Expedia Viewfinder and ArchDaily teamed up to highlight inspiring structures to visit during your travels.
Towering skyscrapers and innovative architecture only add to the appeal of some of the world’s finest cities. At Expedia Viewfinder, we’re captivated by the structural elements that give character to our favorite cities, so we teamed up with ArchDaily to highlight buildings and structures that make us want to travel to see them. In this article, we highlight noteworthy architecture in a couple of our favorite cities.
In 1885, Chicago became home to the world’s first steel-frame skyscraper, so it’s no wonder that this city continues to lead the architecture pack with the Willis Tower. Designed by Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill, this building is 110 stories and reaches 1,450 feet high, making it the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the eighth tallest in the world. Constructed in 1970, the tower comprises 76,000 tons of steel, weighs 222,500 tons total, and sways an average of 6 inches from true center. Visitors can venture up to the Skydeck on the 103rd level and step out on the glass boxes to view the city from 1,353 feet in the air.
The Guggenheim Museum
New York City, New York
While New York City’s skyline is arguably one of the most recognizable in the world, this city has more architectural splendor than just iron and steel skyscrapers. The Guggenheim Museum is one such feature, admired as a structural phenomenon. The building houses some of the most prominent masterpieces in the world, but its design is a work of art on its own. Created by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1939, the building blurs the line between architecture and sculpture. The inverted ziggurat style incorporates glass, titanium, and limestone with juxtaposing features like ovals, triangles, and squares.
Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore
One of the most captivating features about the architecture in Florence is that much of it dates back to the early Renaissance era. Hundreds of years since their construction, these timeless structures, such as the Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore, continue to demand our attention and praise today.
The Duomo in Florence is the world’s third-largest church. The construction of the massive basilica spanned centuries, starting at the end of the 13th century, and ending with the addition of the neogothic marble façade in the 19th century. The construction of the dome posed the biggest challenge. No dome of its size had ever been built, and the architect refused to use Gothic flying buttresses for support because they represented the architectural style of their enemies. However, architect Filippo Brunelleschi defied all odds, and designed a revolutionary ring-and-rib support system for the dome that is still widely used today.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai boasts the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, but it’s the Palm Islands that have us talking. These manmade islands off the coast of Dubai combine both structural and artistic genius with their elaborate palm tree shape. Constructed by dredging sand from the Persian Gulf, Palm Jumeirah includes 17 fronds, a trunk, and a crown surrounding the tree design.
From age-old buildings to one-of-kind land structures, these architectural wonders deserve a visit. During your travels, don’t forget to look up, down, and around to fully experience these magnificent designs.
Expedia Staff Writer