Because of the pandemic, several museums, buildings and other places of interest around the world started offering virtual tours so people can continue visiting them. In this post I tell you about 10 architecture masterpieces you can virtually visit.
We can’t leave home to visit new places, but we can still travel from home and explore some of the most famous architecture. In this list I included 10 buildings with virtual tours, corresponding to different historical periods and styles.
10 architecture masterpieces you can virtually visit:
1. VILLA SAVOYE. POISSY, FRANCE. 1929.
Architect: Le Corbusier
If we talk about architectural icons, Villa Savoye designed by Le Corbusier is undoubtedly one of the most recognized of the 20th century. This house located in the commune of Poissy in France represents the bases of modern architecture and a manifesto of Le Corbusier’s five points of a new architecture: pilotis, roof garden, open plan design, horizontal windows and free design of the façade.
What was once the home of the Savoye family is today a museum open to the public and a World Heritage Site.
For more information read: Visiting Villa Savoye from Paris
2. STUDIO AALTO. HELSINKI, FINLAND. 1955.
Architect: Alvar Aalto
The finnish architect Alvar Aalto’s studio is an exponent of Scandinavian functionalism, perfectly combining materials and its surroundings. This was the architect’s office until his death in 1976. Today the old studio is managed by the Alvar Aalto Foundation and is open to the public for guided tours.
3. GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM. NEW YORK, USA. 1959.
Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright
Today it is possible to take virtual visits to museums which virtually opened their doors to bring entertainment to people during quarantine. One of them is the imposing Guggenheim New York which can be visited in Google Arts & Culture and learn about the history of its collection.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and was conceived as a “temple of the spirit”. Inside, a snail-shaped ramp guides the visitors through the exhibition, allowing them to admire the works of art from different perspectives. Wright is one of the greatest exponents of 20th century architecture and is known for its organic architecture. These days, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation is doing virtual tours of several of its projects, they are available here.
4. POMPIDOU CENTER. PARIS FRANCE. 1977.
Architects: Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers
The Pompidou Center is one of the most controversial buildings in Paris, and if you ask me, one of my favorites. It is one of the most innovative designs of the 20th century. With an industrial structure, it reveals ducts, stairs, and other functional elements that are visible from the outside. This museum is one of the first exponents of high-tech architecture, where the use of technology is the main characteristic.
5. GUGGENHEIM BILBAO MUSEUM. SPAIN. 1997.
Architect: Frank O. Gehry
We can’t only visit the Guggenheim in New York, but also the Guggenheim in Bilbao. This building was designed by canadian architect Frank Ghery, and has a rather particular and whimsical shape, with figures that are rolled up covered with titanium and glass. It is a clear exponent of deconstructivism, an architectural movement characterized by fragmentation, non-linear design process, and an opposition to modern architecture rules where “form follows function”.
6. BATTLÓ HOUSE. BARCELONA, SPAIN. 1906.
Architect: Antoni Gaudí.
All of Gaudí’s designs are undoubted architectural icons of Catalan modernism. Casa Battlo offers an excellent virtual tour on its website where you can visit a large part of this building that reflects Gaudí’s artistic quality, taking inspiration from nature and its organic forms. It is really a work of art wherever you look at it.
7. DIEGO RIVERA AND FRIDA KAHLO STUDIO MUSEUM. MEXICO CITY. 1931.
Architect: Juan O’Gorman
The Casa Estudio where Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo lived was one of the first functionalist works in Latin America. It consists of 2 independent houses, built with concrete and linked by a bridge. It is very interesting not only because of the design but because it allows us to imagine the life of the two artists. Today the house is a museum and offers an excellent virtual tour on its website.
8. CURUTCHET HOUSE. LA PLATA, ARGENTINA. 1955.
Architect: Le Corbusier
Casa Curutchet is the only building by Le Corbusier in Latin America. This house was designed for Dr Curutchet and his family, and it was not only their home but also included a small medical office. In this house you can clearly notice Le Corbusier’s five points. Inside the house, a ramp guides the visitor through the different stages and parts of the house, emphasizing the “promenade architecturale” (architectural promenade) proposed by Le Corbusier.
9. REICHSTAG DOME. BERLIN GERMANY. 1999.
Architect: Norman Foster.
One of the most iconic and recognizable buildings in Berlin is perhaps the dome of Parliament designed by british architect Norman Foster to symbolize German Reunification. This dome undoubtedly attracts attention for its shape and material. It is made of glass and several ramps arranged in a helical way take the visitor to the upper level from where you have a 360º view of the city.
Another building by Foster that you can virtually visit is the British Museum in London. The architect designed an extension of the museum.
10. GALAXY SOHO. BEIJING, CHINA. 2012.
Architect: Zaha Hadid
Lastly, the most recent building of all in this list. The Galaxy Soho is an office and shopping building designed by Zaha Hadid, whose architecture is clearly recognizable by the use of curves and dynamism. The building is made up of 5 separate volumes that are connected through walkways and generate different perspectives. The complete tour is available at Google Arts & Culture.
I hope you enjoyed this virtual tour of some of the world’s most famous architectural icons! If you want to see what I’m doing these days, follow me on Instagram:@postcardsfromivi
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- Visiting the Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier
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- 10 travel movies to inspire your wanderlust
- The best free museums in London