Modern architecture – it’s all about making a statement.
Dancing House, Prague
Sticking out like the dog’s proverbials in a city known for its elegant Baroque and Gothic architecture, Prague’s Dancing House was completed in 1996 on the banks of the Vltava River. Originally designed as an art museum but now home to a finance company, the building is nicknamed ‘Fred and Ginger’ after Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers because the edifice resembles a pair of toe-tappers mid-waltz.
Suite Vollard, Brazil
The world’s first rotating building opened in 2001 in Curitiba, with 11 floors that rotate 360 degrees every hour. A homage to Pablo Picasso ‘Vollard Suite’ of sketches, architect Bruno de Franco tinted the windows silver, gold and blue to produce a glittering visual effect as the storeys spin.
Absolute World Towers, Canada
It took more than 12 years for Toronto’s local government to find the winner of a design competition but it was worth the wait when the Absolute World Towers were finally completed in 2012. Two pillars standing 161.2m (50 floors) and 179.5m (56 floors) respectively, each level is twisted at different degrees to give the skyscrapers an hourglass appearance, affectionately tagged ‘Marilyn Monroe’.
Wuxi Wanda Cultural City Exhibition Centre
On the border of the Yangtze River and Taihu Lake in china, the Wuxi Wanda Cultural City is the creation of Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin. The Exhibition Centre at the heart of the development has been designed to reference local customs. Resembling a giant purple teapot, the form is based on Yixing clay objects, which originated from the eastern province of Jiangsu during the 15th century. The structure itself is 38.8 meters high and nearly 50 meters in diameter, composed of aluminum sheets and differently sized panels of glazing, with stained glass used for the central curvature.
One Bligh Street, Sydney
Australia boasts it’s own slice of the future in Sydney’s CBD: the hyper-modern One Blight Street, opened in 2011 by a cutting-edge team of Aussie and German architects. The 30-storey tower is packed with green features: a double skin facade to conserve energy, a sewage plant in the basement to recycle 90 per cent of the building’s waste water, a full-height 130m open-air atrium to maximise natural light, and a 10m vertical garden irrigated by recycled water.