written by:
August 27, 2013
Take a photographic trek through cities like Melbourne, Australia; Istanbul, Turkey; Mumbai, India; Oslo, Norway; and more, in our anthology of must-stop destinations for the design-savvy traveler.
Swanston Bridge in The Yarra River
Melbourne, Australia

No opera house. No Bondi Beach. No sunning celebs. This is Melbourne, home of Australia’s most thriving design scene. Photo by: João Canziani

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Joao Canziani
Originally appeared in Exploring Melbourne, Australia
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istanbul turkey detour cityscape
Istanbul, Turkey

It’s been called Byzantium, Constantinople, Stamboul, and Tsarigrad, but as designer Efe Buluc shows us, there’s only one Istanbul. Photo by: Cristóbal Palma

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Originally appeared in Istanbul, Turkey
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Marine Drive, also known as the Queen’s Necklace, is nearly two miles long, linking the tony South Mumbai to the northern suburbs. Its seafront position sees myriad Mumbai residents out for walks and fresh coconut vendors selling their goods.
Mumbai, India

A churning metropolis defined by its Indian, English, and Portuguese past, Mumbai, India, now has the poise, populace, and design potential to be one of the 21st century’s most interesting cities. Photo by: Dustin Aksland

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Originally appeared in Mumbai, India
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Oslo, Norway

A sleepy capital perched by the sea, Oslo is in the midst of an architectural surge. The old port and the new opera house are just two examples of why Norway’s capital is pointing the way fjordward. Photo by: Jens Passoth

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Biosphere in Montreal, Canada
Montreal, Quebec

Dispassionate about his city's de rigueur "City of Design" designation, architect Gilles Saucier shows us there's more to Montreal than Expo 67. Photo by: Matthew Monteith

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Originally appeared in Montreal Exposed
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Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece
Athens, Greece

Athens is home to one of history’s most important buildings, the Parthenon, but how does the city fare architecturally today? 
A spate of modern development, particularly a new museum that looks onto the Acropolis, suggests that things are looking up. Photo by: Alex Subrizi

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Originally appeared in Athens, Greece
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San Diego, California

Nestled on the Pacific coastline, between Los Angeles’s sprawl and the Mexican border, San Diego is a surprisingly design-forward town with a handful of modern masterpieces to prove it. Photo by: Bryce Duffy

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Originally appeared in San Diego, CA
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tallinn estonia aerial
Tallinn, Estonia

Since the fall of the USSR, Tallinn has managed to look unblinkingly to the future while still retaining vital elements of its past. A hotbed of northern art and design encircling a UNESCO World Heritage site, this Baltic City is fast becoming an architect’s paradise. Photo by: Jens Passoth

Originally appeared in 6 Beautiful Summer Getaways Around the World
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Philadelphia rises above the banks of the Schuylkill River.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

One of the oldest cities in the United States and home to the country’s first International Style skyscraper, Philadelphia is, unfortunately, now associated more with cheesesteaks and colonial kitsch than with successful American urbanism.

Originally appeared in Philadelphia, PA
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Bordeaux, France

Classical yet current, Bordeaux is a city that celebrates the details that comprise the whole. Architect Oliver Brochet guides our tour around the accessible tram system, the historic women, and of course, the wine. Photo by: Peter Augustin

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Originally appeared in Bordeaux, France
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In the shadow of Waikiki’s high-rises, a twilight soccer game unfolds at the Ala Wai Neighborhood Park. The now-polluted Ala Wai Canal was created in the 1920s to drain the swampland that would become Waikiki.
Honolulu, Hawaii

Today, if you tallied the world’s design capitals, you’d be forgiven for overlooking Honolulu. But when it came to modern architecture in the 1950s and ’60s, all eyes were on Hawaii’s capital city. In the shadow of Waikiki’s high-rises, a twilight soccer game unfolds at the Ala Wai Neighborhood Park. The now-polluted Ala Wai Canal was created in the 1920s to drain the swampland that would become Waikiki. Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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Originally appeared in Honolulu, Hawaii
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Federal-style architecture dominates much of Washington, particularly the city’s monumental core. The Ronald Reagan Building is one such example.
Washington, DC

Washington, DC, is not all political wonks and Masonic conspiracies: It's also a highly walkable city, its diagonal avenues wide open to modern design. Photo by: Matthew Monteith

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Originally appeared in Washington, DC
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Built in 1956 for the World’s Fair, the Atomiumis an homage to the future. It recently reopened after a complete renovation.
Brussels, Belgium

Belgium assumed independence in 1830 after being taken over, and over and over, by its neighbors to the north and south—the Netherlands and France. Over-looked (Jacques Brel, french fries, and Johnny Hallyday are theirs, Belgians will tell you tersely) and underappreciated (it’s the flyover between Paris and Amsterdam), Brussels has a kind of runt-of-the-litter charm. The gilded 17th-century Grand Place is surrounded by brutal office and apartment blocks that look all the more grim under almost constantly gray skies.

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Originally appeared in Brussels Sprouts
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The Plaza San Martin.
Lima, Peru

Though often shrouded in fog, Lima is one of the world’s driest cities, and in the face of chronic drought, people have been building huge structures here for thousands of years. Pre-Incan ruins abound, and 16th-century Spanish colonial architecture mingles with everything built before or since. Today the architecture and design scenes are especially vibrant.

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Originally appeared in Lima, Peru
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The Palacio des Bellas Artes is home to an extravagant art nouveau lobby and murals by José Clemente Orozco and Diego Rivera.
Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City embodies both the problems and promise of globalization. It’s a sprawling, smog-choked colossus whose altitude alone (nearly 7,400 feet) can leave a newcomer dazed on arrival. Charming cobblestone streets are smothered by mobs shopping at black-market junk stalls. Traffic is reliably nightmarish. Local politics often resemble a telenovela farce. The ground is sinking at a rate of up to a foot per year. Garish wealth and grim poverty coexist uneasily, sometimes violently. But Mexico City is also a world-class urban center with an incontrovertibly cosmopolitan character, scented in recent years by a whiff of hipness. Photo by: Livia Corona

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Originally appeared in Hecho in Mexico City
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The subterranean Centro Cultural Palacio La Moneda lies beneath an esplanade but is awash with natural light. The galleries display an array of Latin American art.
Santiago, Chile

Unlike sizzling Rio de Janeiro or seductive Buenos Aires, Santiago comes off as South America’s more straitlaced capital city. Chile, the world’s longest country, stretching almost 2,700 miles from north to south, is packed with plenty of eye-catching landscapes, from the soaring Andes to the arid Atacama Desert. And it’s no wonder that visitors are easily lured away from sleepy Santiago. Many who descend on Chile’s sprawling capital see it simply as a convenient gateway to the country’s real highlights: the Lake District, San Pedro de Atacama, and Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia. Photo by: Cristóbal Palma

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Originally appeared in Santiago, Chile
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Phoenix locals take advantage of the sun near the Palo Verde Library, designed by Gould Evans Associates LC and Wendell Burnette Architects. The building utilizes visual concepts usually applied to retail environments and is connected to an identically sc
Phoenix, Arizona

Skip Sedona and forget the Grand Canyon? Architect Will Bruder leads us on a journey through slow food and rapid development in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by: João Canziani

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Originally appeared in Phoenix Envy
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The 1969 Temppeliaukion Kirkko, or Rock Church as it is known, is one of the most popular places to visit in Helsinki. The dramatic interior space was created from a solid granite outcropping, and is often used as a concert hall because of its superior ac
Helsinki, Finland

For the past 20 years Finland’s most famous star has been native son and world-class ski jumper Matti Nykänen, known not just for his numerous medals and world records, but also for his frequent appearances in the tabloids. Nykänen has graced the pages of the rags for his five marriages to four different women, multiple arrests, jail time, and stints as waiter, singer, and stripper. But times have changed, and these days Nykänen’s not garnering the most attention in the flourishing Nordic capital of Helsinki; a new breed of young designers and a burgeoning creative scene are creating a more compelling stir. Photo by: Hertha Hurnaus

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Originally appeared in Helsinki Rising
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The Raleigh Hotel was originally designed and built in 1940 by Lawrence Murray Dixon. It is renowned for its Art Deco elegance and its pool just a short walk from the beach. André Balazs recently completed a thorough renovation, and the Raleigh is now a s
Miami, Florida

Miami is a matrix of man-made islands, causeways, and paved-over Everglades that has gotten by on a desirable climate, a thriving pan-Caribbean culture, and some of our nation’s finest hucksterism. Born as a high-class playground—the original polo fields are now golf courses—Miami first boomed at the beginning of the 20th century. Wondering how to attract vacationers and residents to a place without a history, Miami’s developers lit upon a grand idea: Build the place like it had one. Mediterranean revival abounds, Spanish colonial holds court, and swimming pools are cut to look more like Pompeii than Palm Beach. Even the oranges were imports, cultivated to convince railroad baron Henry Flagler to extend the rails all the way to Florida’s tip. Photo by: Roy Zipstein

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Originally appeared in Miami Advice
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Jonas Lindvall enjoys the Malmö Konsthall for its dramatic treatment of light—and, of course, its Sunday brunches.
Malmö, Sweden

Once a blue-collar industrial port, Malmö, Sweden, now aims to be a premier design destination. It’s on its way. Photo by: Magnus Marding

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Originally appeared in Malmö's Metamorphosis
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Paris, France

Damned if it does and slammed when it won’t, Paris has a hard time with the notion of change. One of the world’s most visited cities—the Valhalla of the tourist circuit—has had a lot of good reasons to stay the way it is. Its classic layout, forged in the brutal urban reconstruction led by Baron Haussmann, has been successful enough to last virtually unmodified for a century and a half—and to inform the aesthetics of at least a dozen other cities around the world. Photo by: Jessica Antola

Originally appeared in European Vacation
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Huangpu River Shanghai China
Shanghai, China

Pearl of the Orient, Paris of the East. For a frantic, freewheeling century and a half, Shanghai was the wildest, wealthiest, flashiest city in Asia—the rival of any world capital. Shanghai’s bustling port shipped Chinese silk and porcelain from workshops along the Yangtze River to every corner of the globe. Western visitors were captivated by the crowded, chaotic, yet thoroughly cosmopolitan city. Foreign powers carved out concession zones featuring their own cafés, clubs, police forces, and legions of prostitutes. You can still stroll the charming tree-lined quarters with distinctive French, British, even American estates. Photo by: Andrew Rowat

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Originally appeared in Suddenly Shanghai
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Swanston Bridge in The Yarra River
Melbourne, Australia

No opera house. No Bondi Beach. No sunning celebs. This is Melbourne, home of Australia’s most thriving design scene. Photo by: João Canziani

Photo by João Canziani. Image courtesy of Joao Canziani.

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