The world’s most innovative and architecturally impressive university buildings can be found on campuses from Tokyo to upstate New York.
International building database Emporis has just released a list of the most spectacular university buildings around the globe.
From a campus building in Belgium dating back to 1928 to Turino’s Luigi Einaudi center, completed last year, these university buildings are worth a tour.
Biblioteca Central, home to 400,000 books at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, opened its doors in April 1956. The outside is covered in a tiled mosaic painted by Juan O’Gorman. Each wall represents a part of Mexico’s past: pre-Hispanic, colonial, contemporary and the university’s place in modern Mexico.
Bradfield Hall at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., is almost entirely windowless to give it the feeling of a medieval fort. It’s the tallest building on its campus and opened in 1969. The building houses departments for crop and soil science, Earth and atmospheric sciences, plant breeding, and genetics.
The brand-new Campus Luigi Einaudi at Universita Degli Studi Di Torino in northwestern Italy houses facilities for 5,000 law and political science students. The design represents a modern interpretation of the traditional cloistered quadrangle.
The Faculty of History’s Seeley Historical Library at Cambridge University holds more than 100,000 books. Each faculty at the university has its own specialized library in addition to the University Library. This one, designed by famed British architect Sir James Frazier Stirling, opened in 1967.
The Graduate Centre at London Metropolitan University includes an auditorium, three seminar rooms, IT facilities, and social spaces for students. It opened in 2004.
The main building of Lomonosov Moscow State University in Russia dates back to 1953. It’s the world’s tallest university building at 787 feet — that’s 36 stories — and houses a 1,500-seat auditorium, seminar rooms, a library, and a museum.
Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower in Tokyo was completed in 2008 to house three different colleges: Tokyo Mode Gakuen, HAL Tokyo and Shuto Ikō. It’s 669 feet tall and most rooms offer sweeping views of the surrounding city.
The Philologische Bibliothek at the Freie Universitat in Berlin is a large glass sphere meant to take on the shape of a brain. The library is the newest building on campus, having opened in 2005, and merges the previously separate libraries of various humanities subjects.
The Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre at the City University of Hong Kong was designed by New York-based architect Daniel Libeskind. It houses laboratories, theaters, and classrooms for the school’s departments of computer engineering and media technology.
The Sharp Centre for Design at the Ontario College of Art and Design is hoisted 30 feet off the ground and supported by primary-colored stilts. The rectangular floating building holds two stories of studio and teaching space and is connected to the existing facility beneath it via an elevator and staircase.
The Swanston Academic Building at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia was part of the university’s $600 million investment in new educational facilities in 2012. Swanston houses shared learning spaces and has a five-star green rating for energy efficiency and sustainability.
The Roland Levinsky Building at the University of Plymouth in southwestern England includes 25 classrooms, two auditoriums, a cinema and a cafe and balcony area. It was completed in 2007.
The historic Universiteitsbibliotheek KU Leuven opened in 1928 at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium. It’s a library that houses scientific information for researchers and students.