Lonely Planet Writer

Britain's modern-day wonders celebrated in new Royal Mail stamp collection

Ten of the modern-day wonders of Great Britain are being celebrated in a new stamp collection immortalising the country’s greatest recent buildings. The ten buildings – including museums, a library, a theatre, and even an aquatic centre – were selected by the Royal Mail to represent the renaissance of modern architecture in the UK.

Buildings by several of the world’s best-known starchitects like Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, and Zaha Hadid, have been chosen. Many of them have become tourist attractions in their own right … so how many of them have you visited?

1. The London Aquatics Centre: Built for the Olympics in 2012, it was one of the crowning achievements of the late architect Zaha Hadid, who died last year.

Zaha Adid's Aquatics Centre in London
London Aquatics Centre stamp. Image courtesy of Royal Mail

2. The Library of Birmingham: The largest public library in the UK, it controversially replaced Birmingham’s old brutalist-design library, but has since won over much of the local community.

3. The SEC Armadillo: Originally called the Clyde Auditorium, its armadillo nickname became so popular that it is only ever called by that name now. The landmark in Scottish city Glasgow was designed by Sir Norman Foster.

SEC Armadillo, originally the Clyde Auditorium
SEC Armadillo, Glasgow stamp. Image courtesy of Royal Mail

4. The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh: In one of the world’s best preserved historic cities, Scotland’s new parliament building was controversial from the get go but is now widely considered an icon of modern design.

5. Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre, Northern Ireland: This famous visitor centre, by Irish architects Heneghan Peng, was designed to be as unobtrusive as possible and blends seamlessly into the landscape around the UNESCO world heritage site.

The famous Irish attraction, Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre
Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre. Image courtesy of Royal Mail

6. The National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff: A new parliament building for Cardiff, it is most famous for its beautiful wooden ceilings and overlooks the Welsh capital’s bay.

7. The Eden Project, St Austell: the vast biomes of Cornwall – which simulate the environments of the rainforest and the Mediterranean attract more than a million people a year.

The famous biomes of Cornwall
Eden Project, St Austell stamp. Image courtesy of Royal Mail

8. The Everyman Theatre, Liverpool: The Everyman had been entertaining audiences for decades but was entirely rebuilt to a design by Haworth Tompkins, which won the coveted Stirling Prize.

9. Imperial War Museum North, Manchester: Part of a massive regeneration project on Manchester’s old docklands, the war museum was dreamt up by Daniel Libeskind who developed the master plan for the rebuilding of the World Trade Center in New York.

IWM in Manchester's docklands
Imperial War Museum North, Manchester. Image courtesy of Royal Mail

10. Tate Modern Extension, London: The Switch House – or as it’s officially known the Blavatnik Building – added more than 20,000 square metres of extra space to what was already the UK’s third most popular visitor attraction