Adolf Loos (1870-1933) was born in what is now the Czech Republic, but much of his influence was felt in Vienna, Austria. He scandalized the city in 1909 by situating the bare-bones Goldman and Salatsch Building (Looshaus) across the plaza from the ornate Imperial Palace.
Loos justified the style of simplicity and functionality in his famous 1908 essay Ornament & Crime. Through his writings and building designs, Loos introduced modernist ideas to Vienna and the world.
Learn about Looshaus>>
Learn about Adof Loos>>
PHOTO: Looshaus am Michaelerplatz (Wikimedia)
Architect Frank Gehry uses computers to help design and build his famous wavy, shiny, psycho-structures. The EMP in Seattle is a museum of rock-and-roll, but even if you don’t like rock music, you’ll want to see Gehry’s rebellious design for the building.
Learn more > Frank Gehry, Architecture Portfolio of Selected Works
The tall Secretariat Building overlooking New York’s East River is the centerpiece of the United Nations complex and a symbol of the quest for peace between nations. The smooth glass facade is also a landmark example of the International Style, a mid-twentieth century movement toward simple, geometric design. The architects included Le Corbusier, Oscar Niemeyer, and Wallace Harrison.
The United Nations officially came into being October 24, 1945. The Secretariat building was completed in 1952 and renovated in 2012.
Learn about the International Style >> Modernism – Picture Dictionary of Modern Architecture
Architect Frank Gehry has been making waves for more than sixty years, and his concert hall in Los Angeles ranks as one of his most controversial—and most celebrated.
The stainless steel Walt Disney Concert Hall expanded the Los Angeles Music Center, adding a 2,265-seat main auditorium, a 266-seats theater, and two outdoor amphitheaters. Critics complained that the glittering facade posed a traffic hazard, so Gehry later tweaked the finish to tone down the metallic sparkle.
Gehry Responds to Concert Hall Heat
Frank Gehry, Architecture Portfolio of Selected Works
With a six-story spiraling ramp, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum is a hallmark example of hemicycle design. At the center, an open rotunda offers views of artwork on several levels. Wright, who was known for his self-assurance, said that his goal was to “make the building and the painting an uninterrupted, beautiful symphony such as never existed in the World of Art before.”
The circular building seems as revolutionary today as it did when the museum first opened on October 21, 1959.
Explore Wright’s New York Guggenheim Museum
Frank Lloyd Wright Exhibition at the Guggenheim >>