10 Cities Every Architect Must Visit

A city or a place is remembered by its culture, food scene, activities but architecture is what truly defines a city. The urban planning, buildings, public spaces, breakthrough areas are what allows the people to experience a city in a wide spectrum. Architecture and travel are correlated. A true form of learning space can never be achieved by staying in one place or by using the internet to virtually visit experience it. Architecture is a profession with a wide range of dynamicity, experiencing these spaces in actuality shapes a design mind.

So here are the top 10 cities that should be on every Architect’s travel list

  1. Athens, Greece

Classical Architecture

Ancient Greece exemplified the potential of architecture in an era where mechanization was non-existent. The scaling of these structures made them complex and marvellous. A walk around these structures is enough to take us to the timeless era of ancient Greece.

Places to visit- Temple of Hephaestus, Acropolis Museum, Acropolis, Plaka.

2. Rome, Italy

Baroque Style


The city over history has adapted various architectural styles. These evolving styles are still relevant. The form, scale, and architectural excellence of the Roman empire is an insightful experience that every architect must seek. Rome offers a contrast of the unique style of the ancient era with the modernist approach through time.

Places to visit – Trevi Fountain, St. Peter’s Square, Colosseum, Aqueducts, Pantheon, Vatican, etc.

3. Barcelona, Spain

Gothic, Modernist style


From Gaudi’s organic architecture to the modernized urbanscape of Barcelona’s walkable streets, the city is a storehouse of architectural marvels over a course of time. It truly is an artist’s delight. La Sagrada Familia’s organic design or the multi-coloured tiles and mosaic art at the Casa Batllo, the city is a mandate for an architect to visit.

Places to visit- La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlo, etc.

4. Istanbul, Turkey

Byzantine, Ottoman Architecture


Byzantine domes, Ottoman minarets, mosaic works, mosques, tombs, and what not! This city is an architect’s delight. Its futuristic heritage capturing the Byzantine era is a must-visit.

Places to visit- Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Column of Constantine, etc.

5. Chandigarh, India

Post- Colonial Modernism


Chandigarh city planning has been an outcome of the post-colonial change faced by the country at that time. The architectural vision for the governance at that time was to set-up an organized city with a futuristic goal. Le Corbusier’s ideologies have been a primary framework in developing this city as an example.

Although the city has been critiqued from both facets, the urban spaces, street planning, etc. ensure a learning experience to architects.

Places to visit – Capitol Complex, Gandhi Bhavan, Le Corbusier Centre, etc.

6. Tel Aviv, Israel

Bauhaus style


Known as the ‘White City’ that has had a Bauhaus architectural history with buildings dating back to the 1930s and 40s. Monochromatic Bauhaus style adds with designs heavily based on the ‘Form follows Function’ concept, this city is every architect’s textbook.

Places to visit – Beit Ha’ir, Dizengoff square, Esther cinema, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Azrieli towers, etc.

7. Singapore

Innovation design


With the ultra-modern facilities and cityscape which is solely based on innovation and green practices, this city gives an insight into a better city living.

Places to visit – Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay sands, etc.

8. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Modern Architecture


Home to one of the most contemporary as well as futuristic designs with a stronghold on the technological aspect as well this city is a marvel in itself. Many lead architects like Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid, Santiago Calatrava, etc have contributed to the Dubai Skyline.

Places to visit – Burj Khalifa, Palm Jumeirah Islands, Burj Al Arab

9. Copenhagen, Denmark

Urban Design


This Scandanavian city has evolved considerably over time. With architects such as Zaha Hadid, Bjarke Ingels, Jorn Utzon, etc working on it this city has evolved to be one of the finest ones to study urban design and practices.

10. Oregon, Portland

Sustainable and green practices


This city has a unique identity; the city holds the record in being the sixth highest country to have LEED Accredited Buildings. It has the highest concentration of green buildings. And not just that, it is bike-friendly, has urban agricultural practices, and holistically caters to being a sustainable city.

With the due diligence given to sustainable practices in today’s time, a visit to this city would add up as a learning experience.

Places to visit – Oregon Convention Centre, Aubry Watzek house, Meir and Frank building, Crysta Ballroom, Rose Garden Arena, etc.

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Saili Sawantt
Saili Sawantthttps://lifeinaday2016.wordpress.com
Architect and Interior Designer by profession, Writing is what she treats as her passion. She has worked as an Architectural Writer, Editor, and Journalist for various design as well as digital portals like ParametricArchitecture, FOAID (Festival of Architecture & Interior Design), Rethinking the Future (RTF), La Polo International, etc. Formerly she has also worked with Godrej Properties Limited (GPL) Design Studio, Mumbai due to her keen interested in learning about Sustainability and Green buildings. Apart from this, she runs her blog 'The Reader's Express'.

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