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Denim Pascucci

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AD Classics: Fagus Factory / Walter Gropius + Adolf Meyer

This article was originally published on March 28, 2015. To read the stories behind other celebrated architecture projects, visit our AD Classics section.

The Fagus Factory is one of the earliest built works of modern architecture, and the first project of Walter Gropius. The commission provided Gropius with the opportunity to put his revolutionary ideas into practice, and the stunning rectilinear volume with its primarily glazed façade would guide the course of Modernism through the coming decades.

© Flickr user martin © Flickr user martin © Flickr user martin © Flickr user martin + 18

AD Classics: Weissenhof-Siedlung Houses 14 and 15 / Le Corbusier + Pierre Jeanneret

This article was originally published on March 26, 2014. To read the stories behind other celebrated architecture projects, visit our AD Classics section.

The two-family structure known as Houses 14 and 15, designed by International Style, Le Corbusier's work in Stuttgart serves as a critical prototype in the development and realization of the Swiss architect’s architectural identity, which would revolutionize 20th century architecture.

© Hassan Bagheri / hbarchitectural.com © Hassan Bagheri / hbarchitectural.com © Hassan Bagheri / hbarchitectural.com © Hassan Bagheri / hbarchitectural.com + 18

AD Classics: World Trade Center / Minoru Yamasaki Associates + Emery Roth & Sons

© Robert Paul Van Beets/Shutterstock
© Robert Paul Van Beets/Shutterstock

A New York City icon that once rivaled structures such as the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, the World Trade Center, colloquially known as the Twin Towers, was one of the most recognized structures in history. Designed by Japanese-American architect Minoru Yamasaki, it held the title of Tallest Building in the World from 1972–1974. Up until its unfortunate demise, the WTC site was a major destination, accommodating 500,000 working people and 80,000 visitors on a typical weekday.

© Flickr user David Farquhar via Wikipedia Commons via Wikipedia Commons via Wikipedia Commons + 28

AD Classics: Wohnhaus Schlesisches Tor (Bonjour Tristesse) / Álvaro Siza Vieira + Peter Brinkert

Bonjour Tristesse is a social housing project designed by Portuguese Architect Álvaro Siza Vieira. Located in Berlin, the project was Siza’s first built work outside of his native country. Siza’s design offers a meaningful precedent in urban densification, demonstrating a delicate balance between contextual awareness, creative freedom, and progressive vision.

Project site before construction. Image © Flickr user Hen's March © Flickr user Humberto Marum © Flickr user lortnoc © Flickr user jaime.silva + 9

AD Classics: Saltzman House / Richard Meier & Partners Architects

One of the earliest built works of Richard Meier, The Saltzman House, completed in 1969, is one of several Meier-designed residences that exhibits his signature style: absolute whiteness, geometric composition, and the prominence of light. With a heavy early-Modernist influence, the Saltzman House captures the purity of form and space seen in the projects of Le Corbusier.

© Ezra Stoller/Esto © Ezra Stoller/Esto © Ezra Stoller/Esto © Ezra Stoller/Esto + 15

AD Classics: Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute / Philip Johnson

The Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute is a Modern masterpiece and revolutionary precedent of American museum design. Located in Utica, New York, it was the first of many influential cultural facilities designed by Philip Johnson. Also known as the Museum of Art, the structure represents a stylistic turning point in Johnson’s career, marking the end of his loyalty to the International Style and the beginning of his experimentation with Neo-Classicism.

© Ezra Stoller/Esto © Ezra Stoller/Esto © Ezra Stoller/Esto © Ezra Stoller/Esto + 11

AD Classics: Kubuswoningen / Piet Blom

A popular tourist attraction and bizarre architectural experiment, the Kubuswoningen is located in the Oude Haven, the most historic section of Rotterdam’s port. Following the destruction of the Oude Haven during the Second World War, architect Piet Blom was asked to redevelop the area with architecture of character, presenting him the opportunity to apply his earlier cube housing exploration in Helmond to a more urban context. Known for his desire to challenge conventions, Blom did not want the Kubuswoningen to resemble typical housing; he strived to dissolve the attitude that “a building has to be recognizable as a house for it to qualify as housing.” During a time when the rebuilding of Rotterdam was pivotal, the Kubuswoningen served as an influential precedent for progressive and innovative architectural development.

© Dirk Verwoerd © Dirk Verwoerd © Dirk Verwoerd © Dirk Verwoerd + 35

AD Classics: Pirelli Tower / Gio Ponti, Pier Luigi Nervi

In contrast with its traditional Milanese surroundings, the Pirelli Tower is one of the earliest examples of Modern skyscrapers in Italy. Affectionately called "Il Pirellone” (The Big Pirelli), the 127 meter tower stood as Italy’s tallest building from 1958 to 1995. The design of the structure, led by architect/designer Gio Ponti and engineer Pier Luigi Nervi, featured a tapered plan—as opposed to the conventional rectilinear volume which was prevalent in America—encouraging greater creative freedom during a time when skyscrapers typically lacked experimentation.

Interior. Image Courtesy of Università Iuav di Venezia - SBD, Archivio Progetti, Giorgio Casali's archive Courtesy of Università Iuav di Venezia - SBD, Archivio Progetti, Giorgio Casali's archive © Wikipedia Commons user LapoLuchini © Flickr user mava + 14

AD Classics: 2 Columbus Circle / Edward Durell Stone & Associates

Located on a small and irregular shaped island at Columbus Circle, one of the busiest intersections in Manhattan, lies 2 Columbus Circle, formerly known as the Gallery of Modern Art. Famously described as a “die-cut Venetian palazzo on lollipops” by Ada Louise Huxtable, the New York Times architecture critic at the time, the 10-story poured concrete structure has been a source of consistent controversy and public response since the 1960s. Designed by Edward Durell Stone, an early proponent of American modern architecture, 2 Columbus Circle represents a turning point in his career. Uncharacteristic of Stone’s prior work, his use of ornament on an otherwise modern structure can be seen as an important precedent of the development of the soon-to-emerge Postmodern movement.

Facade Detail. Image © Ezra Stoller/Esto 4th Floor Gallery. Image © Ezra Stoller/Esto North/East Facade. Image © Ezra Stoller/Esto Permanent Collection. Image © Ezra Stoller/Esto + 14