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The most famous architects you need to know

The most famous architects you need to know. We are surrounded by incredible architecture here in NYC. Beautiful churches, the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings, One World Trade Center, and several breathtaking commercial and condominium complexes are nearby. The magnificent structures comprising our recognizable skyline remind us that architecture can be artistic and practical. The most renowned architects in the world are skilled at utilizing materials like steel, stone, and glass to construct structures that define and alter urban areas.

These well-known architects have left their mark on the world for millennia. Their distinct approaches are evident in everything from the opulent works of Antoni Gaudí to the sleek, flowing forms of Frank Gehry and Mies Van der Rohe.

These are the most well-known architects in the world, regardless of your preference for their designs. With the help of our guide, explore these industry titans, and don’t miss the opportunity to see some of these famous architectural treasures up close. Even if these structures look incredible in pictures, nothing compares to viewing renowned architects’ creations. Regarding New Yorkers, never stop gazing upward and appreciating the architectural marvels right in your neighbourhood.

Most famous architects of all time

Most famous architects of all time

1. Antoni Gaudí

Throughout his career, Gaudí worked only in Barcelona, where he constructed all of his projects, the most well-known of which is the La Sagrada Familia cathedral, which was completed in 1883 and is now being developed. The tree-like columns supporting the expansive interior of his church and the flowing facade of another of his well-known creations, the apartment building known as the Casa Milla (inspired by the multi-peaked mountain just outside of Barcelona called Montserrat) are examples of his exquisite style, which combined Baroque, Gothic, Moorish, and Victorian elements and frequently featured ornamental tile work. Gaudí’s creations would significantly influence the modernist generations that followed.

2. Frank Lloyd Wright

Wright, a native of Wisconsin, transformed the field of architecture in the 20th century, and his upbringing in the Midwest greatly influenced how he saw the world. Inspired by the low-lying structures that dot the American plains, Wright developed the Prairie House design in opposition to the Victorian style that was then popular, emphasizing dark interiors and cluttered exterior details. Instead, Wright adopted clean geometries emphasizing horizontal planes. Falling Water, the house he created in 1935 for Pittsburgh department store tycoon Edgar Kaufmann in Bear Run, Pennsylvania, is his most well-known structure. It has stacked rectangular balconies that appear to float above the natural waterfall integrated into the home. Wright would use curvilinear aspects in his career; this change was most famously expressed in the Solomon R.

3. Mies Van der Rohe

German architect Mies Van der Rohe, renowned for adhering to the maxim “less is more,” reduced buildings to their most basic geometric forms, paving the way for minimalism. He eliminated any decoration, defining the architectural style of his structures instead by utilizing the inherent properties of materials like steel and plate glass. This method originated from another philosophy he promoted at the Dessau Bauhaus, where he was the last director before the Nazis shut it down: form equals function. His architectural concepts prioritized efficiency and rationalism as the path to beauty. This philosophy is best illustrated by The Barcelona Pavilion, which was constructed to host Germany’s exhibit for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona. It shows that even though Mies, the moniker by which he is most well-known, disliked ornamental elements, he wasn’t against extravagance, as the building’s extensive use of marble, red onyx, and travertine attests.

4. Philip Johnson

Johnson was a gatekeeper who influenced architectural trends starting in 1935 because of his position as the first director of MoMA’s Department of Architects. His influence on the field was significant. Although it’s reasonable to argue that he was more of an innovator than an innovator, he was nonetheless a designer in his own right. Still, his creations became legendary in certain instances, chief among them being the home he constructed for himself in 1949. Mies Van der Rohe’s philosophy is distilled in the house; Johnson even said it was “more Mies than Mies.” The Glass House is a translucent box surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens that blur the lines between public and private space and inside and outside. Its extensive use of plate glass served as a major inspiration for many architects of today’s high-rise luxury projects. With his “Chippendale” skyscraper for AT&T.

5. Eero Saarinen

After World War II, the International Style—the standard for new corporate headquarters and government office buildings worldwide—evolved from the Bauhaus’s straight-line ideology. The mid-century designs by Eero Saarinen were a welcome corrective against the backdrop of corporate homogeneity that essentially transformed the modernist ideal of simplicity. Saarinen used swooping arcs to give his building a sense of soaring transcendence, in contrast to the uniform box embraced by the International Style. This was evident in his 1962 JFK terminal for the now-defunct TWA Airlines. Its exuberant interior and gull-wing roof are still exhilarating. However, Saarinen’s signature feeling of the building taking flight remains, as seen in other works like his 1947 design for St. Louis’s monumental Gateway.

6. Richard Rogers

When the Pompidou Center opened its doors in 1977, it was regarded as the pinnacle of a movement referred to as structural expressionism or high-tech. Richard Rogers, a British architect, was one of the prominent design supporters. The central institution for modern and contemporary art in Paris, this building resembles a structure turned inside out. Its facade, which includes an outside escalator surrounded by glass and climbs the building’s height, comprises its plumbing and heating systems. Rogers used a comparable strategy for one of his most famous structures, the Lloyd’s of London headquarters.

7. Frank Gehry

Thanks to his 1997 design for the Guggenheim Museum branch in Bilbao, Spain, this West Coast architect is currently, without a doubt, the most well-known person in the world. The Guggenheim Bilbao is still the best example of Gehry’s style, which he has applied to numerous commissions, including Disney Hall in Los Angeles and MIT’s Stata Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, even though he was already well-known in his field as the auteur of billowing forms that seem to defy gravity and the logic of conventional construction methods. The Guggenheim Bilbao, clad in titanium, resembles a giant ship on the Nervión River. The largest city in the Basque Country, where the structure is located, is likewise credited with turning around its fortunes.

8. Norman Foster

An early associate of renowned visionary and geodesic dome inventor Buckminster Fuller, British architect Norman Foster was a lover of Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Foster must have been influenced by the latter’s tessellated pattern of triangle shapes because his most well-known structures have facades with surface treatments akin to this. Exhibit A is a commercial skyscraper in London’s financial area at 30 St Mary Axe, often known as The Gerkin, which opened for business in 2004. Its pickle-like shape tapering to a point has become a global symbol, connected to London in the same way that Paris is associated with the Eiffel Tower.

9. Renzo Piano

Unlike other architects on this list, it isn’t known if Italian architect Renzo Piano has a signature style. Instead, his designs have been varied, ranging from the Neo-Brutalism he created for the Whitney Museum’s Meatpacking District headquarters to the exquisite, light-filled Menil Collection in Houston, Texas. Which resembles an overgrown Richard Neutra-designed mid-century home. But his works frequently have an industrial or mechanical aesthetic (he got his start helping Richard Rogers build the Pompidou Center). His most famous structure is the slender, 95-story glass and steel skyscraper known as The Shard in London. It is his largest building to date.

10. Santiago Calatrava

This Spanish architect’s style has been called Neofuturist, yet a more accurate description would be sci-fi baroque. His constructions frequently resemble the ribcages of prehistoric robotic dinosaurs if such things existed. His initiatives undoubtedly received international notice but also developed a reputation for significantly exceeding budgets. Nevertheless, the Transit Hub for the World Trade Center is Calatrava’s most well-known design. He is among the most unique architects of our time. The Transit Hub is a vision in white. Its interior is dominated by a glass oculus allowing sunshine to penetrate its main hall. It opened after years of delays and skyrocketing costs. Coincidentally, Calatrava also owns a Greek Orthodox chapel on the WTC. Which is built to replace the one that was damaged in the 9/11 attacks. Its form is modelled on the well-known Hagia Sofia in Istanbul and is dressed in white.

11. Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid was among the few female starchitects and the first to win the Pritzker Prize. The architecture equivalent of the Oscar was renowned for her futuristic designs. That featured soaring, curving shapes better suited for UFOs than structures. Born into a wealthy Iraqi family in Bagdad, Hadid received her education in the United Kingdom (where the Queen would later bestow upon her the title of Dame. The feminine form of knighthood). However, Hadid rejected the conventional rules, choosing instead to follow an Expressionistic style. That frequently seemed to reference the female form. Though not on purpose, according to Hadid herself: She called the comparison between her stadium design in Qatar and a vagina “embarrassing” and “ridiculous.” Despite having created many projects worldwide. She has only finished one in New York City, a luxurious condo in Chelsea.

12. Oscar Niemeyer

Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer was one of the essential contributors to the creation of midcentury modernist architecture. In an era when the boxy International Style was in vogue, and Mies Van der Rohe’s “less is more” thesis was the architectural canon, Niemeyer used bold curvilinear forms in anticipation of the work of Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid. While Niemeyer was a member of the design team for the U.N. Building in New York City, the civic structures for Brasília, the planned city. That has been the capital of Brazil since 1960, and it is undoubtedly his most well-known and ambitious undertaking.

13. Rem Koolhaas

Rem Koolhaas, born in 1945 in Rotterdam, is regarded as one of the most significant architects of his generation. Both as an architectural theorist and a building designer. His 1978 book Delicious New York. An ode to the city and its crucial role in influencing the 20th century’s economic and cultural landscape launched him to initial fame. In terms of structures. He is most well-known for the enormous Central China Television Headquarters in Beijing, China, a 44-story skyscraper. That resembles a möbius strip and is known to the locals as “big boxer shorts.”

14. Jeanne Gang

Jean Gang is one of the few female architects to have gotten significant commissions in a male-dominated field. Among them are the Acqua, an 82-story residential skyscraper in downtown Chicago, and the 93-story Vista Tower, also in Chicago. A woman designed the two tallest buildings. Both buildings and Gang’s other designs, such as the University of Chicago dormitory, have avant-garde façades. That substitutes syncopated patterns of wavy or asymmetrical shapes for the traditional right-angled grid.

15. Daniel Burnham

The 130-foot-tall Montauk Building in Chicago, designed by Gilded Age architect Daniel Burnham and partner John Wellborn Root, is credited with creating what is known as the first skyscraper in 1886. New York City’s much higher Flatiron Building is Burnham’s most famous creation. In addition, he is most known for supervising the planning and execution of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The unbelievable event that is now known by the moniker “The White City.”

16. Gordon Bunshaft

Whether Gordon Bunshaft significantly brought modernist architecture to New York City after World War II is debatable. However, he was unquestionably a leading proponent of the International Style. Which adapted the avant-garde design advances of the early 20th century for corporate buildings. The most notable was the “glass curtain wall,” replacing conventional brick exteriors. As a partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Bunshaft used this technique to create famous structures like Lever House. It is regarded as the first authentic example of the International Style in New York and finished in 1952 at Park Avenue and East 53rd Street. His other works include the Yale University Beinecke Library. The Washington, D.C.-based Hirshhorn Museum and the Solow Building are characterized by their shape, which forms a gigantic concave curve.

17. Shigeru Ban

Japanese architect Shigeru Ban is renowned for his creative use of cardboard, paper, and wood. He also draws inspiration from traditional Japanese building techniques. Such as the shoji screens used as room separators, windows, and doors. For example, he used cardboard tubes of construction quality to make a cathedral ceiling in New Zealand. Another proposal, the upscale residential complex Shutter House in New York City, mimics the design of the traditional Japanese home. That opens to the outside by emulating a sequence of glass garage doors and security gates. They form the facade of the building and function as moveable outside walls for each apartment. The tent-like section of the Centre Pompidou museum in Metz, in the Lorraine area of France. One of Ban’s other architectural creations.



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