The 5 coolest buildings in world below are not simply the world's tallest, the most expensive, or the most famous building in the world. Instead, they were all completed sometime during the lifetime of millennials and have diverse architectural appeals. A mixture of these qualifications, plus a bit of my personal opinion, has earned them the title of PolicyMic’s 5 Coolest Buildings.
5) Taipei 101 in Taipei, Republic of China (Taiwan)
While admittedly this is one of the world’s tallest buildings and is a regular on top architectural lists, I didn't pick Taipei 101 purely because of its magnitude. Rather it has more to do with the size of the steel ball within the structure.
This 660 ton tuned mass damper is central to the building’s structural stability.
This counters against the stresses on the building that result from its vertical size. Seemingly small factors like wind, minor seismic activity, and even the rotation of the earth become multiplied forces stressing this magnificent structure. The tuned mass damper housed within the Taipei 101 building is the largest in the world and allows the skyscraper to maintain the more traditional box-like tower shape over the more vertical size. [Completed in 2004]
4) The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain
This shiny structure resembles a combination of steel and the oceans' wild waves. The beautiful lines on this daring design give the Guggenheim an aesthetic appeal that has garnered approval of critics the world over. While this elegant and avant-garde building serves as housing for many of the world’s great masterpieces, the museum itself has become a cornerstone in architectural mastery. [Completed in 1997]
3)30 St Mary Axe [The Gherkin] in London, England
Affectionately and colloquially referred to as ‘The Gherkin,’ this building stands amongst the skyline of London as one of the most unique modern structures in the world. The beautiful glass exterior makes this architectural work of art resembles the delicate and ornate appearance of a Faberge egg. Even more breathtaking at dusk, the setting sun mingles with the reflective surface to provide a breathtaking display of lights. This certainly adds to the elegant beauty of the London skyscraper that has a unique and deeply political history. [Completed in 2003]
2) Bahá'í House of Worship [The Lotus Temple] in New Delhi, India
Photo via Leen Thobias - P4Panorama
This is arguably the most exquisite and breathtaking architectural structure in India second to only the famed Taj Mahal. While it is a Bahá'í religious temple, the temple is open to practitioners of all faiths as a house of worship. This building has garnered numerous awards that have continued to accrue from its opening a quarter of a century ago. Somewhat reminiscent of the Sydney Opera House, the Lotus Temple has its own uniquely defined structural silhouette that makes this magnificent structure one of a kind. [Completed in 1987]
1) The Constantly Updated Religious Architecture in Mecca, Saudi Arabia
As an odd twist from a Religion that holds its many characteristics in high regard, the dominant form of Wahhabism present in Saudi Arabia has given the world a dynamic architectural Mecca – no pun intended. In an attempt to avoid the ultimate sin of equating something with God, the Saudi religious officials have pulled out all stops to counter potential instances of idolatry. Since the late 1980’s the main mosque in Mecca, the Masjid al-Haram, has undergone numerous and extreme renovations to keep up with the demand of the annual influx of millions of immigrants. Critics cite the construction as the reason for the destruction of the house where the prophet Muhammad may have been born and overall have deemed it extravagant and unnecessary. Regardless of these issues, one fact remains certain; this is a simply exquisite example of a modern revival of classical-Arabic architecture design. [Ongoing construction project]