Designers and architects, what do you think is the most important piece of architecture built in the last 30 years? Toyo Ito’s Mediatheque in Sendai, Japan? Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain? Vanity Fair magazine asked 90 of the world’s leading architects, teachers and critics to name the five most important buildings monuments, and bridges completed since 1980, as well as the most significant structure built so far in the 21st century.
Of the 52 experts who participated in the poll, including 11 Pritzker Prize winners and the deans of eight major architecture schools, 28 voted for the Guggenheim in Bilbao, a building, which, you may or may not recall, brought Philip Johnson to tears when it was unveiled in 1998. He later called Gehry “the greatest architect we have today” and his museum “the greatest building of our time.”
“Bilbao is truly a signal moment in the architectural culture,” said the Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Paul Goldberger, author of Why Architecture Matters. “The building blazed new trails…it was one of those rare moments when critics, academics, and the general public were all united about something.”
Gehry also received votes on three other projects: the Walt Disney Concert Hall, in Los Angeles; Millennium Park, in Chicago, and his own house in Santa Monica.
Read more about Gehry, the Guggenheim, and other top ranked buildings in the August 2010 issue of Vanity Fair or on the magazine’s website.
Photos courtesy of Mary Ann Sulllivan.