More stories about History

  • original yin

    Vincent M. Smith came to feng shui by way of the theater. A graduate of Harvard College and the Yale Law School, he practiced real estate law for 25 years while spending nights and weekends perfecting his first loves: acting, directing plays, and designing stage sets.

  • in plain sight

    The trouble with being a visionary is sometimes you have to wait 30 years for the rest of the world to catch up to you.

  • adjoining worlds

    The Dutch architect and teacher Herman Hertzberger has won international acclaim for his sensitively designed buildings.

  • the big idea

    When the Modernist architect and industrial designer Eliot Noyes designed a house, he fixed its central concept in his mind and let the details flow from there.

  • presidential architect

    George Washington was a man of many identities—surveyor, military leader, Founding Father, and farmer. But he also harbored a keen interest in design and construction, which he explored with the transformation of Mount Vernon, his family's home on the Potomac River.

  • the high life

    For more than four decades, Bertrand Goldberg's Marina City has reigned as one of '' Chicago's signature landmarks. Famously dubbed the “corncob towers,” the 60-story mixed-use complex houses 900 apartments, located above the buildings' 20th levels for prime city and lake views.

  • grammatically correct

    Frank Lloyd Wright's first client in Los Angeles, the eccentric oil heiress Aline Barnsdall, didn't just want a house. She wanted a locus for the local theater community and a center for public art and gardens. Although her ambitious scheme was never fully realized, it did result in a residence...

  • green peace

    The city of Paris' original plan for this 200-unit affordable housing complex included a public street passing through the middle of the project. Then it hired the Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Dismayed at the thought of the daily chaos the street would bring to residents, Piano and his colleagues...

  • home sweet dome

    Well before inventing his famous geodesic dome, Buckminster Fuller decided the world needed affordable, mass-produced housing. So, with typical disregard for convention, he designed the Dymaxion House, a circular aluminum structure suspended from a central mast.

  • unfettered vision

    John Lautner tended to set his expectations high. He wanted his architecture to nourish clients both mentally and spiritually, as well as satisfy their basic need for shelter. At the Arango House on Mexico's Acapulco Bay, he realized this grand ambition to glorious effect.