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Spotlight: The Latest Architecture and News

Peter Eisenman: Architect, Theorist and Educator Marked by Deconstructivism

Whether built, written or drawn, the work of American architect, theorist and educator Peter Eisenman (born 11th August 1932) is characterized by Deconstructivism, with an interest in signs, symbols and the processes of making meaning always at the foreground.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe / Eisenman Architects. Image © Vladimir BelogolovskyThe City of Culture of Galicia / Eisenman Architects. Image Courtesy of Eisenman ArchitectsConstruction of the City of Culture of Galicia in Spain (taken 2006). Image Courtesy of Eisenman ArchitectsDesign diagram for the City of Culture of Galicia, Spain. Image Courtesy of Eisenman Architects+ 5

Richard Rogers, One of the Leading Architects of the British High-Tech Movement

As one of the leading architects of the British High-Tech movement, Pritzker Prize-winner Richard Rogers stands out as one of the most innovative and distinctive architects of a generation. Rogers made his name in the 1970s and '80s, with buildings such as the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Headquarters for Lloyd's Bank in London. To this day his work plays with similar motifs, utilizing bright colors and structural elements to create a style that is recognizable, yet also highly adaptable.

NEO Bankside. Image Courtesy of Edmund SumnerThe Leadenhall Building. Image © Richard Bryant – Courtesy of British Land/Oxford PropertiesLloyd's of London Building. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/martinrp/332669479'>Flickr user dalbera</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a>Millennium Dome. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/jamesjin/58712717/'>Flickr user jamesjin</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>+ 18

Alison and Peter Smithson: The Duo that Led British Brutalism

Wife and husband pair Alison (22 June 1928 – 16 August 1993) and Peter Smithson (18 September 1923 – 3 March 2003) formed a partnership that led British Brutalism through the latter half of the twentieth century. Beginning with a vocabulary of stripped-down modernism, the pair were among the first to question and challenge modernist approaches to design and urban planning. Instead, they helped evolve the style into what became Brutalism, becoming proponents of the "streets in the sky" approach to housing.

Charles and Ray Eames: The Designers Who Shaped the Course of Modernism

Charles (June 17, 1907 – August 21, 1978) and Ray Eames (December 15, 1912 – August 21, 1988) are best known for their personal and artistic collaboration and their innovative designs that shaped the course of modernism. Their firm worked on a diverse array of projects, with designs for exhibitions, furniture, houses, monuments, and toys. Together they developed manufacturing processes to take advantage of new materials and technology, aiming to produce high-quality everyday objects at a reasonable cost. Many of their furniture designs are considered contemporary classics, particularly the Eames Lounge & Shell Chairs, while the Eames House is a seminal work of architectural modernism.

Spotlight: Toyo Ito

As one of the leading architects of Japan's increasingly highly-regarded architecture culture, 2013 Pritzker Laureate Toyo Ito (born June 1, 1941) has defined his career by combining elements of minimalism with an embrace of technology, in a way that merges both traditional and contemporary elements of Japanese culture.

Tower of Winds. Image © Tomio OhashiTama Art University Library. Image © Iwan BaanSendai Mediatheque. Image © Nacasa & Partners Inc.Taichung Metropolitan Opera House. Image © Lucas K. Doolan+ 16

Spotlight: Frei Otto

German architect and structural engineer Frei Otto (31 May 1925 – 9 March 2015) was well known for his pioneering innovations in lightweight and tensile structures. Shortly before his death in 2015 he was awarded the Pritzker Prize and prior to that he was awarded the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 2006. Much of his research in lightweight structures is as relevant today as when he first proposed them over 60 years ago, and his work continues to inform architects and engineers to this day.

German Pavilion, Expo ’67. Image © Atelier Frei Otto WarmbronnDiplomatic Club Heart Tent. Image © Atelier Frei Otto WarmbronnAviary at the Munich Zoo. Image © Atelier Frei Otto WarmbronnJapan Pavilion, Expo 2000. Image © Atelier Frei Otto Warmbronn+ 11

Spotlight: Walter Gropius

Bauhaus, 1925. Image ©  Thomas Lewandovski
Bauhaus, 1925. Image © Thomas Lewandovski

One of the most highly regarded architects of the 20th century, Walter Gropius (18 May 1883 – 5 July 1969) was one of the founding fathers of Modernism, and the founder of the Bauhaus, the German "School of Building" that embraced elements of art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, and typography in its design, development and production.

Spotlight: Rafael Moneo

As the first ever Spanish architect to receive the Pritzker Prize, Rafael Moneo (born 9 May 1937) is known for his highly contextual buildings which nonetheless remain committed to modernist stylings. His designs are regularly credited as achieving the elusive quality of "timelessness"; as critic Robert Campbell wrote in his essay about Moneo for the Pritzker Prize, "a Moneo building creates an awareness of time by remembering its antecedents. It then layers this memory against its mission in the contemporary world."

National Museum of Roman Art. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/pictfactory/2840558654'>Flickr user pictfactory</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>Columbia University Northwest Corner Building / Rafael Moneo, Davis Brody Bond, and Moneo Brock Studio. Image © Michael Moran StudioPuig Tower / Rafael Moneo + Antonio Puig, Josep Riu GCA Architects + Lucho Marcial. Image © Rafael VargasCathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/cwsteeds/5324514176/'>Flickr user cwsteeds</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>+ 11

Spotlight: Gordon Bunshaft

As lead designer of the Lever House and many of America’s most historically prominent buildings, Pritzker Prize-winning architect Gordon Bunshaft (9 May 1909 – 6 August 1990) is credited with ushering in a new era of Modernist skyscraper design and corporate architecture. A stern figure and a loyal advocate of the International Style, Bunshaft spent the majority of his career as partner and lead designer for SOM, who have referred to him as “a titan of industry, a decisive army general, an architectural John Wayne.”

Hajj Terminal at King Abdulaziz Airport, Jeddah. Image © SOM - Jay Langlois | Owens-CorningBeinecke Rare Book Library. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/joevare/5524134719'>Flickr user joevare</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a>Solow Buliding. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Solow_Building_New_York_August_2012.jpg'>Wikimedia user King of Hearts</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>W.R. Grace Building. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:W._R._Grace_Building,_New_York,_NY_10018,_USA_-_Jan_2013.jpg'>Wikimedia user WestportWiki</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>+ 9

Spotlight: Christian de Portzamparc

Born on the 5th of May 1944 in what was at the time the French Protectorate of Morocco, French architect Christian de Portzamparc had doubts about continuing with architecture while studying in the 1960s, questioning modernist ideals and the discipline's lack of freedom compared to art. Instead, he spent a decade attempting to understand the role of architecture, before returning triumphantly with a new model of iterative urban design that emphasized open neighborhoods based around landmark "poles of attraction" and a varied series of high-profile commissions that combine a sense of purpose and place.

The French Embassay, Berlin. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Berlin,_Mitte,_Pariser_Platz,_Botschaft_Frankreich.jpg'>Wikimedia user Jörg Zägel</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>Philharmonie Luxembourg, Luxembourg. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/borkurdotnet/5696828844'>Flickr user borkurdotnet</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>Chateau Cheval Blanc Winer, Saint-Émilion. Image © Erik SailletLa  Musée Hergé, Louvain-la-Neuve. Image © Nicolás Borel+ 17

Spotlight: Jane Jacobs

Jane Jacobs, then chairperson of a civic group in Greenwich Village, at a press conference in 1961. Image <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jane_Jacobs.jpg'>via Wikimedia</a>, photograph by Phil Stanziola (Public Domain)
Jane Jacobs, then chairperson of a civic group in Greenwich Village, at a press conference in 1961. Image via Wikimedia, photograph by Phil Stanziola (Public Domain)

Throughout her career, social activist and urban writer Jane Jacobs (May 4, 1916 – April 25, 2006) fought against corporate globalization and urged post-war urban planners and developers to remember the importance of community and the human scale. Despite having no formal training, she radically changed urban planning policy through the power of observation and personal experience. Her theories on how design can affect community and creativity continue to hold relevance today—influencing everything from the design of mega-cities to tiny office spaces.

Spotlight: Aldo Rossi

Ada Louise Huxtable once described him as “a poet who happens to be an architect.” Italian architect Aldo Rossi (3 May 1931 – 4 September 1997) was known for his drawings, urban theory, and for winning the Pritzker Prize in 1990. Rossi also directed the Venice Biennale in 1985 and 1986—one of only two people to have served as director twice.

Mojiko Hotel. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AMojiko_Hotel.jpg'>Wikimedia user Wiiii</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>Quartier Schützenstrasse. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ABerlin%2C_Mitte%2C_Zimmerstrasse_68-69%2C_Quartier_Schuetzenstrasse.jpg'>Wikimedia user Jörg Zägel</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>Bonnefantenmuseum. Image © James Taylor-FosterGallaratese Quarter / Aldo Rossi & Carlo Aymonino. Image © Gili Merin+ 8

Spotlight: Gert Wingårdh

One of Sweden’s most esteemed living architects, Gert Wingårdh (born 26 April 1951) brought Swedish architecture out of the tradition of the International Style and into contemporary times with his playful design spirit and love of eye-catching materials. With his use of bright colors and geometric motifs, his recent buildings have been described as "Maximalist" or "Modern Baroque."

Aula Medica. Image © Tord-Rikard SöderströmKuggen. Image © Tord-Rikard SöderströmFacts Emporia. Image © Tord-Rikard SöderströmQuality Hotel Friends / Karolina Keyzer + Wingårdhs. Image © Tord-Rikard Söderström+ 15

Spotlight: Peter Zumthor

The Therme Vals. Image © Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG
The Therme Vals. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

Known for his sensuous materiality and attention to place, 2009 Pritzker Laureate Peter Zumthor (born April 26, 1943) is one the most revered architects of the 21st century. Shooting to fame on the back of The Therme Vals and Kunsthaus Bregenz, completed just a year apart in 1996 and 1997, his work privileges the experiential qualities of individual buildings over the technological, cultural and theoretical focus often favored by his contemporaries.

Bruder Klaus Field Chapel. Image © Samuel LudwigSteilneset Memorial. Image © Andrew MeredithSaint Benedict Chapel. Image © Felipe Camus Kunsthaus Bregenz. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/heyitschili/4163419615'>Flickr user heyitschili</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a>+ 16

Spotlight: I.M. Pei

Chinese-American architect Ieoh Ming Pei (April 26, 1917-May 16, 2019), is arguably the greatest living member of the modernist generation of architects. When he received his Pritzker Prize in 1983, the jury citation stated that he "has given this century some of its most beautiful interior spaces and exterior forms."

Spotlight: William Pereira

Winner of the 1942 Acadamy Award for Best Special Effects, William Pereira (April 25, 1909 – November 13, 1985) also designed some of America's most iconic examples of futurist architecture, with his heavy stripped down functionalism becoming the symbol of many US institutions and cities. Working with his more prolific film-maker brother Hal Pereira, William Pereira's talent as an art director translated into a long and prestigious career creating striking and idiosyncratic buildings across the West Coast of America.

Transamerica Pyramid. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/jkz/6371624443'>Flickr user jkz</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>Thene Building, LAX. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/132084522@N05/16747302728'>Flickr user Sam valadi</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>Jack Langson Library at University of California (Irvine). ImageCourtesy of <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:UCILibrary.jpg'>Wikimedia user TFNorman</a> (public domain)Geisel Library. Image © Darren Bradley+ 12

Spotlight: James Stirling

British architect and Pritzker Laureate Sir James Stirling (22 April 1926 – 25 June 1992) grew up in Liverpool, one of the two industrial powerhouses of the British North West, and began his career subverting the compositional and theoretical ideas behind the Modern Movement. Citing a wide-range of influences—from Colin Rowe, a forefather of Contextualism, to Le Corbusier, and from architects of the Italian Renaissance to the Russian Constructivist movement—Stirling forged a unique set of architectural beliefs that manifest themselves in his works. Indeed his architecture, commonly described as "nonconformist," consistently caused annoyance in conventional circles.

University of Cambridge History Faculty. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:History_Faculty_University_of_Cambridge.jpg'>Wikimedia user Solipsist</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>Clore Gallery, Tate Britain, London. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Clore_Gallery_London_Dec07.JPG'>Wikimedia user Elekhh</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>The Florey Building at Queen's College, Oxford University. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/seier/5107210108'>Flickr user seier</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>Department of Engineering at the University of Leicester. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Leicester_University_Engineering_Building_2.jpg'>Wikimedia user NotFromUtrecht</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>+ 13

Spotlight: Jan Kaplický

Radical neofuturist architect Jan Kaplický (18 April 1937 – 14 January 2009) was the son of a sculptor and a botanical illustrator, and appropriately spent his career creating highly sculptural and organic forms. Working with partner Amanda Levete at his suitably-named practice Future Systems, Kaplický was catapulted to fame after his sensationally avant-garde 1999 Lord's Cricket Ground Media Centre and became a truly innovative icon of avant-garde architecture.