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Starchitects reveal their favorite buildings

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From Denise Scott Brown to Frank Gehry

In celebration of its 125th anniversary, U.S. design publication Architectural Record spoke to a dozen preeminent architects about their favorite buildings. The answers may not be what you’d expect.

Le Corbusier’s seminal Chapelle Notre Dame du Haut, for example, was Japanese architect Tadao Ando’s pick. "He proved, with the almost violent space of rich light, that architecture can be made through the pursuit of light alone," Ando tells Record. He recounts witnessing a mass there in his 20s, and how the scene of people praying closely under the light has continued to fuel his quest to "create architecture as a place for people to gather."

Frank Gehry, king of dramatically warped metal stunners, found his earliest inspiration in something much more serene, the Shosoin Treasure House in Nara, Japan. Dating back to the 750s, the elevated azekura log cabin-style structure stored various artifacts for the royal family. Gehry says the warehouse "shows the elegance and simplicity of Japanese building" and was "mesmerizing for a beginner."

For postmodern master Denise Scott Brown, it was her childhood home, an International style house in Joahnnaesburg, South Africa. "I remember a porthole window, watching the light come through it, and the circle of sun moving across the room as I lay on my parents’ bed in the late afternoon," she recalls.

Do check out the full piece, which features words from Norman Foster, Richard Meier, Renzo Piano, and more.