Exploring architectural masterpieces: Classical vs Modern

Aug 15, 2023


Architecture reflects human creativity, culture, and innovation. Over time, some buildings have stood out, capturing the spirit of their era, and leaving a lasting impact on the world. These famous structures aren’t just practical spaces, but also symbols of the architectural and engineering skills of their times. In this article, we look at a few examples of such well-known buildings that have set the standard for great architecture.



Classic Architecture: Timeless Grace and Tradition


A style rooted in the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome. It emerged as a response to the desire for order, symmetry, and a connection to the past. Characterized by grandeur and harmony, classic buildings are known for their detailed decorations, columns, and pediments. This style emphasizes proportion and balance, often using the Golden Ratio to achieve a sense of perfection.

Classic architecture has produced numerous iconic structures that continue to captivate people around the world. Here are some of the biggest and most renowned examples:


Parthenon – Athens, Greece: A Doric temple upon the Acropolis dedicated to the goddess Athena, constructed in the 5th century BC.

Colosseum – Rome, Italy: An ancient Amphitheatre utilised for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles, finalised in AD 80.

Great Pyramids of Giza – Giza, Egypt: Ancient monumental tombs constructed for pharaohs during the Old Kingdom period.

Hagia Sophia – Istanbul, Turkey: Initially a cathedral, subsequently converted into a mosque, and currently a museum. A marvel of Byzantine architecture finalised in AD 537.

Taj Mahal – Agra, India: An exquisite marble mausoleum constructed in the 17th century by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal.

Cathedral of Notre Dame – Paris, France: A stunning exemplar of French Gothic architecture, construction commenced in the 12th century.

St. Peter’s Basilica – Vatican City: An iconic Renaissance church designed by architects including Michelangelo and Bernini, finalised in the 17th century.

Machu Picchu – Cusco Region, Peru: An ancient Incan city located within the Andes mountains, renowned for its sophisticated stone construction.


Modern Architecture: New age


New-age architecture emerged in response to the technological advancements and societal changes of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It emphasizes functionality, simplicity, and a departure from traditional decorations. The motto “form follows function” captures the heart of this style, as architects aimed to create buildings that embraced new materials and construction methods.

Here are some of the most famous modern architectural buildings from around the world:

Burj Khalifa – Dubai, United Arab Emirates: An iconic skyscraper known for being the tallest building in the world, designed by Adrian Smith of SOM.

The Shard – London, United Kingdom: A glass-clad pyramid-shaped skyscraper designed by Renzo Piano, known for its distinctive shape and stunning views.

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao – Bilbao, Spain: Designed by Frank Gehry, this museum is celebrated for its innovative and fluid architecture.

CCTV Headquarters – Beijing, China: Also known as the “Big Pants” building, this unique structure was designed by Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren of OMA.

One World Trade Center – New York City, USA: The primary building of the rebuilt World Trade Center complex, designed by David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

The Louvre Pyramid – Paris, France: Designed by I.M. Pei, the glass pyramid entrance to the Louvre Museum is a striking blend of modern and classical architecture.

Sydney Opera House – Sydney, Australia: Designed by Jørn Utzon, this iconic building is renowned for its sail-like forms and stunning waterfront location.

Porsche Museum – Stuttgart, Germany: Designed by Delugan Meissl Associated Architects, the Porsche Museum showcases the history and evolution of Porsche automobiles. The building’s unique architectural design features a futuristic, streamlined appearance that complements the brand’s focus on innovation and performance.

Marina Bay Sands – Singapore: An integrated resort complex featuring a distinctive rooftop infinity pool, designed by Moshe Safdie.

Walt Disney Concert Hall – Los Angeles, USA: Designed by Frank Gehry, this concert hall is known for its swooping, curved stainless steel exterior.





The contrast between classical and modern architecture highlights the ever-changing essence of architectural progression. While classical architecture takes inspiration from history and established customs, modern architecture stretches limits with its innovative designs and practicality. These architectural styles not only mold cityscapes but also offer glimpses into the societies that conceive and admire them, forging a lasting heritage for future generations.



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