Best Architecture of All Time – The Critics’ Picks

I found approximately 20 lists of “Best Buildings” or “Best Architecture” on the Internet and in books and combined them into one meta-list.  The result is below – every building, structure, or combination of buildings that made it onto four or more of those original lists.  The numbers in bold represent how many lists the item was on.  I have organized the list by rank: the building that was on the most lists is first, and so on. I have included images of all the architecture – in most cases you can click on the image to enlarge it.

17
Hagia Sophia
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Architect(s): Isidore of Miletus & Anthemius of Tralles; Tirdat
Dates: 532-537, rebuilt by Tirdat 989-994, numerous subsequent restorations
Style(s): Byzantine
Hagia Sophia.
Hagia Sophia means “Holy Wisdom” in Greek.  The building was a Christian church, then a mosque, and is now a museum.

16
Taj Mahal
Location: Agra, India
Architect(s): Ustad Ahmad Lahauri (?)
Dates: 1630-1653
Style(s): Islamic Mughal
The Taj Mahal is a tomb for the wife of Shah Jahan.
The Taj Mahal is a tomb for the wife of Shah Jahan.

13
Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheatre)
Location: Rome, Italy
Architect(s):  Unknown
Dates: 70-80, numerous restorations 217-508
Style(s): Classical Roman
A view of the Colosseum in Rome.
A view of the Colosseum in Rome showing remains of the outer walls.

Sydney Opera House
Location: Sydney, Australia
Architect(s): Jørn Utzon
Dates: 1959-1973
Style(s): Late 20th Century Structuralist; ExpressionistThe Sydney Opera House.
Despite its name, the Sydney Opera House is home to performing arts of all kinds, in multiple performance spaces.

12
Chrysler Building
Location: New York, NY, US
Architect(s): William Van Alen
Dates: 1928-1930
Style(s): Art Deco
The top portion of the Chrysler Building, which was the tallest building in the world for one year.  Photo by Carol Highsmith.
The top portion of the Chrysler Building, which was the tallest building in the world for one year. Photo by Carol Highsmith.

11
Great Pyramids at Giza
Location: Giza, Egypt
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: Khufu: 2650 BCE; Khafre: 2558-2532 BCE; Menkaure: 2450 BCE
Style(s): Ancient Egyptian
The Pyramids at Giza, Egypt.
Of the Seven Wonder of the World of ancient times, the Great Pyramids at Giza, Egypt are the only wonders remaining. 

Angkor Wat
Location: Siem Reap Province, Cambodia
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: c. 1113-1150
Style(s): Classical Khmer; Angkor Wat
A view of the massive complex at Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
Angkor Wat was originally built as a temple to the Hindu god Vishnu, but beginning in the late 13th Century, it was used as a Buddhist temple instead.

Sagrada Familia (Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família)
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Architect(s): Antoni Gaudí
Dates: 1882 and continuing
Style(s): Modernisme
The Sagrada Familia church is due to be finished in 2026.
The unfinished Sagrada Familia church is due to be completed in 2026.  The cranes were digitally removed from this photo.

Statue of Liberty
Location: Liberty Island, NY, US
Architect(s): Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi
Dates: 1884-1886
Style(s): Neoclassical
The Statue of Liberty.
The Statue of Liberty: sculpture, architecture or both?

Empire State Building
Location: New York, NY, US
Architect(s): William F. Lamb/Shreve, Lamb & Harmon
Dates: 1930-1931
Style(s): Art Deco
A Kong-free view of the Empire State Building.
A Kong-free view of the Empire State Building.

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Location: Bilbao, Spain
Architect(s): Frank Gehry
Dates: 1993-1997
Style(s): Deconstructivism
Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.
Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain was built in the city’s run-down port area, once the source of much income.

10
Great Wall of China
Location: northern China
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: 7th Century – 3rd Century BCE; 14th Century-15th Century
Style(s): Ming Dynasty (most visible portions)
A view of the Great Wall at Jinshanling.
A view of the Great Wall at Jinshanling.

St. Peter’s Basilica
Location: Vatican City, Italy
Architect(s): Donato Bramante, Antonio da Sangallo, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Giacomo della Porta, Carlo Maderno, Gianlorenzo Bernini
Dates: 1506-1626
Style(s): Renaissance; Baroque
St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.
St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

Houses of Parliament (Palace of Westminster), including “Big Ben”
Location: London, England, UK
Architect(s): Charles Barry & Augustus Pugin
Dates: 1836-1870
Style(s): Neo-Gothic; Perpendicular Gothic
A view of the neo-gothic Houses of Parliament.
A view of the neo-gothic Houses of Parliament.

Fallingwater (Kaufmann Residence)
Location: Bear Run, PA, US
Architect(s): Frank Lloyd Wright
Dates: 1936-1939
Style(s): Prairie School; Modernism
The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed residence, Fallingwater, has many Japanese influences.
The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed residence, Fallingwater, has many Japanese influences.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Location: New York, NY, US
Architect(s): Frank Lloyd Wright
Dates: 1956-1959
Style(s): Modernism
Twenty-five artists signed a petition saying the Guggenheim was inappropriate for showing their artwork.
Twenty-five artists signed a petition saying the Guggenheim was architecturally inappropriate for showing their artwork.

9
Parthenon
Location: Athens, Greece
Architect(s): Ictinus & Callicrates; Phidias (sculptures)
Dates: 477-432 BCE
Style(s): Classical Greek
The Parthenon sits atop the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.
The Parthenon sits atop the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.

Florence Cathedral “The Duomo” (Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore)
Location: Florence, Italy
Architect(s): Arnolfo di Cambio; Giotto (campanile); Andrea Pisano; Filippo Brunelleschi (dome); Emilio de Fabris (neo-gothic façade)
Dates: 1296-1436; 1876-1887 (neo-gothic façade)
Style(s): Gothic; Renaissance; Neo-Gothic
The Duomo dominates the skyline of Florence, Italy.
The Duomo dominates the skyline of Florence, Italy.

The Louvre (Musée de Louvre)
Location: Paris, France
Architect(s): Pierre Lescot & J.A. du Cerceau, Visconti & Jector Lefuel; I.M. Pei (pyramid)
Dates: late 12th Century; 1546; 1876; 1988
Style(s): Frence Renaissance; Second Empire Baroque Revival; Post-Modern Egyptian RevivalFirst royal palace, then museum, the Louvre holds many masterpieces.
First royal palace, then museum, the Louvre holds many masterpieces.

St. Paul’s Cathedral
Location: London, England, UK
Architect(s): Sir Christopher Wren
Dates: 1675-1720
Style(s): English Baroque
St. Paul's Cathedral was the target of Nazi bombers during World War II.
St. Paul’s Cathedral was the target of German bombers during World War II.

Eiffel Tower
Location: Paris, France
Architect(s): Gustave Eiffel; Maurice Koechlin, Émile Nouguier; Stephen Sauvestre
Dates: 1887-1889
Style(s): Victorian Structural Expressionism
The Eiffel Tower is a Paris icon.
The Eiffel Tower is a Paris icon.

8
Pantheon
Location: Rome, Italy
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: 118-126
Style(s): Classical Roman
A temple for Roman gods, the Pantheon survived because it was converted to a Christian church.
A temple for Roman gods, the Pantheon survived because it was converted to a Christian church.

Chartres Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres
Location: Chartres, France
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: 1194-1260, renovations in 15th Century (Vendôme Chapel), 16th Century (north spire; choir screen), 18th Century, and 19th Century (roof)
Style(s): French High Gothic
Monet painted Chartres Cathedral in many different lights.
Claude Monet painted Chartres Cathedral in many different lights.

Machu Picchu
Location: Cusco Region, Peru
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: c. 1450
Style(s): Incan
The ruins of Machu Picchu lie nestled in the high Peruvian Andes.
The ruins of Machu Picchu lie nestled in the high Peruvian Andes.

Potala Palace
Location: Lhasa, Tibet, China
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: 1642-1650
Style(s): Tibetan Buddhist
Tibet's Potala Palace.
Tibet’s 17th Century Potala Palace.

Petronas Towers
Location: Kuala  Lumpur, Malaysia
Architect(s):  César Pelli
Dates: 1993-1999
Style(s): Modernism
The Twin Towers of Kuala Lumpur were for a time the tallest buildings in the world.
The Twin Towers of Kuala Lumpur were for a time the tallest buildings in the world.

Burj Khalifa (Burj Dubai; Dubai Tower)
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Architect(s): Adrian Smith/Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Dates: 2004-2010
Style(s): (Neo-) Islamic
Dubai now boasts the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa.
Dubai now boasts the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa.

7
Leaning Tower of Pisa
Location: Pisa, Italy
Architect(s): Bonnano Pisano (?); Diotisalvi (?)
Dates: 1173-1372
Style(s): Romanesque
The Leaning Tower is the campanile, or bell tower, for the Pisa Cathedral complex.
The Leaning Tower is the campanile, or bell tower, for the Pisa Cathedral complex.

Notre Dame Cathedral (Notre Dame de Paris
Location: Paris, France
Architect(s): Bishop Maurice de Sully (attrib.)
Dates: 1163-1345
Style(s): French Gothic
The Notre Dame Cathedral is famous for its flying buttresses, external structures that support the massive weight of the Gothic walls.
The Notre Dame Cathedral is famous for its flying buttresses (seen at far right), external structures that support the massive weight of the walls.

The Forbidden City
Location: Beijing, China
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: 1406-1420
Style(s): Chinese Palatial; Ming Dynasty
The Forbidden City in Beijing consists of a complex of temples and other buildings.
The Forbidden City in Beijing consists of a complex of palaces, temples and other 15th Century buildings.

Palace of Versailles (Château de Versailles)
Location: Versailles, France
Architect(s): Louis Le Vau; Jules Hardouin-Mansart; Robert de Cotte
Dates: 1664-1668; 1669-1672; 1678-1684; 1699-1710; 1722; 1738-1741
Style(s): French Baroque
The Palace of Versailles, home to French kings and queens.
The Palace of Versailles, home to French kings and queens.

Monticello
Location: near Charlottesville, VA, US
Architect(s): Thomas Jefferson
Dates: 1768-1782
Style(s): Neoclassical
Polymath and slave owner Thomas Jefferson designed Monticello, his Virginia estate.
Polymath and slave owner Thomas Jefferson designed Monticello, his Virginia estate.

United States Capitol
Location: Washington, D.C., US
Architect(s): William Thornton; Benjamin Latrobe; Charles Bulfinch; Thomas Walter & August Schoenborn (dome and House and Senate wings)
Dates: 1793-1811; 1814-1826 (restoration after 1814 burning); 1851-1865
Style(s): Neoclassical
The Capitol is the home of the United States Congress.
The Capitol is the home of the United States Congress.

Villa Savoye
Location: Poissy, France
Architect(s): Le Corbusier & Pierre Jeanneret
Dates: 1928-1931
Style(s): Modernism; International
Villa Savoye is a dramatic revisioning of residential architecture.
Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye is a dramatic revisioning of residential architecture.

Seagram Building
Location: New York, NY, US
Architect(s): Ludwig Mies van der Rohe & Philip Johnson
Dates: 1954-1958
Style(s): International Style II
Love 'em or hate 'em, skyscrapers of today are much indebted to the Seagrams Building.
Love ’em or hate ’em, skyscrapers of the late 20th Century were much indebted to the Seagrams Building.

Burj Al Arab (Tower of the Arabs)
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Architect(s): Tom Wright/Atkins
Dates: 1994-1999
Style(s): Modernism
Burj al-Arab is a hotel shaped like a sail, built on its own man-made island.
Burj al-Arab is a hotel shaped like a sail, built on its own man-made island.

6
Petra
Location: Ma’an Governorate, Jordan
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: 200 BCE – 300 CE
Style(s): Classical Greek/Hellenistic; Classical Roman
The Treasury building (Al Khazneh) in Petra, a city that thrived during Greek and Roman times.
The Treasury building (Al Khazneh) in Petra, a city that thrived during Greek and Roman times.

St. Basil’s Cathedral (Cathedral of the Protection of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat; Pokrovsky Cathedral)
Location: Red Square, Moscow, Russia
Architect(s): Barma & Postnik Yakolev (attrib.)
Dates: 1554-1561
Style(s): Russian; Asian; Byzantine
The onion domes of St. Basil appear to have no precedent in architecture.
The onion domes of St. Basil appear to have no precedent in architecture.

Selimiye Mosque
Location: Edirne, Turkey
Architect(s): Minar Sinan
Dates: 1568-1574
Style(s): Islamic; Ottoman; Turkish
Selimiye Mosque is a masterpiece of Islamic architecture.
Selimiye Mosque is a masterpiece of Islamic architecture.

Himeji Castle
Location: Himeji, Japan
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: 1333; 1346; 1581; 1601-1609; 1617-1618
Style(s):  Japanese Castle Architecture
Himeji Castle is a famous Japanese landmark.
Himeji Castle is a famous Japanese landmark.  The upturned roofs are a classic detail.

Buckingham Palace
Location: Westminster, London, England, UK
Architect(s): John Nash; Edmund Blore; Sir Aston Webb
Dates: 1705; 1762-1837; 1847-1850; 1913
Style(s): Neoclassical
Buckingham Palace began as a small house for members of the royal family.
Buckingham Palace began as a small house for members of the royal family.

The White House
Location: Washington, D.C., US
Architect(s): James Hoban; Benjamin Latrobe
Dates: 1792-1801; 1814-1817 (reconstruction after burning); 1824-1829 (porticos)
Style(s): Neoclassical; Palladian
Every American president has lived in the White House except for George Washington.
Every American president has lived in the White House except the first, George Washington.

Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower)
Location: Chicago, IL, US
Architect(s): Bruce Graham/ Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Dates: 1973-1976
Style(s): International
The Willis Tower in Chicago, formerly the Sears Tower, was for a time the tallest building in the world.
The Willis Tower in Chicago, formerly the Sears Tower, was for a time the tallest building in the world.

CN Tower
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Architect(s): John Andrews/WZMH Architects
Dates: 1973-1976
Style(s): Modernism; Futurism
The CN Tower is the tallest building in Canada.
The CN Tower in Toronto is the tallest building in Canada.

Taipei 101 (formerly Taipei World Financial Center) 
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Architect(s): C.Y. Lee & Partners
Dates: 2003-2004
Style(s): Postmodernism; Pagoda
Taipei 101 incorporates some architectural details of the traditional Chinese pagoda.
Taipei 101 incorporates some architectural details of the traditional Chinese pagoda.

Beijing National Stadium “Bird’s Nest”
Location: Beijing, China
Architect(s): Jacques Herzog & Pierre de Meuron; Stefan Marbach, Ai Weiwei
Dates: 2003-2008
Style(s): Deconstructivism
The Bird's Nest was the home for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
The Bird’s Nest was the home for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

5
Stonehenge
Location: Salisbury Plain, England, UK
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: 2750-1500 BCE
Style(s): Prehistoric Britian
The megaliths of Stonehenge were part of a large complex of man-made structures that were presumably used for ritualistic purposes.
The megaliths of Stonehenge were part of a large complex of man-made structures that were presumably used for ritualistic purposes.

Tikal
Location: Guatemala
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: 400 BCE – 900 CE
Style(s): Early to Late Classic Mayan
Tikal was the main city of a thriving Mayan civilization in modern-day Guatemala and Belize.
Tikal was the main city of a thriving Mayan civilization in modern-day Guatemala and Belize.

Westminster Abbey (Collegiate Church of St. Peter at Westminster)
Location: Westminster, London, England, UK
Architect(s): Henry Yevele; Nicholas Hawksmoor
Dates: 1042-1090; 1245-1517; 1722-1745 (western towers)
Style(s): Gothic; Gothic Revival
A view of the west side of Westminster Abbey, final resting place of many famous Englishmen and women.
A view of the west side of Westminster Abbey, final resting place of many famous Englishmen and women.

Brooklyn Bridge
Location: New York, NY, US
Architect(s): John Augustus Roebling
Dates: 1869-1883
Style(s): Neo-Gothic
Dozens of workers died while building the Brooklyn Bridge, including the architect, John Roebling.  He was inspecting the works from a pier across the Hudson when a boat crashed into the dock, crushing his foot. Despite the amputation of his toes, he died two weeks later of a tetanus infection.
Dozens of workers died while building the Brooklyn Bridge, including the architect, John Roebling. He was inspecting the works from a pier across the Hudson when a boat crashed into the dock, crushing his foot. Despite the amputation of his toes, he died two weeks later of a tetanus infection.

Neuschwanstein Castle
Location: Schwangau, Germany
Architect(s): Eduard Reidel
Dates: 1869-1882
Style(s): Romanesque Revival
Neuschwanstein Castle was designed as a retreat for Bavarian King Ludwig II.  He didn't want to spend public funds, so he used his own.
Neuschwanstein Castle was designed as a retreat for Bavarian King Ludwig II. He didn’t want to spend public funds, so he used his own.

Bauhaus Dessau
Location: Dessau, Germany
Architect(s): Walter Gropius
Dates: 1919-1926
Style(s): Bauhaus; New Objectivity
The Bauhaus building in Dessau, Germany, by Walter Gropius.
The Bauhaus School building in Dessau, Germany, which was designed by Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius.

Barcelona Pavilion (German Pavilion, 1929 International Exposition)
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Architect(s): Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Dates: 1928-1929, demolished 1930; rebuilt 1986
Style(s): Modernism
Meant to be a temporary structure, the Barcelona Pavilion was rebuilt in 1986.
Originally meant to be a temporary structure for an international expo in 1929, the Barcelona Pavilion was nevertheless rebuilt in 1986.

Golden Gate Bridge
Location: San Francisco, CA, US
Architect(s): Joseph B. Strauss, Irving Morrow & Charles Ellis
Dates: 1933-1937
Style(s): Structural Modernism; Art Deco
The Golden Gate refers to
The Golden Gate refers to the strait between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.  It was named by explorer John C. Fremont in 1846 in honor of Byzantium harbor, which was called the Golden Horn.

Glass House (Johnson House)
Location: New Canaan, CT
Architect(s): Philip Johnson
Dates: 1949
Style(s): Modernism
Philip Johnson's revolutionary statement, the Glass House.  Presumably no stones are permitted in the building.
Philip Johnson’s revolutionary statement, the Glass House. Presumably no stones are permitted in the building.

Notre Dame du Haut
Location: Ronchamp, France
Architect(s): Le Corbusier
Dates: 1953-1955
Style(s): Modernism; Postmodernism
Le Corbusier's building replaced a 4th Century pilgrimage church that had been destroyed in World War II.
Le Corbusier’s building replaced a 4th Century pilgrimage church that had been destroyed in World War II.

World Trade Center
Location: New York, NY, US
Architect(s): Minoru Yamasaki
Dates: 1966-1977, destroyed in terrorist attack 2001
Style(s): International Style II
On August 7, 1974, Philippe Petit walked between the two World Trade Center towers on a wire.
On August 7, 1974, Philippe Petit gracefully walked between the two World Trade Center towers on a wire.  When I remember the Twin Towers, I remember them on that day.

Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank (HSBC Main Building)
Location: Hong Kong, China
Architect(s): Norman Foster/Foster & Partners
Dates: 1983-1985
Style(s): Structural Expressionism
The HSBC Main Building is an example of
The HSBC Main Building has little or no internal supporting structure.  Also, much of the interior light is provided by sunlight through a system of mirrors.

30 St Mary Axe “The Gherkin” (formerly Swiss Re Building)
Location: London, England, UK
Architect(s): Norman Foster/Foster & Partners
Dates: 2001-2004
Style(s): High Tech Modernism
The shape of Norman Foster's London skyscraper has led to the nickname, "The Gherkin."
The shape of Norman Foster’s London skyscraper has led to the nickname, “The Gherkin.”

4
Great Sphinx of Giza
Location: Giza, Egypt
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: 2558-2532 BCE
Style(s): Ancient Egyptian
While stationed in Egypt, Napoleon's troops used the face of the Great Sphinx of Giza for target practice.
While stationed in Egypt, Napoleon’s troops used the face of the Great Sphinx of Giza for target practice.

Temple of Amon (Precinct of Amun-Re)
Location: Karnak Temple Complex, near Luxor, Egypt
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: c. 2000- 30 BCE
Style(s): Ancient Egyptian
The entrance to the Great Hypostyle Hall in the Precinct of Amun-Re, part of the Karnak Temple complex.
The entrance to the Great Hypostyle Hall in the Precinct of Amun-Re, part of the Karnak Temple complex.  Sorry about the distracting guy with the backpack.

Solomon’s Temple (First Temple)
Location: Jerusalem, Israel
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: c. 1000 BCE
Style(s): Israelite
(Note: There is no archaeological evidence of this structure.)
An anonymous artist's imagining of Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem.
An anonymous artist’s imagining of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem.

Teotihuacan
Location: near Mexico City, Mexico
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: 100 BCE – 250 CE
Style(s): Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican; Late Preclassic to Late Classic
The Avenue of the Dead and, on the left, the Pyramid of the Sun, in the ruins of Teotihuacan, which may have been a center for many Mesoamerican cultures.
The Avenue of the Dead and, on the left, the Pyramid of the Sun, in the ruins of Teotihuacan, which may have been a center for many Mesoamerican cultures.

Horyu-ji Temple (Hōryū-ji; Temple of the Flourishing Law)
Location: Ikaruga, Nara, Japan
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: 607; 711; early 12th Century; 1374; 1603; substantially reconstructed
Style(s): Asuka Period; Nara Period
The Golden Hall and Five-Storied Pagoda of Horyu-ji Buddhist temple.  The pagoda may be the oldest wooden structure in the world.
The Golden Hall and Five-Storied Pagoda of Horyu-ji Buddhist temple. The pagoda may be the oldest wooden structure in the world.

Dome of the Rock
Location: Jerusalem, Israel
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: 685-691
Style(s): Islamic; Umayyad
The Dome of the Rock is built on the spot where it is believed that Abraham nearly sacrificed his son Isaac, and where the prophet Mohammed ascended into heaven with the angel Gabriel.
The Dome of the Rock is built on the spot where it is believed that Abraham nearly sacrificed his son Isaac, and where the prophet Mohammed ascended into heaven with the angel Gabriel.

Aachen Cathedral, including Palatine Chapel (Imperial Cathedral)
Location: Aachen, Germany
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: 792-814; 983; 14-15th centuries; 1881
Style(s): Carolingian-Romanesque; Gothic
A view of Aachen Cathedral from the north.
A north view of Aachen Cathedral, the oldest cathedral in northern Europe.

Great Mosque of Córdoba (Mezquita; Cathedral of Córdoba)
Location: Córdoba, Spain
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: 784-987
Style(s): Moorish; Renaissance
The Great Mosque of Córdoba, or Mezquita, is now a Roman Catholic church.
The Great Mosque of Córdoba, or Mezquita, is now a Roman Catholic church.

Taos Pueblo
Location: near Taos, NM, US
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: 1000-1450
Style(s): Southwestern Vernacular
A view of the Taos Pueblo, in New Mexico, which may be the longest continuously inhabited communities in the United States.
A view of the Taos Pueblo, in New Mexico, which may be the longest continuously inhabited community in the United States.

Tower of London (Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress)
Location: London, England, UK
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: 1078 (White Tower); 1190s (Inner Ward); 1285 (rebuilt); 1377-1399 (wharf expansion)
Style(s): Norman; Medieval; Romanesque
Among those who stayed involuntarily in the Tower of London:
Among those who stayed involuntarily in the Tower of London: William Wallace, King Richard II, Sir Thomas More, Anne Boleyn, Thomas Cromwell, Catherine Howard, Lady Jane Grey, Sir Walter Raleigh, Guy Fawkes, William Penn, Samuel Pepys, and Rudolph Hess.  Not all were executed.

Khajuraho Temples, including Kandariya Temple
Location: Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, India
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: 950-1150
Style(s): Nagara
Kandariya Mahadeva Temple, one of the temples in the Khajuraho complex.
Kandariya Mahadeva Temple, one of the temples in the Khajuraho complex.

St. Mark’s Basilica (Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of St. Mark)
Location: Venice, Italy
Architect(s): Domenico I. Contarini
Dates: 978-1094, early 18th Century
Style(s): Byzantine; Gothic
The facade of St. Mark's Basilica, with St. Mark's Piazza in the foreground.
The facade of St. Mark’s Basilica, with St. Mark’s Plaza in the foreground.

Durham Cathedral (Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin; St. Cuthbert of Durham)
Location: Durham, England
Architect(s): George Nicholson & James Wyatt (18th Century); George Scott (19th Century)
Dates: 1093-1280; 15th Century; 18th Century; 19th Century
Style(s): Norman
A view of Durham Cathedral from the south.
A view of Durham Cathedral from the south.

Krak des Chevaliers (Crac des Chevaliers)
Location: near Homs, Syria
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: 1140-1170; early 13th Century
Style(s): Medieval
Krak des Chevaliers was built by Western European Crusaders in present-day Syria.
Krak des Chevaliers was built as a stronghold for Western European Crusaders in present-day Syria.

Cologne Cathedral
Location: Cologne, Germany
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: 1248-1473; 1842-1880, 1945-1956 (restoration after WWII bombing)
Style(s): Gothic
Cologne Cathedral, with the Rhine River in the foreground.
Cologne Cathedral, with the Rhine River in the foreground.

The Alhambra, including Palace of Charles V
Location: Granada, Spain
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: 1338-1391, 1527 (Palace of Charles V)
Style(s): Islamic; Moorish; Renascentist; Mannerist
A view of the complex of buildings that make up the Alhambra in Granada, Spain.
A view of the complex of buildings that make up the Alhambra in Granada, Spain.

The Palacio del Pórtico inside the Alhambra.
The Palacio del Pórtico inside the Alhambra.

The Kremlin (Moscow Kremlin) (includes five palaces, four cathedrals, walls & towers)
Location: Moscow, Russia
Architect(s): Aristotle Fioravanti; Antonio Solario; Marco Ruffo; Matvey Kazakov; Osip Bove (restoration); Konstantin Thon (Grand Kremlin Palace)
Dates: 1329-1333; 1366-1368; 1462; 1476; 1485-1495; 1505-1508; 1596-1676; 1776 (Senate); 1816-1819 (post-Napoleon restoration); 1839-1849 (Grand Kremlin Palace)
Style(s): Russian; Classical; Neo-Gothic
A view of the Moscow Kremlin.
A view of the Moscow Kremlin, including (from left): Kremlin wall and tower, The Grand Kremlin Palace, The Annunciation Cathedral, The Assumption Belfry, The Archangel’s Cathedral, Ivan the Great Bell Tower, and the Savior Tower.

Villa Rotonda (La Rotonda; Villa Almerico Capra)
Location: near Vicenza, Italy
Architect(s): Andrea Palladio
Dates: 1567-1571
Style(s): Renaissance; Palladian
Palladio's "La Rotunda" was named after the
Palladio’s “La Rotonda” received its nickname from the central circular domed hall.  It was built for a retired priest, Paolo Alemerico.

Sultan Ahmed Mosque “Blue Mosque”  
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Architect(s): Sedefkâr Mehmed Ağa
Dates: 1609-1616
Style(s): Islamic; Late Classical Ottoman
The nickname "Blue Mosque" comes from the blue tiles in the entranceway.
The nickname “Blue Mosque” comes from the blue tiles in the entranceway.

British Museum
Location: London, England, UK
Architect(s): Sir Robert Smirke
Dates: 1823-1852
Style(s): Neoclassical
The British Museum is home to
The British Museum is home to many archaeological and historical treasures.

Paris Opera House (Palais Garnier)
Location: Paris, France
Architect(s): Charles Garnier
Dates: 1861-1875
Style(s): Second Empire; Beaux-Arts
The Palais Garnier was home to the Paris Opera from 1875 to 1989.
The Palais Garnier was home to the Paris Opera from 1875 to 1989.

The Grand Staircase is one of the Palais Garnier's most remarkable features.
The Grand Staircase is one of the Palais Garnier’s most remarkable features.

Itsukushima Shrine (Torii of Itsukushima; Gateway of Itsukushima)
Location: Miyajima, Japan
Architect(s): Unknown
Dates: mid-16th Century; 1875 (current gate)
Style(s): Shinden Zukuri; Shinto; Heian
At high tide, the torii, or gateway, appears to be floating in the sea.
At high tide, the torii, or gateway, appears to be floating in the sea.

Tower Bridge
Location: London, England, UK
Architect(s): Horace Jones
Dates: 1886-1894
Style(s): Victorian Gothic
The Tower Bridge in 2012.
The Tower Bridge in 2012.  It is not the same as London Bridge, which is now located in Havasu, Arizona, in the middle of the desert.

Wainwright Building
Location: St. Louis, MO, US
Architect(s): Louis H. Sullivan/Adler & Sullivan
Dates: 1890-1891
Style(s): Chicago School; Palazzo; Modernism
The National Register of Historic Places called the Wainwright Building "a highly influential prototype of the modern office building."
The National Register of Historic Places called the Wainwright Building “a highly influential prototype of the modern office building.”

Flatiron Building
Location: New York, NY, US
Architect(s): Daniel Burnham
Dates: 1902-1903
Style(s): Renaissance Revival; Beaux-Arts
An overhead view of the Flatiron Building, which provides the name for the Flatiron District of Manhattan.
An overhead view of the Flatiron Building, which provides the name for Manhattan’s Flatiron District.

Casa Milà (La Pedrera)
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Architect(s): Antoni Gaudi
Dates: 1905-1912
Style(s): Modernisme; Art Nouveau
Antoni Gaudì's Casa Mila residence in Barcelona.
Antoni Gaudì’s Casa Mila in Barcelona.  After suffering some deterioration in the 1960s-1980s, it received landmark status and the accompanying protections, which have led to restoration and preservation.

Farnsworth House
Location: Plano, IL, US
Architect(s): Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Dates: 1946-1951
Style(s): Modernism; International
The Farnsworth House, now a museum, was originally built as a weekend retreat for Dr. Edith Farnsworth.
The Farnsworth House, now a museum, was originally built as a weekend retreat for Dr. Edith Farnsworth, who met architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe at a 1945 dinner party.

Palace of Assembly
Location: Chandigarh, India
Architect(s):  Le Corbusier
Dates: 1953-1963
Style(s): Modernism
The Palace of Assembly building is only one of many structures designed by Le Corbusier for the government seat of
The Palace of Assembly building is one of many structures designed by Le Corbusier for the planned city of Chandigarh.

TWA Terminal (TWA Flight Center)
Location: Kennedy Airport, New York, NY, US
Architect(s): Eero Saarinen
Dates: 1956-1962
Style(s): Modernism; Expressionism
The TWA Terminal, or Flight Center, at Kennedy Airport in New York.
The TWA Terminal, or Flight Center, at Kennedy Airport in New York is now occupied by Jet Blue.

Gateway Arch
Location: St. Louis, MO, US
Architect(s): Eero Saarinen & Hannskarl Bandel
Dates: 1947 (design); 1963-1965 (construction); 1967 (opening)
Style(s): Structural Expressionism
The Gateway Arch symbolizes St. Louis's status as gateway to the western frontier of the United States.
The Gateway Arch symbolizes St. Louis’s status as gateway to the western frontier for American settlers of mostly European descent in the 19th Century.

National Assembly Building (National Parliament House; Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban)
Location: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Architect(s): Louis I. Kahn
Dates: 1961-1982
Style(s): Modernism; Monumentalism
The Bangladesh Parliament House.
The Bangladesh Parliament House in Dacca.

Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery)
Location: Kulturforum, Berlin, Germany
Architect(s): Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Dates: 1962-1968
Style(s): Modernism; International
An aerial view of the Neue Nationalgalerie, a Berlin art museum.
An aerial view of the Neue Nationalgalerie, a Berlin art museum.

Lloyd’s Building
Location: London, England, UK
Architect(s): Richard Rogers
Dates: 1978-1986
Style(s): High Tech; Bowellism
Some say the Lloyd's Building looks like it has been turned inside out.
Some say the Lloyd’s Building looks like it has been turned inside out.

Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Library of Alexandria)
Location: Alexandria, Egypt
Architect(s): Snøhetta
Dates: 1989-2002
Style(s): Expressionism
This modern structure replaces the ancient Library of Alexandria, which burned down in ancient times.
This modern structure replaces the ancient Library of Alexandria, which burned down in ancient times.

Another view of the new Alexandria library.
Another view of the new Alexandria library.

Seattle Central Library
Location: Seattle, Washington, US
Architect(s): Rem Koolhaas & Joshua Prince-Ramus, OMA/LMN
Dates: 2004
Style(s): Deconstructivism
Seattle Central Library.
Seattle Central Library contains 362,987 square feet of space for books, computers and other materials.

3 thoughts on “Best Architecture of All Time – The Critics’ Picks

  1. Pingback: More Lists About Buildings and Food (Actually, Just Buildings) | Make Lists, Not War

  2. Isaac Amini

    I appriciate your works bcoz of high insipiration u give for my architect studies mln careers

    Reply

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