Louis Isadore Kahn is born in Pernow – formerly in Russia, but now Pärnu in Estonia – on February 20, 1901 by the name of Leiser-itze Schmulowsky. In 1906, the family immigrates to Philadelphia. His father changes the family name to Kahn in 1915, when the family is awarded US citizenship. Kahn develops his artistic talents early on, and is able to draw beautifully from a young age.
In his early years, Kahn earns money playing the piano at neighbourhood theatres. He keeps this up during his university years, until he graduates in 1924 with a bronze medal for ‘superior excellence’ and starts working as an architect.
In 1928, he leaves on a trip to Europe. In the Netherlands, he learns about modern architecture, such as the functionalist design of Johannes Duiker's Sanatorium Zonnestraal in Hilversum. He also gets to see the architecture of Hendrik Berlage, Michel de Klerk and Willem Dudok.
Family life and work 1930 - 1955
Back in the US, Louis Kahn marries Esther Virginia Israeli, a research assistant in the field of neurology. Five years later, Kahn is awarded the title of architect and starts working from home on his own projects. In 1940, Esther gives birth to their first daughter, Sue Ann. In 1945, Kahn has an office with a few employees. Kahn develops a tough work ethic: he often only rests for a few hours, sometimes sleeping at the office to be able to continue working straight away.
In the office, Louis Kahn and architect Anne Tyng, who is nearly 20 years younger, become entangled in an affair. Because of his attitude towards work, Louis Kahn is often away from home, keeping the two worlds of family life and work strictly separate. In 1950, Kahn leaves on another extended trip to southern Europe and Egypt, where he draws ancient Roman and Egyptian treasures. Kahn describes the beauty of these structures in letters to Anne Tyng. In 1954, Anne Tyng gives birth to Kahn's second child: Alexandra.
International fame: 1955 - 1974
In 1958, Kahn is introduced to landscape-architect Harriet Pattison (born in 1928) at a party. A relationship develops between the architect and Pattison, resulting in the birth of Kahn's third child and only son, Nathaniel. One year later, Kahn attends the conference of a prominent group of international architects, who have come together in Otterloo, the Netherlands, under the name of Team X (Team Ten). This group includes Dutch architects Aldo van Eyck and Jaap Bakema.
In the 1960s and 70s, Kahn finally takes his place on the international stage with designs for government buildings, museums, laboratories, libraries, private homes and religious buildings. One high point is the government building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which is only completed in 1983, years after his death. In the last decade of his life, Kahn visits the Indian subcontinent no fewer than 40 times. On 17 March 1974, returning from one of these trips, Louis Kahn dies in a toilet at Penn Station in New York. For uncertain reasons, he had crossed out his name in his passport, as a result of which he can only be identified a few days later.
21st century: Kahn's legacy lives on
Years after Louis Kahn dies, his son Nathaniel sets out to investigate his father's legacy. His film ‘My Architect’ (2003) earns him an Oscar nomination.
Herzog & de Meuron Architekten is a Swiss architecture firm, founded and headquartered in Basel, Switzerland in 1978. The careers of founders and senior partners Jacques Herzog (born 1950), and Pierre de Meuron (born 1950), closely paralleled one another, with both attending the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich. They are perhaps best known for their conversion of the giant Bankside Power Station in London to the new home of the Tate Museum of Modern Art (2000). Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron have been visiting professors at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design since 1994 (and in 1989) and professors at ETH Zürich since 1999. They are co-founders of the ETH Studio Basel – Contemporary City Institute, which started a research programme on processes of transformation in the urban domain.
Herzog & de Meuron is a partnership led by five Senior Partners â Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Christine Binswanger, Ascan Mergenthaler and Stefan Marbach. An international team of 38 Associates and about 362 collaborators.
Herzog & de Meuron received international attention very early in their career with the Blue House in Oberwil, Switzerland (1980); the Stone House in Tavole, Italy (1988); and the Apartment Building along a Party Wall in Basel (1988). The firm’s breakthrough project was the Ricola Storage Building in Laufen, Switzerland (1987). Renown in the United States came with Dominus Winery in Yountville, California (1998). The Goetz Collection, a Gallery for a Private Collection of Modern Art in Munich (1992), stands at the beginning of a series of internationally acclaimed museum buildings such as the Küppersmühle Museum for the Grothe Collection in Duisburg, Germany (1999). Their most recognized buildings include Prada Aoyama in Tokyo, Japan (2003); Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany (2005); the new Cottbus Library for the BTU Cottbus, Germany (2005); the National Stadium Beijing, the Main Stadium for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China; VitraHaus, a building to present Vitra’s “Home Collection“, Weil am Rhein, Germany (2010); and 1111 Lincoln Road, a multi-storey mixed-use structure for parking, retail, a restaurant and a private residence in Miami Beach, Florida, USA (2010), the Actelion Business Center in Allschwil/Basel, Switzerland (2010). In recent years, Herzog & de Meuron have also completed projects such as the New Hall for Messe Basel Switzerland (2013), the Ricola Kräuterzentrum in Laufen (2014), which is the seventh building in a series of collaborations with Ricola, with whom Herzog & de Meuron began to work in the 1980s; and the Naturbad Riehen (2014), a public natural swimming pool. In April 2014, the practice completed its first project in Brazil: the Arena do Morro in the neighbourhood of Mãe Luiza, Natal, is the pioneering project within the wider urban proposal “A Vision for Mãe Luiza”.
Herzog & de Meuron have completed 6 projects since the beginning of 2015: a new mountain station including a restaurant on top of the Chäserrugg (2262 metres above sea level) in Toggenburg, Switzerland; Helsinki Dreispitz, a residential development and archive in Münchenstein/Basel, Switzerland; Asklepios 8 – an office building on the Novartis Campus in Basel, Switzerland; the Slow Food Pavilion for Expo 2015 in Milan, Italy; the new Bordeaux stadium, a 42’000 seat multifunctional stadium for Bordeaux, France; Miu Miu Aoyama, a 720 m² boutique for the Prada-owned brand located on Miyuki Street, across the road from Prada Aoyama, Tokyo, Japan.
In many projects the architects have worked together with artists, an eminent example of that practice being the collaboration with Rémy Zaugg, Thomas Ruff and with Michael Craig-Martin.
Professionally, the Herzog & de Meuron partnership has grown to become an office with over 120 people worldwide. In addition to their headquarters in Basel, they have offices in London, Munich and San Francisco. Herzog has explained, “We work in teams, but the teams are not permanent. We rearrange them as new projects begin. All of the work results from discussions between Pierre and me, as well as our other partners, Harry Gugger and Christine Binswanger. The work by various teams may involve many different talents to achieve the best results which is a final product called architecture by Herzog & de Meuron.”
Frank Lloyd Wright was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin in 1869 and died in Phoenix, Arizona in 1959. He is considered as one of the Modern Movement’s father in architecture and one of the most important architects of the XX Century, together with Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius. Wright was placed in Chicago, San Francisco, Spring Green (Wisconsin) and Phoenix (Arizona). His life as an active architect in USA was from 1889 to 1962 and in Japan between 1915 and 1923.
Wright was born in a protestant family. His father was preacher of the unitary church, of which he inherited a romantic view, in continuous searching of the universality and the non-conformism. In 1885 he began to study civil engineering in Wisconsin University and worked as draughtsman for an engineer-constructor. Two years later, in 1887 he placed in Chicago where he worked for Joseph Lyman Silsbee, an architect of picturesque nature. Shorty afterward he became a member of Louis Sullivan’s and Dankmar Adler’s studio, and he was the responsible of it in 1889. In this year he started the construction of his first house, for himself in the Oak Park of Chicago (1889-1890).
With Sullivan he made the Charley’s House in Chicago (1891-1892). But at the same time and independently of his work at Sullivan’s studio, he took part of the construction of the Wainwright Building (1890-1891) and the Schiller Building (1891-1892). In 1893 he broke up with Sullivan and he established on his own account, working as domestic architecture.
In 1901 he began his first great creative phase, the “Prairie Houses” period. In this phase, he made the space a real discipline. His most outstanding works were the Susan Lawrence Dana’s house in Sprinfield ¡1902-1904), Avery Coonley’s house in Riverside (1906-1908) and Frederick C. Robie’s house in Chicago (1906) and the unitary temple of Oak Park (1905-1908). He also built the Larkin Company Administration Building in Buffalo, New York (1902-1906) where he tacked the theme of the work space.
Wirght published in the Architectural Record magazine in 1908, the called 6 organic architecture principles; although he said he had written them in 1894. The principles are: simplicity and elimination of the superfluous; to each client, his life style and his house style; correlation among the nature, topography and architecture; adaptation and integration of the building in his environment and the harmony of the used materials (conventionalization); material expression; and at least, the analogy between the human qualities and the architecture.
In 1909 he decided to travel to Europe and he prepared two synoptic publications with the editor Wasmuth in Berlin. In this phase, Wright has already more than 130 works built. He came back to the United States in 1910. In 1922 he placed in the family lands in Spring Green. Here he planned the called Taliesin House, which would be his house, architecture studio, art gallery and farm. He would extend and modify it during the next years because of two fires in 1914 and in 1925.
Since 1913 he changed his ornamental language due to the European influence and his architecture became more geometric as a consequence, inclusively cubist. This change can be appreciated in the Midway Garden in Chicago (1913-1914) or in the Imperial Hotel of Tokio (1913-1923).
He planned after the Mrs. George Madison Millard’s house “The Miniature” in Pasadena (1923), the John Storer’s house in Hollywood (1923-1924) and the Samuel Freeman’s and Charles Ennis’s houses in Los Ángeles (1923-1924); houses built with reinforced rubblework and walls made of moulding concrete ashlars. But Wright moved to the Arizona desert in 1927, where he found other nature conditions to adapt to. Here he projected a hotel complex in San Marcos, near Chandler, Arizona (1928-1929), which is a growth model that Wright compared with the landscape.
In the 30s, the financial scandals and the consequences of the great depression prevented him to carry out many of his designs and he only projected the Kaufmann Family’s Vacation House: “Fallingwater”, in Bear Run, Pennsylvania; where Wright achieved to unify the nature, the technology and the social organization. In this phase, Wright used the term “Usonians” that referred to the union of the terms USA, utopia and “organic social order”. One example of that is the Herbert Jacops’s House in Madison, Wisconsin (1936-1937). Simultaneously, he built the de Johnson & Company’s headquarters in Racine Wisconsin (1936-1939) and his adjoining tower, where are the investigation laboratories (1943-1950). In 1943, his most important project came: the Art Museum “non objective”, put in charge by Solomon Guggenheim in the 5th Avenue in New York, finished in 1959.
In the 50s, Wright exaggerated increasingly the formal aspect of his buildings. His last projects were: the unitary church of Madison (1945-1951), the synagogue of Beth Sholom in Alkins Park, Pennsylvania (1953-1959), the Annunciation Church in Wautatosa, Wisconsin (1955-1961) and the Martin County’s civic centre in San Rafael, California (1957-1962).
Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) qualified as an architect from Helsinki Institute of Technology (later Helsinki University of Technology and now part of the Aalto University) in 1921. He set up his first architectural practice in Jyväskylä. His early works followed the tenets of Nordic Classicism, the predominant style at that time. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, he made a number of journeys to Europe on which he and his wife Aino Marsio, also an architect, became familiar with the latest trends in Modernism, the International Style.
The pure Functionalist phase in Aalto’s work lasted for several years. It enabled him to make an international breakthrough, largely because of Paimio Sanatorium (1929-1933), an important Functionalist milestone. Aalto had adopted the principals of user-friendly, functional design in his architecture. From the late 1930s onwards, the architectural expression of Aalto’s buildings became enriched by the use of organic forms, natural materials and increasing freedom in the handling of space.
From the 1950s onwards, Aalto’s architectural practice was employed principally on the design of public buildings, such as Säynätsalo Town Hall (1948-1952), the Jyväskylä Institute of Pedagogics, now the University of Jyväskylä (1951-1957), and the House of Culture in Helsinki (1952-1956). His urban design master plans represent larger projects than the buildings mentioned above, the most notable schemes that were built being Seinäjoki city centre (1956-1965/87), Rovaniemi city centre (1963-1976/88) and the partly built Jyväskylä administrative and cultural centre (1970-1982).
From the early 1950s onwards, Alvar Aalto’s work focused more and more on countries outside Finland, so that a number of buildings both private and public were built to his designs abroad. Some of his best-known works include Villa Mairea, Noormarkku, Finland (1937–1939), the Finnish Pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair, Baker House, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA (1947–1948), Helsinki University of Technology, Espoo, Finland (1949–1966), The Experimental House, Muuratsalo, Finland (1953) or Essen opera house, Essen, Germany (1959–1988).
Alejandro de la Sota (Pontevedra, 1913; Madrid 1996) is one of the greatest masters of the Spanish Architecture of the 20th Century. He was a professor at the School of Architecture of Madrid (ETSAM), serving its trail as a reference for several generations of Spanish architects.
During the thirties, he moved from his home town Pontevedra to Madrid where he started his studies in the Faculty of Mathematics, which was a necessary condition to enter in the School of Architecture. Once he got his degree in Architecture in 1941, he spent the first years of his professional life working for the National Institute of Colonization; a stage that ended up with the construction of the village of Esquivel (Sevilla, 1952-1963) and Arvesú House(Madrid, 1953-1955, demolished). Since then, he participated in different competitions, following the same idea as he did in his previous work, the Civil Government of Tarragona (1957-1964). This building has been considered by many people his first masterpiece. During this prolific period he did several projects of modern industrial architecture, such as Clesa Dairy Plant (Madrid, 1958-1961) and CENIM premises in the Campus of the University(Madrid, 1963-1965) and he also built his most recognized and admired work, the Gymnasium of Maravillas School (Madrid, 1960-1962); which is considered by the British critic William Curtis, the most significant work of Contemporary Spanish Architecture.
In 1960 he obtained a job as a Government officer at the Post Office, and throughout this decade, he researched the possibilities that new materials provide and developed several projects based on a constructive approach consisting of the use of prefabricated concrete panels for walls and floors. This idea is shown in Varela’s House in Villalba (Madrid, 1964-1968).
In 1971 he leaves the university education as a professor, coming back to his public service position at the Post Office. During these years he built César Carlos Residence Hall in the Campus of the University (Madrid, 1968-1971), the building for class and lecture rooms of the University of Sevilla (1972-1973) and Guzmán’s House in Santo Domingo ‘s urbanization (Madrid, 1972-1974), in which he tried out issues to be applied afterwards in Domínguez’s House in A Caeira (Pontevedra, 1973-1978). The Computer Center for the PO Box in La Vaguada (Madrid, 1972-1977) and years later, the Post and Telecommunications Building in León (1981-1984) belongs to a stage where he was completely involved in light prefabricated techniques.
José Antonio Corrales and Ramón Vázquez Molezún worked together since 1952 in numerous projects such as the Spanish Pavilion at the Universal Exhibition in Brussels in 1958. They were one of the most important and fruitful Architecture teams in Spain during the second half of the 20th century thanks to their powerful, rigorous and very expressive architecture. They received 1st Prize for the Spanish Pavilion at the Universal Exhibition in Brussels in 1958, with which they achieved international success, and the Architecture Gold Medal (CSCAE) in 1992, among other many prizes.
Their work was extensive and included projects such as the Public Library for the city of Tehran, Iran's capital, which was never built due to the fall of the Shah Reza Pahlavi in 1979. The Spanish Pavilion at the International Exhibition of Brussels in 1958, a proposal based on attached hexagons which was later rebuilt in the grounds of Casa de Campo in Madrid. Another of their main works was the Elviña urbanization in La Coruña. This urbanization was very avant-garde at the time, but is now deteriorated after several actions that have disintegrated some of its tectonic components. The colonization town Llanos del Sotillo in Andujar (Jaen). House in Miraflores de la Sierra and Casa Huarte (Madrid). House for writer Camilo José Cela (Palma de Mallorca). Hotel in Sotogrande (Cadiz).
José Antonio Corrales Gutiérrez was born in Madrid in 1921. At age 27, in 1948, he graduated in Architecture from the School of Architecture of Madrid. That same year he won the National Architecture Prize. In 1961 he became professor at the Superior Technical School of Architecture of Madrid. Later on, after some time away from teaching, he went back in 1981 to the School of Architecture of Madrid. He was Academic by the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, and received the Antonio Camuñas Award in 2004. In 2001 he received the National Architecture Award for his life achievements. He died in Madrid in 2010.
Ramón Vázquez Molezún was born in A Coruña in 1922. He graduated as an Architect from the School of Madrid in 1948. Between 1949 and 1952 he studied in Rome with a grant from the Academy of Spain. Over the next two years he received several awards, including the National Architecture Prize in 1954. In 1952 he started a fruitful working relationship with architect José Antonio Corrales, which would last until his death in 1993 in Madrid.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was born in Aquisgran the 27th of Marz of 1886 and died in Chicago the 17th of August of 1969. He was active in Germany, from 1908 to 1938, when he moved to USA and where he was until his death. He was also considerate a “master” of the Modern Movement, since the 50s, and he was one of the fathers of this movement with Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright.
Mies van der Rohe, who in his childhood was guided by masters as Hendrik Petrus Berlage or Peter Behrens, he always kept tabs of the Villlet-Le-Duc’s rationalism or Karl Friedrich Schinkel eclectic classicism, having a strong connection with the architectural historicism. As he said in his manifesto “Baukunst und Zeiwille” about this: “it is not possible to move on looking back”.
In 1900 he began to work with his father in the stone workshop of the family and shortly afterward he move to Berlin to work with Bruno Paul in 1902, designing furniture. He planned his first house in 1907, the “Riehl House” in Neubabelsbers and worked from 1908 to 1911 in Peter Behrens’s studio. There he was influenced by structural technics and designs based on steel and glass, as the AEG project in Berlin. While he was in Behrens’s studio he designed the Perls House.
In 1912 he openned his own studio and projected a house in The Hague for Kröller-Müller marriage. The studio received few jobs in its first years, but Mies, contrary to architects as Le Corbusier, in his first years he already showed an architectural policy to follow, being an architect that changed little his architectural philosophy. To his epoch belonged the Heertrasse House and Urbig House as his principal projects.
In 1913 se move to the outskirts of Berlin with his wife Ada Bruhn with whom he would have three kids. The family broke up when Mies was posted to Romania during the World War I.
In 1920, Ludwig Mies changed his surname to Mies van der Rohe and in 1922 he joined as member to the “Novembergruppe”. One year later, in 1923, he published the magazine “G” with Doesburg Lisstzky and Rechter. During this period he worked in two houses, the Birck House and the Mosler House. In 1926, Mies van der Rohe held the post of chief commissioner of the German Werkbund exhibition, being his president this year. In this period he projected the Wolf House in Guden and the Hermann Lange House in Krefeld and in 1927, he met the designer Lilly Reich, in the house exhibition of Weissenhof, where he was director, and he planned a steel structure block for her.
In 1929, he received the project the German National Pavilion to the International Exhibition of Barcelona) rebuilt in 1986=, where he included the design of the famous Barcelona Chair.
In 1930, he planned in Brün – present Czech Republic -, the Tugendhat Villa. He managed the Dessau’s Bauhaus until his closure in 1933. The Nazism forced Mies to emigrate to the United States in 1937. He was designated chair of the Architecture department in Armour Institute in 1938, the one that later merged with the Lewis Institute, forming the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and where he took the responsibility to build a considerable extent of the foundations of the Intitute from 1939 and 1958. One of the buildings of this complex is the Crown Hall, IIT (1950-1956).
In 1940, he met the person who would be his partner until his death, Lora Marx. He became citizen of the USA in 1944 and, one year later, he began with the Farnsworth House’s project (1945-1950). During this stage, in 1948, he designed his first skyscraper: the two towers of the Lake Drive Apartments in Chicago, which were finished in 1951. Shortly after, he planned other building of this typology, the Commonwealth Promenade Apartments, from 1953 to 1956.
In 1958 he projected his most important work: the Segram Building in New York. This building has 37 storeys, covered with glass and bronze, which built and planned with Philip Johnson. He retired from the Illinois Institute of Technology the same year. He also built more towers and complexes as: the Toronto Dominion Centre (1963-1969) and the Westmount Square (1965-1968) and designed the New Square and Office Tower of The City of London (1967).
From 1962 to 1968, he built the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, which would be his last legacy to the architecture. The building that rose as exhibition hall is made of steel, glass and granite.
He died in Chicago the 17th of August if 1969 leaving behind a large legacy and influence to next generations.
The Mies van der Rohe’s most famous sentences are “Less is more” and “God is in the details”.
David Chipperfield was born in London in 1953 and studied architecture at the Kingston School of Art and the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London before working at the practices of Douglas Stephen, Richard Rogers and Norman Foster.
In 1985 he founded David Chipperfield Architects, which today has over 300 staff at its offices in London, Berlin, Milan and Shanghai.
David Chipperfield has taught and held conferences in Europe and the United States and has received honorary degrees from the universities of Kingston and Kent.
He is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and an honorary fellow of both the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Bund Deutscher Architekten (BDA). In 2009 he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and in 2010 he received a knighthood for services to architecture in the UK and Germany. In 2011 he received the RIBA Royal Gold Medal for Architecture and in 2013 the Praemium Imperiale from the Japan Art Association, while in 2021 he was appointed a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour in recognition of a lifetime’s work.
In 2012 he curated the 13th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale.
In 1928 Johnson met with architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who was at the time designing the German Pavilion for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition. The meeting was a revelation for Johnson and formed the basis for a lifelong relationship of both collaboration and competition.
Johnson returned from Germany as a proselytizer for the new architecture. Touring Europe more comprehensively with his friends Alfred H. Barr, Jr. and Henry-Russell Hitchcock to examine firsthand recent trends in architecture, the three assembled their discoveries as the landmark show "Modern Architecure: International Exhibition" in the Heckscher Building for the Museum of Modern Art, in 1932. The show and their simultaneously published book "International Style: Modern Architecture Since 1922" was profoundly influential and is seen as the introduction of modern architecture to the American public. It celebrated such pivotal architects as Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, and Mies van der Rohe. The exhibition was also notable for a controversy: architect Frank Lloyd Wright withdrew his entries in pique that he was not more prominently featured.
As critic Peter Blake has stated, the importance of this show in shaping American architecture in the century "cannot be overstated." In the book accompanying the show, coauthored with Hitchcock, Johnson argued that the new modern style maintained three formal principles: 1. an emphasis on architectural volume over mass (planes rather than solidity) 2. a rejection of symmetry and 3. rejection of applied decoration. The definition of the movement as a "style" with distinct formal characteristics has been seen by some critics as downplaying the social and political bent that many of the European practitioners shared.
Johnson continued to work as a proponent of modern architecture, using the Museum of Modern Art as a bully pulpit. He arranged for Le Corbusier's first visit to the United States in 1935, then worked to bring Mies and Marcel Breuer to the US as emigres.
From 1932 to 1940, Johnson openly sympathized with Fascism and Nazism. He expressed antisemitic ideas and was involved in several right-wing and fascist political movements. Hoping for a fascist candidate for President, Johnson reached out to Huey Long and Father Coughlin. Following trips to Nazi Germany where he witnessed the attack on Poland and contacts with German intelligence, the Office of Naval Intelligence marked him as suspected of being a spy but he was never charged. Regarding this period in his life, he later said, "I have no excuse (for) such unbelievable stupidity... I don't know how you expiate guilt." In 1956, Johnson attempted to do just that and donated his design for a building of worship to what is now one of the country's oldest Jewish congregations, Congregation Kneses Tifereth Israel in Port Chester, New York. According to one source "all critics agree that his design of the Port Chester Synagogue can be considered as his attempt to ask for forgiveness" for his admitted "stupidity" in being a Nazi sympathizer. The building, which stands today, is a "crisp juxtaposition of geometric forms".
During the Great Depression, Johnson resigned his post at MoMA to try his hand at journalism and agrarian populist politics. His enthusiasm centered on the critique of the liberal welfare state, whose "failure" seemed to be much in evidence during the 1930s. As a correspondent, Johnson observed the Nuremberg Rallies in Germany and covered the invasion of Poland in 1939. The invasion proved the breaking point in Johnson's interest in journalism or politics and he returned to enlist in the US Army. After a couple of self-admittedly undistinguished years in uniform, Johnson returned to the Harvard Graduate School of Design to finally pursue his ultimate career of architect.
Among his works is The Glass House, where he lived until his death, the headquarters of AT & T, the National Centre for Performing Arts of India, the Crystal Cathedral in California, the Four Seasons Restaurant in the Seagram Building, the Lincoln Center in NY or Puerta de Europa towers in Madrid.