If you spend much of your time designing new architecture, whether professionally or for a self-build project, you can doubtless take much inspiration from many of the world’s most well-known and beautiful buildings. Here are 10 examples to get your imagination into gear.
St Paul’s Cathedral, London
Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, this intricately-decorated building features one of the world’s largest domes, measuring as it does almost 112 metres in height. Today, the structure is a popular hub for both tourism and religious worship.
The White House, Washington
In 1792, Irish architect James Hoban submitted a plan for, and then got the commission to construct, what would became the home of every US president since George Washington’s successor, John Adams. Its white-painted Aquia sandstone has been crucial to its iconic look.
Leaning Tower of Pisa
This tower’s famous tilt was actually an accident; it came about because, on one side, the ground was too soft to properly support the weight. This design quirk could inspire you to think creatively, though be sure to make use of precise build cost estimates.
Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem
This seventh-century building has an intriguing mix of architectural influences. For example, there’s a Byzantine look to the octagonal layout and wooden rotunda dome, while the exterior tiles are Persian. No wonder this structure has been inspiring artistic people for more than a millennium!
The Kaaba, Mecca
Located in Mecca in Saudi Arabia, this square building’s name – appropriately – means “cube” in Arabic. The silk and cotton veil draped over the building, which is approximately 627 square feet in total size, is key to its beauty.
St Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow
Upon first glance, this colourful – to put it mildly – building looks like something out of Disneyland! Originally erected during the reign of Ivan the Terrible in the sixteenth century, the Cathedral is today the most visited tourist attraction in the Russian capital.
Lloyds Building, London
If you’re interested in building something with a very futuristic look, it’s easy to be inspired by this architectural landmark on the British capital’s Lime Street. The building is particularly remarkable for having its staircases and water pipes on the exterior.
Taj Mahal, India
Originally constructed during the seventeenth century by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his deceased wife, it’s testament to the magnificent and imposing appearance that many people actually mistake the building as a palace. It shows an intoxicating mix of Indian, Persian and Turkish styles.
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
You might recognise this building from the opening scenes of the 2012 Bond movie Skyfall. Historically, this piece of striking Byzantine architecture was originally built for Constantine the Great but has often been rebuilt since due to factors including burning and earthquakes.
Buckingham Palace, London
One of the world’s few royal residences still in use, Buckingham Palace has been expanded to impressive effect since the eighteenth century, when George III purchased it as pretty much a red brick house. It has even been extensively repaired after bombing during World War II