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4 Architecturally Iconic Buildings That Architecture Students Should Visit

Written by:
Liliana Alvarez
Yuhan Du

Architecture is one of the most fascinating fields in human development. It marks the human expression of vision and creativity through concrete, steel, stones, and other materials used in construction, each of which plays a significant part in the realization of the plan. Every building and structure comes with inspiration and gives architects a chance to create masterpieces.

Most cities have become famous owing to iconic masterpiece architectural designs, which have sent people marveling at the beauty that simple construction materials can create. Let’s explore the most architecturally iconic buildings in the world, their significance, their expressions, and why they are a must-visit for architecture students.

Empire State Building

Constructed in 1931 in New York, the Empire State Building is an iconic architectural building for various reasons. Firstly, it was once the tallest structure in the world and is currently the fourth tallest, with a height of 443.2 meters. It became a revolutionary skyscraper and hit the headlines as the “race to the sky’’ competition started.

William Lamb, chief architect Harmon, and Shreve designed this iconic building. It has an observatory floor on the 102nd floor, indoor and outdoor observation decks, and 85 levels of commercial office space. This establishment’s inspirational look was inspired by a pencil constituting a long straight tower, curving levels, and a sharp pointer at the tip. It only took 20 months to finish the construction, setting the record for completion ahead of its proposed time and budget.

Among the most iconic features is a highly revered interior design, especially the lobby, which comprises art deco-style architecture consisting of geometric forms and exceptional use of stainless steel and limestone. Other fascinating features include lighting displays during holidays. It’s also a symbol of resilience; it survived a plane crash in 1945, which further cemented the strength of its robust structure. A visit to this site will spark your inspiration to develop outstanding designs. It’s like how you can get inspiration for writing quality essays like those written by experts at EssayUSA essay writing service by reading well-crafted essay examples.

Casa Batlló

In the heart of Barcelona is the Casa Batlló, designed by the legendary architect Antoni Gaudi, renowned for his avant-garde architectural style. The building is one of a kind and encourages architects to think creatively. It is more than just a building; it’ a work of art. One of its fascinating features is the emphasis on curvilinear forms and undulating facades, moving away from the most common form and traditional straight lines in buildings. The building creatively integrates natural elements by having a marine-inspired theme. It extensively uses shapes resembling marine life, such as seaweed.

Casa Batlló extensively uses symbolism and fantasy, with the facade symbolizing the back of a dragon, and the use of color and mosaic creates a stunning exterior that makes it whimsical and exciting to watch. The roof is unique and irregular, adding to the mystery of Gaudi’s vision. The work shows a high level of attention to detail, indicated by the carefully designed balconies, window designs, main floor with slender stone columns, and modernist floral elements. Overall, the Casa Batlló showcases the fusion of art and architecture and should be on your bucket list of the sites to visit.


Designed by architect Frank Lloyd, the Fallingwater in Mill Run is celebrated as the epitome of organic architecture, symbolizing the harmony and fusion between nature and people. It was designed in 1935 and constructed between 1936 and 1939. What makes it fascinating is that it is built partly over a waterfall. Inspired by the Pottsville sandstone in the area, the building has a cantilevered design, with balconies and terraces extending over the waterfall. This design creates an artistic expression where the house is part of the landscape.

In the construction, Floyd used locally available materials such as sandstone, which continues to promote his commitment to unity with the natural environment. Moreover, the house is strategically positioned, allowing occupants to have a view of the waterfall from various angles, creating a breathtaking view.

The builders incorporated reinforced concrete, which was a marvelous experiment of using reinforced concrete in residential designs. Moreover, the building’s open floor plans were a departure from the compartmentalized style of building design and allowed for interconnected spaces. Despite the criticism raised due to some critical architectural errors, it’s good inspiration that architecture is not all about creating what has been proven to work; it’s about expanding knowledge by trying new things.

Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa, with its more than 160 stories and 828 meters of height, is currently the highest building worldwide. It holds the world records for being the tallest free-standing building, highest observation deck, and tallest service elevator. The building is a true definition of solid science, visionary ideas, and modernity. Burj Khalifa’s inspiration is based on the Hymenocallis, a desert flower, and Islamic architecture.

Designed and built by architect Adrian Smith, the building resembles a spiraling design in stepped form. Among its interesting facts is its design, which includes residential and commercial spaces in one plan, which showcases the concept of urban design and sustainability for efficiency and mixed-use development of architectural designs.

This building is the epitome of architecture, as a lot of science was geared towards ensuring its safety and stability to withstand the challenges presented by its height, such as withstanding the wind. Another significant detail is its Y-shaped floor plan that allows for a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape, especially the Persian Gulf. Also, the building has efficient water and energy use and green building practices, showcasing its sensitivity to the environment.

Burj Khalifa shows the development of architecture and is an excellent example of the application of architectural knowledge and building materials. It’s a continuation of the “race to the sky” competition and a source of inspiration for all architects to dream big without limitations.

Singing Off

The field of architecture is constantly evolving. Expanding your knowledge as an architecture student is good, and exploring different iconic designs will help you do that. It’ll help you expand your thinking and creativity. Learn by visiting the iconic buildings discussed above. These buildings will also help you see through the eyes of the world’s greatest architects and marvel at what their humble drawing pencils created.

By Liliana Alvarez

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