Times Readers on the Most Significant Works of Postwar Architecture
When T assembled a panel of architects, designers and journalists to create a list of the 25 Most Significant Works of Postwar Architecture, we …
When T assembled a panel of architects, designers and journalists to create a list of the 25 Most Significant Works of Postwar Architecture, we knew going into it that Times readers would have their own ideas about buildings that ought to have been included or omitted; even our jury members were cognizant of the inherent limitations of such an assignment. With that in mind, here are some more significant buildings erected since World War II, chosen based on a smattering of the wealth of comments we received on Instagram and on the original article itself, where many people rallied for the world’s most famous starchitects — where’s Frank Gehry? Zaha Hadid? Frank Lloyd Wright? I.M. Pei? — and others made passionate pleas for lesser-known works that personally moved them. Some of the below had been discussed (and discarded) during our original conversation; all are worth a closer look.
It is appalling not to see Frank Lloyd Wright represented on this list. Where is the Guggenheim Museum, for example? Is the Seagram Building by Mies van der Rohe a better example of creative NYC architecture? It’s a glass and steel rectangle, while Wright’s building, which sits proudly on Fifth Avenue, right up the street from that protestant monstrosity the Metropolitan, is unlike any other in the city. The judges can’t see the art in architecture, apparently. — Daniel Duncan, Arcata, Calif.
Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao should be on this list. It’s not only beautiful, it’s perhaps the most influential work of architecture in the past 25 years. Are the critics getting at something by his and its omission? If so, I wish they would just say it. — Alex Marshall, Brooklyn
The T.W.A. Flight Center, designed by Eero Saarinen, didn’t make the list? Respectfully, your choices are overly laden with a Brutalist vibe, and yet I find myself rereading sections. — Robert Lukowski, R.I.
The Buckminster Fuller dome at Expo 67 would make a lot of lists. But so, too, would Moshe Safdie’s Habitat. — Ken Bousfield
I have read a fair number of the comments. Surprisingly, I didn’t see a single mention of my favorite contemporary architect, Santiago Calatrava. There is certainly nothing Brutalist about his works. They are wonderfully organic in form. — Dav Mar, Farmington, N.M.
I’m an amateur architecture enthusiast, and would have liked to see I.M. Pei represented. He designed in all styles, pushing the envelope with skyscrapers (for instance the Bank of China Tower), creating iconic structures (who hasn’t stared at the pyramid at the Louvre while on line for hours?) and impacting our city (the Javits Center, et al.). He was a great Asian American and died here. — Josh Tannenbaum, NYC
Also, Aqua by Jeanne Gang and Via 57 West by Bjarke Ingels. — John Park, Los Angeles, Calif.
No Zaha Hadid?! She had an incredible aesthetic and such a brilliant mind. — Michele Chandler, Calif.
Given the growing impact of climate change and global warming, I’m surprised that no buildings by Friedensreich Hundertwasser made the list. — Matthew Warburg, Seattle, Wash.
I am not an architect, but I would have voted for Sea Ranch on the Northern California coast in beautiful Sonoma County. The homes there were designed to incorporate elements of the natural surroundings — the sun, the wind and miles of precious oceanfront. They have a minimalist aesthetic and look otherworldly. It was a very forward-thinking and Zen way to approach housing. — Teri Lown, Sacramento, Calif.
Good grief. You omitted the Barbican in the City of London, a place where thousands of people live, work, go to school and enjoy the arts every day thanks to Chamberlin, Powell and Bon’s fearless big-structure Brutalism, which revitalized an area reduced to smoking rubble during the Blitz. — Richard Burniston, Brighton, U.K.
Other honorable mentions: