Top Ten World Architecture top ten architecture past 1,000 years  
     
  For a more complete list, see Top Ten World Architecture  
1 1137 : Basilique Saint-Denis  

architect

Abbot Suger (1081-1155)

location

Saint-Denis, now a northern suburb of Paris.

date

1136

style

Rayonnant Gothic. The church is an architectural landmark as it was the first major structure partially built in the Gothic style , although only part of the original Gothic ambulatory at the chevet, or east end remains.

construction

masonry. The church is also important architecturally due to the fact that it is considered the first church built in the Rayonnant style.  Among other innovative features at St. Denis are the stained glass windows in the chevet, the rose window on the facade, and the statue columns (now destroyed but known from Montfauchon's drawings) flanking the portals on the west facade.

type

Church

During the middle ages, builders were discovering that stone could carry far greater weight than ever imagined. Cathedrals could soar to dazzling heights, yet create the illusion of lace-like delicacy. The Church of St. Denis, commissioned by Abbot Suger of St. Denis, was one of the first large buildings to use this new vertical style known as Gothic. The church became a model for most of the late12th century French cathedrals, including Chartres.
 
     
2 1205 - 1260 : Cathedral of Chartres  

architect

various

location

located in Chartres, about 80 km from Paris

date

1140

style

Gothic

construction

stone

type

Church

In 1194, the original Romanesque Chartres Cathedral in Chartes, France was destroyed by fire. Reconstructed in the years 1205 to 1260, the new Chartres Cathdral was built in the new Gothic style. Innovations in the cathedral's construction set the standard for thirteenth century architecture.
 
     
3 1406 - 1420 : The Forbidden City, Beijing  

architect

site was chosen by the third Ming Dynasty emperor Yongle (1402 - 1424)

location

Beijing / Peking, China

date

1406

style

Ming Dynasty

construction

wood, stone

type

Palace

Occupying a rectangular area of more than 720,000 square meters, the Forbidden City was the imperial home of 24 emperors of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. The Forbidden City is one of the largest and best-preserved palace complexes in the world. There are over a million rare and valuable objects in the Museum.
 
     
4 1546 and Later : The Louvre, Paris  
I.M. Pei's Louvre Pyramid: one of the entrances to the galleries lies below the glass pyramid.

architect

original-Pierre Lescot and J. A. du Cerceau
second wing- Visconti and Hector Lefuel
pyramid- I. M. Pei

location

36, Quai du Louvre, 75001 Paris, France.

date

1546, 1876, 1989

style

original- Loire Chateau French Renaissance
current- Second Empire Baroque Revival

construction

stone

type

Palace, Gallery

getting there

get off at metro stations: Palais Royal - Musée du Louvre or Louvre Rivoli. 

In the late 1500s, Pierre Lescot designed a new wing for the Louvre... and popularized ideas of pure classical architecture in France. Lescot's design laid the foundation for the development of the Louvre over the next 300 years. In 1985, architect Ieoh Ming Pei stirred great controversy when he designed the stark glass pyramid entrance to the palace-turned-museum.
 
     
5 1549 and Later: Basilica Palladiana, Italy  
vi006.jpg (79434 bytes)

architect

Andrea Palladio

location

Vicenza

date

1549-1614

style

Italian Rennaisance  

construction

masonry

type

Exhibition hall

During the late 1500s, Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio brought new appreciation for the classical ideas of ancient Rome when he transformed the town hall in Vicenza, Italy into the Basilica (Palace of Justice). Palladio gave the remodeled building two styles of classical columns: Doric on the lower portion and Ionic on the upper portion. Palladio's later designs continued to reflect the humanist values of the Renaissance period.
 
     
6 1630 to 1648 : Taj Mahal, India  

architect

Ustad Isa

location

Agra 

date

1640s

style

Islamic Mughal

construction

marble

type

Mosque

According to legend, the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan wanted to build the most beautiful mausoleum on earth to express his love for his favorite wife. Or, perhaps he was simply asserting his political power. The Taj Mahal may have been designed by Ustad Ahmad Lahori, an Indian architect of Persian descent. Persian, Central Asian, and Islamic elements combine in the great white marble tomb. The Taj Mahal is just one of many architectural wonders in a land of majestic tombs and erotic temples.
 
     
7 1768 to 1782 : Monticello, Virginia, USA  

architect

Thomas Jefferson

location

Charlottesville, VA

date

1771-80, 1796-1809 (H:1772, 1789-1809)

style

Palladian

construction

Brick

type

House

When the American statesman, Thomas Jefferson, designed his Virginia home, he combined the European traditions of Palladio with American domesticity. Jefferson's plan for Monticello resembles Palladio's Villa Rotunda ... With a few innovations. Jefferson gave Monticello long horizontal wings, underground service rooms, and "modern" conveniences.
 
     
8 1889 : The Eiffel Tower, Paris  

architect

Gustave Eiffel

location

Avenue Gustave Eiffel, by the river Seine. Telephone 01-44-11-23-23 metro stations: (Trocadéro or Bir-Hakeim. RER: Champs-de-Mars - Tour-Eiffel (C) )

date

1887 to 1889

style

structural expressionist Victorian Industrial

construction

steel 300 m (985 ft) tall.

type

tower built for 1889 World Exposition Monument

The Industrial Revolution in Europe brought about a new trend: the use of metallurgy in construction. Because of this, the engineer's role became increasingly important, in some cases melding with or rivaling that of the architect. The Eiffel Tower is the tallest building in Paris, and reigned for 40 years as the tallest in the world.
 
     
9 1890 : The Wainwright Building, St. Louis, Missouri  

architect

Adler & Sullivan

location

St. Louis, MO

date

1890-91

style

Sullivanesque

construction

steel frame, brick cladding

type

Office Building

Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler redefined American architecture with the Wainwright Building in St. Louis, Missouri. Their design emphsized the underlying structure. Except for the large, deep windows, the first two stories are unornamented. Uninterrupted piers extend through the next seven stories. Intertwined ornaments and small round windows form the upper story. "Form follows function," Sullivan told the world.
 
     
4 1931 : Empire State Building, New York  

architect

Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, William F. Lamb as chief designer

location

350 Fifth Ave., bet. W33 and W34

date

1930-1931

style

Art Deco

construction

Steel frame 102 floors, 1252 feet, 381 meters high. Effective use of setbacks to emphasize tower.
The building is clad in Indiana limestone and granite, with the mullions lined in shiny aluminium. There are in all 6,500 windows, with spandrels sandblasted to blend their tone to that of the windows, visually creating the vertical striping on the facade. The windows and spandrels are also flush with the limestone facing, an aesthetic and economic decision.

type

Office Building
  Click here for an Empire State Building gallery
The Empire State Building is a 102-story Art Deco skyscraper in New York City, New York at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street. Its name is derived from the nickname for the state of New York. It stood as the world's tallest building for more than forty years, from its completion in 1931 until construction of the World Trade Center's North Tower was completed in 1972. Following the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001, the Empire State Building became for the second time, the tallest building in New York City.
The Empire State Building has been named by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. The building and its street floor interior are designated landmarks of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, and confirmed by the New York City Board of Estimate.[5] It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1986.[3][6][7] In 2007, it was ranked number one on the List of America's Favorite Architecture according to the AIA. The building is owned by Harold Helmsley's company and managed by its management/leasing division Helmsley-Spear.