Tips and tools.

Before we go to the actual tips, let’s talk about some tools of the trade real quick:

Architectural Sketching Supplies

Almost 100% of my sketches are created using two pens. I use the Sharpie Permanent Marker – ‘Ultra Fine Point‘ for my thin lines and the ‘Fine Point‘ for my profile (heavy) lines. I use a 12″ wide x 50 yard long roll of trace paper, and an architectural scale (which is used to measure out dimensions as I sketch and I use the edge to tear the trace paper off the roll). On occasion, I will use a an Alvin 10″ Parallel Glider but normally only when I am sketching out dimension floor plan concepts.

architect's trace paper trick

It drives me slightly crazy to have a roll of trace paper constantly rolling away when I am trying to sketch. A tip I learned from my current partner, some 20+ years ago, was to smash the roll slightly so that the tube gets crushed. Instead of the roll being round, it’s now oval-shaped and won’t roll away. It also helps me know which rolls of trace paper in the office are mine. Just some food for thought …


So let’s get to it – here are 5 Tips and Techniques that should improve your architectural sketches

Architectural Sketching Tip 01

TIP #01: “The Hit-Go-Hit”
 The ‘Hit-Go-Hit’ tip is a way for you to pick up and set your pen back down on the page as you’re drawing in a purposeful manner. Why would you need to do something like that you ask? Well, tip #02 will elaborate a bit more (come to think of it, Tip #02 should really be the first tip in terms of importance but I’m not going to remake the graphic) but whenever you are drawing a straight line, you’ll frequently find that you need to repositioned your arm, or the paper, to continue drawing. Make that reset look intentional and add some graphic flair with this technique.

Architectural Sketch partial site plan line weight

Architectural Sketch detail line weight

If you use this ‘Hit-Go-Hit’ technique, you’ll find that your straight lines will actually become a lot straighter. It’s kind of amazing to see the difference a sketch with straight lines looks over one that’s all squidgy and wonky. (yes, those are real architectural words in case you’re wondering …)



Architectural Sketching Tip 02

TIP #02: “Don’t Move your Pen/Pencil by Bending Your Wrist or Elbow”
I should also point out that you shouldn’t “push” your pen across the page, you should always “pull” it. Lock your wrist and elbow into a comfortable angle and only move your entire arm when sketching. As you get more skilled, this tip can be relaxed and you can first bend your elbow and ultimately your wrist. In the beginning, by limiting your movement to the entire arm, you’ll end up with straighter lines. And since you can only move your arm so far, that’s when the hit-go-hit technique comes in. Now all of a sudden you realize that you need to reset your pen on the page more often than you did previously.

Architectural Sketch wall section line weight

Architectural Sketch drawing straight lines

sketches have straight lines in them – which really does make a big difference.



Architectural Sketching Tip 03

TIP #03: “Incorporate the Use of Pen Weight”
This technique is a biggie … you have to use line weight to help convey depth to your sketch. More gifted sketchers and take care of depth using hatches and shading techniques so eventually that’s something you can take on. In the meantime, use two pens and get some profile lines into your sketches. Don’t know what profile lines are? You need to know and I strongly recommend that you pick up a copy of ‘Architectural Graphics‘ by Francis D.K. Ching. I’ve had my copy since 1986 and still look at it from time to time. Ching’s book (along with my studio professors) taught me how to show profile lines – their use defines the look of my sketches as well as a generation of other architects.

Architectural Sketch detail line weight

Architectural Sketch plan line weight

Architectural Sketch wall section line weight

Another benefit to using a heavy pen is that it can help show you what you should be looking at – what the point of the sketch might be. Multiple pen weights help the viewer understand the order of things within the drawing, and through proper technique, they can also show to the viewer what’s not important in the sketch.



Architectural Sketching Tip 04

TIP #04: “Intersect Your Lines at the Corners”
This is pure style and allows the inexact nature of a sketch to come across as what it is – a delineated representation of a thought or concept. Sounds a bit like architectural mumbo-jumbo but it really isn’t.  The inexact nature of the sketch – when attempted to be exact – looks sloppy and, well … inexact. By allowing your lines to cross at the corners, you can still convey the thought (or shape) you are going after, without having to focus on making the shape perfect. There is a “in-the-moment” that sketches imply and if you look at the two rectangles illustrated above, I think the one on the left looks far better despite the fact that it is far less precise or exact than the rectangle on the right.

Architectural Sketch floor plan line weight

Architectural Sketch site plan line weight

I think this crossing of lines at the corners is a carryover from when I used to hand-draft with a pencil. The beginning and end of a line had slightly darker marks than the middle of the line and they accentuated the edges very crisply. Just about every line I have ever drawn by hand in the last 20 years crosses at the corner – take that for it’s worth.



Architectural Sketching Tip 05

TIP #05: “Trace Paper isn’t Precious … Draw in Layers” 
Design is an additive process so why shouldn’t your sketch be as well? Since most of my sketches happen on trace paper and not in a sketch book, I am able to lay sketch upon sketch on top of one another to build up and refine my sketches. I may start with a clean piece of trace paper for every sketch, but it’s only that first sketch that doesn’t have the benefit of something prior to work from.

Architectural Sketch plan conversation

Architectural Sketch drawing in layers

Architectural Sketch site plan drawing in layers

A lot of the sketches I draw are the result of several iterations of tracing … one idea superimposed over the other. Tracing allows me to take advantage of my previous work while experimenting with new ideas and concepts.


Architectural Sketches
Architects sketch as part of the process when doing their job . There are many different styles and techniques that architects use when graphically working through problems.

Drawing Like an Architect
You don’t have to draw well to be an architect!! Sure it doesn’t hurt but let’s pull the curtain back and be honest here for a minute. Architects communicate through drawing , we aren’t making art.

Your Sketches Speak for Themselves
With the prevalence of computer 3 dimensional software, fewer and fewer graduates from the design profession are entering the “real” world with the ability to hold a pen, pencil, paintbrush – whatever – and work through their ideas, explore concepts, or sit across from a client and communicate through drawings.

Architectural Sketching
Architects should sketch. You may not think you are very good at sketching but if it helps you work through your thoughts, I would argue that you are in fact, very good at sketching. 



How to Draw?

Reality is here!!! Now, let’s draw.

Famous Landmarks Image Gallery Learn how to draw this cathedral in only a few simple steps. See more pictures of famous landmarks.

This grand cathed­ral is a stunning sight. You will love learning to draw this cathedral if you are a fan of history or architecture — or if you’re looking for a drawing challenge.

In this section, we’ll show you how to draw this cathedral. You can draw it freehand while looking at your computer monitor.

1. Outline

Draw three connected rectangles, with the center one being larger than the others. Sketch two diagonal lines in each that intersect in the middle. Find the peaks of the steeples by drawing vertical lines through the center of each X.

Extend these vertical lines past the tops of the rectangles. Draw a triangle and a rectangle over the left-hand rectangle and a triangle over both the center and right-hand rectangles. Extend a line over the center of the middle triangle.

2. Turrets and Foundation

Divide each triangle into fourths with straight lines starting at the peak. Draw a horizontal line over the center triangle to form a cross. Add V-shaped figures and straight lines to the left-hand triangle to form a turret.

Define the surface with double horizontal lines as shown. Extend two short diagonal lines from the bottom corners of the building. Connect them with a horizontal line.

3. Columns

Add columns with single, double, and triple vertical lines. Top the columns with odd U-shaped figures. Draw one long and one short line under the turret. Add two vertical lines under the right steeple. Sketch one horizontal line across the lower columns on the left.

4. Arches

On the left-hand side of the cathedral, draw double arches. Finish the cross with a short vertical line. Sketch double arches over the central part of the building. Detail them with curly lines. Add a wheel-shaped figure with spokes to the center and add curly lines underneath. Top it with a V-shaped figure.

On the right-hand side of the cathedral, draw one double arch and two sets of arches with odd-shaped tops. Add U-shaped lines to two of them. Sketch a zigzag line for the ground behind the cathedral. Finish the steps with long horizontal lines whose ends point downward.

5. Shading

Shade the roof with diagonal lines and the windows with crisscross lines. Add connecting half-circles to the top front of the cathedral.

Your drawing is finished! Even if you don’t get it right the first time, keep practicing until you’re happy with your drawing.For the first timers, a job well done!furthermore, this will help you be more realistic.

“Expand your imagination through architecture!!


Architecture is often defined as both the process and the product of conceiving a plan, then designing and ultimately constructing buildings. Buildings, especially by famous architects such as Zaha Hadid, are widely regarded as works of art that define the civilizations that built them. If you are a budding architect, looking to follow in the footsteps of giants, we have some great topics below for you to write your papers on.

So before we start, let’s talk about first the different types of architect.

You also could define your work by the buildings you create. Let’s take a look at some common paths in the field of architecture and some of the different types of architects:

Residential Architect


Residential architects focus most of their efforts on constructing beautiful private dwellings for homeowners. While a lot of the houses we see in neighborhoods around the world are designed identically or close to it (some people call these “cookie cutter” houses), many neighborhoods allow for customized homes with unique styles.


As a residential architect, you would be working with private clients to help them to design the home of their dreams. You would need to be cognizant of all local building codes as well as relevant neighborhood covenants (some neighborhoods are very strict, while others are not). The home you design will have to conform to all of these local regulations but also fulfill the form and function of a beautiful and inviting home environment for your client. While you probably have not seen nearly as many examples of custom homes as you have of cookie-cutter houses, odds are you have seen at least a few. Inside and out, they beautify the world and the lives of their inhabitants and neighbors.

Many of the world’s most famous examples of beautiful architecture were actually commissioned as private residences for homeowners. For example, Frank Lloyd Wright, the famous American architect, designed numerous homes in Oak Park, IL and throughout the country. These houses stand today as some of the most well-known examples of American architecture, but they were originally built to serve the needs of private clients. Many are still lived in today, while others are open for tours. Perhaps you could become the next Frank Lloyd Wright. Or maybe you will discover another style entirely that is completely different. Architecture is all about finding your own personal vision and bringing it to life—and helping your clients to do the same.

Commercial or Public Architect


If you focus on this role, you may specialize in larger ventures for businesses or government entities, erecting public buildings such as shopping malls, libraries, government facilities, and more. There are also many famous examples of famous public structures, all the more so since so many people are able to experience them. Think back over your life, and you will probably remember examples of impressive train stations, airports, and other public facilities you walked through. Maybe you only spent a few hours in some of these locations, but the memories can stick with you for years to come.

Elegant public buildings help to not only beautify facilities and make experiences more pleasant and enjoyable, but also to fulfill a practical purpose. A well-designed shopping mall makes it easier for buyers to find what they are searching for. A well-designed airport makes it easy and intuitive to find the right gates and to locate shops and restaurants in the meantime.


Public building architecture also helps to define society. Throughout history, different types of architecture have come to symbolize different ideas. For example, in America, many public buildings, particularly government buildings, are built in the neoclassical style, which in turn imitates the buildings found in ancient Greece. This is one way that the buildings in the U.S. capital express the ideas of democracy.

Another good example is the many public buildings built in the style of abstract. This style, while cold and austere, had behind it a philosophy of community-based living and sharing. Every public building espouses ideas about how we should live. As an architect of public buildings, you help to instill these concepts in the culture with your work.

Industrial Architect


If you are interested in working on industrial projects, I suggest you check into civil engineering as a major instead of architecture. It is true that there is an architectural element to industrial projects. In fact, architecture can be a major component of these structures, but they are far more elaborate to design than other types of public or private buildings.

Because of this, civil engineering is a more appropriate major for industrial projects like hydroelectric dams, bridges, and other technical projects. These projects encompass advanced knowledge of science and engineering. Without that knowledge, you cannot create structures which are safe and which are able to fulfill technical functions as well as be aesthetically pleasing to the eye. There is also the issue of qualifying for the appropriate certifications to be allowed to work on these projects, without which you cannot hope to proceed.


Should you get a civil engineering degree if you are planning only on working on public buildings (that are not technical in nature) and private residences? There is no particular reason to, unless you have no options. A civil engineering degree is overkill for non-technical projects, and will present you with a great many challenges along the way in terms of coursework and certifications. You will also spend less time on artistic design principles when you are studying how to build dams and bridges. As such, it is a good idea to only major in civil engineering if you are aiming at erecting industrial structures.

Landscape Architect


This type of architecture focuses on outdoor areas. If you go into this specialized field, you might design park lands, gardens, and lawns surrounding college campus buildings and other public destinations. Landscape architects may also work with homeowners and other private parties to design compelling outdoor areas. You might even be involved with the development of golf courses or similar recreational spots.Best example of an amazing landscape view is in Philadelphia Naval Business Center.(below is the picture)


Building structures can be a part of this job, even though you are working with outdoor areas. For example, many landscaping jobs entail erecting gazebos and other outdoor structures such as follies. Unlike residential architects and public and industrial architects, however, you will be doing a lot of work directly with trees, plants, and other living materials. As such, your body of knowledge will have to go beyond simple construction. You will have to understand aspects of horticulture, and know how you can integrate living growth into your settings. A well-designed landscape will incorporate plants in a system that is beneficial to them and allows them to thrive.

Interior Design


Although interior design is not actually a type of architecture, you should consider looking into it all the same, because it is so closely connected to architecture. Some building designers are also interior designers, while others do not work on furnishing and other aspects of interior design. Frank Lloyd Wright, discussed earlier in the section on residential architecture, also was an interior designer. He saw his buildings as a single integrated whole, and strive to create furniture that evoked the same elements as his buildings. He worked on creating seamless living spaces which flowed throughout the interiors of his buildings. Because he had knowledge of both interior design and architecture, he was able to unite them fluidly to bring his entire vision to life.

For this reason, it may be worthwhile for you also to cultivate study in both fields, and learn interior design along with architecture. In fact, some architects also learn to tie in landscaping with the rest of their design skills. By doing this, you can create spaces which flow both indoors and outdoors for the best possible effect. It is often the effect of the whole that leaves such an impact on visitors.The big main part of the house is the kitchen, anything that you see there should be updated, useful and reliable at all times.It makes a  house more attractive specially for Americans, because they love exploring  food recipes and they love experimenting on it.


How many different specializations you want to integrate into your work is really up to you. Some architects do best if they are extremely specialized and focused on one aspect of design, while others excel by learning how to integrate different aspects of design. You may work well controlling all elements that go into a building or you may work better in an environment where you are sharing the responsibility of design with a number of other architects.

You will also need to figure out where you fit best on a team. Do you work better taking cues from a lead architect, or would you like to be the head architect, calling the shots? You probably will not jump into that kind of position straight off the top. You will need ample work experience first. Architecture is a tough and competitive field. And the more radical your ideas are, the more challenging your path is likely to be. Nonetheless, it is usually the more unusual ideas which capture or imaginations.



Finding Where You Fit?

How can you decide where you fit into the world of architecture? I recommend checking out some books on architecture and getting inspiration from your favorite architects. You may also want to plan a trip to go and see structures that inspire you. A lot of famous public buildings offer tours, and even some famous residences which are no longer in private use. If you cannot afford that kind of trip, look for local landmarks which can teach you something about architecture and inspire you to discover your own personal style. While you are at it, sign up for technical drawing classes if your high school offers them. This offers you a great first step to learning the technical aspects of architectural design.

Figure out what kind of work you find most compelling, and then have a chat with a college advisory who can help you to plan your educational path. You will probably major in architecture, but a degree in interior design or civil engineering might be more appropriate, depending on what you want to do. You also might pursue a concentration or a master’s degree in landscaping or some other specialization. Good luck, and enjoy beautifying the world someday with your expertise and aesthetic judgment!

How to Improve your drawing skills?

While you might be great at drawing, when it comes to refining your drawing skills, this requires dedicated practice rather than sheer talent. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to improve your drawing skills.

So, let me help you.

Part 1:

Using simple designs

  1. Image titled Improve Your Drawing Skills Step 1

    Draw shapes. Try drawing the five basic shapes..

    • The five basic shapes are – Sphere, Pyramid, Rectangle, Cylinder and Cone. All drawings are derived from these five basic shapes
    • Draw the shapes in different sizes and proportions and angles
    • Practice shading with the shapes, lighting them from different directions. This trains you for more complex shapes down the track, don’t get impatient with it
    • Use different drawing tools; pencils of varying thicknesses, pens, markers, colored pencils, charcoal, etc. This will help you to get a feel for different mediums.
    Draw simple designs.When you are comfortable with shapes you can begin combining them. A cylinder with a cone on top of it, or interlocking spheres begin to move you towards very complex drawings in a simple way

    • Don’t press too hard if using pencil; this allows you to erase errors easily as you go. You also typically want to figure out the proportions and the forms in the drawing before you begin darkening in lines.
    • Again, use different drawing tools, to get a feel for those that work best for you.
    Image titled Improve Your Drawing Skills Step 3

    Practice shading. When a form changes, as does the value (how dark or light it is in that location). The way to make something appear truly 3d and give it a lot of weight is to apply values (shading) to it. Start by shading the simple forms and then apply the ideas to more complex combinations.

    • Shade only in one direction. However, while shading in one direction (as in a straight line) is good for most objects, for things like animals or leaves, shading along with the curves of the object will help it read properly. If you do not shade with the contours of an object you are giving the brain two different ideas of how a given form should read and the result is it will not look right
    Image titled Improve Your Drawing Skills Step 4
    Ask for help and advice. Do not think you need to evolve your inner artist on your own. Ask other artists, art teachers, friends and anyone you trust to give advice. Listen to their suggestions to help you improve the areas of your drawing skills that need it, and to learn new ways of doing your art.
    Part 2:

    Advancing your drawing skills

    1. Image titled Improve Your Drawing Skills Step 5
      Draw from life constantly. This is the fundamental exercise that will train your observational skills and build your skill immensely

      • Photographs are not ideal compared to life, a photograph flattens the perspective out, can distort and also takes away the sense of proportion. Seeing a fighter plane in a photo is one thing, seeing how large they are in real life is another
      Image titled Improve Your Drawing Skills Step 6
      Add details with precision. But do not obsess over them. a good drawing will read early and details only go so far

      • The best way to make detailed drawings is to start off by breaking it down into simple shapes and lines. make measurements by holding your pencil out and estimating height vs width. Once you have captured the bigger picture go in and refine further, and then focus on the details last. Always capture the bigger picture first and detail uniformly across the image
      • For animals, add stripes, spots, scales, shine, fur, long coats and background.
      Image titled Improve Your Drawing Skills Step 7
      Practice drawing animals or people in motion. This requires adding in motion-suggestive movements. This will take you quite a while to master, so take it slowly and keep practicing; don’t be surprised if your initial attempts look awkward or cartoon like.
      Image titled Improve Your Drawing Skills Step 8
      Draw larger scenes. Try a landscape or a street escape, with all of the activities going on. Do a rough sketch first, to capture everything, then return and infill everything that makes the scene come to life.
      Image titled Improve Your Drawing Skills Step 9
      Keep practicing and enjoy drawing as a lifelong passion. Drawing isn’t something you master overnight; moreover, it is something that will continue to evolve all of your life. If you do some research on artists, you’ll find that those who kept doing their art throughout many years would often change their styles over decades, reflecting new-found knowledge, new ways of pushing the boundaries and simply seeking to change and improve. In other words, improving your drawing skills, no matter how good you are already, is a work-for-life and is always in progress. At the heart of it is effort and dedication; if you love drawing, both will come easily to you.


      Draw! Practice gets you everywhere.

      Just keep on drawing. Whenever you have a quiet, dull moment, draw. As they say, practice makes perfect, and they are right. The more you draw, the more you’ll improve, and the more useful your sketching skills will become throughout your course, and your career.Start off by drawing simple shapes, try different angles, different sizes. Try shading these shapes, try different drawing tools – pens, pencils, varying thicknesses, markers and so on – get a feel for your style and how you interpret what you see.Take your time!! You won’t get anywhere if you try and rush a drawing. At first that means you need to take your time to develop your skill. That may mean you keep on coming back to a sketch and working on it – but in the long run its worth it.

      Get inspiration from others.

      There are so many different sketching and drawing styles, and you can learn so much from seeking these out. Find different shading techniques, or different line styles, see what you like and develop your own style.Pint rest is a great starting point for getting some inspiration – see the link below to our pint rest board dedicated to sketching.


      Take your sketchbook everywhere.

      Even if it is a small pocket sketchbook, make sure it is always on hand so you can scribble an idea or sketch a building. Maybe if you are waiting for a friend in a coffee shop, you may start a new trend of sketching instead of dragging out your phone!It is a difficult habit to get into but by using spare moments to practice, you will start to feel natural, and gain confidence in your sketching ability.Sometimes its good to challenge yourself to throw perfection out the window and do a quick sketch out and about. This challenges you to develop different sketching skills.


      Go to a drawing class.

      Some people won’t feel this is necessary, but your university may hold drawing classes, in which case there is no excuse. You will also find some local art galleries or colleges hold drawing classes, which is a great opportunity to hone your skill, and meet new people other than students on your course! 

      Draw a drawing.

      There is a lot to be learnt from how other people draw, particularly the likes of Da Vinci or Michaelangelo, so find some of their sketches and have a go at drawing them.Try the grid method – where you measure out a grid over the picture you are copying and another grid on your paper as a guide. This breaks down the image into small areas, and stops you second guessing how the lines should be drawn and makes you study the image in more precise detail. 

      Draw from life.

      Draw anything. Start out with simple objects, take note of light and shade, try different styles. Then build up to drawing more complex items. Sketch out details, find interesting parts of buildings and draw them. Think about perspective and scale.Sketch out overall shapes first, lightly and gradually build up your sketch, add detail, and slowly create the overall feel of your drawing. If you start your drawing with the details it is easy to end up with odd perspectives, skewed views, whereas if you start with big blocks of shapes and slowly work them into detail you give yourself more of a chance of maintaining accuracy.


      Keep at it.

      It is easy to get disheartened when you produce a couple of rubbish sketches, that are out of proportion and look a bit weird. Don’t worry, you must keep at it, and know that it does take a bit of time to find your groove, but when you do it is great to have that confidence in your ability for your course and career.

Ten Buildings that Changed the World

“It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; its the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time. David Allan Coe.”

A chair is not just a chair, a house is not just a house. It’s  not the beauty of a building you should look at, but it’s the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time.

A blueprint is not just a design but it’s a layout of a thing you need, the  fundamental of  what it takes to be a house you want to have for a lifetime.

How did America’s great buildings evolve? Majestic structures in lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea have influenced buildings throughout the world. Let’s trace the history of architecture in the Western world, beginning with the first known structures made by humans up to the soaring skyscrapers of the modern era.

This quick review illustrates how each new movement builds on the one before. Although our timeline lists dates, historic periods do not start and stop at precise points on a calendar. Periods and styles flow together, sometimes merging contradictory ideas, sometimes inventing new approaches, and often re-awakening and re-inventing older movements. Dates are always approximate: Architecture is a fluid art.

Taj Mahal


Forbidden City


What are the most significant, most beautiful, or most interesting buildings of the past 1,000 years? Some art historians choose the Taj Mahal, while others prefer the soaring skyscrapers of modern times. Others have decided on the Ten Buildings That Changed America. There’s no single correct answer. Perhaps the most innovative buildings are not grand monuments, but obscure homes and temples. In this quick list, we’ll take a whirlwind tour through time, visiting the buildings our readers selected, plus some often overlooked treasures. It turns out that humans have created some great architecture in the past millennium.

c. 1137, St. Denis Church in France

During the Middle Ages, builders were discovering that stone could carry far greater weight than ever imagined. Cathedrals could soar to dazzling heights, yet create the illusion of lace-like delicacy. The Church of St. Denis, commissioned by Abbot Suger of St. Denis, was one of the first large buildings to use this new vertical style known as Gothic. The church became a model for most of the late 12th century French cathedrals, including Chartres.

c. 1205 – 1260, Chartres Cathedral Reconstruction

In 1194, the original Romanesque style Chartres Cathedral in Chartres, France was destroyed by fire. Reconstructed in the years 1205 to 1260, the new Chartres Cathedral was built in the new Gothic style. Innovations in the cathedral’s construction set the standard for thirteenth century architecture.

c. 1406 – 1420, The Forbidden City, Beijing

For nearly six centuries, great emperors of China made their home in an enormous palace complex known as the Forbidden City. Today the site is a museum with more than a million priceless artifacts.

c. 1546 and Later, The Louvre, Paris

In the late 1500s, Pierre Lescot designed a new wing for the Louvre and popularized ideas of pure classical architecture in France. Lescot’s design laid the foundation for the development of the Louvre over the next 300 years. In 1985, architect Ieoh Ming Pei introduced modernism when he designed a startling glass pyramid for the entrance to the palace-turned-museum

c. 1549 and Later, Palladio’s Basilica, Italy

During the late 1500s, Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio brought new appreciation for the classical ideas of ancient Rome when he transformed the town hall in Vicenza, Italy into the Basilica (Palace of Justice). Palladio’s later designs continued to reflect the humanist values of the Renaissance period.

c. 1630 to 1648, Taj Mahal, India

According to legend, the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan wanted to build the most beautiful mausoleum on earth to express his love for his favorite wife. Or, perhaps he was simply asserting his political power. Persian, Central Asian, and Islamic elements combine in the great white marble tomb.

c. 1768 to 1782, Monticello in Virginia

When the American statesman, Thomas Jefferson, designed his Virginia home, he brought American ingenuity to Palladian ideas. Jefferson’s plan for Monticello resembles Andrea Palladio’s Villa Rotunda, but he added innovations such as underground service rooms.

1889, The Eiffel Tower, Paris

The 19th century Industrial Revolution brought new construction methods and materials to Europe. Cast iron and wrought iron became popular materials used for both building and architectural detailing. Engineer Gustave pioneered the use of puddled iron when he designed the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The French scorned the record-breaking tower, but it became one of the world’s most beloved landmarks.

1890, The Wainwright Building, St. Louis, Missouri

Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler redefined American architecture with the Wainwright Building in St. Louis, Missouri. Their design used uninterrupted piers to emphasize the underlying structure. “Form follows function,” Sullivan famously told the world.

The Modern Era

During the modern era, exciting new innovations in the world of architecture brought soaring skyscrapers and fresh new approaches to home design. Keep on reading for favorite buildings from the 20th and 21st centuries.