As a graduate student of Interior Design in Philadelphia, I have studied many of our city's great works of architecture and have often been assigned historical buildings as a starting place for my design projects. Over and over again, I amazed at the number of formidable architects than have come through our city and influenced its ever-changing landscape.
Naturally, I was thrilled when ArchDaily came out with their Architecture City Guide for Philadelphia this week! Limited to twelve picks, the list includes recent notables such as the Comcast and Cira Centers, as well as residential gems like Split Level House and The Modules. All in all, it's a great list of mostly recent architecture.
But what about the pioneers? The landmark works by legends such as Frank Furness, Louis Kahn, Eero Saarinen and Frank Lloyd Wright? It's hard to imagine our city without their influence — it's everywhere. And so I've added a few to the list — some classic, some contemporary and some everyday favorites. I've even included some not-yet-completed works. This is by no means an exhaustive list, however. (In a city this rich in architectural history, I fear that would be an impossible task.) But it's a starting place — for learning, appreciating and exploring this cityscape we call home.
PHILADELPHIA NOTABLE ARCHITECTURE
- 1. Split Level House - Qb Design, 2009
2. Melvin J. and Claire Levine Hall at the University of Pennsylvania - KieranTimberlake, 2002
3. Comcast Center - Robert A. M. Stern Architects, 2008
4. Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts - Rafael Viñoly, 2001
5. Hill College House - Eero Saarinen, 1958
6. Fisher Fine Arts Library - Frank Furness, 1888-91
7. Rag Flats - Onion Flats, 2006
8. National Museum of American Jewish History - Ennead Architects, 2010
9. Bingham Court / Society Hill Townhouses – I.M. Pei, 1964
10. Society Hill Towers – I.M. Pei, 1964
11. Philadelphia Savings Fund Society (PSFS) / Lowes Hotel - George Howe and William Lescaze, 1932
12. Franklin Court / Ghost House – Robert Venturi, 1973-76
13. Beth Shalom Congregation – Frank Lloyd Wright, 1954
14. Richards Medical Research Laboratories – Louis Kahn, 1965
15. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts – Frank Furness and George,1871-76
16. Skirkanich Hall - Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, 2007
17. Philadelphia City Hall – John McArthur, Jr.,1901
18. Barnes Foundation (on the Parkway) - Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. Estimated opening - late 2011.
19. Philadelphia Museum of Art Expansion – Frank Gehry. Estimated opening 2015.
20. Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk - Michael Baker Engineers. Estimated opening 2013
What are your thoughts on the architecture of Philadelphia? What favorites are missing from the list?