Best Cities to Study Modern Architecture

When engineers and architects take a vacation, their minds don’t automatically shift away from construction and design. Impressive buildings and inspiring structures are all around us, and traveling is one of the most fun and enlightening ways to learn about new advances in the field.

Whether you have a work trip coming up or even a holiday vacation with the family, opportunities to be inspired are right around the corner. These are some of the best cities to study modern architecture around the world.

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo is widely known for its pop culture scene and high-tech advancements, but its modern architecture is certainly worth checking out too. After a few devastating catastrophes, much of the city had to be rebuilt. Innovation and cutting-edge technology are at the heart of Tokyo’s architecture scene. When you visit, make sure to see the Fuji TV headquarters, the Imperial Palace, and the Yoyogi National Gymnasium for examples of modern architecture.

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai has taken the modern skyscraper to the next level with ultra-extravagant buildings that are the tallest and first of their kind. Initially spurred by oil fortune, Dubai’s architecture has rapidly transformed as the city has quickly expanded and become a hub of international commerce. The 828-meter-tall Burj Khalifa has 160 floors and claims the titles of highest mosque, swimming pool, and free-standing structure in the world. The Burg Al Arab is a seven-star luxury hotel that sits on an artificial island, and an archipelago of 300 man-made islands was impressively designed after a model of the seven continents.

Chicago, Illinois

Of all cities in America, Chicago is a top pick for modern architecture because so many amazing architects have worked here and constructed buildings over the years. Louis Sullivan is considered to be the father of Modernism, and he built some of the first steel frame skyscrapers, as well as the Carson Pirie Scott department store. Frank Lloyd Wright’s influence can be seen throughout the city and suburbs, especially in his hometown of Oak Park. Visitors can take a walking, bus, or boat tour through the Chicago Architectural Foundation to learn more.

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Berlin, Germany

The best way to learn about Berlin’s architecture is to simply spend time walking around this historic city. Even since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the buildings here represent memorials, propaganda, and political power. You can sense the influences of Capitalism, Communism, and Nazism in the city’s structures and learn about prominent modern architects like Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, and Frank Gehry. One of the most beautiful buildings to see is the Philharmonie of 1963, which is where the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra performs.

Shanghai, China

Shanghai is another destination in China favored by modern architecture lovers because the city has been making construction developments at a rapid pace. The city’s growth began in the 1920s and 1930s, so Art Deco influences can still be found here. Visit the Pudong District to see the city’s tallest building, the Jin Mao Tower, which has a 33-floor atrium and is covered in an aluminum alloy lattice frame enclosing a glass, granite, and steel wall. Tony’s Farm is an example of modern architectural design that’s eco-friendly and sustainable. This is the city’s largest organic food farm that was built with old freight containers and lets in plenty of natural light.

Photo credit: Wally Gobetz and Reizigerin via Flickr

 

 

 

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