The Athens Olympic Sports Complex is my favorite architectural development not just because of the design, but also the phenomenon that occurs on every building design by its architect, Santiago Calatrava. He has always been one of my personal, most inspirational figures, speaking in a design language that is the paragon of fusing architecture and structure with a consequence of monumental beauty.
His projects inspire me to celebrate beauty in the structure and to always be conscious of the materials I am working with.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Highline is an excellent example of repurposing of an old rail line, resulting in an wonderful outdoor destination.
Calatrava’s Oculus is a beautiful form that is also an amazing transit hub.
Ultimately what I enjoy or am inspired by both of these pieces is the LIGHT! Peter Zumthor pays close attention to environment in which each project is constructed. Not only do the structure(s) flow seamlessly with the surrounding landscape- he has captured the light and successfully used it to help inform the occupants of the space’s purpose while also creating a tranquil comfortable space. Geometric forms and natural materials also play an important role- i.e. Stone and Wood, both of which are great examples in the Baths (Stone) and the Chapel (Wood).
To me Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia basilica is an important piece of architecture, not only because of the organic elements that defined Gaudi as a master architect, but because this specific piece demonstrates the impact our work can carry. In its final stage of construction, a team of Architects have dedicated themselves to finishing the Cathedral. Even with time, if the architecture is significant, it will outlast generations and inspire new ones.
Out of the box:
You can’t have World Architecture Day without Lebbeus Woods and his experimental projects and drawings. Every architect has an internal crisis deciding how far a project should push boundaries or conform to the existing. This specific drawing deals with “the order of the existing being confronted by the order of the new” and it is a direct reminder that architecture doesn’t always have to fit into the surroundings.
Taichung City Cultural Center by Patrick Tighe architecture is an inspirational project combining design and engineering, showcasing form and structure all while being fun and playful, providing its users an opportunity to experience something new and different worth remembering and worth sharing with others. All architecture should be like this
The Bullitt Center in Seattle, WA has always been one of my favorite and most inspiring buildings, as it is the greenest building in the world. It is a commercial “Living Building,” meaning it is completely self-sustaining. All water is collected and treated on-site, all power is produced on-site, it uses the ground below it for heating and cooling, and all materials used to build this building are non-red list materials. The building also promotes healthier living, with grand staircases as the main mode of transportation throughout the building, and no parking stalls whatsoever; only bike racks!