Some famous buildings of New Zealand

Beehive New Zealand

I have been posting about many buildings and structures around the world. Last month I took a tour around my own country and was surprised by the history and architecture. So I have compiled a list from my diary. They are indeed superb structures and engineering marvels.

  • Beehive Wellington – The beehive is the name given to the Executive Wing of the New Zealand Parliament Buildings. A visual spectacle.
  • Auckland Museum – One of the finest heritage buildings in New Zealand. It contains precious Maori artifacts. A must visit for travelers the building. The iconic structure is a structure to behold overlooking the Waitemata harbor in Auckland.
  • Olveston Historic Home Dunedin – Dunedin is the most historic town of New Zealand and it has this famous Olveston Historic Home. The marvelous architectures makes it look like a castle from medieval times. A must visit. Dunedin has more places to go like the Hocken Library and the public art gallery.
  • Ōamaru the city of white stone buildings – Every building in this town is white made of lime stone. You will not find such uniqueness anywhere in the world.
  • T & G Napier – In Napier is the T & G building right in the center of the town. It is the most photographed building of New Zealand.The green domed building has become one of the favorite background for showcasing Napier. It is one of icons of New Zealand.

Some Green Super Structures

When a high-rise building commonly known as Skyscraper is build it has immense energy needs. Modern skyscrapers are supposed to be environment friendly too. It is tough on the designers, but they have done exemplary work in this regard. Here are some skyscrapers which are green too.

Bank of America Tower NY


The Bank of America tower in New York City is one of the green skyscraper. The whole building is built using recyclable material. So much for the environment.

A rain water harvest channel is also built with the building. It is exquisite as it takes care of almost 40% of water needs of the building and also keeps the water table high.

Another aspect of high-rise that is sunlight has also been taken care of. There is less need of lighting in the day due to excellent architecture. Th windows help to bring maximum light decreasing the lighting needs. It helps save electricity for 40 homes. Amazing is it not?

The Pearl river Tower in Guangzhou China


The Pearl river Tower in Guangzhou China is the first zero energy building. In fact the building is designed to harvest wind energy. It will also harvest solar energy and indeed give power to power grids.

It is indeed a unique creation and shows the future of skyscrapers, which will not only be self-sustainable but will also be giving to the society.

Okhta Towers St. Petersburg Russia



Okhta Towers St. Petersburg Russia is another example of green skyscraper. The building is build in such a way with needle top and glass to maximize entry of sunlight. The green house effect keeps the building warm during winters.

It gives new meaning to Eco-friendly design and reducing energy needs.

So we have seen how the skyscrapers can be used to harvest sun, wind and water in all possible ways. The future is bright.

Beautiful Skyscrapers


Skyscrapers are beautiful structures. I might be from rural New Zealand but I’m a city boy at heart and for me there’s no better sight than seeing the sun set over a city view that encompasses the futuristic silhouette of skyscrapers. I remember pouring over photos of American cities back when I was kid, I was fascinated by films set in New York such as King Kong and Ghost busters, they just seemed so different from home. I longed to live on the 40th floor of a skyscraper in downtown Manhattan, what view that would be!

Skyscrapers really are the perfect example of man’s triumph over the limitations of space. They also mirror our upward ambitions and pioneering attitude. I’ve been to New York and it was everything I had hoped it would be, but my real dream is to visit the ultimate skyscraper: the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. It’s the tallest building in the world, reaching almost a kilometer above ground with 163 floors! As befits such a masterpiece of modern architecture, it also contains apartments, shops, swimming pools, hotels, restaurants and a library.This is a modern marvel with no matching the architecture. Small buildings are a thing of the past. Very soon all land will be covered with these tall structures. Seems right out of a sci-fi movie right. Even in New Zealand these structures are coming up, and there is no stopping them.I need to get saving because there are plenty more skyscrapers like these on my bucket list.

Weird buildings

Buildings are as we know are normal structures like apartments, villas or huts. However there are buildings around the world that catch the eye and are not normal at all. Here is a list of some of the weirdest.

1.Kansas city Library Missouri – It is literally books. Yes I mean it , the building looks like a stack of neatly arranged books from outside. It is regarded as America’s most beautiful library. The interior is even more amazing than the exterior. However it is the exterior which catches the eye.

Kansas City Library

Kansas City Library

2. Low impact wood house, Wales – It is straight from the Hobbit movie. Built with care it has all we see in the movies. Its structure brings back the memories of rural England of the 1800. Visibly it is awesome from outside as well inside. It is basic natural dwelling the thing we cannot dream today.

Low impact wood house, Wales

Low impact wood house, Wales

3. Rotating Tower, Dubai – This one is straight out of science fiction. This tower actually changes position every minute. It rotates full 360 degrees in 90 minutes. Looks like Star Trek right.

Dynamic Buildings Dubai

Dynamic Buildings Dubai

4.Nautilus House,Mexico City – This is a building from fairy tales unless you actually see it. It is a shell shaped building which looks like a house of mermaids. It is however on the ground so no worries.

Nautilus House,Mexico City

Nautilus House,Mexico City

5.The Church of Hallgrimur, Reykjavik – This is a church which is different in its shape from all the rest. It is a marvel of symmetry and the faith. God surely would like this magnificent structure. Situated in Iceland it is one of the most beautiful structures and surely ranks highest in religious structures.

The Church of Hallgrimur, Reykjavik

The Church of Hallgrimur, Reykjavik








Strange Religious Buildings: agree or not?

You may ask yourself who decides whether a building and its structure are strange or not. That is right, no one is to judge and we all have different tastes and points of view.

In this post, I talk about two of the most strange religious buildings in the world…so feel free to judge them with your own words.

Metéora – Greece

This Greek Orthodox monastery is one of the most complex and strange religious buildings ever seen. Its name makes reference to the word “meteorite”, like “suspended or flying in the sky”. It is built on natural sandstone rock pillars and after Mount Athos, it is one of the largest construction in Greece.

Metéora - Greece

Ki – India

Also known and spelled as Kye, Ki or Kee, this strange monastery is located in India, and it is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery situated on top of a hill, around 4000 metres above sea level. It is well known for being a training center for religious matters for Lamas.

Ki - India

If after having read about them and seen some pictures made by thousands of photographers all around the world, you think these buildings are indeed quite strange, no worries, there are still hundreds of them out there…and you can find them on your own!

My Favourite Buildings in Spain

There are loads of structures in the world: tunnels, bridges, monuments, tombs…you name it. They are created for all sorts of purposes including spiritual, aesthetic, practical and entertainment requirements, and all have their own distinct value. However, today I’m just going to focus on buildings, which are actually a pretty diverse sub-breed themselves! Europe has always been an architectural oasis for me, it’s home to some of the world’s most beautiful architecture that spans various eras, influences and trends.

The Sagrada was designed by Gaudi

The Sagrada Familia

Two of my favourite European buildings are located in Spain. One is a religious building and one is a palace; they are completely different but equally breathtaking and awe-inspiring. Firstly, I’m a big fan of Antonio Gaudi, so as you can imagine I love Barcelona where so much of his work is on display on the streets and in the parks of city. In order to really see the best of his work you need to head to the Sagrada Familia, the epic church project and labour of love that he worked on until his death in 1926. The Basilica is still under construction so be prepared to see a lot of building taking place whilst you visit, although this in itself is very interesting so be sure to check out the museum while you’re there. These days the building is the subject of controversy as some people believe new construction materials are being employed which Gaudí himself would not have used. The appearance of the building is truly original, combining Gothic and Art Nouveau forms, with striking facades and unique spires that form an unmistakeable silhouette amongst the city’s skyline.

The Alhambra is an architectural gem

The Alhambra, Granada

My second favourite Spanish structure is the magnificent and atmospheric Ahambra in Granada, Andalusia. If you love history, this place will floor you, it’s a stunning network of palaces and gardens that really evoke the ‘paradise on earth’ theme that its Muslim architects intended. Although it was originally constructed as a small fortress in 889, the large complex of the Alhambra as we know it today was built for the last Muslim emirs in Spain. After the Catholic conquest of Granada in 1492 some of the grounds were used and built on by Christian rulers but it soon fell into disrepair until being re-discovered by European adventurers and scholars. It’s very hard to resist its Moorish charms, the intricate stucco inscribed with Arabic calligraphy is mesmerizing as are the colorful tiles adorning the palaces. The location is also hard to miss, you can see its imposing walls rising up against the mountains in the distance – an architectural gem not to be missed!

Olympic Structures

The Olympic Games have long been considered an opportunity for countries earn themselves some international prestige. The host city gets immense media coverage and a chance to boost tourism and local morale, and they really go to town in building epic stadiums to showcase their prowess. Yet many argue that the huge cost of hosting the Olympic games means that cities are left with crippling bills and empty stadium once those 17 days are over. Athens is the most frequently cited example of this: completely new arenas were built for the 2004 Games but ten years later many of the structures have been abandoned or are rarely used.

Unfortunately, it’s a familiar story all over the world. A similar outcome occurred in Beijing after the 2008 Olympics, where, despite the $43 billion cost, many of the new facilities have no use. No permanent use was found for the very expensive ($500 million) new stadium, nicknamed ‘the Bird’s Nest’ It now appears that it will be made into a shopping mall while other smaller stadiums are to be demolished. More recently, the Olympics stadium in London from 2012 has been closed for renovation and will re-open in 2016 as the home of Westham Football Club and British Athletics. The more controversial adjoining ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture designed by Anish Kapoor has been open to the public as an observation tower since April and has received very mixed reviews. I’m not a fan of its design, but what do you think?

The Olympics ArcelorMittal Orbit in London has had very mixed reviews

Ice Hotels

It’s that time of year when the weather starts getting warmer here in New Zealand, so it’s hard to imagine that over in Europe ‘winter is coming’ as they would say on Game of Thrones. And yet winter really is coming, and with winter comes ice hotels! Staying in an ice hotel is high on my wish list, and I’ve decided to apply for simple cash fast so I can get over to Europe by March to stay in one. The NZ dollar is pretty strong right now so I thought, why not?

Ice hotels are becoming very popularIce hotels are temporary structures that are built completely from ice. They are dependent on sub-zero temperatures so they are usually only open during winter and have to be rebuilt every year. The hotels consist of beds, chairs and other furniture which is made of ice or compacted snow and they are usually decorated with ice sculptures. Some of them have unique touches like bars (with ice glasses!), snow tunnels or churches attached to the main buildings. The original ice hotel was built in Jukkasjarvi village in Sweden, and has continued in popularity with artists contributing to it’s design each year. There are loads of other ice hotels to choose from, and they all look so cool – pun intended!


Bridges are surely one of the best inventions in the world, they are time-saving and practical alternatives to travelling by boat. Some of our most iconic images are of bridges: the Golden Gate shrouded in fog, Sydney Harbour with it’s sturdy arch, Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland made famous by the Harry Potter films, Charles Bridge with it’s fairytale appeal and Tower Bridge, an instantly recognizable emblem of London. It’s hard to imagine a world without bridges.

Glenfinnan Viaduct, Scotland, famous in Harry Potter films

Glenfinnan Viaduct

Bridges are more than just a way to connect two points, they are also a way of connecting people and cultures, and as in the case of Istanbul, they can even connect two continents. They are an opportunity for architects and engineers to collaborate on a beautiful structure that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. In some cases like that of the rebuilding of Mostar’s famous old stone bridge they can bring people together and help heal old hurts. The famous Bosnian bridge (designed by renowned Turkish architect Mimar Sinan) had stood for 427 years until it was destroyed in the 1990s Bosnian conflict, after which the international community came together to rebuild this famous landmark using local materials and Ottoman construction techniques. The reconstructed Old Bridge is a symbol of reconciliation, international co-operation and of the coexistence of diverse cultural and ethnic communities.

Cheese and Chocolate?: Lets go for first-class beauties

So…after having been part of a quick beer tour to Belgium and been surrounded by many Swiss people, I could not resist the idea of visiting the land of chocolate and cheese.

That was when I decided to book a four day trip to Switzerland, and made two hotel reservations, I would stay two nights in Zürich and two in Lucerne. Oh oh, Lucerne, you need to visit this city, I now do understand why they call it a fairy city and one of the most beautiful places in the world.

the alps

Let me tell you, the least thing I ended up doing was eating chocolate and grabbing some different types of cheese. I was so delighted and impressed by all the beauties Switzerland has to offer that I did not want to lose a millisecond.

It is impressive how you can be exploring a new city and be surrounded by The Alps, amazing lakes, fairy tale constructions and people from all over the world. Yes, believe it or not, no matter how expensive the country is said to be, it is what they call “multi-culti”, full of people from all over the world.

And a very important detail, it is so easy to get to the different cantons while you travel in first class trains. Definitely: Swiss made!