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Some of the Leading Countries in Modern Architecture

Countries in Modernist architecture

Modernist architecture, or modernism, is a style that emerged in the early-20th century in response to large-scale changes in both technology and society. A modern world comes along with a modern architecture design. Architecture takes part in all aspects of a country’s concept of structure and building as it signifies culture, tradition, and history. Artistic and beautiful, modern architecture has reached new heights. More than creative, sometimes truly unbelievable, these modern buildings give cities a new face, a new functionality. These are some of the world’s best countries for modern architecture. 


In the early 20th century, leading German architects and artists sparked a global design revolution that influenced buildings across the world. Germany is home to a fascinating array of architectural styles, with city landmark structures, ‘Disney’ castles, and rural historic homes. Energy efficiency is important in the building of modern homes today, which tend to be well-insulated. Modernism is generally associated with the Bauhaus school, which espoused a modernist style, doing much to propagate the new architecture in Germany.  Prominent German Modernist architects include Erich Mendelsohn, Ernst May, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Max Taut, Hans Scharoun, Hans Wittwer, and many others. 

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Standing 2,723-feet tall, the Burj Khalifa is just one reason why Dubai is a popular spot for modern architecture.  Other examples of amazing architecture include the Burj Al Arab and The World — an artificial archipelago made to resemble a world map.

United States

Traveling around the United States of America can be an eye-opening and rewarding experience for architecture enthusiasts. The U.S. has a built environment that’s over two centuries old, so throughout the country, you’ll find many heritage structures. To be sure, the U.S. is a country filled with stunning architecture. And this fact is not restricted to the coast, region, or state. Indeed, each state has its own claim in possessing stunningly beautiful architecture, buildings that further add to the ever-changing tapestry that is American culture. Famous Modernist architects including Frank Lloyd Wright, Philip Johnson, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Eero Saarinen, are the leading force in shaping modern American architecture in the 20th century. Freedom Tower — the tallest building in New York City — is the most recent example of the city’s amazing architecture.


Japanese architecture created from the last quarter of the 19th century combines a rich mix of traditional design practices and western modern aesthetics. The Japanese have their modern design ideas deeply connected to the traditional architecture, where wood, big screens, and decorative but minimal designs were the most prominent. Its modern architecture is often admired for its simplicity, attention to detail, contemplative atmosphere, and palpable emphasis on material lightness and/or gravity. The Bank of Japan and Tokyo Station, designed by Tatsuno Kingo, and the Hyōkeikan, now an archaeological museum within the complex of buildings at the Tokyo National Museum, and the Akasaka Detached Palace, both by Katayama Tōkuma, are but a few of the best-known examples of Japanese attempts at stately monumentality in a Western mode.


The temporal and geographical extent of the Spanish peninsula and its associated history has caused its architecture to enjoy a multitude of influences and manifestations. A large number of spectacular buildings have been built in Spain over the last decades and today Spain is one of the countries in the world with the most exciting modern architecture.

In Bilbao, the construction of modern architecture meant a profound change, widely known as the Bilbao effect. The Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Gehry, has had a huge influence on the city and how it is conceived nationally and internationally. Later several other projects: buildings, bridges, metro, and cultural centers designed by architects of Norman Foster, Santiago Calatrava, Carlos Ferrater, and Philippe Starck. Also, the Sagrada Familia is a striking temple full of religious symbolism. The date of its complete completion is still far away, but it has become a must-see icon for the city.


Chinese architecture has taken on many looks throughout history. While traditional Chinese design will always remain beautiful and sacred to the history of China, beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, designs began to change and become a focal point for cutting-edge architecture. After the beginning of the Opium Wars in the 1840s, Chinese architects began incorporating more Western architectural characteristics into their style and designs. The styling of modern Chinese architecture can be very playful with shape and expression. A great precedent of this playful yet modern look is the National Aquatics Center, also known as the Water Cube, in Beijing. Modern icons include buildings such as the Jin Mao Building and the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai and the National Grand Theater and the National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest, in Beijing.


The past two decades have seen a surge in the construction of new public buildings in the UK. A great many of these adventurous and innovative structures, serving culture, sport, government, and business, have since become popular and integral parts of their local landscapes, often playing a part in regeneration. Many of the world’s largest architecture firms practice in London, and many of the world’s greatest projects reside here. Whether you are talking about the Tate or the Shard, successful contemporary architecture in London has a thumb on the pages of its past.


You might associate Italy with classical or even ancient architecture, but several Italian cities are actually home to some of the most celebrated modern architectural masterpieces. Architecture also draws its own kind of tourism and, particularly in the case of modern architecture in Italy, modern architecture in Italy has been flourishing and meeting the needs for years, which resulted in some of the most notable architectural masterpieces of the past century, celebrated for their innovative style and efficiency. Many famous architects, both Italian, such as Renzo Piano, Carlo Scarpa, and Aldo Rossi, and international, such as Rem Koolhaas (Netherlands), Zaha Hadid (Iraq), and Richard Meier, (USA), have designed buildings of note.


France has many remarkable examples of modern architecture and is also a haven for today’s modern architecture. It has a particularly varied and diverse geography and this is reflected in the great variations in contemporary architecture throughout the country.” There are 30,000 architects in France. Most works in small firms, and the majority are more likely to work with private individuals than on large-scale public projects. Paris, the Ville Lumiere (= The City of Light), has hot sites with interesting architecture, including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Pyramid, La Grande Arche de la Defense, Centre Georges Pompidou, the Arch de Triomphe, and the Sacre Coeur Basilica, Bedazzled by the stunning architecture in the City of Light.


Dutch architecture has played an important role in the international discourse on architecture in three eras. The Dutch are known to be the masters of architecture and the use of space. Also known for their out-of the-box-thinking, they have exerted more influence on the discipline of art and construction. Amsterdam is the capital city of the Netherlands and one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Amsterdam’s name derives from Amstelredamme, indicative of the city’s origin around a dam in the river Amstel.  Modern architecture in Amsterdam and generally in the Netherlands (in Rotterdam and Delft mostly) after 1990 is one of the most interesting in the world. Lars Spuybroek, Kees Christiaanse, Erick van Egeraat are famous architects of the country. Highlights of early modernism include the Rietveld Schröder House in Utrecht, Hilversum Town Hall and the Van Nelle Tobacco Factory in Rotterdam.

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