Megan Sveiven

AD Classics: Palais Bulles / Antti Lovag

© Ken Sparkes

Fittingly named , or “Palace of Bubbles,” this residence represents the fundamental ideas of architect , 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.

AD Classics: Neugebauer House / Richard Meier & Partners Architects

Courtesy of & Partners Architects ©Scott Frances ESTO

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.

AD Classics: Getty Center / Richard Meier & Partners Architects

© and Scott Frances ESTO

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.

AD Classics: Casa Barragan / Luis Barragan


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 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.

AD Classics: Dulles International Airport / Eero Saarinen


Known for his innovative, sculptural forms used throughout both architecture and furniture designs, Eero Saarinen includes these same curving and organic forms in the TWA Terminal as well as in the on the outskirts of

More on the Dulles International Airport terminal by Eero Saarinen after the break.

AD Classics: Cathedral of Brasilia / Oscar Niemeyer

©Wikimedia Commons

Having such a significant history, it can be expected that the architecture of reflects the richness and prominence of the culture as a planned city. The church bears much importance in the society, so the design had to have significance and personality against its surroundings. was sure to make a statement with the powerful expression and unique form of the Cathedral of Brasilia, which led to his acceptance of the Pritzker Prize in 1988.

More on Oscar Niemeyer and the Cathedral of Brasilisa after the break.

AD Classics: Angkor Wat

©Essential Architecture

A major symbol of itself, is one of the oldest temples in the world that still functions as the significant religious center it was built to be. Constructed in the early 12th century for King Suryavarman II (ruled 1113-1150), was a state temple and capital city for the community, first as a Hindu establishment and eventually becoming a Buddhist temple.

The style of Angkor Wat is the epitome of classical Khmer architecture. The two primary ties between this temple and architecture of the Khmer style is the temple mountain and gallery temples. It was inspired by the home of the gods in Hindu mythology, called Mount Meru. It is surrounded by a moat and a wall 3.6km long, and the three rectangular galleries are distinguished by level changes of the ground.

More on Angkor Wat after the break.

AD Classics: Taj Mahal / Shah Jahan

©Wikimedia Commons

Easily one of the most recognizable buildings in the world, the ’s harmonious integration with its environment makes it a prime destination for many. Completed in 1648 as a mausoleum for ‘s late wife, Mumtaz Mahal, it stands as a symbol of eternal love as its history and beauty never fail to captivate the heart.

More on the fascinating history of the Taj Mahal after the break.

AD Classics: Rietveld Schroder House / Gerrit Rietveld

©Wikimedia Commons

Still as visionary and eccentric as it was when it was built in the 1920s, the Schroder House by continues to impress architects and interior designers with its innovative solutions to prominent design questions of its time.

The flexibility of the interior spaces and the obviously planar quality of the house both give it an edge that makes it distinguishable and unique on every level.

More on the by Gerrit Rietveld after the break.

AD Classics: St. Bernard de Clairvaux Church

© Weird

The unusual history of the St. Bernard de Clairvaux Church adds richness to the Floridian landscape as it gives people of all ages a breathtaking escape from the showy yet glamorous side of Miami. Initially built in the town of Sacramenia of Segovia in Spain during the period of 1133-1144, the  was named after the famous Cistercian monk Bernard de Clairvaux almost immediately after his canonization. For around 700 years, the stone walls housed hundreds of monks until the mid-1830′s, when the Cloisters were seized, sold, and converted into a granary and stable.

More about the history of St. Bernard de Clairvaux Church after the break.

AD Classics: Knights of Columbus Building / Kevin Roche & John Dinkeloo

©Wikimedia Commons

The firm Roche-Dinkeloo and Associates is known for producing some of the most significant and influential civic and corporate architecture of contemporary times. The two architects were very successful in recognizing new social conditions within their postindustrial society, paying specific attention to the individual and their changing relationship with public space.

The in New Haven, , is the second tallest building in the skyline although it is only 23 stories. Its modern construction and design were revolutionary at the time, and continue to be appreciated today.

More on the Knights of Columbus Building by Roche-Dinkeloo and Associates after the break.

AD Classics: Chrysler Building / William Van Alen

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In a skyline that has developed as a destination for architects and city lovers alike, the by William Van Alen is identifiable from any distance for its distinguishable style and profile against its surroundings. With the initial intention to be the world’s tallest building, it remained so for only eleven months until it was surpassed by the Empire State Building in 1931. The Chrysler Building is a classic example of the Art Deco style, from the street to its terraced crown. Interior and exterior alike, it is admired for its distinctive ornamentation based on features that were also found on Chrysler automobiles at the time.

More on the Chrysler Building by William Van Alen after the break.

AD Classics: Church on the Water / Tadao Ando


“You cannot simply put something new into a place. You have to absorb what you see around you, what exists on the land, and then use that knowledge along with contemporary thinking to interpret what you see.” This philosophy of Tadao Ando is ever apparent in his design, as he is celebrated for the attention he pays to nature and the relationship between interior and exterior spaces of his buildings.

More on Tadao Ando‘s after the break.

AD Classics: East Building, National Gallery of Art / I.M. Pei

©Flickr: username- Andy961

What would eventually become known as the West Building of the National Gallery of Art, the initial portion of the museum was financed by art collector Andrew Mellon. Architect John Russel Pope was hired to design the museum in the late 1930s, with the intentions of leaving space for future additions.

Mellon’s son Paul had the responsibility of choosing the architect for the expanse years later, so he turned to one of the most forward-thinking architects of the twentieth century, .

More on the by I.M. Pei after the break.

AD Classics: Convent of La Tourette / Le Corbuiser

©Samuel Ludwig

The is ’s final building completed in Europe, and is also thought by many to be his most unique program. It was built to be a self-contained world for a community of silent monks, and to accommodate the unique and specific lifestyle of the monks, the monastery is made of one hundred individual cells, a communal library, a refectory, a rooftop cloister, a church, and classrooms.

The one request to the architect by Father Marie-Alain Couturier was that he “create a silent dwelling for one hundred bodies and one hundred hearts.”

More on Le Corbusier‘s Convent of La Tourette after the break.

AD Classics: Luce Memorial Chapel / I.M. Pei

©Anonymous Blogger

Named after an American missionary of the late 19th century, the Luce Memorial Chapel was added to the campus of Tunghai University in , Taiwan. It was designed by Chen Chi-Kwan, an artist and architect, in collaboration with the infamous architect .

More on the Luce Memorial Chapel by I.M. Pei after the break.

AD Classics: San Cataldo Cemetery / Aldo Rossi

©Flickr: username-guiba6

, a man appreciated internationally for his theories, architecture and drawings, was one of the most prominent architects of his time. His desire to create buildings that reflected his social perspective and theories was reflected in most if not all of his buildings, but it was particularly evident in the .

More on the San Cataldo Cemetery after the break.

AD Classics: John W. Chorley Elementary School / Paul Rudolph

©Daniel Hui

It is always wonderful to stumble upon humble examples of architecture done by exalted architects, who are typically known and appreciated for their larger structures rather than their smaller-scale or less flashy buildings. In the case of Middletown, , the local elementary school flaunts hints of the more recognized designs of Paul Rudolph but at a more modest scale.

More on the by Paul Rudolph after the break.