Top 16 Coolest Buildings In The World

The Shard, London, United Kingdom

The 87-floor skyscraper in London, called The Shard, is part of the London Bridge Quarter in the district. Also known as the Shard of Glass or Shard London Bridge, The Shard is currently the largest building in the European Union at approximately 1,014 feet high. The pyramidal tower consists of 72 floors for living, with a viewing gallery and open air observatory on the 72nd floor. The architect who designed The Shard, Renzo Piano, wanted the structure to look like it was emerging from the Thames. The Shard got it’s name after the original design received criticism from the English Heritage, who said that the building would look like a shard of glass was being pushed through the heart of London. However, Piano retorted that the design for The Shard resembled the steeples of the churches scattered about London. The Shard is also powered by natural gas from the National Grid, with a combined heat and power plant.

Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia

Located in Sydney Harbour, close to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera house is a stunning performing arts center that opened in 1973. The Sydney Opera House was designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon, who won the international design competition in 1955 for the venue. He visited Sydney in 1957 to help supervise the construction and then moved his office to Sydney in 1963. Sydney Opera House was completed in three stages, and was to consist of not only an opera house but to serve as a multifunctional venue for the performing arts. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007, the Sydney Opera House hosts over 1500 performances per year, with an average attendance of over one million people per year. Several changes were made to Utzon’s design, giving way to the current structure it is today. Utzon’s original design for the Sydney Opera House was widely admired, though many things had to be changed about the design.