Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, Brunei

The onion-domed Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque is an incarnation of Brunei as architectural expression. This structure, which anchors the centre of the capital of Bandar Seri Begawan, speaks to two elements that any visitor to Brunei quickly picks up on: deep piety and gold-plated overstatement. Yet for all its grandeur, when you see families relax here you realise the mosque is a place for the sort of quiet, understated friendliness and gentle conversation that characterises the daily life of most Brunei citizens.