In the seasonal spirit of good will we need a game to sustain us over the holidays. Let’s play high five – inspired by Nick Hornby’s anti-hero in High Fidelity (John Cusack in the film version). Competing best fives on any topic. This round is architecture and design.

Top 5 old churches

  • Christ Church Spitalfields, UK, Nicholas Hawksmoor
  • Sainte-Chapelle, Paris France
  • Sagrada Familia Barcelona, Antoni Gaudi
  • Chartres Cathedral Eure-et-Loire, France
  • Cathedral Church of the Risen Christ, Liverpool, Giles Gilbert Scott

OK, Hawksmoor’s is more town hall than church, which makes it best.

Top 5 new churches

  • St Mary’s Cathedral, Tokyo, Kenzo Tange
  • Temppeliaukio Church Helsinki, Finland Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen
  • Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles, Rafael Moneo
  • Metropolitan Cathedral of our Lady of Aparecida, Brasilia, Oscar Neimeyer
  • Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool, Frederick Gibberd

And no Tadeo Ando here.

Top 5 architects that worked for Frank Lloyd Wright

  • Rudolph Schindler
  • Richard Neutra
  • Antonin Raymond
  • Bruce Goff
  • Paolo Soleri

There are more than 50, so take your choice.

Top 5 books on environmentalism

  • Death and Life in American Cities, Jane Jacobs
  • Silent Spring, Rachel Carson
  • Only One Earth, Barbara Ward
  • Spaceship Earth, Barbara Ward
  • Limits to Growth, Donatello Meadows

Notice the link, no Bucky here. Just the originals.

Top 5 houses in LA

  • Schindler’s duplex Kings Road
  • Ray Kappe’s own (he was a great, vale in 2019)
  • Eames own (with Eucalypts)
  • Gordon Drake’s (check it out)
  • Frank Gehry’s own

OK the last is there because I once had dinner there and spilt spag bol on the cardboard dining table. But I did bring two bottles of Jacob’s Creek.

Top 5 modern houses not in LA

  • Villa Mairea, Finland, Alvar Aalto
  • Villa Savoye, Poissy, Corb
  • Villa Tugendhat, Brno Czech Republic, Mies van der Rohe
  • Butanta Houses, Casa Paulo Mendes da Rocha, Sao Paulo Brazil, Paulo Mendes da Rocha
  • Kaufmann Desert House, Palm Springs, Richard Neutra

Well it’s not in LA is it. Maybe the top 5 in Palm Springs would work.

Top 5 readable books on modern architecture

  • Architecture of the Well Tempered Environment, Reyner Banham
  • On Architecture: Collected Reflections on a Century of Change, Ada Louise Huxtable
  • Pioneers of Modern Design, Nikolas Pevsner
  • How Architecture Works: A Humanist's Toolkit, Witold Rybczynski
  • From Bauhaus to Our House, Tom Wolfe

Nothing there by Roger Scrutton or Dimitri Porphyros, it’s about readable. That’ll make an argument.

Top 5 architectural pilgrimages

  • Ronchamp, France, Corb
  • Tombe Brion, S Vito di Altivole, Italy, Carlo Scarpa
  • Villa Mairea, Finland Alvar Aalto
  • Sea Ranch Northern California, MLTW (mostly Lyndon and Moore)
  • Nakagin Capsule Tower, Tokyo, Kisho Kurokawa

There’s a Sony reel to reel tape deck in the original Nakagin Capsule. I have a photo. You should never talk about a building until you’ve been there. Discuss.

Top 5 most disappointing architectural pilgrimages

  • Wortruba Church, Vienna, Fritz Wortruba
  • Fire Station #4, Columbus Indiana, Venturi Rauch + Scott Brown
  • Cemetery San Cataldo, Modena, Aldo Rossi
  • Primary school in Fagnano Olona, Italy, Aldo Rossi
  • Gallaratese Quarter, Milan, Aldo Rossi and Carlo Aymonino

You’d think one visit would teach me. But I gave Rossi so many chances and he never failed to disappoint.

Top cities beginning with B

  • Bologna
  • Berlin
  • Buenos Aires
  • Barcelona
  • Brisbane

Spot the ironic one.

5 best sit downs

  • Eames lounge chair and ottoman, Ray and Charles Eames
  • Eames LCW, Ray and Charles Eames
  • Eames DCM, Ray and Charles Eames
  • Eames aluminium series, Ray and Charles Eames
  • Artek Aalto stool, Alvar Aalto

Never ever buy a copy. Or copy my lists. Top 5 silly. I need to sit down now. I’ll talk with you in the new year, thanks for the support in this one. Any quibbles then write to [email protected], no reply offered unless it’s smart.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and are not held or endorsed by A+D.