Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Club House, Yeoju-gun, South KoreaDesigned by Shigeru Ban, the Japanese architect famous for a new generation of paper and cardboard buildings, this country club opened in 2010 features a notably elegant atrium lobby. A laminated timber grid shell supported seamlessly by lightweight, three-storey-high columns of the same material forms its ceiling and roof. Computer cut, columns and grid shell employ as little material as possible. The filigree, fireproof columns…

Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Club House, Yeoju-gun, South KoreaDesigned by Shigeru Ban, the Japanese architect famous for a new generation of paper and cardboard buildings, this country club opened in 2010 features a notably elegant atrium lobby. A laminated timber grid shell supported seamlessly by lightweight, three-storey-high columns of the same material forms its ceiling and roof. Computer cut, columns and grid shell employ as little material as possible. The filigree, fireproof columns…

Castello di Sammezzano, Leccio, ItalyThe mesmerising ceiling, vaults and decor of the Peacock Room in this abandoned Italian palazzo near Florence speak for themselves. Peacocks, and other exotica, were the source of the inspired decoration to be found throughout the seemingly endless empty rooms of this daydream building. The Moorish-style makeover of what was a much older palace was the life work of Ferdinando Panciatichi Ximenes d’Aragona. Although the aristocratic Italian architect…

Castello di Sammezzano, Leccio, ItalyThe mesmerising ceiling, vaults and decor of the Peacock Room in this abandoned Italian palazzo near Florence speak for themselves. Peacocks, and other exotica, were the source of the inspired decoration to be found throughout the seemingly endless empty rooms of this daydream building. The Moorish-style makeover of what was a much older palace was the life work of Ferdinando Panciatichi Ximenes d’Aragona. Although the aristocratic Italian architect…

Empty Room,Beautiful Architecture,Peacock Room,Italy,Ceiling,Moorish,Daydream,Building,Abandoned

St Stephen Walbrook, City of LondonViewed from the confine of City lanes, St Stephen Walbrook appears to be a very modest structure. Inside, however, this church designed by Christopher Wren proves to be one of the architectural wonders of late 17th Century Europe. Carried on eight Corinthian columns and eight arches punctuated by clear windows, is a magnificent coffered dome. This is a scale-model of the dome Christopher Wren had hoped to build over his original design for St Paul's…

St Stephen Walbrook, City of LondonViewed from the confine of City lanes, St Stephen Walbrook appears to be a very modest structure. Inside, however, this church designed by Christopher Wren proves to be one of the architectural wonders of late 17th Century Europe. Carried on eight Corinthian columns and eight arches punctuated by clear windows, is a magnificent coffered dome. This is a scale-model of the dome Christopher Wren had hoped to build over his original design for St Paul's…

Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, Temple of Heaven, BeijingTemple of Heaven is a vast complex of religious buildings built during the reign of the Ming Dynasty Yongle emperor (born Zhu Di). Completed in 1420, the three-tiered Hall of Prayer evoked and represented the hours, days, months and seasons of the years in an architecture of precise geometry and gloriously colourful timber components culminating in an imperious dome. The 125ft (38m) high temple was constructed without a single nail…

Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, Temple of Heaven, BeijingTemple of Heaven is a vast complex of religious buildings built during the reign of the Ming Dynasty Yongle emperor (born Zhu Di). Completed in 1420, the three-tiered Hall of Prayer evoked and represented the hours, days, months and seasons of the years in an architecture of precise geometry and gloriously colourful timber components culminating in an imperious dome. The 125ft (38m) high temple was constructed without a single nail…

San Pantalon, Dorsoduro, VeniceFor a few awe-inspiring moments, a 50-cent euro coin lights up the ceiling of this unfinished Baroque parish church. A dazzling late 17th Century oil painting covering 443 sq m (4768 sq ft) gives the illusion of continuing the architecture of the church up through chiaroscuro colonnades and a choir of highly animated winged angels through golden skies to the white light of heaven itself. This illusionistic painting, with its thrillingly foreshortened…

San Pantalon, Dorsoduro, VeniceFor a few awe-inspiring moments, a 50-cent euro coin lights up the ceiling of this unfinished Baroque parish church. A dazzling late 17th Century oil painting covering 443 sq m (4768 sq ft) gives the illusion of continuing the architecture of the church up through chiaroscuro colonnades and a choir of highly animated winged angels through golden skies to the white light of heaven itself. This illusionistic painting, with its thrillingly foreshortened…

Heydar Aliyev Centre, Baku, AzerbaijanThe floor, walls and ceilings of the curvaceous auditorium of this bravura cultural centre, opened in 2012, form a seamless whole. The effect is magical and truly remarkable, as if the architect, Zaha Hadid has dissolved the normal rules of construction and reinvented their own. In fact, the geometrically complex laminated white-oak shell of the auditorium is set within a steel frame. This gives the necessary rigidity to the structure while allowing and…

Heydar Aliyev Centre, Baku, AzerbaijanThe floor, walls and ceilings of the curvaceous auditorium of this bravura cultural centre, opened in 2012, form a seamless whole. The effect is magical and truly remarkable, as if the architect, Zaha Hadid has dissolved the normal rules of construction and reinvented their own. In fact, the geometrically complex laminated white-oak shell of the auditorium is set within a steel frame. This gives the necessary rigidity to the structure while allowing and…

Shah Mosque, IsfahanIn 1598, Shah Abbas moved the Persian capital to Isfahan. Here, he commissioned a remarkable sequence of ambitious and beautiful religious and civic buildings. But, because the only readily available building material in Isfahan was baked mud brick, there was a fear that, however grand, the new buildings would look rather dull. New techniques in firing coloured mosaic tiles, however, allowed the Shah's architects to revel in wondrous displays of decoration, brought to…

Shah Mosque, IsfahanIn 1598, Shah Abbas moved the Persian capital to Isfahan. Here, he commissioned a remarkable sequence of ambitious and beautiful religious and civic buildings. But, because the only readily available building material in Isfahan was baked mud brick, there was a fear that, however grand, the new buildings would look rather dull. New techniques in firing coloured mosaic tiles, however, allowed the Shah's architects to revel in wondrous displays of decoration, brought to…

Grand Central Station, New YorkFor decades the zodiac ceiling of the imposing and much loved concourse of Grand Central was largely invisible. It was covered in thick layers of nicotine tar, the result of countless cigarettes smoked by generations of commuters making their way to the station's 67 platforms set below the imposing Beaux-Arts style building designed by Warren and Wetmore, and Reed and Stern. Based on medieval astronomical maps, it was painted by the French artist Paul César…

Grand Central Station, New YorkFor decades the zodiac ceiling of the imposing and much loved concourse of Grand Central was largely invisible. It was covered in thick layers of nicotine tar, the result of countless cigarettes smoked by generations of commuters making their way to the station's 67 platforms set below the imposing Beaux-Arts style building designed by Warren and Wetmore, and Reed and Stern. Based on medieval astronomical maps, it was painted by the French artist Paul César…

Solna Centrum Metro Station, StockholmBy far the most alluring attraction of Stockholm's Solna Centrum shopping mall is the Blue Line Metro station that has served it since 1975. Artists Anders Åberg and Karl-Olov Björk painted the exposed bedrock of the underground concourse a thrilling and beautifully lit night-time red. Riding the escalators here is like being drawn into, or escaping from, some mythical sorcerer's cave. Since 1957 more artists than it would take to fill the carriage of a…

Solna Centrum Metro Station, StockholmBy far the most alluring attraction of Stockholm's Solna Centrum shopping mall is the Blue Line Metro station that has served it since 1975. Artists Anders Åberg and Karl-Olov Björk painted the exposed bedrock of the underground concourse a thrilling and beautifully lit night-time red. Riding the escalators here is like being drawn into, or escaping from, some mythical sorcerer's cave. Since 1957 more artists than it would take to fill the carriage of a…

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