Sydney Opera House / Sydney, Australia
While the iconic Sydney Opera House is often compared to images of open sails on the harbor, from this angle of approach I was imagining Spanish Conquistadors marching over the horizon. Fortunately for the land down under, the conquistadors never made it quite that far. The modern expressionist building is inspiring, not only in its beautiful harbor location, but in its unique flowing design, unusual at the time for a structure formed largely of concrete and tiles. The design was awarded through competition in 1957 with construction commencing in 1959. The original completion date was scheduled for 1963 at a cost of $7 million - it was opened to the public in 1973 at a final cost approaching $107 million. Nonetheless, it remains an architectural masterpiece and was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2007.