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29 June, 2012

Architectural Wonders – 7 Magnificent Modern Day Pyramids

Pyramid is any structure that resembles the geometrical pyramid shape, which is triangular in the outer and converging to one single point at the top. When talking about pyramids the first thing that comes to our minds are the Great Pyramids of Giza; almost all of us associate pyramids with Egyptians. Does this mean you can find pyramids only in Egypt? There are modern day pyramids, which are also famous tourist attractions.

Louvre Pyramid, Paris, France

Louvre Pyramid, made of glass at day.

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Louvre Pyramid is situated in the main courtyard of Louvre Museum, Paris. It is made of large glass and metal and is enclosed by three small pyramids. One has to enter the Louvre Pyramid to go to the Louvre Palace; in other words, Louvre Pyramid is the main entrance for Louvre Palace. This is one of the major tourist attractions in Paris, France; this was designed by the architect I. M. Pei. This architectural wonder consists of glass segments of which 603 are rhombus-shaped and 70 are triangular shaped.

Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, Astana, Kazakhstan

Palace of Peace and Recognition

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Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, also called as the Pyramid of Peace of Accord was mainly constructed to host the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. The height of the building is 62 meters and was designed by British architects Fosters and Partners. The design consists of five storeys of triangles and each triangle measures 12 meter on a side. The lower three storeys of triangles are made of pale granite and the upper or the remaining two storeys of triangles are made of glazed apex.

Walter Pyramid, Long Beach, California

Walter Pyramid, a multi-purpose stadium.

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Walter Pyramid was formerly called as the “Long Beach Pyramid”; this is a multi-purpose stadium with a seating capacity of 5,000. Walter Pyramid was opened in the year 1994 and was designed by architect Don Gibbs. The entire structure is made of sheets of dark blue corrugated aluminum. One of the unique features of Walter Pyramid is that it is a mathematically true pyramid as the perimeter of each side measure exactly 105 meter. The name of the pyramid was changed to Walter from Long Beach due to the fact that Dr. Mike and Arline Walter donated $2.1 million for the university.

Pyramid Arena, Memphis, Tennessee

Pyramid Arena, world's seventh largest pyramid.

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Pyramid Arena, the seventh largest pyramid in the world and was originally constructed as an arena that can accommodate nearly 20,000 people. As the design largely resembles with the pyramids in the Egypt, this was formerly called as the “Great American Pyramid.” There was a statue in front of the pyramid, which was then moved inside the campus was created from the mold of the actual statue in Egypt. It is believed that no major sports event took place in this arena since 2004 and is currently being converted to Brass Pro Shops (they are a privately held retailer who holds a large collection of outdoor gears specifically for hunting, fishing, etc.)

Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco, California

Top of Transamerica Pyramid, one of the world's five tallest buildings

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Transamerica Pyramid was one of the five world’s tallest buildings when the construction took place and is still the tallest skyscraper in San Francisco. This was originally the headquarters for Transamerica Corporation and was designed by the architect William Pereira. When designing, the designers took major care to ensure the building withstands earthquake; visitors are allowed only till the first floor of the building. Concrete and steel rebar are used for the construction of the base and the entire façade of the building is covered with crushed quartz. The cap at the top of the building is made of aluminum and is illuminated from within so as to matchup with the night appearance.

Moody Gardens, Galveston, Texas

Aquarium Pyramid at the Moody Gardens, one among the largest aquariums in the world.
Moody Gardens is funded and operated by Moody Foundation and is a major tourist attraction in Texas; this complex has zoo, beach, water slides, gardens, cinemas, restaurants, etc. This features three pyramid attractions; they are:

a. Aquarium Pyramid – one of the world’s largest aquariums with more than 8,000 species of fishes, invertebrates, reptiles, mammals, and plants; the color of the pyramid is blue and is 12 stories high.

b. Rainforest Pyramid – features rainforests from various countries across Asia, Africa and America and is 10 stories high. Visit this place to see exotic collections of rare plants, plus otters, Saki monkeys, Chinese Alligators, etc.

c. Discovery Pyramid – is deep pink colored and features motion simulator and traveling exhibits. 

Muttart Conservatory, Edmonton, Alberta

Muttart Conservatory, a botanical garden with four pyramid structures
Muttart Conservatory, a botanical garden comprises of four pyramid structures made of glass where three pyramids showcases plants from various climatic conditions like arid, temperate, tropical, etc. and the fourth one is designed with a theme that will change all through the year (one can witness a lot of ornamental flowering plants in the fourth pyramid). There are two large and two small pyramids; the area of larger ones is 660 sq. m. and the smaller ones are 410 sq. m. Visit Muttart Conservatory to witness plants from all over the world.


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