3. National Congress Hall, Brazil
National Congress Hall for Brasilia was designed by one of the great modernist Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer. It was the very time when Brazil was forging towards inclusive development, and architect Niemeyer designed the landmark building for his nation. Niemeyer was commissioned the project in 1957, which was completed in 1964. The building has been listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1987, recognizing the architecture of the building as authentic and modern legacy of Brazil.
Eminently admired as ‘sculptor of monuments’, architect Niemeyer has set the building in central monumental axis with two harmonizing domed and semi-sphere structures on either side. Whilst the dome and semi-sphere serve as the seat of the Senate and the seat of the Chamber of the Deputies, the Parliament Office tower is centrally placed. The simple yet iconic design of the building is truthful to urban scope of Brazil. The Congress Hall complex is an eccentric prospect of reinforced concrete exposed by Niemeyer with artistic sumptuousness of space. Architect Niemeyer was a great dreamer, who has brought on the conscience of national identity into architecture of the emblematic building. He has idealized democratic philosophies in the open design of the building. The modern utopian architecture of the National Congress Hall established global identity of Brazil.
2. Taj Mahal, India
The epitome of Mughal architecture, Taj Mahal, is one of the 7 wonders of the world considered as finest work of Muslim art. Shah Jahan, mighty emperor of his time, in commemoration of his beloved Mumtaz, built this fascinating structure based on Humayun tomb architecture. This 17th century structure took almost 21 years to complete with commitment of thousands of unequaled artisans. With its universal appreciation, Taj Mahal was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
Taj Mahal is a rare and ultimate model of obsession and love articulated through means of architecture. The rich components of the mausoleum; iwans, domes and minarets have jointly posed grandeur of the structure. The stucco and white marble finished exterior, intricately carved interior with exquisite and semiprecious gemstones and exotic garden have given unmatched beauty to the mosque complex. One can view a dazzling effect of Taj Mahal during full moon, when incandescence springs from white marble and precious gemstones of the mosque. The outlying minarets in cardinal directions are said to have constructed so perfectly that they would fall outwards, the main central chamber with finial remaining intact, if shaken by an earthquake. There is also an interesting story about Shah Jahan’s desire to reproduce Taj Mahal in black marble beside the Yamuna River, exactly to opposite and in refection of the white Taj Mahal. But, he couldn’t fulfill his wish after he was imprisoned by his son at Red Fort from where he could only frame the building from a window. Enthused from its style, there are several replicas of Taj Mahal worldwide. The mausoleum symbolizes opulence, splendor and military powers of the Mughal Empire, and yet they are ageless in their beauty and symmetry.
1. Absolute World Towers, Canada
Absolute World, also named as Marilyn Monroe Towers, is a dynamic architecture building designed by Chinese architect Yasong Ma. The building is a residential apartment house for the Greater Toronto Area. Construction of the two towers of the Absolute World Complex skyscrapers began from April 2007 and was completed in December 2012. The 158 m tall building was awarded the “Best Tall Building Americas” in the 2012 CTBUH Awards Program.
The most striking feature of the building is that it rotates by 8 degrees at different floor levels, providing each unit with a 360 degree panoramic view. The curvaceous design has given an elegant and sculptural expression to the building. The unique building was assumed to have construction challenges, but with heavy structural reinforcement at base, modified rail climbing system, Peri’s SKYDECK drop head system and EFCO climbing elevator formwork system; the building turned out to be economically structural. For shaping humanoid form to the building, 9,210 tons of iron was used. The helicoid building has curvy and cantilevered wraparound balconies in each floor resting upon a grid of concrete load bearing wall. The organic and progressive design of Absolute World has redefined the architecture of traditional high-rise structures with resurgence of contemporary identity.
Architecture is always ingenuous to human ambitions, and has represented socio-political and socio-economic expansions of particular age. Today also, epoch-defining architectural structures are emerging in several parts of the world with explicit notion of universal value. With every movement of reformation, either of arts, metaphysics or of science and technology; there has been a specific period of architecture in ever-changing world. The architecture of 21st century is definitely growing with experimentation of high-tech revolution. But, architecture, being honest to its meaning, is all based upon reconnoitering beauty. And thus, the amazing buildings having undying part of spirit in their materialism have been always admired for their actuality.