Top 10 (archives)

Objects

1. Pyramids
Herzog & de Meuron - Concerthall, Swiss Norman Foster - Peace Pyramid, Astana Veldon Simpson - Luxor Pyramid I.M. Pei - Pyramid Louvre, Paris Baikdoosan - Ryugyong Hotel, Pyongyang William Pareira - Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco Abraham van der Hart - Monument in honor of Napoleon on Mont Cenis, 1814 Amsterdam 2: The Pyramids

2. Clouds
Frank Gehry - Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation, Paris Ten Architectos - Guggenheim Museum Gaudelajara Massimiliano Fuksas - National Congress Center 'La Nuvola', Rome Wiel Arets - University Library Utrecht Diller Scofidio Renfro - Blur Building (coming soon)

3. Rocks
Rock, by Nouvel Rock + Cave, by EEA Rock, by Hollein Rock, by Nouvel Rocks, by Mazzanti

4. Characters
PLOT=BIG+JDS - People's Building, Shanghai Waterstudio - Poem, Palm Jebel Ali, Dubai Steven Holl - T-Husene, Kopenhagen NL Architects - Y-building, Amsterdam

5. Sails
Sail, by Holl Richard Rogers - Law Courts Antwerp W.S. Atkins - Burj Al Arab Jorn Utzon - Sydney Opera House

6. Waves
Zaha Hadid - Olympic Swimming Pool, London 2012 Herzog & de Meuron - Philharmonie, Hamburg Foreign Office Architects - Yokohama International Cruise Terminal

7. Palms
Nakheel - Palm Deira, Dubai Nakheel - Palm Jebel-Ali, Dubai Nakheel - Palm Jumeirah, Dubai

8. Boulders
Behnisch and Partners - Oceanium, Stralsund (coming soon) William Alsop - Muzinq, Almere Erick van Egeraat - Mezz Poppodium, Breda

9. National Flags
West 8 - Toronto Waterfront Skidmore Owings & Merrill - World Financial Center, Shanghai Steven Holl - Residence Swiss Ambassy, Washington D.C.

10. ‘Penisses’
Norman Foster - Swiss Re, London Jean Nouvel - Torre Agbar, Barcelona

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11. Vagina’s
Igor de Vetyemy - Cidade do Sexo, Rio de Janeiro Hendrik Wijdeveld - People's Theatre Amsterdam, 1918

12. Bridges
Richard Rogers - Silvercup Studios, New York JHK - The Bridge, Rotterdam

13. Glass
Herzog & de Meuron - University Library Cottbus William Alsop - Design Rotterdam Central Station

14. Yachts
Shipdecks, by Chipperfield Yacht, by Foster

15. Caves
Cave, by Mecanoo Rock + Cave, by EEA

16. Cut
OMA - Koningin Julianaplein, The Hague MVRDV - Office Building, Almere

17. Stars
Constellation, by Gensler Stars

18. ICE
ICE, by UN Studio ICE, by BRT

19. Maps
Russia, by EEA The World, by Nakheel

20. Tulips
Tulip, by RTL Tulip, by Eikongraphia

A friend of me suggests that iconography in architecture works just in a single design. After that, the fun would be gone, he argues. The reality is more sophisticated than that. The three Palm-islands in Dubai rather reinforce the brand they represent, rather than weakening it. Most icongraphic buildings move in between referring to a popular image and singularity. The popular image is inherently replicated in all ways possible. As with the Palm-islands the imagability is only reinforces by its repetitioners.

Although one might suggest with good reason that the reference to original image – for instance that of the pyramids of Egypt – is lost and the image becomes a simulacrum, the examples on this blog illustrate mostly that this is in fact not the case. The iconography of the pyramid is used for a museum with a large collection of artifacts of Egypt or is placed in another desert (Nevada) next to another Sphinx. The iconography of the sails is used for buildings that are placed along shores. The iconography of waves is also used for locations along a shore, but also for a swimming pool. The iconography of the palm is used for a vacation-resort. The iconography of a bridge is used for locations near monumental bridges. And the penis-iconography is used to illustrate the power and might of corporations.

The Iconography Top 10 is a work in process and will be periodically updated. The projects are ordered by date - the newest project is placed first.

Surfaces

1. Bubbles
PTW - National Swimming Center Beijing 2008 KCAP - Red Apple, Rotterdam Bubbles, by Herzog & de Meuron

2. Dazzle Painting
KCAP - Red Apple, Rotterdam Bolles+Wilson - Facade Redesign, Tirana

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