PBS lists Top Ten Buildings that Changed America

Vanna Venturi House / Robert Venturi © Maria Buszek

PBS has released their selections of the top ten buildings that have changed the way Americans live, work and play. From ’s 224-year-0ld Virginia State Capitol to Robert Ventui’s postmodern masterpiece the Vanna Venturi House, each building on the list will be featured in a new TV and web production coming to PBS in 2013. Continue after the break to view the top ten influential buildings and let us know your thoughts!

Renovation of Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie / David Chipperfield

© Gerhard Murza/Bpk via Bloomberg

A powerful and expressive design it itself, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin is still admired as a concrete, steel, and glass landmark today. Dedicated to culture and the fine arts, the building will be going through a major renovation, which will  be overseen by British architect, David Chipperfield who has recently worked extensively in Berlin, finishing work on the war-ravaged Neues Museum on the Museum Island complex in 2009. The renovation will start in 2015 and last three years, during which time the museum will be closed. The building, completed in 1968, is ’s only work in Germany after World War II and is in need of thorough modernization after 40 years. Restoration of the glass facade, stone terrace and concrete and steel structure, along with new security and fire technology are included in the project.

Download the “From Mad Men to Mies” Wallpaper to your Tech Device

After receiving a lot of compliments on our “From MadMen to Mies” graphic, we decided to let you take a little piece of Mies (the original Mad Man) with you wherever you go. Click through the gallery below to find the wallpaper for the technological device of your choosing – iPad, iPhone, Android phone, MacBook, or Samsung Tablet. Take one, or heck, take all. In this case, less isn’t more.

From Mad Men to Mies: Why Modernism Holds Sway

© Megan Jett

It’s June 1966. Mies’ iconic Seagram Building dominates New York City. Bob Dylan has just released Blonde on Blonde. The Vietnam War is escalating. John Lennon has yet to meet Yoko Ono. Martin Luther King, Jr. has yet to be assassinated. And Don Draper is readjusting to married life – with his 25 year-old secretary.

The excitement over Mad Men, while always eager, was positively explosive last Sunday. The season 5 premiere resulted in the show’s highest ratings to date (3.5 million viewers, up 21% from last year). While the show has always received critical acclaim, now, for whatever reason, it has reached a fever-pitch of popularity.

On a purely aesthetic level, it’s easy to explain. The show draws in audiences with a meticulous, sumptuous set design that allows a nostalgic journey back in time: when design was innovative & clean, architecture was confident (cocky even),  and modernism still held its promise.

But on another level, the show is successful because of its inevitability. The very knowledge of the ephemerality of that confidence, a theme particularly relevant to audiences in the wake of the Recession, is what strikes a chord, what makes the show positively hypnotizing.

Watching Mad Men is like watching a Modernist car crash. A beautiful demise.

More on the Modernist Landscape of Mad Men and why the show has struck a chord with audiences today after the break. 

AD Round Up: Classics by Mies van der Rohe

© Greg Robbins

In case you haven’t noticed, we are celebrating Mies van der Rohe’s 126th Birthday. You can’t miss our infographic on one of the most famous architects that ever lived. And of course, you can’t miss some of our AD Classics on Mies projects. Like the Farnsworth House, built between 1945 and 1951. Or the Neue National Gallery in . One of the most popular project he designed was the Barcelona Pavilion, designed for the World’s Expo of 1929. We couldn’t leave out two skyscrapers that redefined modern high-rise construction: 860-880 Lake Shore Drive and Seagram Building.

Infographic: Celebrating Mies van der Rohe

Happy 126th birthday Mies van der Rohe!

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Today we celebrate the 126th birthday anniversary of Mies van der Rohe! The German-born American architect and educator convinced us all with his glass-and-steel buildings that “less is more“. Mies helped defined modern architecture and is known as one of the 20th century’s greatest architects.

To celebrate we have changed our logo to a Mies doodle, inspired by the Google doodle which is also honoring Mies today.

ArchDaily logo, 860-880 Lake Shore Drive © ArchDaily
Mies Google Doodle, Crown Hall © Google

In honor of Mies, revisit his work at ArchDaily:

For more information you can also visit the Mies Society website.

You can also check this great infographic on his work.

A Historical Masterpiece reopens to the Public: Villa Tugendhat / Mies van der Rohe

© Daniel Fišer / Wikimedia Commons

Today, one of the leading exemplars of classic Modern architecture reopens after a two year hiatus. The freshly renovated Villa Tugendhat underwent a monumental restoration and rehabilitation, starting in January 2010, with the aim of preserving and conserving the original building substance and layout, including the construction details, materials and technical system. Renewal work also included the lavish interiors and lush garden. Continue after for the break to learn more about ’s renewed masterpiece.

Iconic Houses by Grant Snider

© Grant Snider, 2012

Curbed lead us to Colorado-based webcomic Grant Snider and his clever blog Incidental Comics. Snider uses the classic “glass houses” proverb in his own unique depiction of midcentury “Iconic Houses”, highlighting The Glass House by Philip Johnson, Farnsworth House by Mies Van der Rohe, Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier and Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Curious about the red beavers gnawing at the Farnsworth House? Snider clears up the confusion stating, “In an earlier draft of this comic, it appeared the Farnsworth house was being gnawed by ordinary beavers. My architect brother informed me that Mies van der Rohe was known for his innovations in steel and glass, not wood. So just to clarify: those are MUTANT beavers.”

Trees of the Architects

Via The All Nighter

We found this great image from The All Nighter – a tumblr dedicated to students who want to share and prospective students who would like to know about the architecture studio experience. The ArchDaily team would like to wish you a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year!

Video: Mies van der Rohe’s Czech Masterpiece: Tugendhat House


Built in Czechoslovakia in 1930 by German architect , the Tugendhat House is an architectural masterpiece built for a Jewish family who was forced to flee in 1938 shortly before the Munich Agreement. The video shares interviews with the Tugendhat daughter and Mies’s grandson about the historical villa now owned by the government in Brno, Czech Republic. In 2001, the Tugendhat House was designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and is referred to as one of the most important residential buildings of the 20th century.

View ArchDaily’s publication on the iconic Villa Tugendhat here.

AD Classics: Villa Tugendhat / Mies van der Rohe

© Mr Hyde / Wikimedia Commons

The Villa Tugendhat was commissioned by the wealthy newlyweds Grete & Fritz Tugendhat, a Jewish couple with family money from textile manufacturing companies in Brno. The couple met in in 1927, and was already impressed by his design for the Zehlendorf house of Edward Fuchs.  As fans of spacious homes with simple forms, Mies’ free plan method was perfect for the Tugendhats’ taste; however, he was not their only interest in an architect for their own home. They originally confronted Brno’s foremost modern architect at the time, Arnost Wiesner, but after visiting various projects by each architect, the Tugendhats ultimately went with Mies.

    

Mies van der Rohe: 1951-52 McCormick House Documentary

YouTube Preview Image

DeStefano Partners shared with us their new documentary on Mies van der Rohe and his 1951-52 McCormick House in Elmhurst, by the Elmhurst Art Museum. Please refer to the above video for the complete documentary.

AD Classics: The Museum of Fine Arts Houston / Mies Van der Rohe

©Wikimedia Commons / MFAH archives

After completing a master plan for the site in 1953, Ludwig  was commissioned by The Museum of Fine Arts Houston to do two additions to the Caroline Wiess Law Building. Cullinan Hall and Brown Pavilion were added in 1953 and 1974 respectively. See more after the break.

Aesthetic Fillup: Gas Stations

© www.flickr.com / Brandon Baunach

The design of gas stations is mostly stripped down to that required for bare function. The inextricable relationship of the aesthetics of to that of the automobile begs a different approach, one that fulfills the traditional function of a gas station but also reflects shifting movements within design. Just like the cars that have driven up to utilize them, these gas stations represent design principles contemporary to the time in which they were constructed.

AD Classics: Landhaus Lemke / Mies van der Rohe

© www.flickr.com / Thom

The Landhaus Lemke private residence by Mies van der Rohe exudes the crisp, clean and formal aesthetics that are characteristic of his architectural proclivity. Built in 1933 for Karl and Martha Lemke, the house is rich with history and encompasses a storied past. More details after the break.

Architecture City Guide: Berlin

This week, with the help of our readers, our Architecture City Guide is headed to . The twentieth century changed nearly all cities, but perhaps none more so than . From its destruction in World War II that left few historic buildings intact to its division until 1989 that brought together the architecture of two competing ideologies into one city, ’s modern and contemporary architecture speaks to a past that seldom accompanies such recent additions. The city is filled with new and wonderful architecture that might not have found space in other cities in Europe. With that in mind, we were unable feature all our readers’ suggestions on the first go around. We will be adding to the list in the near future, so please add more of your favorites in the comment section below. Once again, thanks to all our readers for your help.

The Architecture City Guide: Berlin list and corresponding map after the break.

Architecture City Guide: Barcelona

This week, with the help of our readers, our Architecture City Guide is headed to . We recently featured an engaging video where Wiel Arets half jokingly said is fantastic but boring. He continued to say as soon as Sagrada Família is finished is done; there is nothing left to do there (10:50). Arets can say what he wants about Barcelona supposedly being boring, but our city guide doesn’t reflect this. Barcelona is filled with fantastically expressive architecture that springs from its proud Catalan culture. It was impossible to feature all our readers suggestions in the first go around, and we did not even come close to including some of the most iconic building such as Casa Milà. Thus we are looking to add to our list of 24 in the near future. Further more there are so many fabulous buildings on the drawing board or under construction, i.e. the projects in the @22 district, we’ll most likely be updating this city guide for quite awhile, regardless of Sagrada Família’s completion.

Take a look at our list with the knowledge it is far complete and add to it in the comment section below.

The Architecture City Guide: Barcelona list and corresponding map after the break.