Urenio Watch Watch: Intelligent Cities / Smart Cities

Buildings with Beauty and Brains

Take a tour of BusinessWeek’s architectural wonders of the world and find how innovative architecture meets cutting-edge technology in ten uniquely attractive and functional structures.

BusinessWeek magazine presents a list of the most innovative buildings completed in the last year (give or take a few months). The 10 buildings mentioned in the accompanying slide show are the year’s best answers to the following questions:

  • Firmness – How do you keep a building from falling down, especially during an earthquake, a typhoon, or a terrorist attack?
  • Commodity – How do you make a building more useful, such as an office that encourages collaboration, or a factory that helps hone its own assembly line?
  • Delight – How do you measure beauty today?
  • Technology – How does architecture incorporate technology, and how does technology help create architecture?
  • Sustainability – How do you lessen a building’s impact on the environment?
  • Security – How do you make a monument secure?
  • Sense of place – What does “local” mean today?

According to the magazine while not every building on this list is innovative in all of these ways, each stands out in its answer to at least one of these questions. A tower rising nearly a third of a mile into the sky, a cable-stayed bridge stretching one-and-a-half miles across, a bomb-resistant glass wall. Millennia after the Egyptians built the Great Pyramid of Khufu, architects and engineers are creating new wonders of the world. Some are feats of engineering, others blur architecture and technology, and most of them reflect an approach to building that is more sensitive to the natural environment.