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20 Ways Old Architecture Meets Modern Design

Around the world, architecture built hundreds of years in the past is increasingly being pushed aside by modern skyscrapers. However, there are those of us who appreciate modern and classic, together in an odd but beautiful blend. Here are 20 of the most impressive architecture mixes in the world.

20. London’s Bank of England amid skyscrapers

London's Bank of England amid skyscrapers

Built in 1734, the Bank of England is one of the oldest and still functional banks in the world. It is one of the city’s landmarks and  nowadays it sits amidst skyscrapers, without looking weird at all.

19. White House, Isle of Coll, Scotland

White House, Isle of Coll, Scotland

This restored 18th century farmhouse was designed by the Maclean-Bristol family. The result is this incredible blend of past and present that would make anyone smile and wish they lived there.

18. Royal Ontario Museum Crystal Building, Canada

Royal Ontario Museum Crystal Building, Canada

This world culture and natural history museum was built in 1914, but it has had a few facelifts in its time. The most obvious probably is the crystal building added in 2007. It may look strange, but I like it.

17. Wong Tai Sin Temple, Hong Kong, China

Wong Tai Sin Temple, Hong Kong, China

Wong Tai Sin is a massive Taoist temple complex in the middle of Hong Kong. It was built in the 1920s, and it still remains a major tourist destination, although the modern city beyond its walls is close by.

16. St Mary Axe Church stands proudly in front of the Gherkin, London

St Mary Axe Church stands proudly in front of the Gherkin, London

The Gherkin opened in 2004 and is about around 800 years younger than the Church which stands in front of it. And, as you can easily see, it’s also taller. But that doesn’t really matter that much, since the two go together pretty well.

15. The Chicago Water Tower, built in 1869, surrounded by skyscrapers

The Chicago Water Tower, built in 1869, surrounded by skyscrapers

Opened in 1869, this tower was used to store water for firefighters. Modern innovations have rendered it obsolete, but the magnificent construction  stands proudly in the middle of an urban jungle. Stunning!

14. Aarhus, Denmark

Aarhus, Denmark

Aarhus is the second largest city in Denmark. It is a major port since its founding, in 948, and features a beautiful mix match of medieval and modern architecture without looking kitschy.

13. Milan, Italy

Milan, Italy

Settled by the Celts in 400 BC and conquered by the Romans 200 years later, Milan has an extensive history. After WWII, modern structures started to appear amongst the antiquity of statues of churches, but that did not spoil the beauty and charm of the ancient city.

12. Trinity Church and the Hancock Tower, Boston, USA

Trinity Church and the Hancock Tower, Boston, USA

The John Hancock Tower opened in 1976 and  is the tallest building in Boston. Right next to it, the Trinity Church opened its doors 99 years earlier, in 1877. However, the visual impact these two have together is unheard of.

11. Hamburg’s Harbor City, Germany

Hamburg's Harbor City, Germany

Hafenport was an incredibly important trade port in the 18th and 19th century, but the arrival of container ships in the 20th century transformed it into an obsolete and desolate location. Nowadays, the area is being renovated with modern office buildings.

10. Church Museum, Montreal, Canada

Church Museum, Montreal, Canada

This crumbling church has been transformed by Provencher Roy into a magnificently modern museum and theater. I don’t mind the unique blend, I’m just happy the old and beautiful location serves a purpose once more.

9. The Old State House, Boston

The Old State House, Boston

Built in 1713, the Old State House was the seat of the Massachusetts General Court until 1798. The city of Boston boomed around it and replaced two-story homes with skyscrapers, as it transformed into  a museum.

8. Nanjing, China

Nanjing, China

Nanjing is one of only four Ancient Capitals of China. Founded in 495 BC, the city has a history longer than most countries. Under the Mongol Empire, the city became a center for textiles which probably explains why it remains an economic power house to this day.

7. 8 Spruce Street and the Woolworths Building, New York, USA

8 Spruce Street and the Woolworths Building, New York, USA

The Woolworths and Beekman towers are perfect examples of how far architecture has come. Opened in 1913 and 2011 respectively, the two are separated by nearly 100 years of architecture, styling and building techniques; however, they are both impressive.

6. Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong is an example of ancient history blending in with modern style and architecture, but you have to respect that. Chinese people are very proud of their heritage and plan on maintaining their traditions and passing them on to the next generations. I see no reason for them not to.

5. Swansea Castle in front of the second tallest building in the city, Wales

Swansea Castle in front of the second tallest building in the city, Wales

Built by Henry de Beaumont in 1106, Swansea castle once dominated the landscape. The British Telecoms tower looks like a giant by comparison, although it’s 13 floors tall; but that does not diminish the beauty of the old building.

4. Warsaw, Poland

Warsaw, PolandThis view looks like two different photographs blended into one; the first looks like a communist-dominated neighborhood, dull and sad, while the other looks like a futuristic poster for a Jetsons movie. Bare in mind, this is real! And it looks impressive.

3. Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Japan

Seeing an ancient, traditional Japanese building aside contemporary building is not something the Samurai may have imagined, but to see their legacy and history live on is something worth of our admiration. The Japanese culture is vast and beautiful, and deserve our appreciation.

2. National Architects Union Headquarters, Romania

National Architects Union Headquarters, Romania

Stacked on top of this typical European home, built in the second half of the nineteenth century, is a modern skyscraper. There are plenty more examples where this came from, but none are so beautiful and inspired as this one. Not a bad example!

1. Brno, Czech Republic

Brno, Czech Republic

This European city is a constant blend of old with the new; it is constantly evolving while struggling to maintain its history and attract tourists with its vast cultural sites. From afar, it looks like an odd puzzle or LEGO set, constructed by an uninspired kid; however, this place is unique and it will probably remain so for long time to come.

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