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Famous Architecture Recreated with CSS and JavaScript

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on CSS & JavaScript & Web Design

Architecture is one of the most instantly-recognizable artforms. Show a picture of a famous structure and odds are that a plurality of people will immediately identify it.

It also serves as a source of pride and inspiration. For example, people from all over the world dream of visiting the Eiffel Tower. But the experience is about more than just standing in front and snapping a selfie. Architecture also represents a specific time and place – making it even more special.

We shouldn’t be surprised, then, that web designers are big fans of architectural design. Just as a structure can both look and function beautifully, so can a website.  They’re more related than one might think at first glance.

Today, we’ll introduce you to some compelling examples of web designers paying homage to the world’s most famous structures. In many cases, the attention to detail is remarkable – making them a proper tribute indeed.

Taj Mahal

Completed in 1643, the Taj Mahal is known for its intricate beauty and lush landscape. This CSS and JavaScript rendering is decidedly minimal, yet still instantly recognizable. The silhouette of the structure against a golden sky, along with the gently moving waterway in the foreground are all one really needs.

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Taj Minimal
by Chris Gannon

Cinderella’s Castle

The sight of Disney World’s fairytale castle draws kids of all ages – and from all corners of the world. Here, we have a pure CSS replica that captures its essence. Looking through its 500+ lines of styles, this one was clearly a labor of love.

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Magic castle
by Alvaro Montoro

Eiffel Tower

For many, the Eiffel Tower represents romance in the City of Lights. It’s a can’t-miss attraction, both literally and figuratively. This CSS animation stands out as well, providing a slick 360-degree view.

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Peace for Paris
by David Khourshid

Egyptian Pyramids

An awe-inspiring sight in Western Desert in Egypt, the pyramids are included among the seven wonders of the ancient world. This artistic take on the pyramids is also interactive. Hover over the scene to watch the sun rise.

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Desert Sunrise (Hover on Image)
by Karen

Measuring Iconic Skyscrapers

The world’s tallest buildings define a city skyline like nothing else. You see the Empire State Building and New York City immediately comes to mind. Want to see how your favorites stack up against each other? This beautifully-designed chart will help you compare the Burj Khalifa to the Taipei 101.

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amCharts 4: Pictorial column chart
by amCharts team

Great Wall of China

At nearly 22,000 kilometers in length, the Great Wall of China is probably too big to fully recreate with CSS. Therefore, it’s understandable that this snippet provides just a peek of its jaw-dropping scenery. We get the picture.

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CSS Puns – Great Wall of China
by Katarzyna Marcinkiewicz

Space Needle

Seattle’s Space Needle towers above the western US city and affords visitors to some spectacular views. Much of the world may also recognize an animated version that was famously used in the minimalist opening to the 1990s TV show, Frasier. This super-tall CSS rendering straddles the line between realism and simplicity.

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Space Needle CSS
by Alyssa Williams

Morphing Landmarks

Want to travel to the world’s most famous landmarks in mere seconds? This gorgeous morphing animation will take you to places such as Rio, Pisa, Paris and Beijing. Again, the usage of silhouettes demonstrates how recognizable these places are – even without all the minutiae.

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Landmarks morph
by Mikael Ainalem

How Web Design is Inspired by Architecture

Whether you’re designing a building or a website, some of the same universal themes apply. Take beauty, for example. Outstanding looks have to be supported by a carefully-thought-out underlying structure. Ignoring that critical component will lead to certain failure.

In addition, complexity isn’t necessarily a guarantee of success. The most complex code isn’t always the best path, and the same holds true for a structure. Simplicity can often be the most effective approach.

We hope these renderings of some of the world’s most famous architectural landmarks has inspired you! If you’d like to see even more examples, check out our CodePen collection.