Why It’s Cool: The United Nations co-designer conceived the Auditório Ibirapuera in 1951 for Sao Paolo’s 400th anniversary, but it wasn’t completed until 2005, after $12.8 million in funding materialized. (Fortunately, Niemeyer lived to see it—he’s now 101 years old.) Still, modernity hasn’t tempered the building’s offbeat, utopian spirit. With a doorstop shape and a wiggling tongue of a red-metal marquee, the venue also features a 60-foot-wide backstage panel that can open to allow for free outdoor concerts.
How to Visit: Enjoy the exterior from a blanket in the park, or buy a ticket to get a peek inside.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.