Amid the current global pandemic, the idea of going on real, physical architecture tours have evolved into a dream of the distant future. Students pursuing architecture courses in Delhi might be especially anxious about whether their dream of visiting major design marvels around the world will ever come true.

However, by virtue of being deeply embedded within the fabric of vibrant and diverse design styles, international educational tours focused on architecture can be eye-opening and electrifying for design-buffs, especially those enrolled in top architecture universities in India. Whether it is art nouveau, art deco, modernism, or brutalism that arrests your attention, these 5 guided architecture tours should be an integral part of every designer’s bucket list.

  1. Palm Springs Modern Tours, Palm Springs, USA 

As a pioneer in the realm of architecture, Robert Imber is aware of the nitty-gritties of design tours in the US. As one of the leading voices of the California Preservation Foundation and the founder of Palm Springs Modern Tours, Imber has been propagating his love for architecture for more than 20 years.

The tours provide an in-depth and comprehensive insight into Palm Springs, which is a veritable museum of modernist architecture. Highlights of the informative and delightful tours include trips to distinctive homes, celebrity hideaways, and noteworthy civic buildings, including Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann House and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Oasis Hotel Tower. This tour has been completed by scores of accomplished architects, design professionals, and art enthusiasts.

  1. Mid-Century Modernism Tour, Chandigarh, India

19th-century Swiss architect Le Corbusier planned the architectural layout of Chandigarh and designed many of its most famous buildings. This tour pays homage to the legacy left behind by Corbusier and his team of Indian architects and includes visits to the City Architecture Museum and Le Corbusier Center. Sukhna Lake and Capitol Complex are vital attractions of the tour package, as they epitomize the coexistence of modernization with natural preservation. It is interesting to note that diametrically opposite concepts of serenity and chaos reside within the architectural maze of Chandigarh.

  1. Brutalist Bus Tour, London, UK

Brutalism refers to a 20th-century architectural style characterized by simple, block-like structures and raw, concrete constructions. One just needs to hop on to a 1962 Routemaster bus to witness the best Brutalist buildings in London. Brutalism was a controversial, post-war architectural movement that brought buildings such as Queen Elizabeth Hall, Hayward Gallery, and Trellick Tower into existence. This tour aims to highlight the utopian vision and dystopian outlook of Brutalism.

  1. Art Nouveau and Cubist Architecture, Prague, Czech Republic

The influence of art nouveau as an architectural movement can be seen widely across Prague in its landmark buildings. This three-hour guided tour includes visits to hotels, restaurants, bars, and stations of note – characterized by exotism and eccentricity in the form of elaborate facades, ornamental carvings, and elegant light fittings. Prominent structures include the Lucerna bar and the Grand Hotel Europa, along with a string of geometric forms that epitomize Cubist architecture. Stellar attractions involve the baroque-style House of the Black Madonna and the early 1920s Rondo-Cubist Bank of the Legions.

  1. Japanese Architecture and the Diet Building Tour, Tokyo, Japan

The tourist board of Tokyo runs an interesting and cost-effective architecture tour around the  Marunouchi, Hibiya, and Kasumigaseki districts, which have been the nexus of political and corporate affairs since the late 19th century. With a focus on modernist architecture, the tour highlights railway stations, bizarre shard-like structures, quaint cafes, and imposing skyscrapers. The tour climaxes with a look around the National Diet, which is Japan’s parliament building.

Do you think you can witness these beautiful structures in the near future? Only time will can ell. Meanwhile, do the best you can to take precautions, and stay motivated, at least until the storm blows over. After all, it is darkest before dawn.