Minimalism, Maximalism And Everything In Between

  • Architect: Sir Norman Foster Structure: Millau Viaduct, FranceYear Completed: 2004
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    Architect: Sir Norman Foster Structure: Millau Viaduct, FranceYear Completed: 2004
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  • Architect: Sir Norman Foster Structure: HSBC Building, Hong Kong Year Completed: 1985
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    Architect: Sir Norman Foster Structure: HSBC Building, Hong Kong Year Completed: 1985
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  • Architect: Rem Koolhaas (Office for Metropolitan Architecture)Structure: CTV Building, Beijing Year Completed: Still under construction
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    Architect: Rem Koolhaas (Office for Metropolitan Architecture)Structure: CTV Building, Beijing Year Completed: Still under construction
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  • Architect: Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron Structure: Bird's Nest stadium, Beijing Year Completed: 2008
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    Architect: Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron Structure: Bird's Nest stadium, Beijing Year Completed: 2008
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  • Architect: Rem Koolhaas (Office for Metropolitan Architecture) Structure: Seattle Central Library Year Completed: 2004
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    Architect: Rem Koolhaas (Office for Metropolitan Architecture) Structure: Seattle Central Library Year Completed: 2004
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  • Architect: Sir Richard Rogers Structure: Lloyd's Building, London Year Completed: 1984
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    Architect: Sir Richard Rogers Structure: Lloyd's Building, London Year Completed: 1984
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  • Architect: Le Corbusier Structure: Saint-Pierre church, Firminy, France Year Completed: 2006 (from a design by Le Corbusier, who died in 1965)
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    Architect: Le Corbusier Structure: Saint-Pierre church, Firminy, France Year Completed: 2006 (from a design by Le Corbusier, who died in 1965)
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  • Architect: Rem Koolhaas (Office for Metropolitan Architecture)Structure: Casa da Musica, Porto, Portugal     Year Completed: 2005
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    Architect: Rem Koolhaas (Office for Metropolitan Architecture)Structure: Casa da Musica, Porto, Portugal Year Completed: 2005
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  • Architect: Daniel Libeskind Structure: Jewish Museum, Berlin Year Completed: 1998
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    Architect: Daniel Libeskind Structure: Jewish Museum, Berlin Year Completed: 1998
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  • Architect: Thom Mayne (Morphosis) Structure: Cooper Union building, New York     Year Completed: 2009
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    Architect: Thom Mayne (Morphosis) Structure: Cooper Union building, New York Year Completed: 2009
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The late architect Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe described his design philosophy with a simple mantra: "Less is more." Those three words shaped the world of architecture for a generation. Countless sleek, black towers of steel and glass soared skyward around the world from the 1940s through the '70s.

But today it seems more is more. In its August issue, Vanity Fair has published the results of its survey of the most important architectural works of the past 30 years. The winners — chosen by architects, critics, and academics — are striking, whimsical and even audacious. Architecture correspondent Matt Tyrnauer, who wrote the piece that accompanies the survey, speaks with NPR's Liane Hansen about the committee's selections.

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