Tag Archives: frank lloyd wright

50 Times Architects Really Outdid Themselves And People Celebrated Their Works Online

Architecture is meant to fulfill both practical and expressive requirements, and thus it serves both utilitarian and aesthetic purposes. When you look at a structure, you can distinguish these two ends but they cannot be separated, and the relative weight each of them carry can vary widely. Plus, every society has its own, unique relationship to the natural world and its architecture usually reflects that as well, allowing people from other places to learn about their environment, as well as history, ceremonies, artistic sensibility, and many aspects of daily life.

However, architecture is better seen, not described. So, let me introduce you to “the beautiful impossibilities that we want to live in“, a subreddit dedicated to high-quality images of some of the most impressive (concept) buildings out there. This online community already has over 617K members, and the pictures they share are absolutely gorgeous. Continue scrolling and take a look!

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7 Then & Now Buildings That America Has Lost Forever

It’s inevitable that throughout time cities lose their iconic buildings and America is no exception. From Penn Station in New York to pre-modernist railway mansion Mark Hopkins, this country has lost quite a few architectural pearls, and it’s a shame we will never be able to see them in real life.

So, people at HomeAdvisor decided to illustrate what would have happened if these buildings would still exist, and how would they look in today’s modern cityscapes.

Scroll down to see these illustrations yourself, and don’t forget to tell us what you think in the comments!

More info: homeadvisor.com (h/t)

Pennsylvania Station

What were they thinking? New York’s original Penn Station is – quite rightly – the inspiration for the historic preservation movement. The Beaux-Arts beauty was realized in 1910 to a design from the prominent McKim, Mead & White architectural firm. Its classical grandeur looks almost preposterous now, as if all the columns of Ancient Rome had been plundered for the project. To the dismay of many, the building met its end in 1963 when city authorities tired of its Versailles-like maintenance costs.

Singer Building

Built in 1908, this Lower Manhattan titan at Liberty Street and Broadway was, at one time, the tallest building in the world. It still holds one ‘world’s tallest’ record – it’s the tallest building to ever have been purposefully demolished. The Singer Building’s awkward office floor plan was its ultimate demise as it was unable to accommodate the growth of the companies within its walls. Nonetheless, as New York Times architectural critic Christopher Gray noted, the city lost a lobby of “celestial radiance” when the building was demolished in 1968. The site is now occupied by One Liberty Plaza.

Midway Gardens

It’s hard to believe that any of Frank Lloyd Wright’s creations have been demolished – but some 79 have. This entertainment complex, which opened 1929 in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, was as complex and interesting as the mind of its maker. Wright had never been commissioned for a project of this scale before and he threw his whole being into it. Unfortunately, prohibition set the site on a slippery slope and it was eventually bulldozed in 1929.

Mark Hopkins Mansion

Set atop San Francisco’s Nob Hill, railway magnate Mark Hopkins’ mansion was a display of ornate Victorian excess when it was completed in 1878. The man never got to see the finished product for himself because he passed away just before the job was done. Unfortunately, the building itself didn’t go the distance either as it was destroyed in the fire that followed the city’s 1906 earthquake and was never rebuilt. The site is now the location of the InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco.

Birmingham Terminal Station

From 1909 until 1969, Birmingham, Alabama’s principal railway station covered two full blocks of the city. Its Byzantine-esque profile made serious waves at the time as the architecture’s oriental influence was altogether too exotic for some tastes. With its stained-glass skylight and pew-like seating, the general waiting room had ‘place of worship’ vibes. But with the railways declining, the interesting design wasn’t enough to save the station from the wrecking ball. Today, the 7-acre site awaits repurposing.

The Beach Hotel

Wes Anderson, eat your heart out! The Beach Hotel in Galveston, Texas took over-the-top to a level that the Grand Budapest Hotel could only dream of. Built in 1882, this wood-framed vision in red and white stripes lasted barely 16 years before a fire claimed its rare beauty forever. Though firefighters were able to save parts of it, it was simply too far gone.

The Hippodrome

The boards of this epically-proportioned, Manhattan theater were visited by everyone from legendary illusionist Harry Houdini to 500-strong choruses to entire circuses. The Hippodrome’s 1905 opening performance was entitled ‘A Yankee Circus on Mars.’ The theater had capacity for 5,300 spectators and up to 1,000 performers, but its fame was short-lived. The popularity of movies played a huge role in the eventual demolition of the building in 1939. The office building that now occupies the site calls itself the Hippodrome Center – but it’s a lot less fun than the original.105 shares

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50 Of The Most Evil-Looking Buildings In The World

 

As famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright expressed, the environment and architecture should organically blend into each other. But the designs you’re about to see could only blend into the dark pages of a supervillain comic.

Bored Panda has compiled a list of these impressive architectural marvels that have this sinister look about them, immediately giving us associations with the headquarters of some evil organization like Virtucon from Austin Powers movies.

Did we miss some? Then share more diabolical designs in the comments!

#1 Buzludzha, Bulgaria

Image source: Nikon Morris

#2 Philadelphia City Hall, Philadelphia, USA

Image source: James Losey

#3 Mahanakhon Tower, Bangkok, Thailand

Image source: Jackrit Singhanutta

#4 Polygone Riviera, France

Image source: polygone-riviera.fr

#5 Riverside Museum, Glasgow, UK

Image source: Targn Pleiades

#6 Catholic Church, Paks, Hungary

Image source:  Sitkei Gábor

#7 Former Research Institute For Experimental Medicine, Berlin, Germany

Image source: Barrie Leach

#8 Bahnhof Office Built Into A Former Anti-Atomic Shelter, Stockholm, Sweden

Image source: Albert France-Lanord (A)rchitects

#9 Maison St Cyr, Brussels, Belgium

Image source: Andrew Peter Martin

#10 Fort Alexander (Plague Fort), Saint Petersburg, Russia

Image source: flappytowel

#11 Dc Tower I, Vienna, Austria

Image source: imgur.com

#12 Clermont-Ferrand Cathedral, Clermont-Ferrand, France

Image source: commons.wikimedia.org

#13 The National Library Of Belarus, Minsk, Belarus

Image source: acornsoftware

#14 Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavík, Iceland

Image source: Daniel Williams

#15 Expiatori Del Sagrat Cor, Mount Tibidabo, Barcelona, Spain

Image source: amoschapplephoto

#16 Temppeliaukion Church, Helsinki, Finland

Image source: kosmologi

#17 The Maze Tower, Dubai, UAE

Image source: citymetric.com

#18 Oakley Headquarters, Foothill Ranch, Lake Forest, USA

Image source: Ed McGowan

#19 Basque Health Department Headquarters In Bilbao, Spain

Image source: ALEIX BAGUÉ

#20 Aiguille Du Midi, French Alps

Image source: Frank Mulliez

#21 Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Image source: AndersenFC

#22 Ryugyong Hotel, Pyongyang, North Korea

Image source: Roman Harak

#23 Taipei 101 Observatory, Taipei City, Taiwan

Image source: PC_Junkie

#24 Ostankino Broadcast Tower, Moscow, Russia

Image source: Denis Murin

#25 Nakagin Capsule Tower, Tokyo, Japan

Image source: Sandro Bisaro

#26 Wedding Palace, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

Image source: Dan Lundberg

#27 Pacific Design Center, Red Building, Hollywood, California, USA

Image source: Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

#28 The Bank Of America Center, Houston, USA

Image source: Mabry Campbell Follow

#29 Al Tijaria Tower, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Image source: usabin

#30 Cologne Central Mosque, Cologne, Germany

Image source: chanelmuslim.com

#31 Stamp House, Queensland, Australia

Image source: Charles Wright Architects

#32 Space Museum, Vancouver, Canada

Image source: Janusz Leszczynski

#33 Chongqing Art Museum, Chongqing Shi, China

Image source: Thomas

#34 Omv Borealis Refinery, On The German/Austrian Frontier

Image source: Ian Allen

#35 Science And Technology Centre, Pyongyang, North Korea

Image source: Reuters

#36 Kafka Castle, Sant Pere De Ribes, Barcelona, Spain

Image source: archdaily

#37 Svalbard Global Seed Vault (Seed Bank), Spitsbergen, Norway

Image source: Global Crop Diversity Trust

#38 Ilinden, Krushevo, Macedonia

Image source: jan kempenaers

#39 The United States Air Force Academy, Colorado, USA

Image source: Dave Soldano

#40 At&t Building, Nashville, Tennessee, Usa

Image source: imgur

#41 The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain

Image source: Carlos Vieira Follow

#42 Selfridges Department Store, Birmingham, England

Image source: devonvisitor

#43 Jimbocho Theater, Tokyo, Japan

Image source: Nikken Sekkei

#44 Graz Art Museum, Graz, Austria

Image source: Teillu

#45 Mcdonald’s, Roswell, New Mexico, USA

Image source: imgur

#46 Geisel Library, La Jolla, California, USA

Image source: O Palsson

#47 Reiyukai Shakaden Temple, Tokyo, Japan

Image source: L. Felipe Castro

#48 College Life Insurance Company Headquarters, Indianapolis, USA

Image source: Jimmy Baikovicius

#49 Rio De Janeiro Cathedral, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Image source: Cyro A. Silva

#50 Church Of St. Giovanni Bono, Milan, Italy

Image source: Il Conte Photography

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Design collaboration is not design by committee

Have you ever heard that phrase “design by committee” when someone talks about a building or an object like a car or piece of furniture that doesn’t quite make sense? It usually means there are some good parts and some bad parts, but overall it’s just not good design.

 

But design by committee is not the same as design collaboration. Why? Because good design doesn’t happen in a vacuum. We all need to bounce ideas off someone — whether it is the client or a complete stranger.

Design is about innovation and new ideas, regardless of what the project is. To achieve this, we need to share our ideas with like-minded people on our team and with everyone who has a stake in the project.

Design teams are usually formed when a project has multiple parts. In the case of building design, the team can start with a developer or a planner with a big-picture idea. They usually are the first team members who then bring the rest of the team of architects, engineers, general and subcontractors, and of course interior designers into the fold. This can sometimes be referred to as a design-build team approach.

Design collaboration doesn’t always need to be so structured or even defined by any type of project, but it does need to exist.

Whether those teams consist of multiple architects or engineers whose expertise covers specific areas of the construction of the building or other design professionals. Team approach to design comes down to how well they work together. If the group doesn’t have the right synergy or group dynamics, the project loses its creative momentum.

Getting along is one thing, but the design process isn’t about always agreeing. In fact, the best design solutions usually come from disagreement.

We’re all guilty of designing with our egos — meaning we think our ideas are not only great but are the only ones worth pursuing. Designers tend to be egotistical to the point of being unbearable to be around even, if they are right!

No one said working for Frank Lloyd Wright or Steve Jobs was easy. You need to have those strong personalities on a project team for it to succeed. It becomes a problem when everyone feels that way, and no one wants to agree.

If you have ever been a member of a team like the one I just described, then you know it’s exhausting and the last thing you ever want to do again is be a part of a design team. You are more apt to work alone and take on the pressures of the project without asking for advice or help, because you don’t want to be stressed out or forced to defend your ideas.

But is this good design? I already said that good design is achieved with a collaboration or interchange of ideas. So how do you achieve that magic that good design teams possess?

It takes an open mind and a different attitude. First, everyone has something to contribute — it may be only an opinion, but it is valued. Second, the result isn’t black or white. If the design is to meet certain expectations or specifications, then some contingencies must be built into those expectations for unforeseen challenges and failures.

Yep, I said it, design is a messy business. Design is built on change, and when you are always looking for the perfect solution, sometimes it just doesn’t exist. That is why good design teams use collaboration to address some of these possible failures and to find ways to address them early — to understand there isn’t just one way to do something.

Product designers know this better than most. They know that for every good solution, there is probably a better one. They are always looking for a different way to make something work.

Successful design teams use good collaboration techniques like identifying the key objectives and existing problems that need to be addressed early in the design process. They create best-case and worst-case scenarios for developing possible solutions. They note the obstacles and begin to address them.

They are also good at breaking the project down into smaller parts to identify the key issues. By not trying to find the ultimate solution, good team collaboration finds a variety of solutions and tests them out.

Collaborative teams use their collective talent, ingenuity and resources to find the best design solutions. They don’t necessarily leave their egos at the door, but they do keep them in check.

Design is a collaborative enterprise, not a solo expedition. The next time you are asked to join a design team, embrace it by being open to new ideas and sharing your own. The results could be amazing!

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See the Masterful Furniture Designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, Marcel Breuer, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Architects design furniture for lots of reasons—some practical, some artistic, some financial. A pair of shows at the Friedman Benda Gallery in Chelsea puts those motives in the spotlight. Mark McDonald, who has been buying and selling important 20th-century design for more than 40 years, has filled the gallery’s glass-fronted main space with a greatest hits collection by Frank Lloyd Wright, Marcel Breuer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and other masters. In the basement “project space,” independent curator Juan Garcia Mosqueda is showcasing new furniture by nine emerging architecture practices.

 

An installation view of “Inside the Walls: Architects Design” at Friedman Benda in New York.

Photo: Dan Kukla / Courtesy of Friedman Benda

The furniture in the upstairs show, called “Inside the Walls: Architects Design”, was in most cases created by architects for specific projects—houses, restaurants, and hotels—with functionality a key concern. By contrast, the pieces by the young architects were made, generally, the way art is made, as one-offs or in small editions, with collectors in mind. Not surprisingly, the pieces in the downstairs show, slyly called “No-Thing”, tend to be conceptual. Says Mosqueda, “The architects in my show welcome and champion uncertainty, a de facto reaction against the 20th-century masters upstairs.”

 

Ettore Sottsass [Italian, 1917-2007]; Cabinet no. 8, 1994.

Photo: Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Ettore Sottsass

The key figure in the transition from furniture as furniture to furniture as an exploration of ideas may be Ettore Sottsass, the Italian designer represented in the upstairs show by Cabinet No. 8 (1994), which curator Mark McDonald rightly says “is a lot more innovative than its name.” Indeed, its “shelves” slope just enough to be unusable as shelves. According to Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Christian Larsen, who mounted the Met’s Sottsass show last summer, “Sottsass might very well be the hinge from the idea of coordination between building and interior, toward the autonomous, stand-alone quality of today’s conceptually driven furniture.”

 

Andy and Dave; Where is this? (Bench), 2018.

Photo: Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Andy and Dave

Among those conceptually driven pieces, some are also highly functional. That group includes a circular settee by the Brooklyn firm SO-IL, made of chain links slung across a stainless-steel frame; it is surprisingly comfortable. (SO-IL has been exploring uses of chain at least since it designed a gallery in Seoul covered in that material.) And a dining table by the architects Hilary Sample and Michael Meredith, of the firm MOS, looks eminently usable despite its conceptual roots: Meredith and Sample conceived it as a blow-up of the kind of roughly detailed tables that appear, thumbnail-sized, in architectural models. (“We hope it’s conceptual and practical,” Meredith wrote in an email. “Whenever we make furniture the first thing we think about is, Would we live with it?”) Other pieces are closer to the “art” end of the spectrum. Among them are a bench by the Brooklyn creators Andy and Dave, with pleather cushions in shapes derived from the elements of a Louise Nevelson sculpture; it has the title Where is this? Daybeds by the Belgium-based architecten de vylder vinck taillieuresemble stacks of building materials, seemingly waiting to be assembled.

 

A quartet of outdoor lanterns designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Francis W. Little House in Wayzata, Minnesota.

Photo: Dan Kukla / Courtesy of Friedman Benda

But if the pieces in Mosqueda’s show were designed to be sold, the ones in the upstairs gallery were, in most cases, never meant to come to market. Among the oldest items in McDonald’s show is a quartet of outdoor lanterns designed by Wright for the Francis W. Little House in Wayzata, Minnesota. Completed around 1922, that house was demolished in 1972. (Its living room is on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.) The show also includes a sconce from the Darwin Martin house in Buffalo (1905), which is in the midst of a decades-long renovation. According to Mary Roberts, executive director of the Martin House Restoration Corporation, the sconce was probably lost during the 17 years (1937 to 1954) the house was abandoned. She writes in an email: “Unfortunately we have already paid to replicate the fixture in question, but having the original is always preferred. We make no claim to ownership, but it’s something we would like back, if at all possible.”

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Los Angeles Designers Honor Rudolph Schindler at MAK Center

Fitzpatrick Leland House (R.M. Schindler 1936). Julius Shulman Photography Archive © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10)

Austrian-American architect Rudolph Schindler was a maverick of modernism. In the early 1920’s, the Frank Lloyd Wright protege amassed a portfolio of avant-garde residences emblematic of California modernism—well before Pierre Koenig or Richard Neutra popularized the style. Despite his prescience, Schindler mainly received posthumous recognition. Philip Johnson famously rejected him from MoMA’s landmark International Style exhibition, nor was he included in the Case Study Houses program.

Atelier de Troupe’s pendant fixture illuminates a Schindler sofa. Photography by Esteban Schimpf.

Los Angeles’s MAK Center for Art and Architecture is paying homage to Schindler through a series of exhibitions, starting with “Pin-Up: A Designed Tribute to Schindler’s L.A” at the architect’s Fitzpatrick-Leland House. The show evolves from “Schindler Goes West,” an exhibition at Paris’s Triode Gallery during the city’s design week in September, in which five Schindler enthusiasts (who all practice in Los Angeles) showcased furnishings and light fixtures that riff on his style. The designers—Atelier de Troupe creative director Gabriel Abraham, furniture guru Brendan Ravenhill, Interior Design Hall of Fame members Marmol Radziner, designer Pamela Shamshiri, and artist John Williams—reunite for “Pin-Up,” which shows original pieces alongside reinterpretations.  

Table, chairs, and light fixture by Brendan Ravenhill Studio. Photography by Esteban Schimpf.

“Pin-Up: A Designed Tribute to Schindler’s L.A.” will display until February 11. By appointment only. The Fitzpatrick-Leland House is located at 8078 Woodrow Wilson Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90046.

Sideboard and table lamp by Pamela Shamshiri. Photography by Esteban Schimpf.
Schindler armchairs flank Pamela Shamshiri’s trolley; overhead, Brendan Ravenhill’s light fixture. Photography by Esteban Schimpf.

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Friedman Benda Offers Up One-Off Furnishings by Great Architects

Easy Edges chaise by Frank Gehry, 1973. Photography by Dan Kukla.

The worlds of architecture and furniture are inextricably related—that may be why many of history’s greatest architects, such as Jean Prouvé, Oscar Niemeyer, and Zaha Hadid, also lent their prowess to product design. New York gallery Friedman Benda is exploring these commonalities in two concurrent exhibitions, one revisiting mid-century classics and another highlighting contemporary front runners.

Prototype Chair by Warren Platner, 1965. Photography by Dan Kukla.

Starting at mid-century, furniture dealer Mark McDonald is presenting “Inside the Walls: Architects Design,” a survey of seminal furnishings from celebrated architects like Luis Barragán, Marcel Breuer, Frank Gehry, Charlotte Perriand, and Kenzo Tange. Many are unique custom designs for specific commissions, both residential and commercial. Crowning the gallery space are cantilevered light fixtures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for his 1914 Francis W. Little House in Minnesota. Archival photographs show furnishings in situ.

Coffee table by Gio Ponti, 1955. Photography by Dan Kukla.
Cabinet No. 8 by Ettore Sottsass, 1994. Image courtesy of Friedman Benda.

For McDonald, this is a passion project. “My favorite furniture at home are pieces designed by architects,” says McDonald, who co-founded New York’s Fifty/50 Gallery, renowned for exhibiting the first-ever Eames retrospective. “Unhampered by the constraints of designing for manufacturing and mass-market appeal (or even for comfort), architects are at liberty to imagine something unique, perfectly suited for the function and space.”

Wanna Go There! partition and Where is this? bench by Andy and Dave, 2018. Image courtesy of Friedman Benda. 

Juan Garcia Mosqueda has always been drawn to architecture’s relationship with furniture. He founded Manhattan gallery Chamber, which championed contemporary independent design for three years. Although he shuttered the space last July, Mosqueda’s days as a curator are far from over. “No-Thing” showcases newly commissioned works from nine emerging architectural practices known for pushing boundaries. Through innovative use of materials and form, each piece calls into question our approach to interiors. For example, two rockers by Leong Leong—one in Gneiss stone, the other in perforated stainless steel—upend notions of mass. Objects like these, says Mosqueda, urge us “to take not solely a passive but an active role” at reimagining our relationship with domestic objects.

Light Rocker and Heavy Rocker by Leong Leong, 2018. Photography by Naho Kubota.
Kamer Frank daybed by architecten de vylder vinck taillieu, 2017. Image courtesy of Friedman Benda.

“Inside the Walls: Architects Design” and “No-Thing” both display until February 17. Friedman Benda is located at 515 West 26th Street in New York.

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The Most Beautiful Place of Worship in Every State

Not only are these structures spectacular, but they’re designed by such high profile architects as Eero Saarinen, Moshe Safdie, and Frank Lloyd Wright

 

From coast to coast, places of worship span nearly every architectural style, whether it’s a futuristic church in rural Indiana designed by one of Finland’s greatest architects (Eero Saarinen) or the recently restored Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Unity Temple in suburban Chicago. Mormon temples’ spires soar into the skyline and some Jewish temples are shapely in style, whether it’s a modern box or in perfect pitch with Feng Shui’s curvy chi. And no matter how many decades it’s been since their construction, a tiny steeple in the woods will never slip out of vogue.

St. Lawrence Catholic Parish (Fairhope, Alabama)
With its all-wood interior, and pendant lighting, plus the octagon-shaped elevated skylight, morning sun pours into St. Lawrence Catholic Parish’s interior, reflecting off the stained-glass windows.

 

Church of the Holy Ascension (Unalaska Island, Aleutian Islands, Alaska)
Photographed as often as the state’s moose population, this church’s Russian icons date back to the 16th century (including a mural gifted by Russia’s last czar) and services are in Slavonic. Built in 1896, the church received a full restoration 100 years later.

Photo: Getty Images/Dmitri Kessel

 

First Christian Church of Phoenix (Arizona)
Based on Frank Lloyd Wright’s drawings—commissioned by Southwest Christian Seminary in 1949 but never built—First Christian Church of Phoenix’s triangle-shaped building with a 77-foot-tall spire has been a must-see for design fans since its 1973 completion. There’s also a free-standing 120-foot bell tower.

Photo: Getty Images/UIG

 

Eureka Springs, Arkansas (Thorncrown Chapel)
Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic Prairie style, this 37-year-old Thorncrown Chapel crafted from mostly Southern pine wood and featuring a staggering 425 windows is on the National Register of Historic Places (a rare feat considering its age).

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Temple Judea (Tarzana, California)
Earning the Herman Coliver Locus Architecture award from the AIA in 2012, the year it was completed, Temple Judea’s striking exterior includes mosaic steps and a laser-cut metal veil of Hebrew letters.

Photo: Courtesy of Herman Coliver Locus Architecture

 

Mile Hi Church Sanctuary (Lakewood, Colorado)
The spaceship-like design of Mile Hi Church Sanctuary, completed in 2008, features a dome with exterior arches—just like another dome structure constructed on the property during the 1970s. Sanctuary seating is angled on a half-moon curve. Pictures is the Community Center which stands adjacent to the Sanctuary.

Photo: Courtesy of Mile Hi Church MOS Photo Team

 

Hartford Connecticut LDS Temple (Connecticut)
With formal gardens in front, the Hartford Connecticut LDS Temple boasts an elegant entry. Once inside, this new temple (open since 2016) features gold Art Deco-like railings around the bapistry area and soaring ceilings with crown molding in the Celestial Room.

Photo: Courtesy of Hartford Connecticut LDS Temple

 

Historic St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (Lewes, Delaware)
Dating back to 1708, the churchyard (resting places for many notables in Lewes) in front of Historic St. Peter’s Episcopal Church is framed by a wrought-iron archway and then, beyond, is the brick chapel (built a century later). The original communion table is still in use for Sunday service.

Photo: Getty Images/John Greim

St. Bernard de Clairvaux (North Miami Beach, Florida)
St. Bernard de Clairvaux is more widely known to tourists than parishioners (for Sunday-morning mass). During the 1920s, William Randolph Hearst bought the stone monastery cloister (dating back to 1133 AD in Spain) and shuttled it to New York City in parts. Not until the middle of last century, however, was it reinstalled in Florida.

 

Emmanuel Episcopal Church (Athens, Georgia)
Crisscrossed wood beams and pendant lighting brighten up the interior of this Episcopal church’s new chapel in a recent renovation, recognized by AIA for the Faith & Forum National Design Award for Religious Architecture. (The church dates back to the 1890s.)

Photo: Courtesy of Houser Walker

 

St. Benedict’s (Captain Cook, Big Island, Hawaii)
Past its traditional Spanish Gothic exterior, St. Benedict’s—framed by lush tropical landscaping—is a tapestry of murals, frescos and folk art on the inside. Built by a priest in 1899 who also wanted to add colorful accents, he used the art to teach spiritual lessons to illiterate Hawaiians.

Photo: Getty Images/John S. Lander

 

First Indian Presbyterian (Kamiah, Idaho)
With its cornflower-blue exterior and charming Gothic Revival design, First Indian Presbyterian’s prairie perch is fitting. It was built in 1871 by the chief of an Indian tribe and still meets today, singing hymns in the Nez Perce language.

Photo: Getty Images/Francis Dean

 

Unity Temple (Oak Park, Illinois)
One of Frank Lloyd Wright’s commissioned designs, and in the same Chicago ‘burb where he raised his family, Unity Temple is fresh off an extensive facelift to the tune of $25 million that replaced every pane of glass and honored Wright’s original color palate.

Photo: Getty Images/UIG

 

North Christian Church (Columbus, Indiana)
Finnish architect Eero Saarinen is more widely known for his industrial designs, including the Womb chair, than places of worship but that’s what makes North Christian Church so intriguing. It was completed in 1964.

Photo: Getty Images/Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge

St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church (Ankeny, Iowa)
With one section of the limestone and weathering steel building jutting out into the prairie, this church is some serious eye candy. The sanctuary’s cathedral ceiling is stunning with honey-hued wood panels supported by steel beams, with pews positioned at a subtle V.

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Basilica of St. Fidelis (Victoria, Kansas)
Also called Cathedral of the Plains, this basilica—completed in 1911—is on the National Register of Historic Places and flaunts 48 stained-glass windows reportedly now worth a million dollars.

Photo: Getty Images/Wallace Garrison

 

Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption (Covington, Kentucky)
Since 1901, services have been held in this basilica, crafted from Bedford stone and red-ludovici roof tile and inspired by St. Denis in France. Three pipe organs prove the acoustics in here are amazing.

Photo: Getty Images/Raymond Boyd

 

St. Louis Cathedral (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Holding reign as the oldest continual operating Catholic cathedral in the country, St. Louis Cathedral’s triple steeples have welcomed parishioners since 1727, and rebuilt in 1794 after a fire. It’s located on Jackson Square.

Photo: Getty Images/Jeff Greenberg

 

Wilde Memorial Chapel (Portland, Maine)
Now a site for weddings and funerals, this gorgeous Gothic-style chapel was built in 1902, using cypress for the interior, hiring a Boston firm to craft stained-glass windows and carving oak pews by hand.

Photo: Getty Images/Portland Press Herald

 

Baltimore Basilica (Maryland)
Carrying the distinction of being America’s first cathedral, Baltimore Basilica was constructed in the early 1800s and received an extensive restoration over an 18-month period between 2004 and 2006. Also worth seeing: the Pope John Paul Garden next door.

Photo: Getty Images/MyLoupe

 

Harvard Business School (Boston)
A gift from the Harvard Business School’s class of 1959, this cylinder-shaped chapel designed by Moshe Safdie and built in 1992 received LEED Gold Certification, in 2011.

Photo: Getty Images/John Greim

 

Islamic Center of America (Dearborn, Michigan)
Since 1963, much of the Detroit area’s Muslim population has met in this mosque, constructed in 2005 and North America’s largest mosque. Spanning 92,000 square feet, it cost $14 million to build and can hold 1,000 people for prayer services.

Photo: Getty Images/Raymond Boyd

 

Saint John’s Abbey (Collegeville, Minnesota)
This Benedictine monastery was established in the 1850s by five monks from Pennsylvania and is now home to one of the country’s largest Benedictine abbeys. In 1961 Marcel Breuer constructed the church’s contemporary concrete structure, which includes the largest wall of stained glass in the world.

Photo: Getty Images/Robert W. Kelley

 

Fulton Chapel at University of Mississippi (Oxford)
While not used exclusively for religious services, this historic building—a landmark on campus since its 1927 debut—can accommodate up to 650 people for performances of many kinds, including theatrical events.

Photo: Getty Images/Wesley Hitt

 

Community Christian Church (Kansas City, Missouri)
Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture shines in the Community Christian Church design, a project he was commissioned for in 1940. But it wasn’t until 1994 that the designs for his Steeple of Light—lit every weekend—came to fruition.

Photo: Getty Images/UIG

Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church (Helena, Montana)
Resembling a modern farmhouse, Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church worked with an architect to create a cozy—but contemporary—vibe for Sunday services. Lots of right angles and clean lines gave the this Lutheran church a fresh look.

 

St. John’s Catholic Church at Creighton University (Omaha, Nebraska)
This grand chapel on Creighton University’s campus featured arched stained-glass windows, soaring ceilings and columns everywhere.

Photo: Getty Images/Eric Thayer

 

Ravella at Lake Las Vegas (Nevada)
Sin City is filled with wedding chapels but this one is less kitsch and more elegance, featuring columns and hand-carved pews (and no Elvis). While scriptures are being read, take a peek outside and you just might think you’re in Tuscany…not Las Vegas.

Photo: Getty Images/Ethan Miller

 

Stark Union Church (Stark, New Hampshire)
Particularly when fall foliage is in full swing, Stark Union Church’s open bell tower, plus the adjacent covered bridge, frames the landscape beautifully and its emerald-green shutters evoke a storybook setting.

Photo: Getty Images/Education Images

 

Princeton University Chapel (New Jersey)
Marked by the “Song of Vowels” sculpture (Jacques Lipchitz) out front, and next to the Firestone Library, this soaring cathedral hosts worship services every Sunday as well as concerts.

Photo: Getty Images/Barry Winiker

 

Loretto Chapel (Santa Fe, New Mexico)
Modeled after Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, this intimate Gothic-style chapel in downtown Santa Fe features the often-photographed, free-standing circular Miraculous Staircase.

Photo: Getty Images/Ernesto Burciaga

 

Saint Patrick’s Cathedral (New York, New York)
Sunlight glinting through the stained-glass windows and the vaulted ceilings create a calm setting in the midst of bustling Manhattan at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, built in 1878 and in a Neo-Gothic style. A $177 million restoration wrapped up in 2015.

Photo: Getty Images/Manuel Romano

 

First Baptist Church (Asheville, North Carolina)
Built in the 1920s based on architect Douglas Ellington’s designs, this dome-shaped church is packed with Art Deco detailing, such as diamond-shaped panels and floral motifs in the sanctuary, and has a brick-and-marble exterior.

Photo: Getty Images/Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge

Gol Stave Church (Minot, North Dakota)
Located in Scandinavian Heritage Park, which was established in the late ‘80s, structures reminiscent of what you’d find in Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark are here. Gol Stave Church is one of those, a true replica of the church in Gol, Hallingdal, Norway.

 

The Old Stone Church (Cleveland, Ohio)
Dating back to 1855, a medieval exterior gives way to Tiffany stained-glass windows inside Old Stone Church where not only are Presbyterian services held on Sunday, so is weekday afternoon yoga.

Photo: Getty Images/Raymond Boyd

 

Boston Avenue United Methodist Church (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
Towering above downtown Tulsa, Boston Avenue United Methodist Church’s Art Deco design debuted in 1929. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places.

Photo: Getty Images/Jordan McAlister

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Oregon (Bend)
Modern in design, the Unitarian church in Bend—completed in 2016—was also designed to be sustainable and eco-friendly. It spans 19,000 square feet and has breathed new life into the church, including a boost in membership.

 

Beth Sholom Synagogue (Elkins Park, Pennsylvania)
Frank Lloyd Wright’s lone synagogue design lies in this Philly suburb riffs on Mayan Revival architecture and its interior lighting casts a soft glow at night, as seen from outside, and thanks to translucent fiberglass walls.

Photo: Getty Images/Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge

 

Church of St. Gregory the Great (Portsmouth, Rhode Island)
On the Portsmouth Abbey campus, Church of St. Gregory the Great’s design—at the hands of architect Pietro Belluschi, featuring a redwood interior and fieldstone walls (sourced from nearby land)—was inspired by a 16th Century church in Ravenna, Italy.

Photo: Getty Images/Elise Amendola-Pool

 

Unitarian Church in Charleston (South Carolina)
A popular tourist attraction is the Unitarian Church in Charleston’s Gothic-style graveyard with its drooping Spanish moss. Tours of the church’s interior—completed just after the Revolutionary War in 1776, making it Charleston’s second-oldest church, and inspired by Chapel of Henry VII at Westminster Abbey—are led by docents each September through June.

Photo: Getty Images/River North Photography

 

Chapel in the Hills (Rapid City, South Dakota)
This eye-catching design recalls Norway, not South Dakota, but that’s because Chapel in the Hills (http://www.chapel-in-the-hills.org) hearkens back to South Dakotans’ Norwegian heritage. Built in the 1960s, it’s a replica of the Borgund stavkirke, which dates back to 1150 AD and is in Laerdal, Norway.

Photo: Courtesy of Brian and Joyce Kringen

 

Fisk Memorial Chapel at Fisk University (Nashville, Tennessee)
Located on the Fisk University campus, the chapel has welcomed guest preachers like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesse Jackson since its 1892 construction. Among the unique attributes are the church’s three-sided balcony, and one of the country’s finest pipe organs.

Photo: Getty Images/Raymond Boyd

 

Chapel of Thanksgiving (Dallas, Texas)
Thanks-Giving Square in downtown Dallas is marked by this Phillip Johnson-designed chapel the resembles a wedding cake. It debuted along with the square in 1976. The stunning stained-glass window (Glory Window by Gabriel Loire) on a spiral ceiling is a must-see.

Photo: Getty Images/Raymond Boyd

 

Salt Lake Temple (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Since its construction in 1893, this temple has served as an inspiring design for other LDS Church temples around the United States. It’s also the largest of all temples, clocking in at 253,015 square feet and took 40 years to complete.

Photo: Getty Images/Bloomberg

 

Union Christian Church (Plymouth, Vermont)
The craftsmanship inside Union Christian Church, which was built during the 1840s, truly shines, including the wooden walls and ceiling. Fun historical fact: President Calvin Coolidge used to be a member of this church and he lived across the street.

Photo: Getty Images/John Greim

 

Chapel by Arlington National Cemetery (Fort Myer, Virginia)
In addition to regular services, the chapel—next to Arlington National Cemetery—is used for military funeral services led by a chaplain and is an excellent example of timeless design with its spire and shapely roof.

Photo: Getty Images/Nicholas Kamm

 

Washington National Cathedral (Washington, D.C.)
As grand as Europe’s ancient churches, Washington National Cathedral was constructed in the nation’s capital in 1907 and has received many refurbishments since, honoring the merging of Neo-Gothic and English Gothic styles. It’s also the country’s second-largest church and on the National Register of Historic Places.

Photo: Getty Images/Salwan Georges/The Washington Post

 

Seattle University’s Chapel of St. Ignatius (Washington)
At first glance, one might mistake Chapel of St. Ignatius for a contemporary-art museum, but no, it’s a place of worship, designed by Steven Holl in 1997. Interior pendant lighting (with exposed bulbs) and white concaved ceilings create an intimate, softer feeling than the modernized exterior.

Photo: Getty Images/Dennis Gilbert

 

Palace of Gold (Moundsville, West Virginia)
Rural Appalachia skewed artsy in 1979 with the construction of Palace of Gold, an ornate palace with blooming rose gardens and a staggering 100 water fountains outside. Marble imported from various spots around the world clocks in at 52 different varieties, and 1,500 pieces of stained-glass are within four windows, proof no luxury was spared in its construction.

Photo: Getty Images/Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post

 

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church (Wauwatosa, Wisconsin)
Resembling a spaceship, the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in suburban Milwaukee is eye-catching, with its floating bowl shape. While based on Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs, it was one of his final commission and not unveiled until two years after he died, in 1961.

Photo: Getty Images/Raymond Boyd

 

Saint John’s Episcopal Church Chapel of the Transfiguration (Moose, Wyoming)
Is there anything more charming than a steeple tucked into nature? Chapel of the Transfiguration is within Grand Teton National Park and constructed from logs, built in 1925. Holy Communion is on Sundays but only during the summer and seats just 65 people.

Photo: Getty Images/MyLoupe
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These 10 Wedding Locations Are Perfect for Architecture Lovers

There’s a reason that choosing a venue is often the first thing a newly engaged couple tackles. A stunning location can set the tone for the day and impacts every other decision from the menu to the dress. For design and architecture lovers, an iconic site can provide offer a striking setting and show off their personal passions. From monumental civic buildings to intimate chapels, these buildings have interiors that are as impressive as their architectural pedigrees. (Plus, they’re are sure to provide dramatic backdrops for photographs.) Whether you’re planning a wedding or just looking for a place to throw party, these buildings should be on your inspiration board.

 

Photo: Getty Images

Architect Hiroshi Nakamura designed the Ribbon Chapel in Hiroshima, Japan, with two entwined spiral staircases to symbolize the act of marriage. The bride and groom travel separately up the stairs and meet at the top for a private moment.

Photo: Getty Images/Bob Krist

Middleton Place near Charleston, South Carolina, is home to the country’s oldest landscaped gardens, which were designed using the principles of André Le Nôtre, the talent behind the gardens at Versailles and Vaux-le-Vicomte. The site, which includes a 1755 guest house-turned museum, is a National Historic Landmark.

Photo: Getty Images

Who says a city hall wedding can’t be opulent? San Francisco’s Beaux Arts City Hall, which was designed by architect Arthur Brown, features a grand rotunda beneath its 307-foot-tall dome. Areas of the building can be rented for as little as an hour or for the full evening.

 

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Seven Hidden Gems from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian Period

The word “Usonian” (United States of North America) is attributed to writer James Duff Law, who wrote in 1903, “We of the United States, in justice to Canadians and Mexicans, have no right to use the title ‘Americans’ when referring to matters pertaining exclusively to ourselves.” Wright referenced this quote, misattributing it to writer Samuel Butler in Architecture: Selected Writings 1894–1940: “Samuel Butler fitted us with a good name. He called us Usonians, and our Nation of combined States, Usonia.”

Continue reading Seven Hidden Gems from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian Period

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