Big Bytes

Grade A Architecture: The World’s Most Spectacular University Buildings

Lecture halls at dizzying heights, libraries with glass-domed roofs or crooked seminar rooms with slanting walls – it is not just in the field of learning that universities have plenty to offer, but on an architectural level, too. From the historic Universiteitsbibliotheek KU Leuven of 1928 to the enormous glass sphere of the Philologische Bibliothek in Berlin to the brand-new, tent-like Campus Luigi Einaudi in Turin: Emporis (, the international provider of building data, has compiled a selection of the most spectacular university buildings from around the world.

All students set their sights high, but for the 30,000 enrolled at Lomonosov Moscow State University, this is meant literally as well as figuratively, since their main building, dating from 1953, is the world’s tallest university building at 240 meters in height. Over its 36 stories it contains everything one could expect from an educational institution, including a 1,500-seat auditorium, seminar rooms, a library, and even a museum. A further example of concentration of knowledge is the Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower in Tokyo: Completed in 2008, the 204-meter-tall, cocoon-shaped skyscraper is home to no fewer than three different colleges, their teaching rooms offering breathtaking views of the city.

By contrast, the architects of the Swanston Academic Building and the Sharp Centre for Design use colorful elements to set accents. The first catches the eye with its wavy and jagged facade that mirrors the colors of the surrounding buildings. Inside, loud red, green and yellow are the dominant hues. The shape and coloring of the Sharp Centre for Design also represent a distinct contrast to its surroundings: The Centre’s black-and-white structure, which is reminiscent of a chessboard, stands on bright stilts and appears to hover above the neighboring buildings.

Perhaps less colorful, but at least as spectacular, is the effect created by Bradfield Hall at Cornell University. The dark-red brick building with its rectangular and round pillars is almost entirely windowless, all of which combines to give it the weighty, massive appearance of a medieval fort. The Graduate Centre of London Metropolitan University and the Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre in Hong Kong also opt for monochrome facades, in gray and white respectively. Nevertheless, both buildings jump straight out of the landscape: The slanting walls with their narrow window slits seem to positively sink into one another.

Wherever one looks, universities are increasingly setting store by having architectural highlights on campus. Some of the chunky relics of the 60s and 70s, on the other hand, are being torn down. This was recently the case in Frankfurt am Main, where February 2, 2014 saw the demolition of the AfE-Turm. In the largest inner-city controlled blasting Europe has ever seen, the high-rise at the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-Universität, dating from 1972, was destroyed in a matter of seconds.

Image Download: The World’s Most Spectacular University Buildings

About Emporis: Emporis is a leading database of information about building and construction projects, based in Germany. For over a decade Emporis has helped companies, organizations and individuals stay informed about the building industry. The Emporis Skyscraper Award is the world’s most renowned prize for high-rise architecture.

Media Contact

Jana Schnicke, Public Relations
Emporis GmbH
Arndtstrasse 25, 22085 Hamburg, Germany
Phone: +49 (0)40 6094 6494 1


Leave a Reply

You may also like:

Agriculture Banking / Finance Economy Energy Infrastructure Lifestyle Politics World

Make sure banks don’t fund more coal

The science is abundantly clear that we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground to ensure a future for our planet, and that means we can’t let any new coal plants be built anywhere in the world. So the Vung Ang 2 coal-fired power station in Central Vietnam – currently planned for financing by Japan’s biggest banks – is a definite no-go.

Read More
Architecture Linux Media / PR Real Estate Software Technology

Builders and Real Estate Developers Website Design – Social Media Promos

WisePoint recommends some Web Designing agencies providing world class service in Real Estate Web Design and Digital Marketing. We are certified adwrods professionals and we have dedicated and experience professionals who are expert in their respective job. No matter how critical your task is, they always deliver a winning formula with in stipulated budget and […]

Read More
Corruption Economy Infrastructure Politics Software Technology Telecom

Rise of Telecom Oligarchies via Smart Corruption

Its not unusual for the smart gangs to manufacture network problems and outages for achieving the desired goals and extorting more money by increasing data price from end consumers plus diversify into allied data trade (extra bonus) especially in times of health distress & upcoming disasters.

Read More