A little bit all over the country, and in some of its largest and bustling cities, you will find references of colonial, gothic and even classicist period architecture, along with some of the most exciting buildings and constructions of the contemporary world. 

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Here are some fascinating places you should not miss on your trip to Australia.

1. The Sydney Opera House, Sydney-

Designed by Danish architect John Utzon, Sydney Opera House is a performing arts center opened in 1973, a masterpiece of modern architecture and a symbol of Australia. 

The project was built in three phases, the foundation and building of the podium overlooking the Sydney Harbor, the construction of the outer shells and in the interior. 

The exterior construction materials included precast rib segments, rising to a ridge beam and a concrete pedestal clad in earth-toned, reconstituted granite panels. The roof shells are clad with glazed off-white tiles and supported by arched ribs.

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2. Federation Square, Melbourne-

The Federation Square, has been developed as the locus and orientation point for Melbournians and visitors alike. 

The plaza operates as a compound spatial figure, with multiple points of activity and focus. Federation Square has integrated a broad range of civic, cultural and commercial activities, responding to the vitality and openness of daily life. Fed Square’s distinctive look is inspired by fractals, the complex patterns that are identical both on a smaller scale and when viewed as a whole. 

Three cladding materials, sandstone, zinc and glass, all form triangular pinwheel grids. This modular system uses five single triangles, all of the same size and proportion, to make up a larger triangular panel.

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3. Parliament House, Canberra-

A Parliament House designed to encourage public access and involvement while responding to the Australian climate, landscape, vegetation, and even the quality of the light. It was designed to be both a functional building and a national symbol. 

The paving outside the entrance is red Christmas Bush granite while the front facade walls clad in Paradise White Carrara marble from Italy. The Marble Foyer features forty-eight marble columns that evoke the muted pinks and greens of the Australian landscape. 

The series of circles and triangles of Paradise White marble and black Granitello Nero limestone make the floor astonishing. The walls feature twenty marquetry panels depicting Australian native flora, designed by Adelaide artist Tony Bishop.

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4. Council House, Perth-

A finest example of post war modernist civic architecture, the house has a striking vertical slab encrusted in mosaic-tiled T-shaped precast concrete sunshades, accommodated the offices and council rooms of Perth City Council. 

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A thirteen storied building has large and adaptable floor plates through the positioning of circulation and service cores on the building’s east and west axes. Its transparent ground floor connects the inside to the outside through to public terraces and gardens, and was one of the first public buildings to have fully integrated air conditioning. 

The distinctive T-shaped sunshades are finely detailed around the corners and perform as fire-isolating spandrels between floors.

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5. Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne-

The Royal Exhibition Building is the only surviving Great Hall from the 19th century, used for housing exhibitions. 

The building has a round-arched architectural style combining elements from Byzantine, Romanesque, Lombardic and Italian Renaissance buildings. The building had a round-arched architectural style combining elements from Byzantine, Romanesque, Lombardic and Italian Renaissance buildings. 

The dome of the building was influenced by the 15th-century cathedral in Florence. It is brick, set on a bluestone base, and has long central naves and stunt transepts. There are four triumphal entrance porticoes, one on each side.

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6. The Australian Academy of Science, Canberra-

Its brief called for a large conference hall with raked seating, council room, offices and a fellows’ room being the second-largest space.

The requirements are deftly molded into a simple circular plan with circumferential circulation inside-out and housed in a concrete copper-clad shine dome. Sixteen peripheral arches serve as massive concrete ring beams to contain the dome’s lateral spreading. 

The copper-sheathed concrete shine dome is forty-six meters in diameter and weighs seven hundred and ten tonnes.

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7. Boyd Baker House, Bacchus Marsh-

The House is a lovely example of modernism made with natural materials. Several aspects of the House contribute to its natural character. The Bacchus Marsh stone used for both the external and internal walls, while intended originally to use concrete.

These feature throughout the House and provide a lovely combination of difference and repetition. Similarly, the originally intended plastered ceiling, went with the more different natural option, employing a thatched ceiling, which is quite unlike anything we generally see in a modernist house, but it fits right in. 

And while concrete used for the floor, it too is polished in a lovely, rich, earthy texture. The stone workings in the shell are already quite beautiful but filled with some rather nice, simple pieces of furniture, especially the several Danish modern cabinets that appear in the corners of the living area.

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8. Sydney Tower, Sydney-

At 320 meters, Sydney Tower is the city’s highest building. It pierces the Sydney skyline and resembles an elegant spaceship floating above. It comprises a single central column, held up by crisscrossing steel cables, leading to a four-story circular building and spire at the top. 

Fifty-six steel cables, attached from the underside of the tower through the roof, stabilize the tower. The turret anchored by high strength reinforced concrete, also into the bedrock. 

To keep the building from swaying, engineers added a giant water tank at the top of the tower. Open in 1981, the structure contains a communication facility, revolving restaurant, an observation deck with 360-degree views of the city and an open-air skywalk. 

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9. Eddie Koiki Mabo Library, Townsville-

The over-sized parasol roof, the primal circular cut-out windows and the semi-circular porch openings at the building’s corners suggest deep shade and cool retreat from Townsville’s dry heat. 

The original undercroft creates a series of open, interconnected public spaces with the introduction of a new central circulation spine at each level of the building aligning with the Masterplan axis of the campus, incorporating a new south entry to the building, and a re-organization of its functional zones arranged along the new spine. 

Student reading and study spaces are positioned to the northern edge of the original building where the full drama of the architecture reveals.

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10. The Olderfleet, Melbourne-

Set back from three heritage-listed buildings in Collins Street, collectively known as the Olderfleet Buildings, the 38-storey office tower rises in a configuration of modules that express the internal organization of the building. 

The tenant-focused design incorporates a ‘vertical village’ concept, with the tower split into three separate neighborhoods that respond to specific tenant requirements providing them with a unique identity within the overall building. Three expansive client floors with generous floor to floor heights and sunken external terraces are introduced between the neighborhoods, further breaking down the mass of the tower and delineating vertical tenant neighborhoods within the building.

At ground level, a permeable face to Collins Street creates an active urban frontage that leads to a light-filled lobby and atrium while providing a through-site connection to Flinders Lane.

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11. The Cowra Japanese Garden, Cowra-

The architectural form of the Garden balances the unifying principles of Japanese garden design in its Australian setting. The lines of the garden design were eloquent in the many stories they told. 

It is the largest Japanese Garden situated in the southern hemisphere. The traditional principles of excellence permeated this elegant Garden and the distinctive qualities reflecting changing seasonal characteristics were evident. 

A limited palette of colors was integral to garden design is its interesting feature. Textural differences created visual interest and aesthetic appeal, in the water surrounding the island gardens. They are symbols of courage, strength and patience.

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12. North Terrace, Adelaide-

North Terrace is Adelaide’s premier civic street. It is two and a half kilometers long, lined with an extraordinary array of cultural, civic, educational, health, recreation and commercial institutions unique in Australia. 

The Terrace distinguishes it from other civic boulevards in the unusual asymmetric alignment of street and spacious northern linear garden served by inner and outer paths, thus creating a grand terrace walk. 

The northern edge of the Terrace is rich public terrain for each institution that lines it provides a different form of civic forecourt that overlooks the garden walk.

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13. St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney-

Constructed in local sandstone, the ‘Gothic Revival’ style of its architecture pays respect to the great medieval cathedrals of Europe. St Mary’s is not only a legacy from the past, but also it is a vital part of the present spiritual and cultural life of the city and the nation. 

Constructed of dressed Sydney sandstone, St Mary’s stretches 107 meters in length to the central tower and rises to 46 meters. When the spires built-in 2000, the Cathedral soared 75 meters. 

In keeping with many medieval English cathedrals, there is a strong emphasis on the lengthwise dimension of the building, while viewed from the side and the front facade, with twin towers flanking a rose window, it is more reminiscent of a typical French cathedral.

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14. Victoria Square, Adelaide-

Victoria’s Square sits at the center of the city and houses many prestigious buildings like the Supreme Court of South Australia, General Post Office, Church of St. Francis Xavier, and Central Market. 

The Square holds the namesake statue of Queen Victoria and the beautiful Three River Fountain. It has an unprecedented history of Aboriginals using it for gatherings and events in the past and at present is a recreational space for hosting festivals. The buildings in this courtyard display an assortment of architectural styles be it the Doric colonnade or be it the Neoclassical style. 

The principal aim of the concept plan was the creation of a textured functional ground plane supported by ‘pods’ of greenery to encourage respite and shape paths of pedestrian maneuverability across the precinct. Pods are designed to frame views towards key architectural elements within the panorama.

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15. Centre for Ideas, Melbourne-

The Centre for Ideas at the Victorian College of the Arts is an innovative building that suits its purpose, to promote thinking. The building is made up of Voronoi, shapes and asymmetrical structures. 

Various colored stainless steel panels line the building’s facade, and the sculptural conical skin changes its appearance depending on the weather. 

A landscape scheme from the nested geometry of an even, regular-sided hexagon and a hexagon with sides of two unequal lengths has derived. Cutting across the field is a striped pavement of classic institutional materials, broom finished concrete and asphalt.

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Author

Manvi Khandelwal, a 20-year-old, is an architecture student. She had been passionate for architecture, since her childhood. She always thought of architecture as a way of living life, apart from designing spaces. She loves to dance, and to her architecture is a choreography of volumes to define her environment.

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