A compilation of history’s greatest construction projects brings with it equal parts enthusiasm and exasperation. When we first began assembling this list, we were overwhelmed by the options before us.
A sumptuous palace such as Versailles is both beautiful and historic, as is the Taj Mahal or Neuschwanstein Castle. We needed to set some limiting criteria.
Arbitrary as they may seem, they allow us to tell a story of Modernism’s influence on the ways in which we experience the space around us.
Time period: Last 100 years. No building completed earlier than 1910.
Definition of architecture: In its most minimal form, it provides shelter.
Be it in death, worship, travel, as a repository of knowledge, a place of work or a place of rest, these are spaces and structures that leave us nearly speechless. (Except for the words in this article.)
Co-author: Viviano Villarreal is an architect currently living in Hong Kong and working with Dutch firm OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture) on the design and development of several projects in Asia.
He has collaborated on the design of Gatica House and the Ayen project with Chilean architect Felipe Assadi, the villa at the Museumlaan and Aarhus Docklands with Dutch firm SeARCH, and founded his own architectural studio, MXarchitects in 2008.
Editor’s note: This article and gallery were previously published in 2010. They were reformatted and republished in 2017.