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12 Extraordinary Buildings Where People Do Science

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From Antarctica to Austria, scientific research centers often have the coolest headquarters. Although glassy, tech-driven buildings would seem a natural choice to house cutting-edge institutions, there is hardly a unified aesthetic. In Europe, the headquarters of science centers are in historic buildings, with frescoed ceilings, wood-paneled libraries, or half-timbered façades. In Moscow, the main building of the Academy of Sciences is an intriguingly garish tower, visible from miles around, whereas in California and Japan, the contemporary buildings are largely subterranean. Indeed, the only science buildings that actually resemble spaceships were designed by starchitect (and terrible money-manager) Santiago Calatrava. Meanwhile, down in Antarctica, the Halley VI station (above) on a floating ice shelf is the world's first first fully relocatable polar research station. Below, 11 examples of charismatic science buildings:

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