Building Interest: architectural tourism
|Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort, China.|
Could you visit Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower? Or miss the Blue Mosque when in Istanbul? The Tower Bridge is a London essential and Cairo's pyramids are possibly the oldest tourist site on the map.
But tell friends you're going to Oslo to see the new design by Renzo Piano and chances are you'll be tarred with a try-hard hipster tag. "Architecture is the great public art," says Eoghan Lewis, architect and founder of Sydney Architecture Walk, in defence of architectural tourism.
While not buying into the tallest-fattest-most-brightly-coloured debate ("Do people really travel to see the new tall?"), he readily admits to admiring Burj Khalifa, but describes Sydney's Opera House as "the most important 20th-century architectural moment", matched only by Antoni Gaudi's Sagrada Familia basilica, in Barcelona.
|The Cardboard Cathedral, New Zealand.|
Architecture aficionados have their 2013-14 diaries full, with a smorgasbord of beautiful little offerings from Britain and plenty of Zaha Hadid curves in Asia.
Off the list is the tediously square new George W. Bush presidential centre. And while we'd love to jet to Lima for sheer wackiness, its cliff-hanging hotel is, unsurprisingly, still at the planning permission stage, while Shanghai's Songjiang Hotel, where two floors are underwater, won't open till 2015.
Back home in Australia, now is the time for quiet, beautiful, subtle achievers. Read on for a baker's dozen of great new architectural statements going up around the world.