Paul Tuller On His ‘Architecture As Crown’ Project

Paul Tuller On His 'Architecture As Crown' Project
Zaha Hadid wearing the Heydar Aliyev Center (Azerbaijan) Credit: Paul Tuller

There’s no denying that New York City is an architect’s city. They’ve made our skyline unforgettable and with more big firms being recruited or consulted everyday to transform landmarks like LaGuardia Airport, Penn Station, the Empire Stores and DUMBO Heights into marvels, it looks like that trend will continue.

No one understands that better than Paul Tuller, a Brooklyn-based illustrator, whose architect boyfriend inspired him to create a gorgeous project called “Architecture As Crown.” The collection features famed architects wearing their most eye-catching works atop the very heads from which their most inspired ideas sprang. We spoke with Tuller about the project, sprinkling work from “Architecture As Crown” throughout.

Paul Tuller On His 'Architecture As Crown' Project
Peter Eisenman wearing House 1. Credit: Paul Tuller

What inspired you to pursue this project?

This project actually began as a parody of Andy Warhol’s “God Save the Queen” poster, featuring a vibrantly colored portrait of Peter Eisenman wearing House 1 as a crown. It was intended to be a gift for my boyfriend who is a young architect and an admirer of Eisenman’s early hand-drawn work.

Paul Tuller On His 'Architecture As Crown' Project
Rem Koolhaas wearing the China Central Television building. Credit: Paul Tuller

Then it grew into an entire project. 

From there, it got me thinking about how common it is for the music industry to dub artists as kings and queens of pop and how that can be applied to any industry. When articles in music publications make these claims of royalty, no one really questions them because the statements are backed up by sales figures. With architects, we have physical buildings as proof of their public notoriety. The notion of naming a select few architects as kings and queens of the industry is still absurd, but in terms of general public recognition I feel like there is a relatively small batch of names.

Paul Tuller On His 'Architecture As Crown' Project
Bjarke Ingels wearing The Mountain Building. Credit: Paul Tuller

There are literally thousands of architects out there. How did you narrow down your list? 

The architects were selected based on my perception of public recognition as well as polling a few other people.

Paul Tuller On His 'Architecture As Crown' Project
David Adjaye wearing the Skolkovo Business School building. Credit: Paul Tuller

How did you go about choosing which buildings to “crown” your architects with? Every one of them has impressive portfolios. 

For the illustrations, I selected buildings that would blend into the illustration as much as possible. Zaha Hadid’s curving Heydar Aliyev Center flows into her waving hair while [Daniel] Libeskind’s Denver Art Museum mimics the angles of his signature glasses.

Paul Tuller On His 'Architecture As Crown' Project
Daniel Libeskind wearing the Denver Art Museum extension building. Credit: Paul Tuller

Do you have a favorite of the six architects?

Bjarke Ingels is my favorite because he’s currently designing buildings for an entire island in the Caspian Sea. A pretty insane feat for a young architect.

Prints from the “Architecture As Crown” project can be purchased on the Society 6 website and to check out more of Paul Tuller’s colorful work, head to his website

Follow Nikita Richardson on Twitter @nikitarbk





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