Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Vanity Fair’s ‘Top 22’ most important works of architecture since 1980

Vanity Fair magazine asked 52 of the worlds “starchitects” (.e., folk who design expensive boxes that look good in magazines and treatises) to select the five most important buildings, bridges, or monuments constructed since 1980 and the greatest work of architecture thus far in the 21st century.

What they came up with instead was 132 pieces of starchitecture (i.e., expensive boxes that looks good in magazines and treatises), of which these are their top 22. [Hat tip Archinect]

Surprising news from the survey?
Nothing at all by the best architect to to have emerged in recent years, Santiago Calatrava.

Most unsurprising news from the survey? 
Only these four structures out of all the twenty-two are worth a damn.

CLICK FOR STORY Millau Viaduct, France, Michel Virlogeux & Norman Foster

Lloyds of London, Richard Rogers

Vietnam War Memorial, Washington, D.C., Maya Lin

CLICK HERE FOR STORY Hong Kong Shanghai Bank, Hong Kong, Norman Foster

And the very best news from the whole survey? 
According to Vanity Fair writer Matt Tymaur in his interview with Charlie Rose, “Po-Mo is dead.”

Well, thank Galt for small mercies.


  1. Calatrava was an interesting miss. However saying that only four of the featured buildings are 'worth a damn' is a more than a bit uncharitable.

    Admittedly, some of the featured works are on the more challenging side - Libeskind's Jewish Museum (which I finally visited a few months ago - absolute poetry in broad strokes but disastrously poor detailing) and Tschumi's Parc de la Villette (every arch. theory lecturer's pet project). I never expected anything but disdain from you for their inclusion. But how can you maintain that buildings like Zumthor's baths at Vals and Tadao Ando's Church of the Light aren't worth a damn? And keep a straight face?


  2. Millau Viaduct is probably one of the most beautiful thing I saw in my life.
    Cheers, PC.



1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.