Insider’s Picks: 7 Modern Architectural Masterpieces That Are Absolute Works of Art

Travel the world and you will inevitably want to take photographs of unfamiliar backdrops, but these modern architecture take it up a notch. No matter which part of the world you are, these stunning buildings are worth a visit:

ELBPHILHARMONIE, GERMANY

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Fret not if you have trouble pronouncing ‘The Elbphilharmonie’ – you can also refer to the concert hall by its famous nickname, ‘Elphi’. As one of the world’s largest and acoustically advanced concert halls, the Elphi in Germany boasts a stunningly new glassy construction that looks like a raised sail or quartz crystal and was stunningly illuminated on its official inauguration in January 2017. At a height of 108 metres, the structure is currently Hamburg’s tallest inhabited building.

SHANGHAI TOWER, CHINA

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Currently known as the tallest building in the world, one might think that this mega-tall Shanghai skyscraper stretches on forever into the heavens. Construction for the impressive skyscraper started late 2008 before topping out around mid-2013. With a fascinating 120-degree twist to reduce wind loads by 24 percent, this architectural work of art also boasts the world’s fastest elevators, which can travel up to a dizzying 74 kmh! Cover your ears now…

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LOUIS VUITTON FOUNDATION, PARIS

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The project for this gorgeous building started in 2006, and opened officially in October 2014 as a cultural centre and art museum. The US$143 million structure was designed by award-winning architect Frank Gehry, whose prolific portfolio include world acclaimed buildings such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and 8 Spruce Street in Manhattan, one of the world’s tallest residential towers. The two-storey Louis Vuitton Foundation boasts 11 galleries of varying sizes that add up to a staggering 41,441 square feet, including a spacious 350-seat auditorium and multilevel roof terraces.

THE SHARD, LONDON

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Like a shard of glass, The Shard is a fascinating, 95-storey skyscraper in the heart of London and currently holds the title as the tallest building in the United Kingdom at an impressive 309.7 meters at its peak. Designed by notable architect Renzo Piano, construction for the shard began relatively recently in March 2009 before its completion in late 2012. Head on to The View from The Shard, the tower’s observation deck, and admire a spectacular view of London’s skyline.

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GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM, SPAIN

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This stunning museum of modern and contemporary art is very much a work of art in its own right, aside from being among the most revered works of contemporary architecture in history. Commonly regarded as one of the most important architectural works amongst architecture experts, the museum famously houses large, site specific modern art installations including Richard Serra's 100-meter-long ‘Snake’, and a varied selection of works by Basque artists. Designed by significant architect Frank Gehry, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao officially opened to the public in 1997, and inaugurated by former King Juan Carlos I of Spain.

CATHEDRAL OF BRASÍLIA, BRAZIL

This stunning cathedral is as breathtaking when viewed from the inside as it is, from the outside. The Roman Catholic cathedral was originally completed and dedicated more than 40 years ago, but underwent major renovations while remaining open to the public. Originally designed by the iconic Oscar Niemeyer, who is commonly lauded as one of the greatest architects of his generation, the cathedral sees approximately one million visitors each year.

GRANDE ARCHE, PARIS

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Shaped approximately like a cube, many have likened the Grande Arche of Paris to a hypercube projected onto a three dimensional world. Inaugurated in July 1989, La Grande Arche is shaped like a fascinatingly hollowed out cube and a 110-meter high arch. From the cube, one can admire the Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre from a unique perspective, but one can argue that the architectural masterpiece is on its own a sight to behold!

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