Completed in 1962, the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope designed by SOM is a classic example of great architecture built for a very specific purpose. It was mainly designed for studying the physical and chemical features of the sun and is the world’s largest unobstructed aperture optical telescope.
More on the Robert McMath Solar Telescope by SOM after the break.
One of the most prominent aspects of a design, if not the most important, is the consideration of the context and environment in which the proposed design will be found. In the case of the Dutch House by Rem Koolhaas, the unique and very challenging environmental conditions and topography of the site led to a design with interesting conditions that respond to these conditions.
More on the Dutch House in The Netherlands after the break.
Completed four years after architect Mies van der Rohe‘s passing, the IBM Building became one of the cities most prestigious addresses. A pure symbol of the architecture of the time, the almost 700 foot tall rectangle sits on a raised plinth that helps it to maintain a uniform height given the unevenness of the site; State Street to the structure’s west inclines steeply.
More on the IBM Building, also known as 330 North Wabash, after the break.
Completed in 1957 for industrialist and philanthropist J. Irwin Miller and his family in Columbus, Indiana, the Miller House and Garden embodies midcentury Modernism in it’s fullest. Architect Eero Saarinen‘s steel and glass composition has held together very well, proving the quality and use of materials to be worthy of time.
More on the Miller House and Garden after the break.
The large population density of The Netherlands has created an inherent need for housing, giving young Dutch architects like MVRDV the opportunity to design and build large projects in their mainland.
WoZoCo is a prime example of a specific need for housing in the country, providing answers for needs of their time. More on this apartment complex for elderly people by MVRDV after the break.
An inspiration to all, the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Minnesota stands as an intriguing building that glows during the late-night working hours of its inhabitants. Completed by Steven Holl Architects in 2002, the building has received much recognition for it’s enlightening and unifying qualities, an example being the Progressive Architecture Award in 1990.
More on the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and Steven Holl Architects after the break.
As is true with most old churches in Portugal, retaining walls, flights of stairs and large forecourts are designed around a building to help maintain it’s distance from its surroundings. This general strategy is at play in Santa Maria Church in Marco de Canaveses, where Alvaro Siza makes use of the sloping site and lifting the building on a 4m high plateau.
More on Alvaro Siza and this classic church after the break.
Widely known for it’s extreme cost of construction, the Scottish Parliament is a remarkable example of incorporating architecture into it’s surroundings.
“The Parliament sits in the land. We have the feeling that the building should be land, built out of land. To carve in the land the form of gathering people together… Scotland is a land… The land itself will be a material, a physical building material…”
More on the Scottish Parliament by Enric Miralles after the break.
Architect Kisho Kurokawa was very innovative in his creation of the Nakagin Capsule Tower in 1972, which was the first capsule architecture design. The module was created with the intention of housing traveling businessmen that worked in central Tokyo during the week. It is a prototype for architecture of sustainability and recycleability, as each module can be plugged in to the central core and replaced or exchanged when necessary.
More on the Nakagin Capsule Tower after the break.
The High Museum of Art is a major public building and art repository that responds to the typological and contextual aspects of the museum’s program. The city of Atlanta’s progressive building tradition, as well as its role as a developing cultural center, had a strong influence on the design.
More on the High Museum of Art and Richard Meier & Partners Architects after the break.
Known for its striking form and beautiful interior experiences, the Church at Firminy by Le Corbusier was another evolution of the core thoughts and practices of the architect throughout his many years of designing. This church also carries special significance, as it was the last major work of Le Corbusier and was left unfinished upon his death in 1965. It was finished forty-one years after his death in 2006, keeping his essence alive.
More on the Church at Firminy by Le Corbusier after the break.
As an interruption of Phoenix’s Jeffersonian grid and “downtown” of glass box and faux adobe, the new federal building is a gravitational point of interest and anchor for the sprawling city of Phoenix. The 500,000 square-foot building with six stories and underground parking is sited on two central city blocks between the governmental and business districts.
“In order to design buildings with a sensuous connection to life, one must think in a way that goes far beyond form and construction.” This quote from Peter Zumthor rings true in his design of Bruder Klaus Field Chapel, where a mystical and thought-proving interior is masked by a very rigid rectangular exterior.
More on Bruder Klaus Field Chapel and Peter Zumthor after the break.
As in many of the civic and public buildings designed by Richard Meier & Partners Architects, The Atheneum built in New Harmony, Indiana plays a key role in its community.
More on the history of The Atheneum after the break.
Fittingly named Palais Bulles, or “Palace of Bubbles,” this residence represents the fundamental ideas of architect Antti Lovag, who views architecture as a “form of play- spontaneous, joyful, full of surprise.” Built in 1989, it rests on a rocky cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
More on Palais Bulles by Antti Lovag after the break.
Among many other things, the Neugebauer House, which was completed in 1998, stands as a prime example of an architects ability to creatively design within the city codes and regulations while still maintaining the quality and style found in their other buidings.
As a prominent twentieth century architect who fuses main principles of design from his peers and fellow architects with his own, Richard Meier is known for his endless variations of a rather specific theme of white Neo-Corbusian form, mostly using enameled panels and glass. The emphasis on light, color, place, plain geometry and the interaction between all of the latter help Richard Meier & Partners Architects to design architecture that is clear, comprehensible, and easily admirable.
More on the Neugebauer House and Richard Meier & Partners Architects after the break.
The Getty Center occupies a narrow, hilly stretch high above the San Diego Freeway in Los Angeles California. Jutting southward from the Santa Monica Mountains, the museum’s acropolis-like stature affords spectacular views over the city, the mountains and the ocean.
More on the Getty Center by Richard Meier & Partners Architects after the break.
As an edition to the developing urban project in eastern Paris, the French National Library was built in hopes to be the most modern library in the world. The competition of 1989 that included projects from 244 internationally renowned architects was won by Dominique Perrault, who was only 36 years old. This project would be the defining design of Perrault‘s career.
Read more about the history of the National Library of France after the break.
Widely recognized for his emphasis on color, light, shadow, form and texture, it can only be expected that the former residence of Pritzker Prize winner Luis Barragan encompasses all of his trademarks. On its street in Mexico City, the stark facade of the house humbly blends in with its neighbors, giving no hints to the personality of it’s interior.
More on the style of Luis Barragan after the break.