Architecture defines our society; our unique culture and history are embedded within the precincts of our built structures and the cities that we inhabit. This spirit of place and our inimitable identity is celebrated by tourism and commercialization of what we have manifested with time and purpose. The relationship between Architecture and Tourism is the relationship between the visitor and the experience they seek to find in the discovery of iconic architecture and built environments. Architecture is a representation of the different times and cultures, and we are in constant search of experiencing this wonder.

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Architecture and Tourism _© Dllu

Architecture and Tourism

The contemporary world is defined by great cultures and history that seek to find continuity through the built environment, and we strive to experience and celebrate this event through tourism and advocacy for commercialization. We aim to travel the world and experience architecture and great built environments, and the modern world advocates our interest through the commercialization of tourism and global connectivity. Tourism plays a leading role in the global economy; the World Travel and Tourism Council reports the Tourism sector to have contributed around 7.6% to global GDP in 2022. The tourism sector is vital for developing, conserving and restoring iconic buildings, landmarks and great wonders that define our culture, identity and nature of our times. The ancient Pyramids of Egypt built around 2600 B.C., the great Renaissance Architecture of the 14th century, and many significant structures in the Eastern world from the 6th century exist to define advancements, diversity and the nature of our expansive conquest of the natural world. We have witnessed significant transitions in historical eras and cultural projections, and contemporary Architecture seeks to define new purposes and perspectives. We seek to travel and become tourists to experience cultures and architecture and contemplate the times.

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Eiffel tower _© Unsplash

Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower was built in Paris, Champ de Mars, as a temporary installation for the Exposition Universelle de in 1889. It was designed by Gustave Eiffel as a ceremonial gateway for the international exposition that celebrated the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution of 1789. The Eiffel Tower rises from a square base of four iron lattice piers at a slope of 54° that curves upwards to a central point to form a pyramidal configuration. The structure was designed considering wind loads, the requirements of three public levels and a monumental height of 324 meters. The Tower was constructed using 18,000 pieces of wrought ironworks, weighs 7,300 tons and was built for 7,887,500 francs at the time of construction. The Tower gained initial disapproval from the public due to its contrasts to the existing architecture; however, the new form and scale of the structure eventually commanded recognition as a landmark and one of the most recognizable structures of the modern world. The Eiffel Tower stands as a precedent of great Architecture and engineering; it is visited by over Seven million people every year and is a key location for tourism.

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Barcelona Pavilion _© Maciek Jeżyk

Barcelona Pavilion

The Barcelona Pavilion is a modernist classic structure in Barcelona, Spain, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1929. It was commissioned by the Weimar Republic for the International Exposition to reveal modernist, democratic and post-World War German architecture. The structure was rebuilt in 1983 by Catalan architects after being initially dismantled due to political reasons. The Pavilion is based on a grid system that gives form to the walls and tiles of the plinth base. It is minimalist in structure, with walls and curtain systems built to command movement through a continuous volume. The low roof of the Pavilion is supported by eight slender cruciform columns and projects into the exterior, creating an illusion of weightlessness and framed perspectives; the idea of “Less is more” translates through structure. The texture of banded travertine, marble from the Swiss Alps and the Mediterranean, steel chrome frames, tinted glass, and the reflective water bodies creates a contrast while creating a delicate atmosphere of calmness and transparency. The Pavilion is iconic and defines ideas of architectural modernism.

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Sear Tower _© Skidmore, Ownings & Merrill (SOM)

Sears Tower

Sears Tower was built in 1970 in Chicago, Illinois, United States; it was designed by Owings & Merrill Skidmore, Bruce Graham. It is a destination for many tourists as the tallest skyscraper in Illinois, with a height of 5273 meters. It provides an observation deck for viewing of the city and the Michigan Lake. It is interesting due to its iconic setback design and the complex structural and façade systems. The building volume is based on a setback design in response to the spatial requirements of large offices and private dwellings. The building structure was developed on a grid of 75-foot by 75-foot column-free square tubes that formed a cellular tube frame. The building decreases in volume as it ascends by limiting the height of each square tube at various levels. The structure system of the Sears Tower consists of prefabricated bundled structural tubes, reinforced concrete mat and reinforced concrete caisson footings that extend to the bedrock. The Tower façade consists of black aluminium and bronze-tinted glare-reducing glass curtain wall that provides optimum insulation and minimum response to weather conditions. The Tower’s relation to site context, structural engineering, and Architectural design is defining and of precedent.

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Hearst Tower _© hbscny.org

Hearst Tower

Hearst Tower is located at 300 West 57th Street, 8th Avenue, in Midtown Manhattan, New York. It was designed by Norman Foster on 30 April 2003 for the Hearst Cooperation. Its complex structural system and eco-friendly design demand recognition and make it a place of interest for many tourists and visitors. It is prominent and defining as its exo-structural steel structure stands on a 100-year-old six-storey landmarked Art Deco building built in 1928. The base structure of the Tower is void of its interior and serves as a mezzanine level with a lobby, cafeteria, and auditorium. The Tower lacks vertical beams, and its main structural system consists of diagonal gridded trusses made of four-storey high interlocking triangles. Its structural design requires 20 per cent less steel, and 90 per cent of its steel structure is recycled material. The building system collects rainwater for air-conditioning, saving 1.7 gallons of water every year, and waterfall systems in its lobby control humidity and temperature. The building design allows maximum natural light and uses smart artificial lighting systems. The Hearst Tower receives a Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council and leads a Platinum Status, reducing carbon emissions by over 1070 tons.

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Burj Khalifa _© Nick Merrick for Hedrich Blessing

Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa is a multi-purpose tower in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It was designed in 2010 by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, with SOM conducting its structural and MEP systems. The Burj Khalifa has become the central attraction for many tourists worldwide; it has become the place of destination for over 17 million visitors annually, earning over 621 million dollars in ticket revenue. The Tower holds world records for the tallest building of over 828 metres with 162 stories, the largest outdoor observation deck and elevator with the longest travel distance. It is a mixed-use building with an area of 454249 sq. meters that serves as offices, retail space, residential units, and a Giorgio Armani hotel. The architectural design of the building is inspired by regional Islamic architecture, and its structural system consists of reinforced concrete and glass curtain systems. The building setback reduces its volume as it rises, decreasing its mass for structural stability. The Tower is a modern marvel with cutting-edge technology and high-performance levels amidst harsh desert conditions.

Reference

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  8. Zakir, S.A. (2023) Dubai’s Burj khalifa named World’s most popular landmark with 17 million visitors per year, Khaleej Times. Available at: https://www.khaleejtimes.com/travel/uae-attractions/dubais-burj-khalifa-named-worlds-most-popular-landmark-with-17-million-visitors-per-year (Accessed: 08 October 2023). 
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Author

"I am Pravas Onta, writer, thinker and designer. I went to Architecture school in New York and I am currently trying to become a part of the ARB. I have over 5 years’ experience in design, construction and engineering. I believe in hard-work, organization and mutual support."