The 30 Most Famous Architects In History

Considered one of the branches of art, with dance, sculpture, music, painting, literature, printmaking, photography, theater and cinema, architecture has a long human history accompanying the development of civilizations almost from its beginnings.

The term that gives its name is the conjunction of the Greek words authority and builder, and ancient Greece was its birthplace.

Architecture is, according to its theoretical definition, the art and technique of planning, designing, constructing and modifying human habitat. In practice, this results in the appearance of buildings, monuments and spaces that are part of human life.

Miguel Á Angel Buonarroti

Original, multifaceted and disruptive, Miguel Ángel was one of the greatest artists in history. He ventured into different branches of art, all with their particular imprint and architecture. Among his most notable works are the Laurentian Library in Florence, the Piazza del Capitolio in Rome, and the Basilica of San Pedro (papal seat) in the Vatican. In addition, he is the designer of the dome of the Sistine Chapel.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini

It is not clear whether Michelangelo had an influence on his works, but his works were closely related. He was undoubtedly the most representative figure of Italian Baroque and marked a whole era of architecture. Among his most memorable projects are the Plaza and the columns of the Basilica of San Pedro or the Cornaro Chapel. In addition, it left a legacy populated by monuments and buildings with an imposing and decorative style.

Ustad Ahmad Lahauri

He was the chief architect of the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. Although there is no record of his works, he has been regarded as a builder of world wonders and has been recognized as “a tear in the face of eternity”.

Ictino

Perhaps he is one of the fathers of architecture, although there is no exact data for the 5th century BC. His works have undoubtedly played a fundamental role in the development of this art. The Parthenon, the Telesterion and the Temple of Apollo are his three most recognized works, all with a defined style of columns and entablatures.

Callicrates

The other professor of Greek With Ictinos, they rebuilt the Acropolis of Athens. He had a huge influence on architectural culture for his work in the Parthenon and other buildings of antiquity.

Bonanno Pisano

Although there is controversy as to whether he was in fact the architect of the Torre de Pisa project, there is no doubt that he was involved in its construction. Defender of Byzantine art and classical antiquity, the door of the inclined cathedral is his and in its bronze panels, it tells in twenty-four scenes the main episodes of the life of Christ.

William Morris

Creative and stubborn in his ideas, Morris was the founder of the Arts and Crafts movement which totally rejected industrial production, promoting a return to craftsmanship to develop his works. La Maison Rouge is his most admired work.

Antoni Gaudí

One of the geniuses who died without having seen his most important work completed: La Sagrada Familia (it should be completed in 2026). However, its existence can be felt throughout the architecture of the city of Barcelona, ​​where it has left dozens of buildings and monuments.

The elusive, straight-lined advocate of modernism had a style in which details, color, textures, and shapes abound, all in one concept. Casa Batlló and Parc Güell are two of his most recognized (completed) works.

Walter Gropius

Creator of one of the most influential movements of modernity, the Bauhaus school, Gropius was convinced of rationalization and believed in the necessary conjunction of aesthetics and use.

“Form follows function,” said the German architect who marked an entire era. The PanAm Tower is perhaps his best-known work, which responds to a sober style without adornment, something he considered unnecessary.

Le Corbusier

A militant of pure and pure lines, Le Corbusier is another theorist of modern architecture. In addition to his constructed works, he left a vast theoretical legacy.

He believed in the possibility of changing the world with architecture, which he saw as a machine for generating beauty. Something that in practice he solved mainly with reinforced concrete as an ally and the implementation of open spaces. In turn, she developed her own system of measurements, called “The Modulor”, based on the dimensions of the human body. Its masterpieces are the Villa Savoye, Poissy and the chapel of Notre Dame du Haut.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

The influence of van der Rohe is not minor compared to the aforementioned architects. Also part of the Bauhaus and with an advanced style for his time, this German genius was a strict rationalist. Marble, iron and glass were the favorite elements of their work. The Seagram building in New York, the Farnsworth house and the German pavilion in Barcelona are his main works.

Gustave Eiffel

While Eiffel was not an architect, it is impossible to bypass him in this list because of the influence his work as a civil engineer had on generations of architects. His concepts in structure were decisive in designing the bridges, but he will always be remembered as the creator of the Eiffel Tower. This monument was strongly rejected by Parisian society after its construction in 1889, but it is currently one of the symbols of the light city.

Frank Lloyd Wright

“Minimalism in all its expression” is the most precise definition of Wright’s work. Pursuing a pure style, this architect sought great visual transparency, leaving spaces for the passage of light, which gave sensations of amplitude. His main goal was to differentiate the enclosed spaces defined with a particular structure, which gives a unique style to his work Fallingwater House and Kaufmann House. He created one of the most famous architectural styles used nowadays.

Frank Owen Gehry

Innovative, original and for architecture Gehry is an art and as such every building must be a work of art, like a painting, a sculpture or a drawing. His creation knew no bounds, used all kinds of materials, structures, shapes and colors. I could build with irregularities and decompensated planes, to give expressive life to each job.

He has a variety of works of his seal among which: Casa Frank Gehry (California), Guggenheim Museum (Bilbao), Hotel Marqués de Riscal (The Blind, Spain), Maison Danzante (Prague) or Bank Building DG (Berlin).

Jorn Utzon

Utzon was the creator of the Sydney Opera House, one of the most iconic buildings in the world. Defender of a monumental style, he has always sought to adapt his works to the environment that surrounds him.

Richard Meier

He is perhaps the Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona the work that best describes his style: clear, harmonious, with straight lines, spaces and abundance of white light. Admittedly admitted by Le Corbusier and Lloyd Wright, Meier reflects this influence in his works.

César Pelli

Pelli is one of the most recognized architects today. Linked to teaching and research, his works stand out around the world. Among his works stand out the Petronas Towers in Malaysia, which between 1998 and 2003 were the tallest buildings in the world.

Mario Palanti

Perhaps his name surprised, but this Italian architect is responsible for two iconic works of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, including one (Barolo Palace) used to be the tallest building in Latin America at the start XX century. A lover of the neo-Gothic style, Palanti was in charge of the construction of the Barolo Palace in the Argentine capital and the Salvo Palace in the Uruguayan capital.

They are two twin buildings, inspired by the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. Both have a strong reflector in their dome and are made with opposite orientations, as if they are looking at each other. The funny thing is, Palanti took the plans with him and they never arrived.

Philip Johnson

Johnson has a masterpiece, which is also his graduation project and his home. This architect built the Casa de Cristal, a structure made entirely of iron, without concrete walls and completely covered with glass, as if it were a large window.

Ieoh Ming Pei

He studied in the United States and acquired American citizenship, where he developed his entire career. She has works all over the world and in all her style of pure lines and functional efficiency, inspired by Groupis criteria and “international style”.

Cement, glass, steel, abstract shapes and the original ability to create effects are the hallmarks of the original Pei. Among his works stands out the pyramid of the Louvre museum in Paris.

Oscar Niemeyer

Admirer of Le Corbusier, this Brazilian architect has produced a hundred works in his career, but he is known to have been responsible for the design of an entire city: Brasilia, the capital of his country since 1960. Niemeyer based his career on reinforced concrete, a material he used in most of his works and to which he attributes great versatility in shaping their work.

Norman Foster

Foster is brought to modernity for giving his works a touch that represents the changes the planet has undergone in recent decades. The Collserola communication tower in Barcelona is one example.

Rafael Viñoly

This architect has works and drawings all over the world, but his fame lies in the controversy of his concave glass designs, which cause a magnifying effect inside and outside which produces an increase high temperature. The reflection of the sun’s rays in the buildings of Viñoly caused burns in humans, the melting of auto parts, and even an experiment in which a fried egg was cooked in one of his buildings.

Jean Nouvel

He is one of the most decorated architects of the present, with accolades around the world for his works. One of his most notable works is the modern Torre Agbar building in Barcelona.

Buckminster Fuller

Its fame is to develop the geodesic dome, a structure made up of polygons, such as triangles and hexagons, whose vertices all coincide with the surface of a sphere. This shape inspired the name of carbon molecules called fullerenes. This is the primary contribution to Fuller’s architecture, which also stands out for his work and philosophy on the world’s finite resources, leading him to find ways to do more with less.

Kengo Kuma

“My goal is to reclaim space”, explains this Asian architect of his style, in which he seeks to combine contemporary Japanese minimalism with simple, pure designs. Its mission in every job is to connect the work with the nature that surrounds it. The Vancouver Tower is one of his most notable works.

Louis Kahn

Following the ideas of Le Corbusier, this architect of Estonian origin, based in the United States, was the first to build a structure in which the light and air conditioning ducts were visible. the art gallery for Yale University.

Kahn defined his work as a “thoughtful construction of spaces” and recognized the influences of ancient ruins, monumentality, monolithism, and timelessness in his works. In addition to being an architect, he was a teacher and left a long legacy of writings and works.

Glenn Murcutt

Owner of a simple and primitive style, works alone in his studio, unusual architecture. Mies Van der Rohe is one of his main influences and his works reflect this intention to integrate the natural context that surrounds them. His work is almost entirely carried out in his country, where he has worked on different residential projects with a style full of sensitivity and local know-how.

He describes himself as one of the few architects in love with humanity, he defines his work as a way of thinking and believes that: “Architecture must be an answer. Not an imposition. “

Zaha Hadid

Perhaps the most famous female architect. Despite his Iraqi origins, she spent most of his career in England. Coming from deconstructivism currents, Hadid was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Prize, one of the most important in the discipline. Her works do not include straight lines and are unpredictable, which marks an original style throughout his career. Among his works are the Corones Mountain Museum, the Rosenthal Contemporary Art Center, the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center and the Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion. In her work she made one of the most unusual houses and buildings.

Diébédo Francis Kéré

The importance of this African architect does not lie in the majesty of his works, but in the originality of his career. Born in the community of Gando, he studied architecture in Germany and, after graduating, decided to return to his hometown to stimulate the development of his country, combining his knowledge with the construction methods used. Thus, he built schools, parks, health centers and confinement spaces.

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