The 20 icons of 20th century architecture and Minimae bending the truth again. Why?
1- Because of the 20 architectural icons we’ve selected, we’re only going to talk about 5. The classic trick…
2- Because “icons of the 20th century” is a figure of speech. If we look at the dictionary, icon is defined as a “person or thing representative of an ideology or historical moment”. Example: building abc is iconic of the xyz movement. So, does this last point mean that we’ve tossed other lists of the buildings most representative of 20th century architecture out the window? Well, yes. A building or two might align with those lists made by publications infinitely more prestigious than Minimae. But the good thing about being small is that we have the luxury of saying what we want without drawing the ire of the purists. Which is why we qualified the title of the post with “according to Minimae”. Here we go:
#The order is random. The first isn’t the best, and the last isn’t our least favorite#
The 20 Icons of 20th Century Architecture (according to Minimae)
Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City. Architect: Felix Candela. Year completed: 1968
Why we chose it: Because of its spectacular copper covering. Candela substituted this material for the traditional concrete, achieving a lighter covering with more radical shapes.
Why we shouldn’t have chosen it: Because of its unpleasant acoustic problems. The Palace of Sports is colloquially known as the “Palace of Echoes”.
Exterior and covering of the Palacio de losDeportes in Mexico. Felix Candela
Farnsworth House. Architect: Mies van der Rohe. Year completed: 1951
Why we chose it: Because we would kill to live there.
Why we shouldn’t have chosen it as a 20th century icon: Because, despite our love for it, the house “makes water” (so to speak) in many places. Doctor Farnsworth, the client, sued van der Rohe because of her constant problems with the house: flooding, a greenhouse effect in the summer, condensation of water in the winter… a long list of incidents. However, the courts ruled in favor of the architect.
Farnsworth House. Look at it. Now look at the year of construction. Who would have thought, right?
Chapel of Notre Dame du Haut. Architect: Le Corbusier. Year completed: 1955
Why we chose it: Because if God exists, this is where he would be.
Why we shouldn’t have chosen it: Because it isn’t iconic of anything, simple as that. What’s more, it doesn’t represent Le Corbusier, as it is a building that is completely atypical for his principles of construction.
Impressive image of the chapel of Notre Dame du Haut
Congresso Nacional do Brasil. Architect: Oscar Niemeyer. Year completed: 1960
Why we chose it: Because it has everything that represents Niemeyer: curves, and also has what doesn’t represent him: straight lines… EVERYTHING
Why we shouldn’t have chosen it: We can’t think of any reason not to. Possibly that it isn’t the work that best identifies the architect.
General view of the Congresso Nacional doBrasil. Lines, curved, straight…
Sydney Opera House. Architect: JørnUtzon. Year completed: 1973
Why we chose it: Because this one is a true ICON for Minimae, for architecture gurus, for ordinary passersby… for everyone.
Why we shouldn’t have chosen it: Because it’s been seen by more people than the funny pages, but even so, we wouldn’t dream of leaving it out.
General view of the Sydney Opera House
And now comes Minimae’s humble offering to the greatest of the great. We officially inaugurate the collection 20th Century Architecture Prints and its 20 iconic buildings.
An odyssey on our part to establish ourselves as know-it-alls. A risk because of the preconceptions people have about these buildings; it isn’t easy to pull off such well-known monuments. A pleasure because we have our life saver, who goes by the name of Carmelo Ros, our hero at Minimae who has joined us on three very important projects so far: the trompe l’oeil maps, the mini charcoal sketches, and our latest proposal, our LIMITED EDITION series of prints (150 COPIES) of the architectural icons of the 20th century, according to Minimae. The only guideline we gave him was that cliché phrase by van der Rohe, whom we have among our selection: less is more.
Want to see our prints? Stay tuned and we’ll show you.