Kathryn Van Dinh
Building Bucket List - Part 1
Updated: Jan 7, 2022
Everyone has at least one bucket list item that they dream of doing. Skydiving, meeting a celebrity, visiting all 7 continents, completing a marathon, the options are endless. Architects have bucket lists too but they are a little different. Most architects and even architecture students have an ever growing list of buildings they want to visit. A building bucket list as you will. We at MEL/ARCH would like to share some of our bucket list buildings and maybe you’ll be inspired to add some buildings to your bucket list.
Phillips Exeter Academy Library - Louis I. Kahn, 1965, Exeter, New Hampshire, United States
Most people aren’t thrilled by libraries but I sure am. Quite a few libraries have made it on to my bucket list, but Exeter Library has to be the top pick. It is a lesser known building by Louis Kahn but it is one of his best. This magnificent library is the combination of common materials, wood and concrete, and simple forms, circles and squares.
Bruder Klaus Field Chapel - Peter Zumthor, 2007, Mechernich, Germany
I began architecture school overwhelmed by the stunning work I was exposed to daily by my professors, but one architect’s projects consistently impressed me to the point of recollection, Peter Zumthor. One project in particular, the Bruder Klaus Chapel seemed particularly special in its story and simplicity. It is a perfect example of unconventional use of materials and unique construction methods. The smooth and rigid exterior is contrast by a textured and organic interior. The cavity was created by forming 24 layers of poured concrete around 112 tree trunks, and lighting interior wooden frame. I’ve been told that a visit to this building is a full sensory experience between the unique lighting, textured walls, and remanent smell of the burning wood. I hope to someday speak on the experience myself.
TWA Terminal at JFK Airport - Eero Saarinen, 1962, NYC, United States
Traveling to my dream destination to see some of my most favorite designs would quickly become a lofty itinerary. Its a reason I have a bucket list for structures in my home country as well, yet this place has an adventurous appeal of traveling back in time. The TWA Flight Center, in my eyes, is Mid-Century Futurism at its peak. The sweeping aerodynamic forms of the terminal are enough to emote a place in another era. It is equally fascinating to explore a space used as an airplane terminal before the necessity of security checks emerged in the international modern world. The most exciting part of this preserved landmark is the addition of the TWA Hotel brought to life by Beyer Blinder Belle and Turner Construction. On your way to your next adventure, or on your way home, it is a tasteful accommodation to live a little in the iconic Jet Age.