Thursday, May 08, 2014


In what seems like a monthly occurrence, Federico Babina has released another series of architectural illustrations: ARCHIMACHINE. Various countries are represented as "machines" with pipes, gears, and other doo-dads alongside some well-known buildings. Here is the U.S.A. ARCHIMACHINE:

I can't help but take a roll call of the buildings found in the above illustration, moving clockwise from top-left:
  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City by Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Empire State Building in New York City by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon
  • Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, by Louis I. Kahn
  • SFMOMA in San Francisco, California, by Mario Botta
  • Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, by Joseph Strauss, Irving Morrow and Charles Ellis
  • Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California, by Frank Gehry
  • Arcosanti in Arizona by Paolo Soleri
  • Chemosphere House in Los Angeles, California, by John Lautner
  • LAX Theme Building in Los Angeles, California, by Pereira and Luckman
  • Case Study House No. 8 in Pacific Palisades, California, by Charles and Ray Eames
What comes to mind from seeing this list? Babina has something for the West Coast, with 7 of the 10 buildings in California, primarily, and Arizona. That leaves 2 in NYC and one in Texas. No Chicago. No Pacific Northwest. No Mies. It's a very West-leaning list that could have been more American with more geographic diversity. It would have been great to see a few of these buildings in place of a few California projects, like Botta's SFMOMA (Really, Federico?):
  • Air Force Academy Chapel in Colorado Springs, Colorado, by SOM
  • Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado, by Fentress Architects
  • Seattle Public Library in Seattle, Washington, by OMA
  • Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, by E. Fay Jones
  • John Hancock Tower in Chicago, Illinois, by SOM
  • Seagram Building in New York City by Mies van der Rohe
  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, by Maya Lin
  • Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, by Eero Saarinen


  1. I'm the author. My intention was not to cover the entire American territory. It is only an illustration, a photograph of a small part of a larger world. I did not ask to publish it!!

    1. Federico - Just because it's "only an illustration" doesn't mean it can't be talked about. I really like the idea of portraying a couple handful of buildings from various countries, to give people an idea of important buildings in those countries, the choices do say something. I don't doubt the selection to be more than personal taste...I guess my personal taste would have resulted in a more distributed selection. If it upsets you I can take this post down, but I would hope my few words wouldn't have such effect.

    2. It is not upsetting me. However, is the typical comment , that something is missing. like I said my intention is not to make a choice to please everyone. There will always be someone who will make me just the same commentary.

    3. My commentary is less about something missing and more that the selection is heavy to one coast. My blog (and much of the U.S. media) is heavy to NYC and the other coast, but rather than proposing that position it seemed more fruitful to draw attention to some other projects. Glad I can be so typical! ; )


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