Architecture & design Ten Unique Buildings That Will Inspire You
From a tropical paradise in Miami to a whale-shaped cultural and commercial center in Budapest, these extraordinary constructions bring architecture a little closer to art and help tell the story of each of their cities.
The Tenerife Espacio de las Artes descended upon Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2008, breathing life into the city and becoming one of its most important cultural attractions. It was designed by the acclaimed Swiss studio Herzog & De Meuron together with local architect Virgilio Gutiérrez. The site comprises the Óscar Domínguez Institute, the Alejandro Cioranescu Island Library and the Island of Tenerife Center for Photography, with a triangular plaza in the center that serves as a public space and connects the three buildings. The idea of open courtyards was central to the building’s design, which blurs the lines between interior and exterior, seamlessly blending into the city’s landscape and allowing light to flow into the building. Staying at Iberostar hotelsone can enjoy family holidays in Tenerife, spa breaks, weekend breaks and, all-inclusive holidays, etc. Moreover, thanks to the mentioned island’s amazing climate it is possible to spend holidays in Tenerife at any time of the year!
BARCELONA: CASA VICENS
Millions of tourists flock to Barcelona each year, in no small part to see the magnificent architecture of Antoni Gaudí. While La Sagrada Família is his most celebrated work, a visit to Casa Vicens (built in 1888) is imperative, as the Catalan architect’s first important project and the one that sparked his Orientalist period. Its revolutionary construction was a precursor of Catalan Modernism, with vibrant turquoise-and-white tiles that provide a striking contrast to the stone-and-brick façade. In 2005 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in 2017 it opened to the public for the first time as a museum after a lengthy restoration process. To help you see and live all those great experiences we open the doors of the Iberostar Selection Paseo de Gracia, our new hotel in the centre of Barcelona. It is located in one of the hot spots of the city — the confluence of Passeig de Gràcia with Catalunya Square.
BUDAPEST: CET (CENTRAL EUROPEAN TIME)
Known informally as “Bálna” (the Hungarian word for whale) for its large tapering curves, CET combines shopping, culture, cuisine and entertainment. Bálna also houses the New Budapest Gallery, an art space with work by Hungarian and international artists. The building, located on the bank of the Danube, was designed by Kas Oosterhuis of Dutch architectural firm ONL with the purpose of visually connecting the two sides of the city: Buda and Pest. The modern shell stands between two original 1881 brick warehouses that were renovated for the project, bringing together past and present as well. Iberostar wants you to discover the countless wonders of the Hungarian capital as luxuriously as possible. So for this, there is nothing better than staying at the Iberostar Grand Budapest, a 5-star hotel built in 2011.
LISBON: PAVILHÃO DE PORTUGAL
The Portuguese Pavilion’s commanding presence contrasts with the charming decadence that has become Lisbon’s trademark. The building was designed by Pritzker-Prize-winning Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Vieira for the ocean-themed 1998 International Expo in Lisbon and was the only national pavilion that was to remain after the exhibition. Its canopy, attached to the main structure by thin steel cables, represents the sails of a ship, and together with its porticoes, frames the view of the Tagus. To fully experience the building, stand under it to feel the magnificence of its concrete canopy hanging over you and then walk by the riverside to see its brilliant simplicity reflected in the water. Don’t think twice. At Iberostar in Lisbon we take care of every single detail so that all you have to do is to enjoy your memorable rest. Come and check it out for yourself at the Iberostar Selection Lisboa Hotel!
MADRID: EDIFICIO MIRADOR
Located on the outskirts of Madrid in the neighborhood of Sanchinarro, Edificio Mirador is not a typical stop on Madrid’s architecture circuit. The residential building was developed by Dutch urbanism studio MVRDV in collaboration with Madrid-based architect Blanca Lleó in 2005. It was designed to look like a housing block that has been positioned vertically, with nine differently-colored blocks—each of which was built independently—representing different buildings. The large opening in the center is a terrace from which residents can enjoy the view of the Guadarrama mountains and represents the courtyard of the housing block. From ground-level, the opening gives the building a surreal feeling reminiscent of Magritte: a slice of sky emerging from grey concrete. If you want to make sure your holiday or weekend in Madrid is a success, we invite you to stay at Iberostar Las Letras Gran Vía, a 4-star hotel in the centre of Madrid designed to make your visit to the capital of Spain a unique experience.
LANZAROTE: MIRADOR DEL RÍO
The Mirador del Río sits 1,312 feet high on the cliff of Risco de Famara, offering breathtaking views of the island of La Graciosa and the cluster of islands that make up the Chinijo Archipelago. Artist César Manrique masterfully designed the café and observation deck in 1975, integrating it into the landscape of his native Lanzarote by covering the exterior with volcanic rock so that it is barely visible from the outside. Inside, you can enjoy a variety of drinks at the café among its curved white walls while taking in the views. In order for you to be able to experience the entire island’s beauty with comfort, we provide the best hotels in Lanzarote.
NEW YORK: HEARST TOWER
In 1928 William Randolph Hearst commissioned architect Joseph Urban to complete a six-story building that would serve as the base of a skyscraper. It was not until almost eighty years later that the forty-storey tower itself was built, designed by renowned British architect Norman Foster and his award-winning studio, Foster + Partners, who brilliantly combined old and new. The sleek building was revolutionary at the time as the first LEED-approved (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) office building in New York City, with Foster’s distinctive diagrids utilizing significantly less steel than such a structure typically requires. Inside, installations by artist Richard Long and designer James Carpenter bring together the worlds of art and architecture. Book your hotel in New York and get ready take a bite out of the Big Apple.
MIAMI: PINK HOUSE
Arquitectonica’s Pink House caused quite a stir upon its construction in 1978. Its bright colors were approved by the board of the local zoning review on the condition that a row of trees be planted in front of the house. Rather than obscuring it however, the palm trees and surrounding greenery added verticality to its geometry while bringing out the five different shades of pink of its façade, ranging from pale pink to a deep strawberry. Today, the house has become an icon of Miami’s postmodern architecture: a tropical hedonistic dream that challenges suburbian uniformity. While unquestionably playful and sensual in its design—a small porthole on the land-side façade acts as a window to the long swimming pool within—, its layered elevations make it dimensionally complex, with each plane providing a different rhythm and perception of the view overlooking Biscayne Bay.
PALMA DE MALLORCA: ES BALUARD
In 2004, contemporary art museum Es Baluard opened in Palma de Mallorca, forever changing the cultural landscape of the Mallorcan capital and firmly placing the Balearic Islands on the Spanish art map. The museum was built on the site of the sixteenth-century defensive Bastion of Sant Pere, designed by Italian engineer Giovan Giacomo Paleari Fratín, with a 16,500 ft2 addition by Mallorcan architecture studio STC together with architects Jaime and Luis García Ruiz. Visit its permanent collection to see works by both Spanish and international artists such as Marina Abramovic, Joaquín Sorolla, Marie Laurencin and Pilar Albarracín and then head to its restaurant and lounge to watch the sun set over the bay from its rooftop terrace. Book your Iberostar Hotel in Majorca and enjoy your holidays
PUNTA CANA: BASÍLICA CATEDRAL DE NUESTRA SEÑORA DE ALTAGRACIA
Architecture enthusiasts visiting Punta Cana would be remiss to skip a day-trip to Higüey to visit the Basílica Catedral de Nuestra Señora de Altagracia. The church was built over the course of seventeen years—from 1954 to 1971—by French architects André-Jacques Dunoyer de Segonzac and Pierre Dupré. Today, it is the most widely visited church in the Caribbean, with pilgrims flocking to worship it every year on Virgin of Altagracia Day, a national holiday. The gravity and heft of its concrete structure is offset by the whimsical cyan and magenta of its main façade and its curved steeple, whose opening offers a glimpse of the sky. Iberostar Hotels & Resorts has four gorgeous resorts in Punta Cana. These incredible all inclusive resorts are located on the best beaches of Punta Cana with entertainment on offer for all ages, tastes and groups.