Visiting architectural masterpieces by the greats can often feel like a pilgrimage of sorts, especially when they are far away and hard to find. Not everyone takes the time to visit these buildings when traveling, which makes getting there all the more special. With weird opening hours, hard-to-reach locations and elusive tours we thought we’d show a selection from our archives of masterpieces (modernist to contemporary) and what it takes to make it through their doors. Don’t forget your camera!
NB: All Hours are general hours, make sure to check the country’s national and bank holidays when planning your visit!
Address: Located in the middle of a field off Iversheimer Road Mechernich, 53894, Germany.
How to Visit: From the town of Mechernich, the chapel is either a 12 min drive, 35 min bus ride (take the 867 bus from Mechernich Bf station) or if you fancy a walk it should be an approximately 1h30 trek (7.5km) through the scenic countryside.
Tomba Brion / Carlo Scarpa
Address: Via Brioni, 28, 31030 Altivole TV, Italy.
How to Visit: From nearest neighbouring cities Padua and Venice, Scarpa’s Tomb is about an hours drive, if not the nearest bus station is San Vito D'altivole Via Asolana, which can be reached by train and bus from each city (though it takes about 2 hours travel) – the tomb is a short 8 min walk from the station.
Hours: October 17th 2016 to April 2nd 2017: 10AM - 5PM and April 3th to October 15th 2017: 9AM to 7PM – open every day except Jan 1.
How to Visit: Located on a hill, the church is a 30-min walk from the station Gare de Ronchamp (1.8 km). The station itself is a 30-min drive from nearest city Belfort (France) where trains and bus connections are 1 hours’ journey each way.
Address: Eames Foundation, 203 N. Chautauqua Blvd. Pacific Palisades, California, USA.
Hours: 10AM-4PM, Closed Wednesdays and Sundays.
How to Visit: Reservations are required for all visits, with 1 week’s notice needed for exterior and interior tours. While it costs $10 for exterior visits the interior is a steep $275 for 1-2 people.
(Hiroshima-ken Prefecture, Japan).
How to Visit: Usually reserved for weddings, the chapel can be seen from the outside, and forms part of the Bella Vista Spa in the Hiroshima Prefecture.
SAN Museum / Tadao Ando
Hours: Tuesday-Sundays 10:30AM-6:00PM (James Turrell Exhibit open 11AM-5:30PM).
How to Visit: From Seoul, the car journey is: East Seoul toll Gate > Hobeop JC > Moonmak IC > Oak Valley > SAN Museum; by bus, the route from Seoul is via the Oak Valley Shuttle bus from the Wonju Express Bus Terminal.
Wotruba Church / Fritz Wotruba
Address: Ottillingerpl. 1, 1230 Wien, Austria.
How to Visit: From Vienna Central Station, you’ll need to take a U-Bahn followed by a bus to Wien Breitenfurter Straße (outskirts), then an approx. 20-min walk towards the church, which is located at the top of a hill in a quiet suburb.
Address: 14520 River Rd, Plano, IL 60545, USA.
Hours: Open April — November with tours Tuesdays through Fridays – 10:00AM, 12:00PM, and 2:00PM or Saturdays and Sundays – On the hour from 10:00AM to 3:00PM (Closed Mondays). Closed Easter Sunday and July 4.
How to Visit: To get to Plano, allow for a 2h drive from Chicago, or public transport either to Plano (Amtrak train) or Aurora (Metra rail) – then take a cab from the nearest station to the house. Guided Tour Cost: $20 (plus $2.50 convenience fee online, $5 convenience fee if the ticket is purchased on site if available). Tickets can be purchased online and by phone, and visitors are strongly encouraged to book in advance.
Hours: A variety of tour dates and times are available on the site’s calendar.
How to Visit: Because Fallingwater is located in a rural area, no public transport is available nearby - you need to get there by car. Tickets must be bought in advance for all tours in Fallingwater and Duncan House, either online or by phone. When tours are full, a limited number of grounds passes are available for Fallingwater. Detailed information can be found on their website.
And finally…ending with the most elusive…
How to visit: This one is last for a reason – the maison de verre is insanely hard to visit despite its central location in Paris. In order to even be eligible, you must be a student or professional working in an architecture or related field. According to Untapped Cities, tours are by appointment only and are scheduled on Thursdays at 2PM and 3:30PM. If you plan on visiting the Maison by yourself, you must reserve a tour 3 to 4 months in advance. If you’re visiting as part of a group, you’ll need reserve your tour 5-6 months in advance with a cap of 10 people (!!!). If you’re eligible, send a letter describing your interest and your qualifications email@example.com to reserve a tour.