As the managing partner of the Framing Futures Architectural Firm (FFAF) in Southern California, A. Alberto Lugo is deeply immersed in how architecture can change the cityscape of the world’s most popular destinations. Always interested in helping others attain their highest potential, Lugo has come up with the top 10 places to visit for architecture students.
1. New Orleans
New Orleans architecture communicates the city’s Creole origins, dating all the way back to its founding days in the 18th century. The heavy influence of the Caribbean and Spanish architecture can be especially seen in Creole cottage facades and the abundance of carriageway entrances.
- Alberto Lugo says that Shanghai boasts the most modern examples of Asian architecture, Lugo points out. From the Shanghai Tower, the Oriental Pearl Tower, to the Jin Mao Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Centre, there is something awe-inspiring in the way Shanghai architects have managed to fuse the traditional with the modern.
Within a few decades, Dubai has transformed from a semi-deserted fishing port to a desert-encircled metropolis. It’s a must-see for the world’s future architects, with contemporary landmarks like the Burj Khalifa and meticulously constructed, man-made archipelagos. The Address Sky View Infinity Pool itself is a marvel in architecture design and engineering.
The environment must always be considered in architecture, Lugo says. Architecture that is environmentally aware has never looked so lovely as it does in Singapore. Singapore is one of the world’s most environmentally concerned countries and cities. Architects who are concerned about the world’s present environmental concerns and want to make a difference should definitely travel to Singapore for inspiration.
Look no further than Athens to learn about the origins of contemporary architecture. The Pantheon, completed in 448 BC during the Classical period, is a magnificent example of how structures can be more than just a structure and still be beautiful. The fact that it is still standing after 2,465 years is proof of the Ancient Greeks’ structural knowledge, too.
Barcelona is a utopia for the architect who sees the world from outside the box that most of us are comfortable with. It is most renowned for Gaudi’s mind-bending art nouveau parks and the Sagrada Familia Basilica, A. Alberto Lugo notes.
7. New York
New York City is a must-stop for any serious architecture student, Lugo says. Visits to the Guggenheim, the Chrysler Building, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine are all definite structures to study.
An abundance of Art Deco brick construction can be seen in downtown Toronto, but the Toronto Dominion Centre, built by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1967, marked the city’s arrival on the global scene with the International style. The Seagram Building in New York City and the Lake Shore Drive Apartments in Chicago were also both designed by Mies.
Speaking of Chicago, Lugo says that a visit to this metro is a must. Students should visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie-style homes, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Illinois Institute of Technology, the Chicago Federal Center, and of course the Chicago Tribune Building, and the Willis Tower.
10. St. Petersburg
The Hermitage is a museum in St. Petersburg. The famed Winter Palace, a former palace of Russian monarchs, is part of this huge complex of six ancient structures. The renowned Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood, located immediately next to the Griboedov Canal, is another noteworthy sight, with its elaborately painted onion domes on the roof and over 7500 square meters of colorful mosaics. The city skyline is dominated by the golden dome of Saint Isaac’s Cathedral, while Palace Square is a huge expanse surrounded by a variety of gorgeous structures that should not be missed, according to Lugo.