All around the world, stunning architecture makes its mark whether in public landscapes or residential surroundings. Architectural luminaries from days passed or present times imprinted their style and vision to each and every work they were commissioned to fulfill.
Whether we’re aware of their names or main work references fades in significance when it comes to the unanimous human reaction of sheer amazement when confronted with the architectural beauty, daring vision and stunning imagination. I assembled a list of 25 stunning architectural facades from all over the world to admire, acknowledge and – why not – mark down for future reference.
::1 The image above is a stunning detail of the Chicago’s Aqua Tower by Studio Gang Architects which has been the recipient of numerous awards.
::2 The following image represents the Pacific Design Center’s Red Building located in West Hollywood, by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects.
::3 Below is the amazing fractal façade of the Federation Square in Melbourne as designed by Don Bates and Peter Davidson of Lab Architecture Studio.
::4 Next is the Holland Park School façade, signed by Aedas Architecture and located in London, UK.
::5 The impressive metal screen of China’s Suzhou Science and Cultural Arts Centre façade designed by Studio505, an intricate hexagonal matrix.
::6 Located in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the Titanic Belfast building opened its doors on March 31st 2012, almost a year to date aiming to recreate the White Star’s glory into a multi destination building. Over 3,000 silver anodized aluminum shards make the beauty of this façade as designed in collaboration by CivicArts And Todd Architects.
::7 After all the metal panels, here comes the Prague located Golf club Hostivar with a nest – like façade designed by ADR.
::8 The wonderful Bloomberg Pavilion by Akihisa Hirata Architecture Office is an outdoor installation, symbol of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, Japan.
::9 Mirrored multifaceted, the Basque Health Department Headquarters from Bilbao, Spain was designed by Coll – Barreu Arquitectos as a double folded façade providing ever changing appearance by mirroring different views of the city.
::10 The Administrative Center from Jesenice as designed by Studio Kalamar has an exterior shell made of steel, in the very manufacturing tradition of Jesenice where many of the houses are rust – red, just like the oxidized façade of this center.
::11 Metamorf Architects designed this apartment building from Luxemburg with a dark façade from black shiny extruded metal which changes appearance when the weather changes. The Luxembourgish artist SUMO also collaborated by creating colorful insert surfaces.
::12 The stunning concept of this façade is one of a suspended curtain – wall as imagined by the legendary architect Raimund Abraham and surrounding the JingYa Ocean Entertainment Center from Beijing.
::13 A more modern approach and clearly hinting at the Harajuku culture through this Candyland inspired nightclub design as imagined by Tiffany Dahlen and Virginia Melnyk as a studio project under Professor Ali Rahim.
::14 Keeping it big in Japan, the mixed material façade of the Hoshinosato Annex as built by Kengo Kuma and Associates is comprised of aluminum panels and wooden panels disposed in a gradational changing pattern.
::15 The VM Houses apartment buildings from Copenhagen Denmark look frightening from afar as the designing team from BIG + JDS = PLOT added a special thorn shaped balcony set to the façade.
::16 The surreal curved Guggenheim Museum from Bilbao as conceived and designed by the brilliant Frank Gehry with its interconnected stone, glass and titanium façade looking like fish scales opened in 1997 still remains one of the greatest buildings of the modern times.
::17 Another beautifully fronted museum, this time the Design Museum in Holon, Israel conceived by the great architect Ron Arad. The five gradient steel bands clearly separated on the façade are actually part of the structure, ondulating and meandering together or separated like a visual thread running through the museum.
:18: The Sheung Wan Hotel from Hong Kong was designed by the Heatherwick Studio and built from scratch with an protruded exterior façade made of folded metal using the technology normally employed in making conditioning ducts and water tanks.
::19 Back to the grandiose architectural vision of Frank Gehry who conceived his New York by Gehry building as the tallest residential tower in the Western Hemisphere with an ondulating façade made of stainless steel which reflect every change in the surrounding medium, reflecting the light and thus permanently modifying its appearance.
::20 Back from praising the architectural virtues of steel to admiring the beautiful warmth of colorful wood paneling with Renzo Piano’s Italian Auditorium in L’Aquila.
::21 Colorful printed glass dressing up an old building making it new and modern again. The mobile vertical shutters control the light input by either protecting from the sunlight or letting it in through a clever electrically-driven interconnected group. A mathematical formula dictates the variation of the shutters colors from red to yellow and back again through seven colors, three patterns and seven different heights. All that and more on the Advancia Business School’s Façade in Paris, as designed by A.S. Architecture Studio.
::22 A modern façade for Sweden’s Uppsala Concert and Congress Hall building, very elegant and slick concentrating a unique collaboration between architects (Henning Larsen Architects), engineers and acoustics.
::23 The Stadhalle Chemnitz seventies air is fully accentuated through this famous triangle concrete grid designed by Hubert Schiefelbein aptly named ‘Geometrische Elemente’.
::25 Nothing concludes this piece better than a controversial architectural project acting as a façade for an entire city: the Barcode Project in Oslo, Norway. (This beautiful image of the Building C from the DnB Complex as seen through Building A was taken by Hakon Vestli.)
A handful of architectural studios working towards the completion of this huge Norwegian Barcode project (estimated for 2014). Debating this tall buildings ensemble, arguing that it would act as an architectural barrier between the city of Oslo and the fjord, the metaphor could be expanded to contain the entirety of architectural, decorative façades: should they be regarded as modern manifestation design and architectural vision or more like limiting the access to the surrounding environment?