So I've been doing some thinking about what to share with you design enthusiasts and I've decided to commit myself to a little series. As a San Diego native I've been exposed to a lot of Spanish Mission style architecture (Spanish Colonial Revival if you want to get fancy) throughout my life. It comes as no surprise that some of San Diego's notable sites (think Balboa Park) are designed to pay homage to the history of Spanish Colonialism in California. But what about other cities in our nation that each have their own unique histories making up their architecture? I submitted a search to Google for the top architectural cities in the U.S. and some of the results surprised me, others did not. San Diego didn't make my list (despite my personal bias), but Washington D.C. did, yeah that wasn't much of a shocker to me either. So I searched through some of D.C.'s gems to find my personal favorite.
DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
So I'll admit my interest in this building isn't all about the aesthetics. I was captivated by the time period this building came from, as well the catalyst for it's creation.
So you're all probably like "wait, I thought I was going to be reading about a really cool building" well it is! Because of the increased importance (and public acceptance) of aviation following WWII federal funding was devoted to increasing the accessibility of flight here in America. The Washington Airport Act of 1950 allowed some of those funds to be spent on a second airport for our nation's capital.
Designed by Architect Eero Saarinen this gorgeous building officially opened the doors of its main terminal in 1962. This was the first airport in the country to be designed for commercial jets, paving the way for increased commercial air travel throughout the nation (and the world). Today it's still a major airport in the U.S. with 21.9 million passengers passing through its doors in 2013. Eero Saarinen set out to capture "the soul of the airport", the swooping lines and clean edges paired with the immense windows evoke a feeling of flight, as if the building itself is readying for take-off. The American Insititute of Architects bestowed a First Honor Award upon the Main Terminal in 1966.
But not all of Dulles International Airport's glory lies in its past. Today it is still an architectural darling of Washington D.C. as well as a major International airport in its own right, with 21.9 million passengers passing through its doors in 2013. So next time you're heading to our nation's capital, I would try to book a flight to Dulles, where I can guarantee you'll be welcomed in style.
Want to see where I got my Top Ten list? Click Here.