ARCHITECTURE HAS LONG BEEN a part of travel plans. On a first trip to Paris, who wouldn’t include a visit to the Eiffel Tower? But in 1997 a new type of tourism was born, when a museum opened in a congenial city of modest repute in northern Spain. The Guggenheim Bilbao was a stunner, a building like none ever seen before. Soon, visitors were flocking to marvel at its rolling, sweeping titanium-clad facade. The Frank Gehry–designed building itself—not the art inside, nor the city around it—was the object of their journey.
Since then, to instill awe has been the goal of every ambitious architect, and hundreds of municipalities the world over have seen the rise of dramatic new buildings that hope to command the attention of a growing class of architectural tourist. Destination Architecture: The Essential Guide to 1000 Contemporary Buildings (Phaidon, 2017) styles itself a comprehensive global travel guide to the contemporary built environment. The book includes sites from countries as culturally and geographically diverse as Argentina, Senegal, Denmark, the Philip- pines, Israel, Egypt, Lithuania, and the United States. The building types represented range from super- scale towers and tiny places of worship to high-tech cultural centers and regional rest stops.
ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF PHAIDON