There are many different features that can constitute an amazing structure. From the sheer beauty to the historical connotations to the technologically advanced, it is not an easy task to pinpoint what makes a building magnificent, especially considering all that there is to choose from. The list below certainly demonstrates that seeing how it ranges from an amusement attraction to an historical landmark that is over 769 years old. The one thing that all these buildings do have in common are that they are sure to amaze you in a way that you never thought a building could.
Kansas City Public Library – Missouri, United States
This library, founded in 1873, displays its collection on the outside of its building as well as the inside. The book spines, designed to conceal the library’s parking area, are 25 feet by 9 feet and made with signboard mylar. There is a collection of twenty-two titles that reflect a variety of books selected by Kansas City readers as books that they felt best represented Kansas City.
The Little Crooked House – Sopot, Poland
What appears to be the artwork of a child is an actual building—just a distorted one. It is part of the Rezydent Shopping Center and inspired by the fantasy illustrations of artist Jan Marcin Szancer. It is claimed to be the most photographed building in Poland, and once you get a glimpse of it, it is easy to understand why.
Cologne Cathedral – Cologne, Germany
Germany’s most visited landmark, this Gothic masterpiece is the tallest twin-spired church at 515 feet tall and towers above the city’s rooftops and chimneys. This magnificent building houses many works of art and the tombs of twelve archbishops. Its construction took place over several stages, starting in 1248 and not ending until 1880.
Hang Nga Guesthouse, Vietnam
Commonly known as the Crazy House, this large piece of artwork was designed by Hang Nga, the daughter of Vietnam’s second president. While the Hang Nga Guesthouse is theoretically a hotel, it is better described as a childhood fantasy dream. This outrageously creative building resembling a tree is made up of twists and turns typical of a fairytale castle. The themed guestrooms’ (tiger room, eagle room, kangaroo room, etc.) decorations and handcrafted furniture is consistent with the room’s theme and connected by cave-shape hallways and bridges. However, even though this hotel is a childhood dream, its high walkways and precarious tunnels are not child friendly.
The National Library – Minsk, Belarus
In addition to serving as a copyright library where the largest collection of Belarusian printed material is kept, the National Library is a city attraction with an observation deck that overlooks the Minsk. Designed by Belarusian architect Georgy Lavrov, this attractive landmark’s central entrance looks like an open book and books are delivered from storage by an automated system using special lifts. In the evening, the outside of the building is converted into a multicolored LED screen with over 65,000 colors.
The Basket Building – Ohio, United States
The world’s largest basket is not found in the headquarters of the Longaberger Basket Company—it is the Longaberger Basket Company. This magnificent seven-story building built to resemble a giant picnic basket is 192 feet long by 126 feet wide at the bottom and spreads to 208 feet long by 142 feet wide at the roofline.
Lotus Temple – Delhi, India
The Lotus Temple, also known as the Bahai House of Worship, is a famous tourist attraction due to its flower-like architecture. Iranian architect Fariborz Sahba designed the temple in the shape of a flower as it represents several religions. His architectural masterpiece has won several awards and has been featured in hundreds of newspapers and magazines, as well as inspiring the creation of books, stamps, and music.
Forbidden City Temple – Beijing, China
Formerly the Chinese imperial palace, the Palace Museum Complex covers 180 acres and consists of 980 buildings surrounded by a moat. Red walls and yellow glazed roof tiles adorn the largest collection of preserved wooden structures which has influenced architectural developments in East Asia, as well as other areas.
Dancing House – Prague, Czech Republic
Located by the Vltava River in the city center, you would think this building’s location would be enough of an amazement in itself. Yet the Nationale-Nederlanden building, nicknamed Fred and Ginger, is more popularly recognized for its unique design. Designed by the Croatian-Czech architect Vlado Milunic and American Frank Owen Gehry, the house resembles a pair of dancers—the stone tower symbolizes Fred Astaire and the glass tower, Ginger Rogers. The restaurant located on the building’s top floor has a breathtaking view of Prague from its terrace.
Wonderworks – Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, United States
This amusement park made the list because it is not often that we come across an 82-foot upside down building. Inside you can experience a recreation of a 5.3 magnitude earthquake and, yes, everything inside the building is also upside down.
Cubic Houses – Rotterdam, Netherlands
This architectural wonder was constructed by Piet Bloom to optimize space and build houses on top of a pedestrian bridge. The cube of a house sits tilted upon a hexagon-shaped pole with concrete floors, concrete pillars, and wooden framing making up the insides of the house.
The San Paulo Museum of Art – San Paulo Brazil
This 1968 structure made from concrete and glass with its main body hung from two beams is one of the most visited art museums in the world. Designed by Lina Bo Bard, the museum is considered one of the landmarks of Brazilian modern architecture.
The Innovation, Science, and Technology Building – Florida Polytechnic University, Lakeland
The Innovation, Science, and Technology building, also known as the IST building, was designed by Dr. Santiago Calatrava and is home to Florida Polytechnic’s main classroom and laboratory building. One of the university’s most innovative features, its louvered roof adjusts to the angle of the sun. The building is home to eleven labs which include a 3D printing lab and a cyber securities lab, twenty-six classrooms, and a 11,000-square-foot commons area.