Brilliant Works of Architecture Made Easier to Understand (and Even Nicer to Look At)

As a former architecture student at UCLA, Michie Cao was fascinated by the simplicity and beauty of the great works of modern architecture, but always felt that it wasn’t easy for people who didn’t truly understand design and construction to appreciate what made them so perfect. To fix this, the School of Visual Arts grad student came up with Archigrams, a whimsical set of small prints showcasing some of her favorite architectural marvels, complete with facts to help people better understand the process and art behind the structures.

Cao is currently raising funds on Kickstarter to create the prints featuring works by Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies Van Der Rohe, Oscar Niemeyer, and many others. To help get you excited about this project, we have a few examples, complete with Cao’s descriptions.


Glass House

Michie Cao: Philip Johnson’s 1949 residence for himself in New Canaan, Connecticut, known as the Glass House, celebrates the beauty and simplicity of modern architecture. The steel-framed house has no exterior walls, only glass, giving its visitors the impression of being both indoors and outdoors simultaneously. But the glass itself adds a new element, the reflections off the different surfaces coming together to enhance the beauty of nature. At one end of the structure sits a cylindrical brick room, the only hint of privacy in the otherwise open design. The presence of the brick room heightens the contrast between private and public living and, by interrupting the flat roof of the design, draws attention to the beauty achieved in Johnson’s simple geometry.