Flickr user: "raindog" under a Creative Commons License

Which city hall buildings manage to capture something specific about a city's culture?

City Halls serve a critical role in hosting municipal offices and services, but they are almost as important architecturally, as they leave a visual legacy for the city they represent. San Diego's mayor is lobbying to build a new one, Las Vegas will see its new one open in 2012, and Rotterdam has chosen Rem Koolhaas' design for its new city hall. We looked around the world to find city halls that were architecturally unique whether it be in scale, materials, or just how they relate to their surroundings. 

Lead image of London's city hall via Flickr user raindog

About the Author

Mark Byrnes
Mark Byrnes

Mark Byrnes is a senior associate editor at CityLab who writes about design, history, and photography.

Most Popular

  1. Homeless individuals inside a shelter in Vienna in 2010
    Equity

    How Vienna Solved Homelessness

    What lessons could Seattle draw from their success?

  2. Two New York City subway cars derailed on the A line in Harlem Tuesday, another reminder of the MTA's many problems.
    Transportation

    Overcrowding Is Not the New York Subway's Problem

    Yes, the trains are packed. But don’t blame the victims of the city’s transit meltdown.

  3. Postcards showing the Woodner when it used to be a luxury apartment-hotel in the '50s and '60s, from the collection of John DeFerrari
    Equity

    The Neighborhood Inside a Building

    D.C.’s massive Woodner apartment building has lived many lives—from fancy hotel to one of the last bastions of affordable housing in a gentrifying neighborhood. Now, it’s on the brink of another change.

  4. Members of a tenants' organization in East Harlem gather outside the office of landlord developer Dawnay, Day Group, as lawyers attempt to serve the company with court papers on behalf of tenants, during a press conference in New York. The tenant's group, Movement for Justice in El Barrio, filed suit against Dawnay, Day Group, the London-based investment corporation "for harassing tenants by falsely and illegally charging fees in attempts to push immigrant families from their homes and gentrify the neighborhood," said Chaumtoli Huq, an attorney for the tenants.
    Equity

    Toward Being a Better Gentrifier

    There’s a right way and a wrong way to be a neighbor during a time of rapid community change.

  5. Equity

    The Hoarding of the American Dream

    A new book examines how the upper-middle class has enriched itself and harmed economic mobility.