The 100 Most Important Buildings of a 20th Century

Can we name a many critical buildings of a 20th century? Thom Mayne has been seeking a lot of people that question. Mayne, a Los Angeles–based, Pritzker Prize–winning architect, says he has beheld a disappearing recognition of chronological fashion among design students.

So Mayne and his colleagues during a Now Institute, an civic formulation investigate core during UCLA, began seeking distinguished architects to list a 20th-century buildings students ought to know. Questionnaires went out to Richard Meier, Jeanne Gang, Zaha Hadid, and dozens of others—about 70 architects altogether. “Being supportive to everyone’s time, we prepared a starter list of 200 buildings,” says Now Institute executive Eui-Sung Yi. “But a infancy done their possess or exceedingly edited a list.” Fifty-eight architects, about one entertain of them women, responded. (Hadid, who named 128 buildings, died before she could make down her list.)

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright, New York City, 1943–1959.

In November, Rizzoli is edition a book about a many frequently named buildings. Called simply 100 Buildings: 1900–2000 ($25), it describes any of a “winners” in photos, difference (mostly by Val Warke), and remarkably transparent drawings (by Now Institute staff).

The building named many mostly is a Villa Savoye, in Poissy (outside Paris), a 1931 residence by Le Corbusier. In fact, Le Corbusier is represented in a book by 8 buildings, distant some-more than any other architect. The second-most-mentioned architects are Frank Lloyd Wright and Ludwig Mies outpost der Rohe, any with 5 buildings on a list. (In Wright’s case, those are Johnson Wax, Fallingwater, a Guggenheim Museum, a Robie House, and a Larkin Administration Building, that was ripped down in 1950.)

The most-represented nation is a United States, with 32 of a 100 buildings. New York City alone has 6 (the Guggenheim Museum, Seagram, a Ford Foundation, a Lever House, a TWA Flight Center, and Marcel Breuer’s Whitney Museum). Southern California is represented by 9 buildings (including Mayne’s possess Diamond Ranch High School in Pomona). Ten of a buildings are in Asia; 3 are in South America; one is in Australia (yes, it’s a Sydney Opera House). Africa is unrepresented.

TWA Flight Center, Eero Saarinen, Queens, New York, 1956–1962.

Women architects frequency appear; a exceptions are a museum and a distraction core by Lina Bo Bardi and a firehouse by Zaha Hadid. (The gone organisation Foreign Office Architects, whose Yokohama Ferry Terminal done a cut, was a partnership of a male and a woman.)

Surprisingly few of a winning buildings are by vital architects—the exceptions embody not usually Mayne (who founded a organisation Morphosis in 1972) though also Frank Gehry, Robert Venturi, Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano, Moshe Safdie, Toyo Ito, Rafael Moneo, Rem Koolhaas, Alvaro Siza, Peter Eisenman, Fumihiko Maki, Richard Meier, Daniel Libeskind, Bernard Tschumi, Jean Nouvel, Norman Foster, and a firms Foreign Office Architects and Coop Himmelblau. Of them, usually dual architects done a list twice: Gehry (for his residence in Santa Monica and his Guggenheim Bilbao), and Rogers (for his Pompidou Center, in partnership with Renzo Piano, and his Lloyd’s of London building).

Farnsworth House, Mies outpost der Rohe, Plano, Illinois, 1945–1951.

Gamble House, Greene Greene, Pasadena, California, 1907–1909.

Sendai Mediatheque, Toyo Ito (Toyo Ito Associates, Architects), Sendai, Japan, 1995–2000.

100 Buildings: 1900–2000.