A field comprising creativity, imagination and problem solving, architecture is composed of various elements. With aeons of history, styles reflecting different regions, materials and colour palettes, religious or commercial architectural structures are true wonders to behold. There are different types of tourism in architecture, to see ancient ruins or modern skyscrapers and many more. Here are a few examples of architectural tourism.

1. Sacral Architectural tourism

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Otherwise known as religious architecture, sacral architecture consists of structures classified or signify a religion. Some are usually places of worship and are considered intentional or sacred spaces. Stupas, temples, monasteries, mosques, basilicas and synagogues are some examples. Ancient tombs and burial structures like the pyramids of Giza are also sacral. Since these are influential buildings of any community, they gather tourists and believers of faith from far and wide. Some well-known examples are Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey and Angkor Vat in Cambodia. 

2. Heritage Architectural Tourism

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Structures which have withstood the tests of time, and are of historical and cultural importance come under Heritage tourism. Structures date back thousands of decades and, therefore, there is a spectrum timeline for them. Heritage structures are also called monuments. These structures also usually serve as a hub for a city or civilization development. Some examples include the Colosseum in Rome, Italy and Taj Mahal in India. 

3. Modern Architecture tourism

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This segment comprises structures which mark feats, incorporate the new world materials and give us a perspective of development. The word ‘modern’ represents a way of life, rather than a style. It comprises shopping malls, towers, bridges and hotels. Some examples are Burj Khalifa Hotel in Dubai and the Eiffel tower in Paris. 

4. Regional Architecture tourism

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Tourists in this segment select countries of choice, which represent a particular style of architecture. The goal here is to explore the country throughout the timeline, the culture, different typologies of buildings and more. The country becomes a destination, which is great for research purposes as well. Certain physical aspects contribute to the overall experience like the climate and terrain. For example, Scandinavian countries would have houses made of wood like log cabins with long roofs in the countryside. Italy proudly boasts about having architecture from 3500BC to the present, counting styles from ancient Roman to Neo-classical. 

5. Architectural typology tourism

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Some tourists have a particular typology in mind, which they would like to explore as case studies and research on it further. Some general typologies include commercial or recreational, and tourists would choose hotspots of that typology. France, for example, has many museums. A museum enthusiast would consider Paris as an ultimate destination. New York also has many different museums and exhibition centres. 

6. Architectural style

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Similar to typologies, tourists could be enthusiastic about a particular style of architecture and wish to visit buildings constructed with the same. If one would like to see the Rajputana style of architecture, they are more likely to travel to Rajasthan, India or Madhya Pradesh, India. Bauhaus style enthusiasts can visit Israel and so on.

7. Works of a particular architect

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Some tourists travel far and wide to see their favourite architect’s work. The aim here is to draw inspiration from their role-models and to experience the space designed by them. For example, Antoni Gaudi has most of his works in Spain which include Park Guell and Casa Mila.

8. Student Groups

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Students travel in large groups to decrease expenses and visit more places in a short period. They usually become a part of tour groups, made specifically to get the gist of the location and for sight-seeing. On-site sketching and photography is an essential part of such a group. These tours inspire students in terms of concept and scale. After all, just learning about buildings in theory without any practical experience is sub-par.   

9. The landmarks

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Visiting all the major landmarks in the world could also be on a tourist’s bucket list. Landmarks define a city and make the city recognizable on a global scale. It is an integral part of an urban environment since it helps in wayfinding and mark sites of heritage and culture. For example, the Sydney Opera House was built as a platform to commemorate art and performances and act as a union place for artists and spectators alike. The Incan ruins of Machu Pichu are a must-see in Peru. 

10. Offbeat architecture

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Architecture doesn’t just comprise of buildings, but also artificial landscapes, installations and sculptures. These are both art and architecture since they have both concept and structure. Some have even coined a term, known as ‘architectural structure’ for such exhibits. Architecture is the science of designing spaces, which implies landscape architecture is the study of curating outdoor environments. These environments support the principal building and make it more welcoming. Elaborate French Baroque gardens are present on entrances of Chateaux and Palaces in France, which represent the grandeur of it. 

Author

Asmita Kothari is currently pursuing B.Arch at the School of Architecture, VIT University. She is an avid reader and a movie buff, who loves watching architectural and travel documentaries and shows. She believes that ambitious and curious souls make the world a better place.

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