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Sydney's Most Beautiful Buildings Illustrated

Most people think of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House as the icons of Sydney. Yes, this is correct in many ways, and as young as our city is compared to European cities, we do have some amazing historical and new architecture. Check out a few of these iconic buildings below.

Queen Victoria Building Sydney

Start your tour of Sydney’s top buildings at the Queen Victoria Building, and you might not see much else! This cathedral-like market building covers an entire block on George Street and is home to nearly 200 fashion and interior stores and restaurants. The QVB was built in the 1890s, and its stained-glass windows, wrought-iron balustrades, and 20-metre glass and copper dome add a regal style seldom found elsewhere in the city.


Parts of Sydney’s General Post Office building are now over 150 years old. It was designed by colonial architect James Barnet, in the Victorian Italian Renaissance Style. The structure is mostly built from local Sydney limestone, and the carvings on the front (by Thomas Sani) caused a scandal in the 1880s with their realistic depictions of real-life local figures.

UTS Sydney
Dr Chau Chak Wing Building - UTS Business School

“The most beautiful squashed brown paper bag ever seen” was unleashed by “the most important architect of our age” in 2015. Frank Gehry’s business school building at the University of Technology Sydney is composed of sustainable timber and over 300,000 specially made bricks that were each laid by hand.


Sydney’s former tallest building is so elegant and ambitious as to have inspired generations of locals. “Australia's finest tall building, a perfect resolution of rational geometry, structural ingenuity and heroic form,” is not a square at all: it’s a near-cone shape, comprised of 20 geometric segments. The name comes from the plot on which it is built. Making the building and its windows curved created a more epic sense of expanse, inside and out. Interlocking curved ribs, external columns, and structural cladding are among the design elements that keep architects talking, even if the building’s keenest effect was to bring a little bit of American-style glitz and confidence (and disregard for pre-existing urban communities) to Sydney.

Vat Khemarangsar am Cambodian Buddhist Temple Bonnyrigg

This traditional Khmer Buddhist temple is just twenty years old but seems to reach back through time by virtue of its ornate gold roof and column telamons. Serpent-headed balustrades and an adjacent stupa tower (for the cremated ashes of loved ones) complete this profound yet exotic architectural statement amidst the urban mundanity of car parks and hardware stores.

Anzac Memorial Hyde Park

This “physical expression of the spirit and legend of Anzac” honours the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who fell in the First World War. The building is symmetrical on both axes. Its art deco style is given added gravitas through the inclusion of Gothic elements such as buttresses and tall, rounded arches.

Sydney Maritime Museum

The main building at the Australian National Maritime Museum was designed by Philip Cox in the mid-1980s. The corrugated metal roof billows up and out to conjure the image of windblown sails. Three museum ships augment the experience, while the new $11m Warship Pavilion added in 2015 is just as eye-catching as the original building.

Like what you see? Check out the complete 29 buildings including original photos and illustrations by visiting Budget Direct.


Note: The discription text and photographs were supplied by Budget Direct to Sydney Chic. This article was not compensated and it has been shared because of the relevance to this website and interesting content.


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