ARCHITECTURE | Icons of 20th-Century Architecture :: Buildings that Sparked My Childhood Imagination


It’s my birthday and I’m feeling a little saudade, reflecting on how much blogging I’ve done since I started designKULTUR this time last year and just how it all got to this point (255 posts in a year! And that’s not counting the unpublished drafts).

I suppose my turn towards and obsession with blogging reflects decades of pent-up design knowledge that was screaming for an outlet. That’s how designKULTUR was born.

All day I’ve been thinking about my childhood and my passion for design in all its forms and how I first learned about architecture from the many photos in magazines and books that I sought out as a kid.

Back then, my primary “research tool” was a set of Funk & Wagnalls encyclopedias that my mom got as a promotion from Safeway. Today, designKULTUR presents the majority of the following photos from the extraordinary Wikimedia Commons, part of the 21st-century encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

These masterpieces of the 20th Century still thrill me today. These are the buildings that got me started on the road to here.

Oscar Niemeyer, Casa das Canoas, Rio de Janeiro, 1954

Oscar Niemeyer, National Congress/Congreso Nacional, Brasília, 1960

Oscar Niemeyer, Palace of the Dawn/Palácio da Alvorada, Brasília, 1958

expo 67 > Buckminster Fuller, USA Pavilion, Montréal, 1967

expo 67 > Moshe Safdie, Habitat ’67, Montréal, 1967

expo 67 > Roderick Robbie, »Katimavik« [Canada Pavilion], Montréal, 1967

Frank Lloyd Wright, Fallingwater, Mill Run, PA, 1935

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

Frank Lloyd Wright, Johnson Wax Headquarters, Racine, WI, 1939

Le Corbusier, Villa Savoye, Poissy, France, 1929

Le Corbusier, Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp, France, 1954

Le Corbusier, Chandigarh Secretariat Building, India, 1953

Kenzo Tange, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima, 1954

Kenzo Tange, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Tokyo, 1961

Kenzo Tange, Yoyogi National Gymnasium, Tokyo, 1964

Eero Saarinen, Trans World Airlines Flight Center, Idlewild Airport, New York, 1962

Eero Saarinen, Gateway to the West, St. Louis, 1965

Eero Saarinen, Washington Dulles Airport, Dulles, VA, 1962

Walter Gropius, Bauhaus, Dessau, Germany, 1926

Walter Gropius, Bauhaus, Dessau, Germany, 1926

Walter Gropius, Bauhaus, Dessau, Germany, 1926

Mies van der Rohe, Farnsworth House, Plano, IL, 1951

Mies van der Rohe, Barcelona Pavilion, Barcelona, 1929

Mies van der Rohe, Villa Tugendhat, Brno, Czech Republic, 1930

Alvar Aalto, Auditorium of the University of Technology, Helsinki, 1966

Alvar Aalto, Finnish Pavilion, New York World’s Fair, 1939

Alvar Aalto, Auditorium of the Viipuri Municipal Library, Finland, 1935

Expo 70 > Willy Walter, Swiss Pavilion, Osaka, 1970

Expo 70 > Taro Okamoto, Tower of the Sun + Kenzo Tange, Festival Plaza, Osaka, 1970

Expo 70 > Arthur Erickson + Geoff Massey, Canada Pavilion, Osaka, 1970

Arthur Erickson + Geoff Massey, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, 1965

expo 67 > Arthur Erickson, Man in the Community, Montréal, 1967

Arthur Erickson + Geoff Massey, MacMillan Bloedel Building, Vancouver, BC, 1968

Rudolph Schindler, Schindler Chase House [Kings Road House] West Hollywood, 1922

Rudolph Schindler, Fitzpatrick House, Los Angeles, 1936

Rudolph Schindler, Lovell Beach House, Newport Beach, CA, 1926

Richard Neutra, Lovell Health House, Los Angeles, 1929

Richard Neutra, Kaufmann Desert House, Palm Springs, 1946

Richard Neutra, Kramer House, Norco, CA, 1953

Case Study House No. 8 > Eames House, Charles and Ray Eames, Pacific Palisades, CA, 1949

Case Study House No. 22 > Stahl House, Pierre Koenig, Los Angeles, 1959

Case Study House No. 21 > Bailey House, Pierre Koenig, Los Angeles, 1959

Jørn Utzon, Sydney Opera House, 1972

Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, Lever House, New York, 1952

Gerrit Rietveld, Rietveld Schröder House, Utrecht, Netherlands, 1924

Frank Lloyd Wright, Johnson Wax Headquarters, Racine, WI, 1939

Le  Corbusier, Open Hand Monument, Chandigarh, 1948-72

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