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The most beautiful official residences, according to the golden ratio

Which official residence is statistically the most attractive? Using the golden ratio formula, the experts at Uswitch.com sought to find out once and for all by analysing each famous property.
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From London’s iconic 10 Downing Street to The White House in Washington D.C., the official residences of world leaders around the globe vary in style, shape and size. But which residence is statistically the most beautiful? Using the golden ratio, the mortgage comparison experts at Uswitch sought to find out.

​Looking at the most famous official residences of world leaders around the globe, we noted down the dimensions of the front of each residence. We compared each property’s measurements to the golden ratio - a mathematical ratio that indicates a balanced and aesthetically-pleasing composition.

From this, we were able to determine how close each property’s dimensions are to the golden ratio, which is 1.61803398875. The smaller the percentage difference, the more statistically beautiful the official residence.

The top 10 most beautiful official residences worldwide, according to the golden ratio

1. 10 Downing Street, United Kingdom

With a width to height ratio working out at 1.58 - just 2.42% off the golden ratio - 10 Downing Street, situated in the City of Westminster in London, is the most statistically beautiful official residence worldwide.

The Grade I listed Georgian property, built in 1684, is the official residence and executive office of the First Lord of the Treasury (the Prime Minister) and the headquarters of the Government of the United Kingdom. 10 Downing Street was originally three properties - a mansion overlooking St James's Park, a townhouse, and a cottage - before being joined as one, housing approximately 100 rooms today.

2. Jubilee House, Ghana

The second most beautiful official residence worldwide, with a width to height ratio of 1.49, is Jubilee House in Ghana, West Africa. The presidential palace, reconstructed and inaugurated in 2008, is just 7.79% off the golden ratio.

Based on the capital of Accra, Jubilee House (formerly Flagstaff House) serves as a residence and office to the President of Ghana. The main office complex, made up of four buildings connected at the top with an air bridge, was inspired by the famous Golden Stool - the throne of Ashanti kings and a symbol of national power.

3. Royal Palace of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Situated on the west side of Dam Square in the centre of the country’s capital, Amsterdam, the Royal Palace of Amsterdam has a height to width ratio of 1.48 - a percentage difference of 8.44% from the golden ratio.

Built in the 17th century, the sandstone palace was designed as a city hall and opened in 1655. However, in 1807, King Louis Napoleon converted the hall into a royal palace and moved in the following year. Today, the palace is owned by the Netherlands and is used for entertaining and official functions during state visits and other official receptions.

4. Presidential Palace, Poland

Also among the most beautiful official residences globally is Presidential Palace, located in Warsaw in Poland. The palace has a width to height ratio of 1.80, which is a difference of 11.26% from the golden ratio, resulting in a ranking of fourth place.

Construction of the baroque-style palace began in 1643 and, over the years, has been used as a venue for important historical events in Polish, European, and world history. The palace inaugurated its career as a governmental structure in 1818, and today it is the official residence of the Polish head of state and president, alongside Belweder Palace also situated in Warsaw.

5. The White House, United States

Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C., The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States and rounds off the top five most statistically beautiful official residences in the world. The property has a width to height ratio of 1.42, which is 12.24% off the golden ratio.

The north façade is the front of The White House and consists of three floors and eleven bays, with the ground floor hidden by a raised carriage ramp and parapet. The central three bays are behind a columned portico facing Lafayette Square, which was designed by Irish-born architect James Hoban.

6. Marienborg, Denmark

Marienborg, located in Lyngby-Taarbæk Municipality in Denmark, is the sixth most beautiful official residence according to the golden ratio. The house has a width to height ratio of 1.40, which is 13.34% off the golden ratio.

The mid-18th-century country house, with listed status since 1964, has served as the official residence of Denmark's prime minister since 1962. However, unlike many other heads of government and state, such as The White House or 10 Downing Street, Marienborg does not serve as the government headquarters or contain the prime minister’s office.

7. Ak Orda Presidential Palace, Kazakhstan

Situated in Nur-Sultan in Kazakhstan, on the left bank of the Ishim (Esil) River, the Ak Orda Presidential Palace is the official workplace of the President of Kazakhstan and houses the staff of the Presidential Administration. It has a width to height ratio of 1.26, which is a difference of 21.83% from the golden ratio, ranking the residence in seventh place.

The palace includes a blue and gold dome topped with a spire, and the colour gold features prominently throughout the complex. This golden statue on top of the dome, which is 80 metres in height, includes a sun with 32 rays at its apex and also includes a steppe eagle flying beneath the sun.

8. Imperial Palace, Japan

The eighth most beautiful official residence in the world is Tokyo’s Imperial Palace. Imperial Palace differs 29.96% from the golden ratio’s proportions, with a width to height ratio of 1.13. The palace lies in a large area of parkland located in the Chiyoda district of Tokyo and contains several buildings, including the main palace itself. The palace spans 0.44 square miles and, at one point in the late 1980s, was said to have been worth more than the real estate in California combined.

9. The Grand Kremlin Palace, Russia

Ninth place goes to Russia’s Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia - the official residence of the President of the Russian Federation since 1991. With a width to height ratio of 2.12, which is a difference of 31.20% from the golden ratio, this palace sits among the top 10 most beautiful official residences worldwide.

The Grand Kremlin Palace, built from 1837 to 1849, symbolises both Russian and Soviet power and authority. The palace lives up to its ‘grand’ name, as the building is 125 metres long, 47 metres high, and is around 25,000 square metres in area. Upon inspection, the building appears to be three storeys tall, however, it is two as the upper floor has two sets of windows.

10. The Hermitage Palace, Denmark

Rounding off the top 10 most beautiful official residences is The Hermitage Palace in Dyrehaven, Denmark, in tenth place. The palace has a width to height ratio of 1.11 - a 31.56% difference from the golden ratio.

The Baroque-style residence, sitting at the top of a hill in the middle of The Deer Park, was built for Christian VI of Denmark between 1734 and 1736. Its main purpose is to host royal banquets during royal hunts in the town. No expense was spared when the palace was built, with the interior decorated with gold, silver, silk wallpaper and marble costing around 18,000 rigsdalers (the currency used in Denmark until 1875).

Where are the world’s most beautiful official residences located?

Of the top 10 most beautiful official residences worldwide, according to the golden ratio, Europe is home to seven. The remaining three are located in Africa (Jubilee House, Ghana), North America (The White House, USA), and Asia (Imperial Palace, Japan).

Our research can reveal that Denmark is home to the most attractive official residences globally, as two of the top 10 most beautiful residences are located in the Nordic country - Marienborg and The Hermitage Palace - in sixth and tenth place, respectively.

Methodology

  • To uncover the most scientifically beautiful official residence according to the golden ratio, Uswitch.com utilised in-house metrics to source the most famous official residences of world leaders around the globe.

  • The height and width of the main façade were measured using Google Earth Pro advanced measuring in 3D. The width to height ratio was used to calculate the difference against the golden ratio dimensions, which are 1,6180339888.

  • Subsequently, percentages were calculated to express the difference from each building to the golden ratio proportions.

  • The official buildings were then ranked in ascending order. The most beautiful residences were deemed to be closer to the golden ratio proportions, thus uncovering the most scientifically beautiful residence.

  • All data was collated in October 2021 and is accurate as of then. *Vaduz Castle was removed from the study as the proportions of the façade were not very clear. **Palacio de la Moncloa is formed by 16 buildings; the façade of what is considered the main building was chosen for this study.