As the days get longer, we're starting to get a serious case of summer wanderlust. This time we're not fantasizing about the deserted island, but rather the stunning landmark buildings in some of our favorite cities around the world. In lieu of a budget-busting excursion, we’re satisfying our global architectural cravings by taking a look at jewelry that reminds us of these breathtaking designs.
Jewelry Inspired By Some Of The World's Most Beautiful Buildings
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Artfully crafted baubles--from a caged cuff that takes after Beijing’s National Stadium to a neo-Goth bib necklace that nods to Florence’s Duomo Cathedral--make looking the part of a seasoned globetrotter easy. Keep reading to see all of our inspired-by picks and get inspired too!
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THE ELIZABETH TOWER
Synonymous with London, the Elizabeth Tower stands at the north end of the Palace of Westminster and is a reflection of the Gothic Revival style of architect Augustus Pugin. The tower’s clock, otherwise known as Big Ben, is gilded and set in iron frames.
Aurélie Bidermann Condor Gold-Plated Clip Earrings ($767)
Aurelie Bidermann’s sunburst clip earrings bring to mind the tower’s gold-plated spires.
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In the bustling city of Seoul, South Korea--also known as the Digital Media City--you can find the TRUTEC office building. Designed by Berlin architect firm Barkow Leibinger in 2007, the building’s front is made almost exclusively of folded crystalline glass that projects outward, creating an abstract kaleidoscope effect.
Pierre Hardy Paris Small Square Cuff ($575)
One could argue Pierre Hardy looked to TRUTEC for inspiration when creating this cuff’s awe-inspiring design. Thanks to asymmetrical lines, the square cutaways mimic the building’s three-dimensional facade.
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SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
It was the award-winning design of Danish architect Jorn Utzon that ultimately put the Sydney Opera House on the map in 1973. The structure’s iconic roof is formed from large concrete shells that are covered with white tiles.
Hervé Van der Straeten Hammered Gold-Plated Cuff ($630)
If you were to take apart and scatter the opera house’s shells on top of each other, we imagine the result would look something like this gold-plated cuff by Hervé Van der Straeten.
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Antoni Gaudi led the Catalan Modernism movement in the late 19th century with his unique and playful approach to architecture. Casa Batllo in Barcelona is considered the Spaniard’s masterpiece, combining a skeletal-like structure with broken ceramic tiles, stained glass, and sandstone.
Carven Plexi Bib Necklace ($550)
This necklace, much like Casa Batllo, has plenty of statement-making appeal. A pearlescent finish mimics the building’s stained glass windows, while the cutouts and butterfly shape are similar to the building’s geometric façade.
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BEIJING NATIONAL STADIUM
Though a bird’s nest seems an unlikely source of inspiration for a major sports arena, the architects that designed Beijing’s National Stadium, built for the 2008 Summer Olympics, would beg to differ. Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron--the masterminds behind Prada’s New York headquarters and Tokyo store--created two independent structures: a red concrete bowl surrounded by an outer steel frame.
Feliks+Adrik Cutout Shell Cuff ($194)
A caged design lends this oversized cuff an almost nest-like appearance deserving of a gold metal.
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BURJ AL ARAB
Standing at a whopping 1,053 feet high, the Burj Al Arab in Dubai is the fourth tallest--and only self-proclaimed seven
-star rated--hotel in the world. The building’s sail-like shape, completed by architect Tom Wright in 1999, is inspired by Arabian ships and has become a symbol of the country.
Vionnet Collar Necklace ($780) in Blue
The sculpted metal of this collar necklace takes after the Burj Al Arab’s infamous curved silhouette.
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MARINA CITY TOWERS
Occupying an entire city block and standing at 587 feet tall, the Marina City towers have become a prominent Chicago landmark. Designed by Bertrand Goldberg and completed in 1964, the residential and commercial building is characterized by its corncob-shaped design that has a retro futuristic vibe that reminds us of The Jetsons.
Vita Fede Futturo Ring ($275) in Rose Gold
With its geometric cut, Veda Fede’s Futturo cocktail ring looks as if it was sliced directly from one of the towers.
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WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL
It’s hard to miss the Walt Disney Concert Hall when driving through downtown Los Angeles with its series of postmodern concave sections and stainless steel matte finish. Designer Frank Gehry created the warped design as a way to reflect the city’s beautiful sunlight.
Express Wave Cuff Bracelet ($17)
Like the concert hall, sleek curvature gives this metal cuff its contemporary look.
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A classic example of Art Deco architecture, New York City’s Chrysler Building was designed by William Van Alen for the Chrysler automobile company and completed in 1930. The fusion of different stainless-steel metals created the building’s bold geometric shapes and infamous sunburst pattern.
Need Supply Co. Rituals Necklace ($32)
While this necklace’s vintage-inspired geometric design looks like a mini Chrysler Building, the gold plating and stone embellishment evoke Gatsby-era opulence.
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CRAIN COMMUNICATIONS BUILDING
Commonly referred to as the “Diamond Building,” the Crain Communications tower is a standout in Chicago’s famed skyline. A slightly disjointed design gives the building the illusion of being split down the middle.
Loren Stewart Silver Shakti Ring ($215)
One could easily liken the pyramid cut of this sterling silver ring to the building’s diamond shape.
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THE SOLOMON R. GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM
Appearing in everything from Bye Bye Birdie to Marvel Comics, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City is a cultural icon and national landmark. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and completed in 1959, the building pushed the era’s engineering limits with its cylinder-shaped concrete atrium, and ultimately was his last major work.
Robert Lee Morris Soho Sliced Cuff ($110)
Featuring a stacked design of sliced silver metal, this cuff mirrors the museum’s interior spiral ramp and is a work of art all its own.
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A prime attraction for tourists in Cambodia, Angkor Wat--meaning Temple City--is the world’s largest Hindu temple. Khmer King Suryavarman II built the temple in the 12th century, as a representation of the home of the gods known as Mount Meru. Its lotus bud-shaped towers symbolize the mountain’s fabled five peaks.
Assad Mounser Mexipedium Cuff ($428)
This gem-embellished cuff brings to mind the jagged exterior of Angkor Wat’s giant towers.
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THE DUOMO/THE BASILICA DI SANTA MARIA DEL FIORE
Located in the heart of Florence, Italy, the cathedral took 140 years to build. Though the Duomo's original façade was torn down in 1587, Italian architect Emilio De Fabris rebuilt it in 1864. Nineteenth century-inspired sculptures and a mix of white, green, and red marble panels lend the building its distinctly ornate look.
Adia Kibur Silver Bib Necklace ($75)
Textured glass beads in a range of shapes and sizes mimic the Duomo’s neo-Goth-influenced design.
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THE MUSEE DU LOUVRE
Exhibiting over 400,000 of the world’s most famous paintings, sculptures, and artifacts, the Louvre Museum in Paris, France is also famed for its rich history and architecture. The controversial glass pyramid, designed by I.M. Pei and completed in 1989, was added to the main court of the Louvre Palace as the new entrance to the museum. Last year, the Louvre hosted its first-ever runway show for Salvatore Ferragamo’s Cruise 13 collection.
Bottega Veneta Blackened Sterling Silver Caged Spike Ring ($620)
Tiny caged triangles imitate the museum’s pyramid structures, especially The Inverted Pyramid, which was featured in the film The Da Vinci Code.
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GALAXY SOHO COMPLEX
Resembling giant beehives, the Galaxy Soho Complex in Beijing is as futuristic as it is curvaceous. Designed by Zaha Hadid, the development consists of four 15-story towers clad in glass panels and reflective aluminum, offering panoramic views of the city.
Claire Kinder Studio Adjustable Cuff Ring ($62) in Sterling Silver
Mimicking the undulated movement of the Galaxy Soho compound, this tiny knuckle ring would pair perfectly with a streamlined look.