Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Renzo Piano, the Shard has already become a much loved – and hated by some – iconic London landmark since its completion in early 2013. The tallest building in Western Europe is meant to look like a shard of glass piercing the heart of London, and the view from the top is nothing short of spectacular.
Iraqi-born British architect Zaha Hadid, the woman behind the Glasgow Riverside Museum in Glasgow, Scotland, holds the distinction of being the first woman to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize for her distinctively futuristic design concepts featuring fragmented geometry. The Riverside Museum houses the Glasgow Museum of Transport and Travel.
Architect Tom Wright earned a spot on the modernist elite list for his compelling design of the Burj Al Arab in Dubai. The already iconic Emirates hotel – located on its own artificial island – is meant to look like a sail billowing in the wind. The inner detailing of the atrium is just as impressive as the building's exterior facade.
Thanks to the influence of Antoni Gaudi, Barcelona is no stranger to eye-popping architecture. The latest addition to the city's skyline, the phallic-like Torre Agbar, was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel to resemble a geyser jutting into the sky. At night, 4,500 LED lights illuminate the building in bright colors.
Israeli–Canadian architect Moshe Safdie originally designed Montreal's Habitat 67 for his master's thesis during his days at McGill University. When the residential complex was constructed on the banks of the Lawrence River in 1985, it became one of the most significant architectural landmarks in all of Canada.
Fully completed in 2005, the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain looks like the set of a futuristic sci-fi film. The Spanish duo Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela who designed the complex worked on it for over 10 years amid a political firestorm over financial concerns. The controversial project is responsible for 20 percent of Valencia's significant debt.
The flower-like Lotus Temple in New Delhi serves as the headquarters of the Baha'i religious movement. The modern expressionist design by architect Fariborz Sahba – a Baha'i devotee himself – has bagged numerous awards and has become one of the most-visited buildings in the world.
The Chapel of Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchomp, France may very well be the crowning achievement of Franco-Swiss architect Le Corbusier, known as a pioneer of modern architecture. The asymmetrical colored glass windows within the church are meant to impart a feeling of sacredness to the space.
The collection of biomes known collectively as the Eden Project, located in Cornwall, was the brain child of British architect Nicholas Grimshaw. Inside, you'll find thousands of plant species divided into thematic gardens, with environmental education at the heart of its vision.