The CCTV Tower in Beijing was designed by Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren. (Frederic J. Brown / AFP/Getty Images)
Architecture, arguably for the first time in its history, found itself at the very center of American cultural and political life in the decade that is wrapping up. That centrality helped make stars out of architecture's top talents. With the aid of powerful software, adventuresome clients and, not least, a flood of new wealth and easy financing, it also produced a rush of inventive buildings, in styles stretching from fluid to wildly sculptural to neomodern.