In a 21st century world, where Science and Technology have worked wonders to create almost anything a human mind can possibly conceive, it wasn’t impossible for architects to create buildings so cool and technologically forward that not only are they seemingly unrealistic, but also capable of providing innovative solutions to the problems that lie ahead. Many such buildings have managed to captivate us with their awe-inspiring architecture and brilliant construction. We bring you a list of top 10 most futuristic and super cool buildings in the world:
10) The Crystal, London
The Crystal, owned and controlled by Siemens and unveiled in 2012, is one of the world’s greenest buildings, hosting the largest exhibition on urban sustainability. It’s crystalline form-like design refers to both, the “multi-faceted urban world” and the Crystal Palace built for London’s Great Exhibition in 1861, which displayed the latest technology from the Industrial Revolution. The low-rise glass building uses solar power and ground source heat pumps to generate its own energy. It’s other major innovations include rain water harvesting, treatment of black water and charging stations for electric cars.
9) Spaceport America, New Mexico
When we talk about the futuristic look of the world, spaceships definitely come to our mind. This commercial spaceport in New Mexico actually resembles one. Still inchoate, it has launched 12 flight tests at its vertical launch area since 2006, with public launches occurring on a regular basis including the annual student launch process. Once fully operational, the spaceport will contain an airfield, terminal/hangar facility, launchpads, emergency response capabilities, roadways, utilities and tourism activities. For now, people can explore the place via public bus tours.
8) Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
One of the largest nature parks, Gardens by the Bay in Singapore is the most visited place by tourists and an architectural stunner. A multi-award winner, also regarded as a sustainable public place, this place offers the tourists a breathtaking view of picturesque waterfronts across the three gardens. Sprawled over 101 hectares of reclaimed land, the horticultural landmark’s design was inspired by Singapore’s national flower, Vanda ‘Miss Joaquim’ (an orchid hybrid). The gardens are world-famous for their various botanical attractions such as the ‘Super-tree Grove’ – a bunch of artificial tree-shaped vertical gardens, 9 to 26 feet tall, consisting of beautiful living plants and equipped with photo-voltaic cells that generate solar energy. Another botanical attraction, ‘The Flower Dome’, is the largest column-less greenhouse of the world, hosting a myriad of plants from different deserts across the world, providing them a cool-dry atmosphere of Mediterranean regions. The gardens are beautifully lit up at night and tourists can enjoy the sky show of choreographed lights and sounds among the super-trees.
7) Burj Khalifa, Dubai
Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world (2722 ft), is a global icon because of its astounding architecture and design, fabricated with cutting-edge technologies. Opened in early 2010 and described as the ‘living wonder’ or ‘vertical city’, the tallest free-standing structure comprises of the highest number of stories, highest occupied floor, highest outdoor observation deck and an elevator with the longest travel distance in the world. Also known as the jewel of gulf regions, Burj Khalifa is a fine amalgamation of art, engineering and culture, including the famous architectural showstopper – a tower comprising three elements arranged around a central core, inspired by the spider lily.
6) Absolute World Towers, Canada
Skyscrapers have been symbols of technological bravado throughout the process of urbanization. Situated in Mississauga, Toronto, Absolute World Towers or the residential twin towers, 518 and 589 feet tall respectively, are rotated at different levels by different degrees from base to top, giving them a curved and twisted outline. Because of their curvaceous design, they are also called the Marilyn Monroe towers. Their oval-shaped floors flaunt apartments with a panoramic view of the city skyline due to the continuous balconies wrapped around the recessed glass fronts. The towers have received many accolades and have also been named the best tall buildings in the Americas by Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat – a nonprofit group of engineers and architects.
5) Bullitt Center, Seattle
Bullitt Center, established in Seattle in 2013, is the world’s greenest commercial building and a paradigm for urban sustainability. Spanned over an area of 50,000 square kilometers, the six-floored building has an extensive green roof that filters the building’s gray water and a pavement that allows water to penetrate into the soil. The roof comprising solar panels also acts as a cistern for rain water collection. The $30 million ‘living factory’ sets apart from other sustainable projects due to its stringent water and energy budget, composting toilets and exclusion of many common harmful chemicals, aiming to become self-sufficient, commercially viable and aesthetically stunning.
4) Galaxy Soho Building, Beijing
Galaxy Soho building was launched in 2012 in Central Beijing, China. It is an 18-story office, retail and entertainment complex with architecture so cool and out-of-this world; we could have only imagined it in sci-fi movies. It contains 4 domed structures connected by sky bridges and platforms, built from glass, aluminium, stone and stainless steel. Designed by architect Zaha Hadid – the first woman to win the most prestigious Pritzker Prize, the building, with its flowing lines and organic forms inspired by nature, engenders a pleasingly rich and harmonious effect.
3) Palazzo Lombardia, Milan
Having won the 2012 International Architecture Award for best new global design, Palazzo Lombardia in Milan is the one of the most eco-friendly office towers in the world. The 525 feet tall, curvilinear building is an example of finest modern architecture and sustainable planning, with technological solutions to the present day challenges. The building contains ground water heat pumps for both, cooling and heating benefits. Some of the facades of the tower are facilitated with solar panels that generate energy to run the building. A climate wall collects the solar energy to be converted and the building links the office space to outdoor areas, providing a beautiful environmental view of the surrounding.
2) W57 Pyramid, New York
W57 Pyramid in New York City is a 600 unit residential building between 10th and 11th avenues, designed by the head architect at the Danish firm BIG, Bjarke Ingels. The building, changing according to its vantage point, appears as a slender spire from West 58th Street, and a distorted pyramid from the West Side Highway side. Surrounded by outdoor green space, each apartment receives natural daylight. According to Ingel, “The building is conceived as a crossbreed between the Copenhagen courtyard and the New York skyscraper—the communal intimacy of the central urban oasis meets the efficiency, density, and panoramic views of the tall tower in a new hybrid typology.”
1) The Atomium, Brussels
After having a look at this monumental piece of architecture, you will feel as if you have been transported to the future. The Atomium in Brussels, Belgium is an international tourist attraction and one of the most popular landmarks of Europe. The noteworthy piece of architecture was designed by André Waterkeyn in 1958 on the World Fair of Brussels. It resembles an iron crystal enlarged 165 billion times, consisting of 9 metal spheres interconnected by corridors having lifts. The top sphere has a restaurant providing scrumptious food and an all-encompassing view of the city, whereas the other spheres host exhibitions narrating the construction of the Atomium and history of the 1958 exhibition. It was designed at the time to symbolize the scientific progress and arrival of atomic age. The idea revolved around on an optimistic modernity, intended to make people forget the World War II.