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Top 10 architecture destinations in the world

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From gleaming towers to a sail-shaped hotel, there are amazing buildings to visit in this guide to the top 10 architecture destinations in the world.

Gaudí apartment building in Barcelona

Modernista architecture doesn’t get more flamboyant than the undulating façade of Antoni Gaudí’s La Pedrera. Step on to the rippling rooftop with its mosaic chimneys and peer into the mind of the architect at the attic museum.

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Luxury hotel in Dubai

Dominating the Gulf coast with its billowing sail-shape by day, and changing colour like a chameleon at night, Burj Al Arab is emblematic of Dubai. Take photos from Jumeirah Beach or from the 27th-floor Skyview Bar.

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Circular art experience in New York

Celebrating its 50th birthday, Frank Lloyd Wright’s landmark Guggenheim Museum gently spirals from the ground floor to the sixth. The curving, stark white walls provide the ideal backdrop for the changing exhibits of 20th- and 21st-century art.

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Domed Eden in Cornwall

The Eden Project’s out-of-this-world cluster of environment-controlled, translucent biomes is filled with plants from around the globe. Step into a steamy rainforest dome in the world’s largest greenhouse, discover Mediterranean plants and explore the garden’s seasonal bulbs and anemones.

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Shells on the harbour in Sydney

The sequence of white sails stretching into the harbour makes the Sydney Opera House one of the most striking top 10 architecture destinations in the world. Take a tour of Jørn Utzon’s controversial building or enjoy views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge from the forecourt bars.

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Skybridge in Kuala Lumpur

The glossy curved pinnacles of Kuala Lumpur’s 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers are inspired by traditional Islamic architecture. Access to the 41st-floor interconnecting skybridge is free, and the views of Malaysia’s capital spread out before you are priceless.

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Fallingwater in Pennsylvania

With its natural setting and 1930s furnishings intact, Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous house is in the Laurel Highlands, 90 minutes from Pittsburgh. Named for the waterfall gushing beneath the home’s three cantilevered levels, Fallingwater can be visited on sunset, brunch, family or private tours.

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Mackintosh art school in Glasgow

Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Japanese-inspired designs grace several buildings in Glasgow, and one of his earliest and most influential works is the School of Art. With its pendant-lit library and Art Nouveau furniture, the 1899 Mackintosh Building is a working part of the art school, and guided tours are led by current students. 

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Contemporary art museum in Rio

The Niterói Contemporary Art Museum by Brazilian Oscar Niemeyer looks like a flying saucer perched on a clifftop overlooking the sea. After browsing the modern Brazilian art, head to the cupola’s circular observation gallery for views over Rio and Sugarloaf Mountain. 

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Horta’s home in Brussels

Brussels is the capital of Art Nouveau, thanks to the fluid lines of Victor Horta. The Belgian architect’s pioneering designs are displayed in his World Heritage-listed home and studio, with its curved glass roof, sinuous spiral staircase and meticulously detailed furnishings and fittings. 

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