There is no more striking way to promote diversity and celebrate LGBTQ+ rights than illuminating some of the world’s most famous buildings in the colours of the rainbow.

This happens regularly during annual Pride Month celebrations, or at other landmark occasions. Below we discuss some of the structures that have received a rainbow makeover at various moments in time.

One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the United States, proudly illuminates rainbow colours for Pride Month.

The 94-storey tower in Lower Manhattan was built to replace the North Tower of the original World Trade Center, destroyed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It was opened in November 2014, and designed by David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. One World Trade Center is 546 metres high. The One World Observatory is 386 metres up the tower and is the highest public vantage point in New York City.

Taipei 101

The second tallest building in the world, Taipei 101 soars above the skyscrapers of Taipei in Taiwan. It is the Pride of Taipei in more ways than one. Taiwan Gay Pride is held every October, and Taipei 101 always features high (literally) in the celebrations, with rainbow colours lighting up the sky.

It may no longer be the world’s tallest, surpassed by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, but Taipei 101 can justifiably claim the title of the globe’s greenest building. It pioneered innovations in energy efficiency, environmental design and water recycling, and is estimated to save 14.4 million kWh of electricity every year.

The Empire State Building

The 102-storey Empire State Building has a long history of supporting Pride celebrations. New York City’s iconic Art Deco skyscraper was first illuminated in 1990, when the top 30 floors were lit in lavender, a colour then synonymous with Gay Pride. It became an annual event, and the rainbow top of the Empire State is a common sight on the Manhattan night skyline in June. Celebrating Pride Month in New York City is quite a party.

Opened in 1931, it was the world’s tallest building for 39 years until the original World Trade Center surpassed it in 1970. After the terrorist attacks of 2001 it was once again the tallest building in New York. There are outside observation decks on the 86th and 102nd floors, and an indoor observation deck on the 80th floor. It famously featured in the movie King Kong in 1933 and remains one of New York’s biggest tourist attractions.

The White House

The most famous address in Washington D.C. has also been lit in the rainbow colours. It happened in June 2015, to mark the Supreme Court’s passing of same sex marriage legislation in the United States. It was a landmark moment for gay rights in the country, and the lighting up ceremony drew large crowds of supporters.

President Obama said at the time that the ‘White House looked good in rainbow colours … to see people gathered in the evening on a beautiful summer night and to feel whole and to feel accepted and to feel they had a right to love, that was pretty cool.’

Construction of the White House began in 1792, and it has been the official residence and workplace of every US President since John Adams in 1800.

The Eiffel Tower

As one of France’s most famous landmarks, the Eiffel Tower shines brightly over Paris every night. The Eiffel Tower has been illuminated in the rainbow colours at various times to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. One such moment was on Bastille Day in 2013, not long after France had legalised same-sex marriage and adoption, and again in June 2016, after 49 people had died at a mass shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub. In a city of free thinking, modernity and which is no stranger to revolution, the Eiffel Tower is a symbol of Parisian Pride.

Take Pride in Construction

It is great to be celebrating Pride Month by lighting up buildings, but there are also other things happening. The construction sector in the UK is committed to making the industry more diverse and inclusive. Find out more about what has changed in the construction industry, and the stories of employees who have faced challenges and championed LGBTQ+ rights.