I enjoy tasting new, unique food. I love meeting new friends and getting to know the local culture. But, if there’s one thing I’m guilty of taking more pleasure in than anything else while traveling, it’s in seeing buildings. Guess what makes up about 90% of the photos I take while on the road? Yup, pictures of houses, storefronts, cathedrals, temples, and city skylines. I never think twice about this until that inevitable post-trip picture show when my friends instantly take note of this. (“Why aren’t there any pictures of you in here?” — “There is, that’s me standing at the steps of that amazing library I stumbled upon.”)
But this makes a little sense, right? Come on, what are the enduring symbols of Rome, of Angkor, of New York? So what about modern structures, how many of the greats have you seen? Vanity Fair recently asked 52 architecture experts to choose the five most important works created since 1980. Out of 132 named, Vanity Fair listed the top 21, with, not surprisingly, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, coming out at top. Other notable buildings that made the list included Rem Koolhaas’ Seattle Central Library, Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Museum in Berlin, Beijing’s CCTV Building and Bird’s Nest, New York’s Cooper Union building, and the BMW World in Munich.
So what is going to be the Notre Dame or the St. Peter’s for future generations? It will be quite interesting to hear how tour guides in the year 2493 answer the question, “Why exactly did they design an Olympic stadium to look like a bird’s nest?”
TheExpeditioner is a travel site for the avid traveler featuring travel articles from some of the best travel writers in the world, as well as travel news, commentary, insight and video from a premiere team of bloggers from around the globe.