lille, france. a small city near the border with belgium, lille was named a european “city of culture” for 2004, and it has a lot to offer the architecturally curious: over-the-top flemish architecture, a futuristic reinvention of old factories and farms into maisons folie, which house restaurants and exhibition and performance space, and a restored and enlarged extension of the musée des beaux-arts.

curitiba, brazil. about an hour’s flight from são paulo, the museu oscar niemeyer confirms this leading’s architect’s reputation as “the king of the curve, the sultan of the swoop.” the museum features national culture in its exhibition spaces and assembly halls, but the pièce de résistance is an eye-shaped auditorium.

rioja, spain. taking a tip from bilbao, rioja’s oldest wine producer, marqués de riscal, enlisted gehry to build a hotel/headquarters, which will include a restaurant, a tasting room, and 44 guest rooms.

tokyo. thanks to movies like lost in translation, there’s a growing interest in the urban architecture of japan. “people are drawn to japanese cities because there is an otherness that people want to find,” says let’s go editor tom mercer. at the top of his list are roppongi hills, an enormous cultural center with entertainment, office, residential, hotel, retail, and cultural space, and the mori art center.