The Exposition Universelle of 1889, also known as the World’s Fair, was held in Paris celebrating 100 years since the start of French Revolution. Paris used this celebration to reconstruct parts of the city surrounding the Bastille. There were attractions, exhibits, 28,000,000 visitors, and most unforgettable of all, the 1063-foot breathtaking iron structure so famously known as the Eiffel Tower. Gustave Eiffel’s vision as the engineer and designer was to astonish crowds with the tallest building in France, which at the time was built as the entrance to the World’s Fair. He succeeded. Not only was the Eiffel Tower the tallest building in the world until 1930 upon the completion of the Chrysler Building in New York, but it is still themost-vistited paid monument in the world.
More on the Eiffel Tower after the break.
Once the tallest building in the world outside of New York when it was completed in 1970, the John Hancock Center stands along with the Willis (Sears) Tower and Mies’ 860-880 Lake Shore Drive residences as another glimmering landmark of the Chicago skyline. The 100-story skyscraper was designed by architect Bruce Graham and structural engineer Fazlur Khan of Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill and soars 1, 127-feet into the sky. It was the world’s first mixed-use high-rise, containing offices, restaurants, and the third highest residence in the world with approximately 700 condominiums.
More on the John Hancock Center after the break.
When Frank Gehry and his wife bought an existing house in Santa Monica, California, the neighbors did not have the slightest idea that the corner residence would soon be transformed into a symbol of deconstructivism. Gehry, however, knew something had to be done to the house before he moved in. His solution was a bold one in the 1970′s that involved the “balance of fragment and whole, raw and refined, new and old” and would strike up controversy.
More on Gehry’s Residence after the break.
If you have ever flown in or out of the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, you may have experienced or noticed Eero Saarinen’s Trans World Flight Center. Even in the hustle and bustle of a busy airport, the building deserves more than just a passing glance. When Saarinen was commissioned in 1956, the client wanted this building to capture the “spirit of flight,” and as visitors rush to make it to their flight there is no choice but to admire the swooping concrete curves that embraced flyers into the jet age.
More photos and information on the TWA Terminal at JFK International Airport after the break.
The M.H. de Young Memorial Museum by Herzog & de Meuron is a remarkable revival of a building that no longer exists. The original museum, which opened in 1895, was an outgrowth of a fair modeled on the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition the previous year known as the California Midwinter Internation Exposition of 1894. Located in the sunny San Francisco, California, the museum was formerly named for one of the city’s newspapermen M.H. de Young. The old museum was a bulky structure decorated with concrete ornaments, which began falling off the building and became hazardous, leading to their removal in 1949. The building was completely destroyed, however, in 1989 by the Loma Prieta earthquake.
More on the museum after the break.
- Jun 29 -
- Adelyn Perez -
- AD Architecture Classics Featured Institutional Architecture Museums and Libraries
Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library is the largest building in the world dedicated to the containment and preservation of rare books, manuscripts, and documents. It was designed by Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill and is located in New Haven, Connecticut. Prior to the completion of this project, Yale University placed its rare books on special shelving in Dwight Hall, which was the Old Library in the late 19th century. In 1930 these special books were relocated to Rare Book Room collection in the Sterling Memorial Library. The Beinecke library was a gift from the Beinecke family, and since 1963 has accomodated six major collections in its rare and marvelous structure that coincides with the literary gems it stores, including those from the Rare Book Room. The major collections are the General Collection, which are divided into the General Collection of Early Books and Manuscripts and the General Collection of Modern Books and Manuscripts, the Collection of American Literature, the Collection of German Literature, the Collection of Western Americana, and the Osborn Collection of British Literary and Historical Manuscripts.
More information and images of the library after the break.
Originally known as Case Study House No. 8, the Eames House was such a spatially pleasant modern residence that it became the home of the architects themselves. Charles and Ray Eames began designing the house in 1945 for the Case Study House Program in Los Angeles’ Arts and Architecture Magazine published and built these case study homes that had to focus on the use of new materials and technologies developed during World War II. The intention was for the house to be made of prefabricated materials that would not interrupt the site, be easy to build, and exhibit a modern style.
Read more about the Eames House after the break.
There are few buildings as famous as the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia. Arguably considered the eighth wonder of the world, the opera house has a long history behind its design. The story behind this magnificent structure began in 1956 when the New South Wales Government called an open competition for the design of two performance halls, for opera and for symphony concerts, that would put Sydney on the map. The Danish architect Jørn Utzon was unknown for his work at the time, yet his entry for the competition which consisted of a few simple sketches intrigued the famous Eero Saarinen who was part of the jury. The drawings submitted for this scheme are simple to the point of being diagrammatic,” observed the jury. “Nevertheless, we are convinced that they present a concept of an opera house that is capable of becoming one of the great buildings of the world.”
More images and information after the break.
When Massachusetts Institute of Technology commissioned Steven Holl in 1999 to design a new a dormitory for the school they had one goal in sight: that the spaces around and within the building would stir up interaction among students. While MIT focused on the building’s use and function, Holl aimed to create a memorable building. With MIT’s vision in mind along with Holl’s artistic architectural ideas, the ten-story undergraduate dormitory became a small city in itself with balancing opposing architectural elements, such as solids and voids and opaqueness and transparency.
More on Simmons Hall after the break.
More than a century ago Frank Lloyd Wright, whom we just honored on his birthday last week, designed one of the most famous sacred buildings in the United States, the Unity Temple. It was designed for a Unitarian congregation in 1905 when the architect was 38 years old. Wright himself described the Unity Temple as his “contribution to modern architecture.” The building broke the convention for American and European religious architecture while introducing principles of modern architecture and applying the use of concrete in a daring way for its time.
Read more about Wright’s Unity Temple after the break.
Formerly called “the most modern home built in the world” by the Encyclopedia Britannica, the Malin Residence was the stereotypical scientific vision of the future brought to life when it was built by American architect John Lautner in 1960. Built for the client Malin Lautner, a young aircraft engineer, the design of the residence was in fact an engineering challenge due to its location on a forty-five degree slope in an earthquake-prone region. The house, nicknamed the ”Chemosphere” hovers 30 feet over the city of Los Angeles resembling a UFO aircraft.
More on the “Chemosphere” residence after the break.
In a world where anything in your imagination can become a reality, Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida stayed true to their word and hired architect Michael Graves to design a resort consisting of two hotels that would become part of Disney’s famous collection of “entertainment architecture.” Graves’ postmodern, colorful style was the perfect choice for the playful themepark resort, and his whimsical design decisions and statues of grandeur contribute to the famous Disney kingdom. The theme for the design of the hotels sprung right from its early conceptual stages, where Graves developed an entire story to create characters for both the Swan and the Dolphin in a magical tale that he thought could potentially become Disney characters.
More images and information after the break.
In the 1970′s architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, both unknown at the time, collaborated and erected one of the most famous and radical buildings of our time, Centre Georges Pompidou. The cultural center in Paris, France turned our world inside out, literally. It all began with Georges Pompidou, President of France from 1969 to 1974, who wanted to construct a cultural center in Paris that would attract visitors and be a monumental aspect of the city. Receiving more than 150 million visitors since is completion thirty three years ago, there is no doubt that Pompidou’s vision became a successful reality.
More information on Centre Georges Pompidou after the break.
In 1965 Louis I. Kahn was commissioned by the Phillips Exeter Academy to design a library for the school. The Academy had been planning the new library for fifteen years but were consistently disappointed with the designs that the hired architects and committee were proposing. The Academy was very particular in knowing the kind of building they wanted: a brick exterior to match the Georgian buildings of the school and an interior with the ideal environment for study. Kahn’s sympathetic use of brick and his concerns for natural light met these specific principles that the Academy had in mind for the library, and thus the design fell in his hands.
More information on Louis Kahn’s Phillips Exeter Academy Library after the break.
In 1954 Skidmore, Owings & Merrill were commissioned to design the United States Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel. Located in El Paso Country, Colorado, just outside of Colorado Springs, the chapel is of the training center for officers of the United States Air Force which is a large self-contained community. At an elevation of 6500 feet on the East of the Rocky Mountains, the 3,000 acre Academy also contains housing for 8,000 people, a supply center, a hospital, an airfield, and an academic complex rising up the slope of the site. This program is split on three levels due to the slope, with the Administration Building, the Social Center, and the Cadet Chapel on the uppermost level. These spaces are used by both cadets and visitors, which with the beautiful peaks of of the Chapel rising towards the sky, attracts more than a million a year.
More on SOM’s USAFA Cadet Chapel after the break.
Unlike the previously featured Vanna Venturi House, Peter Eisenman’s House VI includes disorientation in the work without the concept of relating it to the traditional home. The house is, in fact, anything but what one would consider a conventional house. Eisenman, one of the New York Five, designed the house for Mr. and Mrs. Richard Frank between 1972-1975 who found great admiration for the architect’s work despite previously being known as a “paper architect” and theorist. By giving Eisenman a chance to put his theories to practice, one of the most famous, and difficult, houses emerged in the United States.
More on House VI after the break.
Most critics usually regard consistency in architecture an important aspect of the design. However in the Vanna Venturi House Robert Venturi took the road less travelled and tested complexity and contradiction in architecture, going against the norm. Located in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania on a flat site isolated by surrounding trees, Venturi designed and built the house for his mother between 1962 and 1964. In testing his beliefts on complexity and contradition (for which he also wrote the book Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture), Venturi went through six fully worked-out versions of the house which slowly became known as the first example of Postmodern architecture.
More on the Vanna Venturi House after the break.
Towering over the windy city of Chicago, the Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower) was once the tallest building in the world upon its completion in 1973. Sears, Roebuck, & Company commissioned Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill to design an office building that would house their headquarters and the many offices they had scattered around Chicago in one building. The design also had to incorporate extra office space for the anticipated future growth of the company.
More on the Willis Tower after the break.
”You do not have to look at it for long before you realize that this is as sensual a building as New York has seen in a very long time,” stated Pulitzer-prize winning architecture critic Paul Goldberger of the American Folk Art Museum. Completed by architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien in 2001 the museum is 40 feet wide and 100 feet long and is surrounded by the Museum of Modern Art on three sides. It was the first new museum built in New York in over three decades.
More on the American Folk Art Museum after the break.
Alvar Aalto designed the Baker House in 1946 while he was a professor at the Massachussets Institute of Technology, where the dormitory is located. It received its name in 1950, after the MIT’s Dean of Students Everett Moore Baker was killed in an airplane crash that year. The dormitory is a curving snake slithering on its site and reflects many of Aalto’s ideas of formal strategy, making it a dormitory that is both inhabited and studied by students from all over the world.
Progressing from the International Style, Louis Kahn believed buildings should be monumental and spiritually inspiring. In his design for the Salk Institute, he was successful in creating the formal perfection and emotional expressions that he so vigourously tried to achieve. Kahn was commissioned to design the Salk Institute in 1959 by Dr. Jonas Salk, inventor of the polio vaccine. Salk’s vision included a facility with an inspiring environment for scientific research, and Kahn’s design decisions created a functional institutional building that also became an architectural masterpiece.
More on the Salk Institute after the break.