Something Different

When you’re traveling and going about your daily business, you are no doubt somewhat aware of the architectural landscape of your immediate environment. When we are on vacation, we are also apt to pay greater attention to the buildings we see, especially if they are spectacular in their design and intent. However, if we are going to be persuaded to travel to some highly unusual location in order to visit a building, it had better be worth the effort! With this in mind, we have put together a few suggestions for buildings or structures that often defy imagination and are therefore spectacular enough to warrant your attention and hopefully your presence, if you get the chance.

Where to Go

Who doesn’t want to visit Italy with its amazing history and plethora of significant buildings. Normally a trip to one of the many beautiful cities country wide will satisfy the average traveler and afford them an opportunity to experience architectural wonders from multiple eras. However, for the more adventurous, the Tempio del Valadier is the place to visit if you can manage the 700meter climb from the car park to the caves where the temple is to be found. The caves situated in Genga are home to this amazing neo-classical structure which was built in 1828 and designed by Giuseppe Valadier.

If hiking is your thing, then why not continue in Italy but this time in South Tyrol where you can find the Messner Mountain Museum. Designed by Zaha Hadid this amazing structure is embedded in the top of Mount Kronplatz and is the sixth in a series of mountain museums. The museums founded by Reinhold Messner, a renowned climber, celebrate mountaineering and this particular building appears out of the mountain like a magnificent space ship!

Also set in a mountain landscape is the fabulous Trollstigplatået in Norway. Norwegian for ‘troll’s ladder’, the structure aims to mimic the curvature of the surrounding fjord and is part of the project of national tourist routes to provide spectacular viewing platforms, which in this case takes you well above the plateau below. The impressive steel walkway is both industrial and beautiful as it snakes around the hillside.

Equally impressive, for a different reason, is the Wild Reindeer Center Pavilion, also in Norway in the Dovrefjell mountains. Designed by Snøhetta, the pavilion sits discreetly in the landscape, essential for its role as an observation point, achieving this almost invisible quality with the clever use of steel and glass that reflects the expanse of sky and rugged surrounds.

A jaw dropping 125meters in length the Langkawi’s Skybridge in Malaysia is one of the longest freestanding, curved suspension bridges in the world. The structure, designed by Peter Wyss, is a pedestrian bridge that nestles atop the Machinchang mountain and is suspended from eight cables roughly 100meters from the ground. The bridge is spectacular to walk across and even more impressive if you get a chance to view it from above! Many more wonderful and awe-inspiring structures continue to present themselves around the world in a time where architecture, design and construction seems to know no bounds.