Throughout the world, every urban setting has its own distinct cityscape, recognizable by the unique negative space in between high rises and the sky, almost comparable to the identifying characteristics of a human finger print, except that skylines are in a continuous state of change. Each panorama has prominent features; the structures that make up these vistas are of various contrasting heights and shapes. Some cities boast architectural pieces that not only stand out from the skyline but also have become symbolic to their local community and government. Below are five intriguing skyscrapers that can be found throughout Europe.
Link√∂ping, Sweden | Plantagon’s Vertical Farming
Many of us buy our produce at the local grocery store without giving much thought as to how much mileage your cantaloupe has racked up before it reaches the cart. Beyond this, you may wonder which chemicals your fruit may have been exposed to before you take the first bite. One city in Sweden has taken it upon them selves to try and solve these dilemmas and plan for the future. The ground breaking ceremony to begin construction of an immense greenhouse skyscraper was this past February. Plantagon’s philosophy to why they are creating the vertical farming dome is pretty straight forward; they want to harvest organic crops for their community and to do so in the most eco-sustainable manner. The planning and technology behind the plantscraper is much more complex. The legumes will rotate and spiral throughout the glasshouse using a system that involves double helix ramps.
Prague, The Czech Republic | Dancing House
Nestled in amongst predominantly Baroque architecture is Prague’s beloved Dancing House. The project was designed by Canadian architect Frank Gehry. Initially, the new structure was not well received by the city and even considered a bit controversial. When looking at the towers, you get the sense that there is an underlying grace between these two buildings, and this is because they are supposed to be representative of the famous dancers, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Prague has grown to embrace its unique Dancing House, and there has been a gold coin fabricated by the Czech’s mint to commemorate the seemingly swaying structures.
London, England | 30 St Mary Axe ‚ÄúThe Gherkin‚Äù
After the original building was damaged beyond repair in 1992, London knew that they wanted to rebuild something special in its place. Affectionately called “the Gherkin,” the city certainly obtained a one of a kind landmark upon finalization of construction in 2003. It stands 40 floors tall at 591 feet, and resembles, well, a pickle.
Malm√∂, Sweden | Turning Torso
At a soaring 54 stories and 623 feet high, the Turning Torso is Scandinavia’s tallest building. These statistics are impressive alone, but it is the spiring of the building’s frame that is its most awe-inspiring feature. The residential high rise was designed by Santiago Caltrava, of Spain, who was inspired by a sculpture of the human form. Specifically, the natural curvature of the spine when twisted 90 degrees is what Caltrava took and applied to the tower. Completed in 2005, the Turning Torso has since become a symbol of Malmo and is listed as one of Sweden’s 7 wonders.
Wolfsburg, Germany | Autostadt CarTowers
At first glance, the two glass towers situated on Volkswagen’s Autostadt (Car City) site may not seem too out of the ordinary. However, it’s what’s inside each 20 story edifice that attracts a lot of attention from VW fans. Autostadt is an ultra-modern theme park and center where customers may pick up their brand new vehicle (it isn’t mandatory). This is where it gets interesting, inside each CarTower are 400 individual spaces dedicated to housing the autos until they are ready to be shipped to a dealership or picked up by a client. If you so desire, you may take the tour of the cylindrical high rise garage to receive your new, 4 wheeled purchase. Watch it get plucked from its holding space, lowered, and delivered to you, its first owner.
Before you set out on your next flights to London or Prague, do a little research on the destination(s) you’ll be visiting. This way you can be familiar with its layout and skyline before you arrive. It certainly will make the landing experience more significant, too, as you may be able to identify some of the major landmarks from the sky.