10 most beautiful buildings in the world

Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective, does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

In a person, there is always a longing for beauty. And this manifests itself even in such areas of life as architecture. Even in the days of wooden architecture, people tried to decorate their houses, making carved skates and facades for them.

Now the approach has changed somewhat. The building itself can be a real object of art – for example, the work of the architect Zaha Hadid, who created the images of the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, the Dominion Tower business center in Moscow and the Water Sports Center in London.

And for those who want to marvel at the possibilities and achievements of modern architecture, we have compiled a rating of the 10 most beautiful buildings in the world. Only relatively new buildings (erected in the 21st century) were taken into account.

Overview of the most beautiful buildings in the world

Nomination a place Building rating
Overview of the most beautiful buildings in the world 10 Bosjes Chapel, South Africa _ 4.1
9 Louvre branch, UAE 4.2
8 Binhai Library, China 4.3
7 Dominion Tower Business Center ('Peresvet-Plaza'), Moscow, Russia 4.4
6 Skyscraper Beirut Terraces, Lebanon 4.5
5 Drexel University, USA 4.6
4 Multifunctional complex Chaoyang Park Plaza, China 4.7
3 Harim Group Headquarters, South Korea 4.8
2 Oil Research and Development Center, Saudi Arabia 4.9
1 MAAT Museum, Portugal 5.0

10th place: Chapel Bosjes, South Africa _

Rating: 4.1

Chapel Bosjes

Modern architecture is developing in two directions. The first is the deliberate distortion of shapes, natural geometry and harmony. The second is trying to embody natural beauty. And Bosjes Chapel in South Africa embodies the latter approach.

The shape of this building resembles at the same time an open flower, a thrown cloth and a sea wave. It doesn't look like a structure, no. Rather, it is a creation of nature, mysterious and incomprehensible.

The design of the exterior of this chapel was attended by experts from the London architectural firm Steyn Studio. They created not only the exterior, but also the interior of the building, trying to make it as minimalistic and simple as possible. As a result, this chapel, surrounded by mountain ridges and laconic inside, looks just magical.

True, you can't just get to it. It is privately owned and owned by a South African tycoon.

9th place: Branch of the Louvre, UAE

Rating: 4.2

Louvre branch

The unusual approach of French architects to design is illustrated by the fact that a huge glass pyramid is installed right in front of the Louvre. Therefore, there is nothing surprising in the fact that the branch of this museum is also located in an unusual building, no.

A branch of the Louvre is located on an artificial floating island, and the building (made in the best traditions of deconstructivism, of course) is covered with a dome of 8 thousand metal stars. Together they form an elusive pattern that blends classic oriental decor with a modern, futuristic approach.

It is thanks to this mesh dome, which will give each person his own impression – to someone it will remind a dense forest with heavy crowns, to someone the starry sky, to someone the arches of mosques, and so on – the building got its place in the ranking.

8th place: Binhai Library, China

Rating: 4.3

Binhai Library

Despite the fact that the Binhai Library looks very much like the work of the ever-memorable Zaha Hadid, the architectural bureau MVRDV from the Netherlands and the Institute of Urban Planning from Tianjin itself, where this building is located, took part in the development of the design. A key element of both the interior and exterior is a large white ball in the center of the building.

It is as if 'waves' radiate from it, which form the interior of the building. And thanks to the translucent front wall, the facade of the building is also impressive, especially in the evening.

But the most impressive thing is another interesting point. All these thousands of books that are visible in the photo, and supposedly are on the shelves … are simply drawn. The library collection is located in a different location and is not as accessible. This fact was of great interest to the world media, and tourists to this day go to be photographed against the background of walls with 'books'.

7th place: Business center Dominion Tower ('Peresvet-Plaza'), Moscow, Russia

Rating: 4.4

Dominion Tower Business Center

From organic forms and flowing lines, we abruptly move on to deconstructivism. In the late 2000s, architect Zaha Hadid developed a project for a unique business center that literally violates the laws of physics and geometry. And in 2015, the Dominion Tower in Moscow was opened.

Dominion Tower deceives perception at all levels. Especially from the inside, if you go up to the last, 7th floor, and look down, it seems as if the stairs of this building descended from the paintings of Maurits Escher (well, or they were transported from Hogwarts). Contrasting color finishes – white walls, black floors – and opposing directions can be confusing.

From the outside, the building at first glance seems to be just a pile of floors. And sloppy, as if someone started playing Jenga and threw it in the middle. But then, looking closely and seeing the smooth beveled corners, you can notice the whole harmony of the structure.

Ironically, the Dominion Tower, for all its pomp, is currently almost empty. The high cost of space makes it stranded for companies – even if they just want to improve their corporate image. And it is better to admire the building in sunny weather, because in the rain the Moscow grayness even extends to works of architectural art.

6th place: Skyscraper Beirut Terraces, Lebanon

Rating: 4.5

Skyscraper Beirut Terraces

One of the main problems of modern cities is a catastrophic shortage of greenery. Keeping trees is simply not profitable – a chestnut or maple does not bring any profit, in contrast to the shawarma stall occupying the same 10 square meters. However, due to the lack of greenery in cities, it becomes literally difficult to breathe – the air becomes too dirty, heavy and unpleasantly acting on the lungs.

There is now a trend towards the creation of so-called 'vertical gardens' – multi-storey buildings, at each (or almost every) level of which is placed a tree, bush or greenhouse. And the Beirut Terraces skyscraper, located in Beirut, Lebanon, best exemplifies this approach to landscaping.

This residential complex is designed in the style of deconstructivism. Each floor in it seems to be shifted relative to the previous one. This creates large spaces, provides natural insolation and allows you to grow something green on each balcony terrace.

Architects and builders from the Swiss company Herzog & De Meuron took part in the development of Beirut Terraces. Therefore, the building looks very European, despite the fact that it is located in the capital of one of the eastern countries. And it impresses most of all precisely up close, when the whole architectural idea and concept becomes visible. From a distance it looks like a traditional skyscraper, which, moreover, has not been completed.

5th place: Drexel University, USA

Rating: 4.6


Minimalism in architecture is still relevant. Moreover, if it implies a reworking of classic styles. This is exactly how, strictly, modern, laconic, but with an elusive British spirit, the building of the Drexel University Research Center in the USA looks like.

The architects from Natoma Architects had a rather difficult task – to create an easy-to-use and visually attractive building in a relatively small area, in addition to fitting it into the existing development. And they coped with it perfectly. The new building, launched in 2017, looks very austere – but not trivial.

The main feature of the building is the combination of vertical panoramic window openings of various widths with walls covered with a finish of raw brick with a characteristic brown color. The design of the building is somewhat reminiscent of barcodes, but at the same time – also due to the colors and rigor – is saturated with the style of classical English architecture, solid, but not pretentious.

4th place: Multifunctional complex Chaoyang Park Plaza, China

Rating: 4.7

Multifunctional complex Chaoyang Park Plaza

The skyscrapers of the multifunctional complex Chaoyang Park Plaza, located in the Chinese capital Beijing, once again show that multi-storey buildings can look beautiful. And they don't even need to take on the shape of a frivolous cucumber, like London's Mary Ax Tower.

In the architecture of this complex, the largest Chinese bureau MAD tried to embody the style and spirit of the mountains. This is manifested in the 'ribs', which protrude like peaks, and in the different heights of both towers, and even in the demonstrative dark, almost black glazing. The building looks impressive, although some may find it too aggressive. But these are the forces of nature embodied in architecture – surprising, shocking, memorable and even sometimes frightening.

Chaoyang Park Plaza, among other things, stands out from the rest of Beijing's architecture. The capital of China was built during the heyday of the Communist Party (which haven't finished yet) and is therefore literally littered with standard 'concrete boxes'. Gloomy, but at the same time very organic in terms of design, the complex attracts views from anywhere in the city, where it is visible, and even from a bird's eye view.

3rd place: Headquarters of Harim Group, South Korea

Rating: 4.8

 Harim Group Headquarters, South Korea

To make a truly beautiful and original building, you don't have to reinvent the wheel and think over non-standard shapes. Sometimes even a relatively small detail can turn a 'glass and concrete box' into a true architectural masterpiece. And the building of the headquarters of the Harim Group in South Korean Seoul only confirms this.

The building itself looks like a box of glass and concrete, but at the same time it is dissected by a wavy line. Special illumination and variations in the width of the 'cut' make it look like a galaxy orbit or the Milky Way.

The wavy cut is covered in shiny stainless steel and littered with a myriad of warm yellow light bulbs. That is why it looks like a fragment of the starry sky. And at the same time, the section harmoniously combines with the style of the rest of the building – deliberately office and business, with a characteristic arrangement of windows and interior lighting elements.

The striking, memorable building was designed by the South Korean architectural firm The Beck Group. In addition to architectural harmony, it is also distinguished by a respectful attitude towards Asian traditions, where the golden color symbolizes good luck and success, and undulating niches help circulate the Qi energy.

2nd place: Center for the Study and Research of Oil, Saudi Arabia

Rating: 4.9

Oil Research and Development Center, Saudi Arabia

And again futurism and deconstructivism. The building of the center for the study and research of oil looks like anything, but not a scientific building. Fans of modern architecture may well guess which architect, in one way or another, had a hand in the creation of this structure – and they will be right.

The Petroleum Research and Development Center building in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia was designed and constructed by Zaha Hadid Architects. And although Zaha Hadid herself did not live to see the opening of the building, her approach is recognized in the general style – a sharp disregard for the traditional laws of architecture, contrasting colors and lines, but, at the same time, elements of the so-called organic dynamic. Even inside, huge empty spaces and sharp, intersecting lines have been preserved, because of which orientation for the visitor can seem very difficult and confusing.

With its futuristic design, angular lines, elevated shapes and the desert around it, the building closely resembles a Martian colony, as science fiction artists like to portray them.

1st place: Museum MAAT, Portugal

Rating: 5.0

MAAT Museum

The best building is one that fits in with the natural landscape and doesn't try to draw all the attention. And the building of the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) in Lisbon, Portugal, is not immediately visible. It blends naturally with the coastline and rhymes beautifully with the tidal waves.

Decoration materials are also 'responsible' for the natural appearance of the building. It is covered with polished ceramic plates that 'play' and glare in the sun like a water surface. In general, the structure continues to tide, complementing and decorating it.

In addition, there is an easily accessible observation deck on the roof of this building. It overlooks the endless sea horizon. Once on the site of the museum there is a large port, from where ships sailed into the distance. Now a large cultural complex is being created here, and the MAAT Museum has become a part of it.

The design and construction of the building is the work of British architect Amanda Levit.

Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

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