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
- Buenos Aires
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.