Le Corbusier treated his final project before his death like a piece of art, mixing glass panels with ones made of colorful enamel à la Piet Mondrian. Once a museum, the 1967 building now houses a gallery of the architect’s work.
Photo: Barbara Burg and Oliver Schuh, Palladium Photodesign
Prairie House, Norman, Oklahoma
Herb Greene’s nestlike creation, completed in 1961, is clad entirely in cedar shingles inside and out. “Often referred to as the ‘prairie chicken,’ the feathered home excels at crafting a rich inner world,” write Klanten and Borges. “The swirling patterns that the shingles create as they sweep through the interior spaces form a mesmerizing, protective lair for the family to retreat into.”
Photo: J. Paul Getty Trust/Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles
Palais Bulles, Cannes, France
Fittingly called the Palace of Bubbles, this 1989 Antti Lovag–designed house is a series of bulbous pieces fit with circular windows and pathways, framing a pool on the cliff of the Mediterranean Sea. “Lovag transformed the whimsical structure into a critique of linear architecture and straight angles,” note the authors.
Photo: Ken Sparkes
Steel House, Lubbock, Texas
Robert Bruno, a sculptor turned architect, labored over this 110-ton steel structure for three decades, continuing to evolve his design until he passed away in 2008, leaving the lakeside home unfinished.
Photo: Denny Mingus
Les Arcades du Lac, Saint-Quentin-En-Yvelines, France
Ricardo Bofill’s first major project in France, completed in 1982, these six apartment towers function as an island on a man-made lake. Inspired by a French garden, the buildings take the place of manicured hedges, and have a view of spacious lawns and plazas.
Photo: Laurent Kronental
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
We'll likely never stop dreaming about what the future holds, and architecture in the 1960s through '80s particularly reflected this forward-thinking inclination. Many of the incredible futuristic buildings from this era are highlighted in the new book The Tale of Tomorrow (Gestalten, $68), compiled by Gestalten with co-editor Sofia Borges. "Utopian architecture was driven by visions of how life could—should—be. It was informed by ideas of society reshaped to overcome divisions of class, race, and creed, to strengthen the bonds of community, to enable us to live more humanely (and to be more human), to live with and in nature. It was architecture meant to make things better," writes Gestalten editor Robert Klanten. Even decades later, these works by talents like Le Corbusier and Eero Saarinen are inspiring, exciting, and proof that great things happen when you push the boundaries of what can be done.
Click through the gallery above to see some of our favorites.