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Top 10 Buildings: Eastern Europe

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We begin the year with a new addition to the Huffington Post Design Thursdays. The last Thursday of each month will bring a selection of buildings around a specific topic, location, programme or architect handpicked by myself, Adel Zakout (CEO of OpenBuildings.com), as well as invited curators. In my opinion, Architecture and the built environment play a major role in civic society; by providing happiness, pride and education to citizens while defining a brand to a place. I feel that we must learn to understand the importance of good, thoughtful and exciting architecture; after a decade of boom and bust, it is imperative that we celebrate our successes and learn from our mistakes to ensure a more sustainable future. With my monthly collection, I will aim to inspire you with my favourite buildings and hopefully provoke some discussion and commentary.

My first selection may be slightly alien to many readers; I'm going to start with my top 10 in Eastern Europe.

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The region has only just embraced democracy, was one of the fastest growing (before the financial implosion) then fastest declining areas of the world. Property development & speculation fueled this, with huge projects going from concept to sale then resale, in months. I feel that the credit crisis was actually a blessing in disguise; for its architects are now able to step back, asses the damage and hopefully build a more beautiful decade.

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Adel Zakout is CEO of the crowdsourced building database OpenBuildings.com and Founder of creative agency Despark.com