Culinary tourism (delicious); historical tourism (educational); medical tourism (not so fun); tourism for singles (mega-fun for some); art museum tourism (a visual treat); TV tourism (see the “real” Downton Abbey.)

Why not architectural tourism? For devotees of innovative, cutting edge architectural design, the world is your oyster.

The following is a mere snapshot of the architectural tourism opportunities worldwide.

In Copenhagen, Denmark, ski slope meets waste disposal at Amager Bakke​.

The The Amager Resource Centre, Photo: Bjarke Ingels Group

The Amager Resource Centre. Photo: Bjarke Ingels Group

The Amager Resource Centre has been converting waste to energy since the 1970s, and next year will give residents a place to burn their energy – on its roof, which is being converted into a ski slope and green space for mountaineering and walking. The project is the brainchild of Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) ( who also brought the world LEGO House  (….another stop on the architectural appreciation tour.

A view of the riverside facade of MAAT Photo Credit: HUFTON + CROW

A view of the riverside facade of MAAT. Photo: HUFTON + CROW

In Lisbon, Portugal the brand new Museum of Art Architecture & Technology opens October 5th. Designed by Amanda Levete of AL_A in London, a light-infused, undulating low-lying structure on the Tagus River.

In Nanjing, China the Nanjing Zendai Himalayas Center is a metropolis-scale urban development that will be complete in 2017, but there is already a lot to see.  An ongoing project for the Chinese architecture firm MAD, it will have a central valley, a lake, an elevated plaza, and other features that cultivate the traditional Chinese ethos of feng shui — a spiritual harmony between nature and humanity. It will span 6.5 million square feet.

Nanjing Zendai Himalayas Center Photo Courtesy of MAD Architects

Nanjing Zendai Himalayas Center. Photo: MAD Architects

Costa Rica Congress Hall Photo: Courtesy of Caza

Costa Rica Congress Hall. Photo: Courtesy of Caza

In San Jose, Costa Rica, the Costa Rica Congress Hall designed by Caza – a Brooklyn-based firm — connected a series of hypercubes to create a modular government building, which features a platform for public demonstrations.




The Abu Dhabi Louvre. Photo: Ateliers Jean Nouvel

The Abu Dhabi Louvre. Photo: Ateliers Jean Nouvel

In Abu Dhabi, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will open in 2017. Brought to you by the architecture firm Ateliers Jean Nouvel, the museum will be one of five on Saadiyat Island designed by other giants of architecture — Hadid,Ando, Gehry and Foster.

In New York, ultra-skinny residential towers are reaching for the stars, transforming the city’s skyline. The following architects, each name as big and tall as their creations, are causing a sensation: Zaha Hadid (520 West 28th St) Isay Weinfeld (527 West 27th St); David Chipperfield (16 West 40th St); BIG (625 West 57th St); Herzog & de Meuron (57 Leonard St); Foster + Partners (100 East 53rd St) You can easily map a city tour to admire all these new properties.

Zaha Hadid's residential skyscraper in New York 

Zaha Hadid’s residential skyscraper in New York

And this is just the new, latest, greatest architecture. If you want a memorable tour of American iconic architecture consider Chicago, long a laboratory of innovation and a showcase for great architecture. October 15-16 in Chicago you can tour “200 cool places in 48 hours” – over 200 buildings, hidden gems and architectural treasures will be open to the public for a behind the scenes tour; the free event is hosted by the Chicago Architectural Foundation. And while you’re in Chicago, if you haven’t done the architectural river tour, it’s a must.

Another rich landscape for architectural tourism is Los Angeles — from the Hollywood Bowl to the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Los Angeles’s skyline might not be as famous as Chicago’s or New York’s, but there are some seriously iconic buildings.

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