New York’s diorama titled “The City of Light”, presented by Consolidated Edison at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. The diorama is initially presented with a dark sky with lightning looming over New York and one by one the windows of the buildings lit up, brightening the city. The diorama is three storeys tall and the length of a block.
“Night falls.. but not in the City of Light.”
Observers in the large room, mesmerized by the world’s largest diorama of New York.
Artist working and painting the diorama.
Fixing the cupola on top of a skyscraper.
The immense scale of the Empire State Building.
The diorama is angled upwards that from the observer’s perspective the horizon is visible in the distance.
Three artists working on the diorama.
This must be how King Kong feels like climbing on top of the Empire State Building.
Skyscrapers over Manhattan.
What is the equavalent of doctor’s famous Hippocratic Oath to uphold their ethical standard? Architects have the Vitruvian Virtues, while not strictly an oath it does provide an ethos for what architecture must do. Vitruvius is what Hippocrates to doctors, being a principal figure in the history of architecture, due to his contribution of a ten volume book titled De Architectura or The Ten Books on Architecture.
Vitruvian virtues asserts that architecture must have three qualities of firmitas, utilitas, venustas – simply translated as structure, function, form. To be structurally sound and durable, functional and comfortable and finally aesthetically beautiful.
“All these must be built with due reference to durability, convenience, and beauty. Durability will be assured when foundations are carried down to the solid ground and materials wisely and liberally selected; convenience, when the arrangement of the apartments is faultless and presents no hindrance to use, and when each class of building is assigned to its suitable and appropriate exposure; and beauty, when the appearance of the work is pleasing and in good taste, and when its members are in due proportion according to correct principles of symmetry.” – Vitruvius Pollio,
De Architectura, Chapter III: Orders of Architecture
This is a non-exhaustive bucket list of houses designed in the modern era that are judged in the following criteria;
The house’s mark on the history of architecture through cultural impact.
The house designed by a well recognized architect and each architect is limited to a single entry.
The house is unanimously acclaimed as beautiful in regards to form, context and craft.
The list might be updated and modified from time to time.
In no particular order;
1. Fallingwater / Frank Lloyd Wright
2. Villa Savoye / Le Corbusier
3. Farnsworth House / Mies van der Rohe
4. Villa Mairea / Alvar Aalto
5. Villa Malaparte / Adalberto Libera
6. Glass House / Philip Johnson
7. Douglas House / Richard Meier
8. Koshino House / Tadao Ando
9. House at Riva San Vitale / Mario Botta
10. Upper Lawn Pavillion / Alison & Peter Smithson