Can you name the most important Buildings of the 20th Century?

Thom Mayne has listed the 100 “must know” projects between 1900 and 2000

by Rossana Vinci
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In November, Rizzoli published a book called simply 100 Buildings: 1900–2000 written by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Thom Mayne, a master list of the top 100 “must-know” built works of architecture designed and completed between 1900 and 2000. 

Ranging from houses and apartment buildings to museums and buildings for education and government, the book offers a wealth of extraordinary works of design and construction and is an essential edition for anyone with an interest in architecture and design.


What makes Rizzoli's 100 Buildings special?

For this volume, over forty internationally renowned architects and educators—from Peter Eisenman and the late Zaha Hadid to Rafael Moneo—were asked to list the top 100 twentieth-century architectural projects they would teach to students.

The contributors were encouraged to select built projects where formal, spatial, technological, and organizational concepts responded to dynamic historical, cultural, social, and political circumstances. The capacity of these buildings to resist, adapt, and invent new typologies solidifies their timeless relevance to future challenges.

The volume describes each of the “winners” in photos, words (mostly by Val Warke), and remarkably clear drawings (by Now Institute staff).



The building named most often is the Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier, represented in the book by eight buildings, far more than any other architect.

The second-most-mentioned architects are Frank Lloyd Wright and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, each with five buildings (In Wright’s case, those are Johnson Wax, Fallingwater, the Guggenheim Museum, the Robie House, and the Larkin Administration Building, which was torn down in 1950).

The most-represented country is the United States with 32 of the 100 buildings, New York City alone has six (the Guggenheim Museum, Seagram, the Ford Foundation, the Lever House, the TWA Flight Center, and Marcel Breuer’s Whitney Museum).

Women architects hardly appear; the exceptions are a museum and a recreation center by Lina Bo Bardi and a firehouse by Zaha Hadid.

The list also includes Frank Gehry (for his house in Santa Monica and his Guggenheim Bilbao) Robert Venturi, Richard Rogers (for his Pompidou Center, in collaboration with Renzo Piano, and his Lloyd’s of London building) Renzo Piano, Moshe Safdie, Toyo Ito, Rafael Moneo, Rem Koolhaas, Alvaro Siza, Peter Eisenman, Fumihiko Maki, Richard Meier, Daniel Libeskind, Bernard Tschumi, Jean Nouvel, Norman Foster, etc.


Farnsworth House, Mies van der Rohe, Plano, Illinois, 1945–1951


Sidney Opera House, Public Domain


Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright, New York City, 1943–1959.





Cover: Villa Savoye, Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, Poissy, France, 1928–1931, restored 1963–1997. Photo: 1928 Paul Kozlowski ©2017 FLC/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York