The 21 Greatest Buildings of the 21st Century

The 21 Greatest Buildings of the 21st Century

So often we look beyond the walls of our surroundings in an attempt to grasp everything around us — to better understand our place. Where are we? When are we? Nowhere is this more aptly embodied than in the throes of architecture. From pole to pole, the pervasive, vast trade spans projects from home renovations to soaring landmarks only describable through prepositions: above, within, beyond.

Architecture is often measured through epochs and time-based nomenclature like mid-century, brutalism, postmodern and modern. It’s not a coincidence. The discipline provides a glimpse into the future that’s framed within an understanding of the past. It helps us not to simply grasp our surroundings, but to associate a moment — or a structure — with a time.

For our latest survey, we immersed ourselves in the current state of 21st-century architecture. Narrowing down such a broad subject to a mere list of 21 entries, so soon, is bound to create fallout; our list isn’t immune. To maintain focus, we’ve kept the list’s parameters within the realm of completed public and private institutions, avoiding the vast world of home designs and projects still under construction. We’re less than 15 years into the 21st century, and only time will tell if the impact of these buildings will endure. But one thing is for certain: these buildings are emblematic of our world today. – Eric Yang

Absolute World


Absolute World consists of two skyscrapers in a five-building residential condominium complex in Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto. Eschewing the boxy confines of the traditional residential skyscraper, Absolute World incorporates a 206-degree twist into its 50- and 56-story towers. Though the project was initially planned as just one tower, when the architect submitted the radical, organic design, the entire building sold out in a matter of days and a second lot was purchased and planned. Also called the Marilyn Monroe towers, the flowing buildings stand out among the comparatively bland Mississauga skyline and offer a unique floorplan and design for each floor.

914,930 SQ FT

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