The World Architecture Survey was conducted in 2010 by Vanity Fair, to determine the most important works of contemporary architecture. 52 leading architects, teachers, and critics, including several Pritzker Prize winners and deans of major architecture schools were asked for their opinion.
The survey asked two questions:
While the range of responses was very broad, more than half of the experts surveyed named the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao by Frank Gehry as one of the most important works since 1980. The Beijing National Stadium (Bird’s Nest stadium) in Beijing by Herzog and de Meuron was the building most often cited, by seven respondents, as the most significant structure of the 21st century so far. Counted by architect, works by Frank Gehry received the most votes, followed by those of Rem Koolhaas. The result of the survey led Vanity Fair to label Gehry as "the most important architect of our age".
The respondents named a total of 132 different structures when asked to indicate the five most important buildings, monuments, and bridges completed since 1980. The top 21 were:
The buildings most often named as the greatest work of architecture thus far in the 21st century were:
Writing for the Chicago Tribune, Blair Kamin criticized the "self-aggrandizing" survey for not including any green buildings. In response, Lance Hosey of Architect magazine conducted an alternate survey of leading green building experts and found that no buildings appeared on both lists, suggesting that standards of "good design" and "green design" are misaligned. Commentators also noted that several of the architects surveyed (but not Gehry) "perhaps took the magazine’s title a little too seriously" and voted for their own buildings.
The following people replied to the survey:
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