Best Of 2013

Best World-Class Collection of Modern Architecture

Walt Disney World

From the 1970 Contemporary Hotel and Epcot’s geodesic dome designed by the Imagineers, to Arata Isozaki’s Human Resources Building (aka “the cooling tower”), to Michael Graves’ Swan and Dolphin hotels and Gwathmey Siegel’s convention center, Disney has been a patron of high modern architecture since the beginning. Unlike most of Disney’s other efforts, which are usually designed to illustrate trite, sugar-coated storylines (e.g., Cinderella’s Castle), its modernist buildings stand on their own, needing no script to shine forth as strong, clear signs of the future. Secret thrill: See the original model built for the Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow (Epcot) in the early 1970s, complete with skyscrapers and a bold master plan, on the Tomorrowland tram ride. Imagine how the world would be different if it had been built.