Built on a man-made island on the edge of Doha harbour just off the corniche, the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar houses one of the world’s most complete collections of Islamic artifacts. Designed by Pritzker Prize laureate I. M. Pei, who embarked on a journey across the Muslim world to grasp the essence of Islamic architecture which he borrowed for the design of the museum. The result is an architectural icon composed of a five-storey minimalist building and a two-storey education wing with the geometric patterns and aesthetic details of the art and architecture of the Muslim world. Inside the building, a soaring atrium with a stainless steel domed ceiling above the grand staircase is a stunning centrepiece of the interiors.
Built in the shape of the human eye, L’Hemisfèric is one of the structures within the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain. Designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, L’Hemisfèric houses an IMAX theatre, a Planetarium and a Laserium. The “pupil” is the hemispherical dome of the IMAX theatre and the “eyelid” can open and close by using hydraulic lifts to operate the steel and glass shutter. This impressive architectural masterpiece is situated at the end of the dried up riverbed Turia. Calatrava wanted to bring water back to the area by creating a reflecting pool which also serves as a stunning artistic display at night when the lighting creates an image of a whole eye.
The Krzywy Domek “Crooked House” is an unusual piece of architecture located on Monte Cassino Street in Sopot, Poland. Completed in 2004, the building was designed by Szotyńscy & Zaleski who were inspired by the fairytale illustrations and drawings of Jan Marcin Szancer and Per Dahlberg as well as designs by Antoni Gaudí. The magical effect draws many visitors to the property which houses restaurants, cafés and shops.