Iconic Buildings That Were Never Built: 7 to Know

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The Atlas of Never Built Architecture by Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin

For every incredible structure that redefines a skyline or breaks a record, there’s just as many—if not more—iconic buildings that were never built. A new book from Phaidon, the Atlas of Never Built Architecture by Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin (May 2024), chronicles some of the world’s most incredible almost projects. “We believe we can learn just as much and arguably more from unbuilt architecture as we can from the built world. The unbuilt world is where our dreams keep their ideal form,” the authors share in a joint email to AD. As they explain, every piece of architecture has numerous iterations, and the ones that do get built rarely represent the first draft. “Every project, built or not, has multiple versions; the purest are unhindered by the realities of economics, budgets, politics, reluctant clients, or angry opponents, telling a very different story not just about one building but entire cities,” the authors share. Spanning nearly 400 pages, the book surveys creations by Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Zaha Hadid, and dozens of other visionary minds. Below, AD covers seven designs featured in the book, highlighting only a few of the most iconic buildings that were never built.

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