For CORE, the key to understanding architecture is to experience it. Only by communing with it and walking in its midst will you be able to feel the passion inspiring its creators. An explanation of their process can come in handy but it is only by the transcription of our senses that it comes to acquire its full meaning.
These are the 10 cities to visit if, like us, you are an architecture buff:
A symphony of intermingling styles encompassing both 17th-century buildings like the Tower of London, and skyscrapers like the Shard of Glass –the tallest building in the European Union, Brexit notwithstanding–, a tour of this city can be equated to the complete narrative of a continent, from past to present.
An icon of transformation, this city has suffered whole destructions and rebirths, such as the case of the Bundestag or German Parliament, a building that holds a mirror to its transition. It was here that the Bauhaus knew its brightest splendor, giving forth timeless objects and buildings in which “form follows function”, as we can attestify in Walter Gropius’ Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin.
The world center for art déco, Miami is home to around 30 city blocks filled with hotels and residential buildings built between the 1920s and the 1940s that constitute prime examples of this style. Should you care to experience its fractured shapes, its symmetrical blocks and its passion for geometry, we suggest seeking accomodations in one of the area’s most relevant buildings such as the Park Central Hotel or the Waldorf Towers on Ocean Drive, which can serve as your basecamp for a trip through a golden era.
The White City, recognized by Unesco as a World Heritage Site, is home to more than 4 thousand Bauhaus buildings that stand as an example of form following function in their intent to adapt to the region’s climate, traditions and customs. Not to be missed are Riegersus House and the Cinema Hotel, whose walls bring refuge from the sun, with large balconies that allow for the breeze to pass through, and light-reflecting colors: a triumph in the use of architectural means for human comfort.
Here you will find buildings from almost every era. Furthermore, it is the birthplace of Antoni Gaudí, who discovered new structural and aesthetic forms and transformed the face of the city with not-to-be-missed buildings such as the extravagant Sagrada Familia, the colorful ode to symbolism of Parque Güell or the magical and legendary Casa Batlló.
English heritage, Victorian houses, Gothic bridges and unforgettable urban pictures. You should become familiar with this borough beyond its famous Bridge, from Green-Wood Cemetery, right out of an antique postcard, to historic Brooklyn Heights and the hidden beauty of Dumbo residential neighborhood.
This so-called architectural paradise astounds with its passion for innovation, as well as the inspiration of architects such as Zaha Hadid, Jean Nouvel, Norman Foster and Tadao Ando. You will chance upon intelligent buildings, awe-inspiring skyscrapers such as Burj Khalifa, the tallest in the world, underwater hotels and even artificial islands.
If you want to experience sustainable architecture first-hand, you have but to visit one of the sustainable neighborhoods of Portland, where the coexistence of urban spaces and nature has been sought, resulting in a “conscious urb”. Do not miss the so-called “20-minute neighborhoods”, conceived for walking, where every basic service is within a 20-minute-distance reach on foot.
A city in which beauty will surprise you at every step in its luxurious mansions with charming façades, its architectural treasures such as windmills and bridges, and its fascinating architectural combination of 17th-century canals (decreed as World Heritage Sites), projected by the Amsterdam school of Dutch architect Berlage, with innovative projects in Zuidas business district and the Oosterdok neighborhood.
Last but not least, our very own enchanted capital, rife with historical buildings and new structures that combine the best of European and native influence, a delight for anyone interested in fusion styles such as those on display at Chapultepec Castle, the Palace of Fine Arts or the Metropolitan Cathedral.
10 CITIES EVERY ARCHITECTURE BUFF SHOULD VISIT
Like the CORE team, you can become a great-city lover and abandon yourself to the experience of walking through them and feeling their spirit under your soles. This is your chance to marvel at human creativity and live architecture to its fullest extent.
Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.