If you still think of Fort Worth, TX, as simply “Cowtown,” then you’re due for a return visit. The city is home to the cutting-edge Modern Art Museum, with its five glass pavilions surrounded by a reflective pond—one of the world’s coolest new buildings, according to readers of Travel + Leisure.
Want to see your photos on Y! Travel? Join our Flickr group, and we might choose yours!
T+L readers ranked 60 landmarks, including skyscrapers, stadiums, museums, and opera houses. While they all had to have opened within the last 15 years, many of the top-ranking buildings are more recent arrivals, such as the 2008 I. M. Pei–designed Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar.
Why are they important? Great buildings can help to revitalize a destination, put a neighborhood on the radar, or set the stage for major world events. And of course, new buildings can thrill us with their sheer scale—in many cases, the kind that makes you crane your neck, drop your jaw, and perhaps, hold on for dear life.
No. 1 New York by Gehry
New York City
Frank Gehry designed the Western world’s tallest residential tower (it soars 870 feet), and gave it an undulating frame to catch and reflect the sun as it changes throughout the day.
No. 2 National Stadium
The world’s largest steel structure—designed by Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron and known affectionately as the Bird’s Nest—premiered at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
No. 3 Walt Disney Concert Hall
Home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 2003, Frank Gehry’s impeccably executed performance space is said to have some of the world’s best acoustics.
No. 4 Burj Khalifa
At 2,717 feet, the world’s tallest building has commanded the Dubai skyline since January 2010. It contains residences, offices, and the Armani Hotel.
No. 5 Turning Torso
Santiago Calatrava’s 2005 twisting steel structure—consisting of nine cubes that rotate 90 degrees as they rise from bottom to top—is the second-highest residential building in Europe.
No. 6 Museo Soumaya
Fernando Romero’s amorphous, aluminum-clad modern art museum, opened in 2011, rises like a glistening 64,583-square-foot sculpture out of Mexico City’s Polanco district.
No. 7 Modern Art Museum
of Fort Worth, Texas
Tadao Ando’s minimalist structure, opened in 2002, features five pavilions of 40-foot glass walls framed in simple steel and surrounding a 1.5-acre reflective pond.
No. 8 Institute of Contemporary Art
When it opened in 2006 overlooking Boston Harbor, this 65,000-square-foot gallery of transparent glass, translucent glass, and cool opaque steel was the city’s first new museum in 100 years.
No. 9 Modern Wing
Art Institute of Chicago
Renzo Piano’s limestone, glass, and steel 2009 addition to Chicago’s Beaux-Arts landmark was built to house the museum’s modern European artworks.
No. 10 National Aquatic Center
At the 2008 Summer Olympics, 25 world records were broken at this seven-acre, $1.6 billion glowing plastic cube, whose walls and roof contain more than 3,000 oversize air bubbles.
See more of the World’s Coolest New Buildings.