Some of the most stunning architectural feats can be seen before you even set across the threshold. Entrances and arches incorporate many different architectural styles in order to make a big impression on those visiting the space. Whether designed as a standalone piece or integrated into the overall design, the impression given by entrances can often surpass what’s found inside.

Tivoli Gardens, Denmark

The Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. Image source

Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens is home to the second-oldest amusement park in the world, and features buildings and attractions from as far back as the mid-1800s. Amidst the sleek new additions to the park, from concert halls to sleek new roller coasters, stands period-perfect pieces of architectures, from its 1920s carousel to the intricately detailed archway entrance.

Inspired by the romantic pleasure gardens of Europe - which were landscaped according to the naturalistic English tradition rather than the French style based on geometric lines - Tivoli’s founder, Georg Carstensen, asked permission from King Christian VIII to replicate such a park within Copenhagen in the 1840s.

Richard and Annette Cancer Survivors Garden, Chicago

These gardens were established in 1996 as a safe haven for cancer patients, and meant to aid in their recovery process. The three main garden rooms were designed to represent the three stages of healing: acceptance, support, and celebration.

The entranceway to the Cancer Survivor’s Garden in Chicago is framed with two 40-foot Corinthian columns. Image source

Located within Grant Park, the entrance to the gardens is marked by two 40-foot Corinthian columns. Salvaged from Chicago’s 1905 Federal Building, the columns are positioned on axis with the classical columns of the Field Museum of Natural History, which is located at the far south end of Grant Park.

The columns were originally submerged near the Lake Michigan shoreline in 1983 in order to help reinforce a breakwater, before being donated by the Chicago Architecture Foundation to be placed next to the garden’s main pavilion at the park’s entrance, representing the “Road To Recovery” for cancer patients. There are seven plaques inside the pavilion explaining the basic steps to overcome cancer.

La Grande Arche, Paris

Also known as La Grande Arche de la Défense, this structure in the business district of La Défense in the west of Paris was the result of a national design competition launched in 1982. As the winning entry submitted by Danish architect Johann Otto von Spreckelsen and Danish engineer Erik Reitzel, the arch was designed to be a late 29th century version of the iconic Arc de Triomphe.

La Grande Arche in Paris was designed to celebrate mankind’s humanitarian victories, in contrast to its military ones. Image source

La Grande Arche was proposed as a monument to humanity and humanitarian ideals, rather than the military victories celebrated in its inspiration. Standing 110 metres high the Arche is actually the approximate shape of a cube, with identical width and depth. It has been suggested that the structure looks like a tesseract projected onto the three-dimensional world. It is constructed of a prestressed concrete frame covered with glass and Carrara marble.

Government offices are located within the two sides of the Arche, and the roof section is now open to the public and houses a restaurant and an exhibition area dedicated to photojournalism.

Pape Nature Park Gateway

Buildner is collaborating with “Pasaules Dabas Fonds”, the official WWF associate partner in Latvia for the second in a series of competitions based in the Pape Nature Park. The Pape Nature Park Gateway architecture competition is tasking participants with redesigning the entrance to the park; making it both enticing and functional to visitors to the park. Participants will need to include several key features, such as picnic and camping grounds, while making the gateway iconic and an integral part of the park’s image.

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