Design + Architecture

The New Wonders of the World

by Eimear Lynch

Form plus function is Architecture 101. But a building that not only is a bright spark on the landscape but also has a surface as idiosyncratic as its structure, well, that's Architecture 2010. The year that film embraced a third dimension, architecture found a fourth: texture. From the screen-printed filigree of Calais's Fashion and Lace Museum to the latticework of Guangzhou's TV Tower to Johannesburg's serpentine Soccer City Stadium, glittering in earthy hues that reflect the country's terrain, texture adds majesty and grace to complexes that are already anatomically arresting. The other big news? This was the year of the museum. These pages are filled with cultural edifices high and low, and it's heartening to know that such institutions still have the cash to build (or complete, for these wonders were years in the making) splashy structures that celebrate civilization—and are as interesting inside as out.

Next: The sexy new "lady" in China >

Published March 2010. Pictured: The Calais Fine Arts and Lace Museum

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