Kulvir Singh Virk has worked as a freelance architect for the past 25 years, travelling extensively with his work. Kulvir enjoys exploring new countries, particularly locations renowned for their architecture, and some of his favourites include London, Athens, Rome, Istanbul, Budapest and St Petersburg. From the Middle East to China, this article will take a closer look some of the world’s most architecturally impressive constructions.
Burj Kalifa – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Standing a colossal 2,717 feet high, the Burj Kalifa is the world’s tallest structure. Towering over the desert, the landmark building’s 162 floors are home to offices, restaurants, residences and a hotel. The building was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, with construction completed in 2010. Tapering gradually from its Y-shaped base and featuring a 700-foot spire, the building’s glass curtain wall and steel mullions catch the Arabian sun, its sleek silhouette dominating the skyline. 124 storeys up, the Burj Kalifa’s observation deck boasts stunning views across the city.
La Sagrada Familia – Barcelona, Spain
Originally designed by Francisco de Paula del Villar, construction and design of the temple was subsequently taken over by the renowned architect Antoni Gaudi. Featuring iconic towers and a fusion of Gothic and Art Nouveau styles, the building was not originally intended to be a cathedral. Work on La Sagrada Familia commenced in 1882. However, the plans were damaged during the Spanish Civil War, with construction teams painstakingly trying to piece them back together ever since. The building is due to be completed in 2026, a whole century after Gaudi’s death.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa – Pisa, Italy
Another landmark where building was interrupted for decades is the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Construction started in 1172, continuing over more than 200 years of wars. This iconic medieval tower is recognised the world over for its distinctive lean. The 207 columns interspersed around the tower’s eight storeys are an impressive example of Romanesque architecture. Visitors who brave the building’s 297-step spiral staircase are rewarded with stunning views across the city of Pisa.
Linked Hybrid – Beijing, China
Designed by Steven Holl Architects, construction of this groundbreaking urban development was completed in 2009. The Linked Hybrid is a mixed-use complex designed to combat the isolation typically associated with gated communities and luxury residential buildings, comprising eight connected towers. At ground level, the building incorporates wide, open passages that lead to a series of public spaces including gardens, shops, restaurants and schools.