, don’t miss such cutting-edge projects as the New Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown Manhattan, a dynamic composition of a stack of boxes, designed by Tokyo-based architects Sejima + Nishizawa/SANAA or the transparent walls of the recently renovated Juilliard School.
Among other worthwhile constructions are also the newly opened minimalistic glass store of Apple in Upper West Side, or the luxury One Jackson Square residential development. And believe it, it’s just the tip of the architectural iceberg that can be found in the city.
3. Sydney. Australia.
From the iconic Opera House to more recent developments, Sydney is a city of the finest architecture and one of the world’s most exciting urban designs. Beautifully located on the hills surrounding the Sydney Harbour, the city’s architecture has been mainly influenced by European modernism and the high-rise development.
Beside skyscrapers of the CBD (central business district) and naval architecture of Darling Harbour area, Sydney is home to amazingly stylish beach houses and residential development, great public spaces, from the ultra modern universities and libraries to art galleries, museums and cafes.
2. Berlin. Germany.
The historical reunification of Berlin that began in 1990 triggered the city’s great transformation in terms of social, political and architectural structure. The city’s urban image is characterized
by ongoing spatial and structural modifications and improvements and every year there are some new amazing buildings emerging in the city, from the futuristic Sony Centre and revamped Potsdamer Platz to more recent Berlin Hauptbahnhof (the railway station).
Truly, Berlin has been recovering architecturally fast and today it is a city of unique solutions, great design and fantastic contemporary developments in architecture.
1. Chicago. The USA.
Be it the green roof on the Hall that helps the city to save on energy costs, Millennium Park that perfectly combines art, architecture and landscape design (like the extraordinary Jay Pritzker Pavilion), or the city’s numerous high-rise buildings, Chicago is regarded as one of the most exciting and finest architectural creations of the modern world.
The city remains the birthplace of great urban design that has been followed by many metropolises from Paris to Hong Kong.