Architects are artists who shape our world. We brought together the most famous architects of all time.
Wednesday, February 2, 2022
updated by Taner Korkmaz
Most Famous Architects of All Time
Architects are like sculptors who first draw their dreams on paper and then create real ones. First, they transfer the project they created in their mind to paper, and then they manage the growth of their own works on the construction site. Architects who can combine aesthetics and functionality in their works have determined our lifestyle throughout history.
Only the architects who have the vision to change the routine and create their own lines become famous and fascinate us with their works. This is the main reason why almost every renowned architect of all time has unique styles. Although some of them are representative of the same architectural movement, it can easily be seen that each of them has their own signature on their projects. However, it is tough to gain recognition and respect in a world where an architect can be different only by making a difference. Perhaps many of them may owe their reputation to one project, but those who have failed to maintain this success have been forgotten over the years.
These architects who proved their success with great designs have many projects that can be described as world heritage. However, the most disadvantageous aspect of architecture is that they cannot be collected and exhibited in a museum. Therefore, if you want to see the works of the most famous architects of all time, a long journey is waiting for you.
Among the most famous architects of all time, there are some architects who lived hundreds of years ago and designed buildings that are now the symbols of some cities. At the same time, there are many architects that lay the foundations of the current understanding of modern architecture.
Born : June 8, 1867, Richland Center, WI, United States
Died : April 9, 1959, Emergency Room - St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ
Notable Works :Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, Taliesin, Taliesin West, Frederick C. Robie House
Frank Lloyd Wright is one of the most famous architects of all time with an understanding of designing structures that are compatible with humanity and the environment, which he called organic architecture. Frank Lloyd Wright is the pioneer of the Prairie School movement in architecture. Born as a child of teacher parents, Frank Lloyd Wright studied civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin, followed by an internship with renowned architects Joseph Lyman Silsbee and Louis Sullivan in Chicago. Frank Lloyd Wright, who opened his own practice in 1893, stepped into his legendary architectural career. In addition to his 70-year career in architecture, he is known for more than 20 books and articles. In addition to the houses he designed, he designed many schools, offices, churches, skyscrapers, and museums. Frank Lloyd Wright's projects are always treated as special works and inspire architects and architecture students.
Born : October 31, 1950, Baghdad, Iraq
Died : March 31, 2016, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach, FL
Notable Works :Heydar Aliyev Center, MAXXI - National Museum of 21st Century Art, Port Authority, Dongdaemun Design Plaza, London Aquatics Centre
Zaha Hadid was one of the most famous architects of all time who has achieved many firsts. She distinguished herself from other architects and designers by using curved lines in her projects and left her mark with her architectural approach. The first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Award, Zaha Hadid was born to a wealthy family. Her father was an industrialist and politician, and her mother was an artist. Zaha Hadid discovered her interest in architecture during her childhood trips to ancient Sumerian cities. Zaha Hadid studied at the American University of Beirut. After moving to London, she studied at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, and after her graduation in 1977, she has worked for her former professors Koolhaas and Zenghelis in Rotterdam until opening her own architectural firm in 1980. London-based Zaha Hadid Architects has become one of the most successful architectural offices in the world thanks to Zaha Hadid's outstanding architectural approach. Zaha Hadid decorated her architectural career with many prizes she won. She received the Stirling Prize, the UK's most prestigious architecture award, twice in a row, and she became the first and only woman awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects with the Royal Gold Medal. In addition to her architectural career, she taught architecture at leading universities around the world such as Harvard and Cambridge and contributed to the development of a new generation of architects. Zaha Hadid is considered one of the most famous architects of all time with the buildings she designed and the unique perspective she brought to modern architecture.
Born : February 28, 1929, Toronto, Canada
Notable Works :Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Louis Vuitton Foundation, Gehry Residence, Dancing House
Frank Gehry is one of the most famous architects of all time. From his own home (Gehry Residence) to Walt Disney Concert Hall, his works are among the world's most renowned architectural structures. Frank Gehry, who was born as Frank Owen Goldberg, became interested in architecture while he was a child, and showed his creativity by designing small houses with the materials he obtained from his grandfather's hardware store. Frank Gehry, who says he inherited his creative genes from his mother, first studied at Los Angeles City College and then graduated from the University of Southern California's School of Architecture. He received his Bachelor of Architecture in 1954 from the University of Southern California. Frank Gehry moved to Cambridge with his family in 1956, and Frank Gehry studied city planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. After coming back to Los Angeles in 1957, he started working for Victor Gruen Associates and completed his first residential project. He then went to Paris for a year, and when he returned, he founded his own architectural firm in 1962. In 1989 Frank Gehry was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize. In many countries, Frank Gehry has created numerous spectacular projects, including the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, which is regarded as the masterpiece of the twentieth century. Frank Gehry is a source of inspiration for the new generation of architects with his unique modern style and is one of the pioneers of modern architecture.
Born : June 1, 1935, Reddish, Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, United Kingdom
Notable Works :30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin), Reichstag Building, Hearst Tower, City Hall, Millennium Bridge
Norman Foster is one of the first architects to come to mind when talking about high-tech architecture. Norman Foster, famous with bringing together steel and glass to design innovative modern buildings, was born the son of machine painter Robert Foster and local bakery worker Lilian Foster. Norman Foster did not have the opportunity to shape his natural talent for architecture by vocational training until he was almost 21 years old. Architect John E. Beardshaw liked Norman's sketches, and after that, in 1956, Norman Foster began the study at the University of Manchester, the School of Architecture and City Planning. Norman Foster, who worked part-time to pay for the school, received the RIBA silver medal in 1959 for his determination. After graduating in 1961, he received the Henry Fellowship for the Yale School of Architecture and made the most important step in his career, making him one of the most famous architects in the world. Norman Foster returned to England in 1963 and opened his first architectural practice, Team 4. Norman Foster, who founded architectural firms under different names for 36 years, renamed his company as Foster + Partners in 1999. Focusing on industrial buildings in the early years of his architectural career, Norman Foster built numerous office buildings that left his mark on world architecture in the following years. Norman Foster, one of the most famous architects of all time, has a career decorated with prestigious awards, including the Pritzker Architecture Prize. It is possible to see and distinguish the modern architectural approach of Norman Foster at the buildings he designed. The buildings, which are the symbols of many famous cities today, bear the signature of Norman Foster.
Born : September 13, 1941, Minato-ku, Osaka, Japan
Notable Works :Ibaraki Kasugaoka Church (Church of the Light), Row House in Sumiyoshi, Chichu Art Museum, Chapel on the water, 21 21 Design Sight
Tadao Ando, despite having no formal training in the field of architecture, thanks to has an architectural perspective and talent, he is considered as one of the most famous architects of all time. Born and raised in Osaka, Tadao Ando focused on boxing in his youth and was planning to pursue a boxing career until he saw the Imperial Hotel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Tokyo. When he returned to Osaka, he ended his boxing career, graduated from high school, attended night classes and learned to draw. One of the most famous architects of all time, Tadao Ando is an autodidact architect focused on self-development. Tadao Ando created his own unique style with his inferences by examining the buildings designed by world-famous architects. In 1969, he founded his own design studio, Tadao Ando Architect & Associates, and began to reveal his designs one by one, reflecting the beauty of simplicity. The influences of Japanese and Zen culture are the hallmarks of Tadao Ando's buildings. Making impressive designs with clean lines, Tadao Ando designs concrete buildings and reflects the aesthetics of simplicity in this way. Before Tadao Ando, there was no architect who thought that using the concrete could create such a spacious environment. It is possible to see the buildings he designed in Japan, Germany, France, Italy, America, England, and many other countries. Tadao Ando, who has decorated his architectural career with numerous awards, received the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1995. In addition to his career in architecture, Tadao Ando has also taught as a guest professor at some of the world's most renowned universities, such as Yale University, Harvard University, and Columbia University. Since 1998, Tadao Ando has been working as a professor at the University of Tokyo to train next generation architects.
Born : August 12, 1945, Fumel, France
Notable Works :Louvre Abu Dhabi, Agbar Tower, Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain, Paris Philharmonic, One Central Park
Jean Nouvel is an architect who is known for his modern architectural approach and his desire to share the beauty of his architecture with the broader audience. Despite his family's insistence on studying mathematics and language, he continued his own passion and, despite his difficulties, studied to become an architect at the École nationale deséureure des Beaux-Arts. Jean Nouvel started his professional career as an assistant architect with Claude Parent and Paul Virilio, and in 1970 he established his first partnership with François Seigneur. With its buildings designed with a modern architectural approach, Jean Nouvel has received many awards, including the world's most prestigious architecture awards such as the Wolf Prize in Arts and the Pritzker Prize. However, Jean Nouvel has also gained great respect for his initiatives and efforts to create common awareness in the industry. Jean Nouvel, the co-founder of The Syndicat de l'Architecture, the French labor union for architects, also founded the first Paris architecture biennale in 1980. In 1981, he won the design competition for the Institut du Monde Arabe, and upon completion of the building in 1987, he became a world-renowned architect. From 1972 to 1994, he co-founded different practices with Gilbert Lezenes, Jean-François Guyot, Pierre Soria, Emmanuel Blamont, Jean-Marc Ibos, Mirto Vitart and Emmanuel Gattani. Jean Nouvel founded Ateliers Jean Nouvel in 1994 with Michel Pélissié, one of the largest architectural firms in France, and has opened branches in Rome, Geneva, Madrid, and Barcelona in addition to the Paris office. Jean Nouvel, one of the few architects who have won the Pritzker Prize, has become one of the most famous architects with the buildings he designed and the initiatives he took.
Born : October 6, 1887, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
Died : August 27, 1965, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France
Notable Works :Villa Savoye, Colline Notre Dame du Haut, Unité d'Habitation, Unité d'Habitation de Marseille, La Tourette
Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier, was born in La Chaux-de-Fonds, famous for its watchmaking industry. The city, where craftsmen like his father, an enamel artist, lived, was influential in shaping the vision of the renowned architect and made him one of the successful architects who educated not on architecture but on art. Considered one of the pioneers of modern architecture, Le Corbusier attended the municipal art school and attended the higher course of decoration for three years. One of the most famous architects of all time, Le Corbusier developed himself by reading books on architecture and philosophy in libraries, visiting museums, and drawing house drawings. In 1905, while still a student, the talented Le Corbusier designed his first house, the Villa Fallet. In 1907, he went on his first journey, which gained a different architectural perspective, and went to Florence, Budapest, and Vienna. He worked as a draftsman for two years in the office of Auguste Perret, the architect of the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. He then gained experience working with Peter Behrens. When he returned to La-Chaux-de-Fonds in 1912, he designed one of his first signature projects, Maison Blanche, which he created for his parents. Le Corbusier worked on the use of reinforced concrete as a building material, which he learned during Auguste Perre's office and focused on improving the usability of concrete in different fields with new theories. With the use of concrete, he pioneered the creation of free design independent of walls. Le Corbusier went to Paris in 1917 and established his own practice. Le Corbusier was an accomplished painter who was a follower of Cubism and Purism, as well as architecture. And even his name, Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, became Le Corbusier in his career as a painter. Le Corbusier, which looks at architecture from a wider perspective, has also developed itself in urban planning and has become one of the best. Plan Voisin, designed for Paris, has a vision far ahead of urban planning day. Throughout his career, Le Corbusier has drawn many different architectural projects besides buildings. At Villa Savoye, you can see the architectural genius of Le Corbusier, which made him one of the most famous architects of all time.
Born : November 17, 1944, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Notable Works :Casa da Música, CCTV Headquarters, Seattle Public Library-Central Library, Kunsthal. Rotterdam, Villa Dall'Ava
Rem Koolhaas, one of the most important architects and urban theorists of his generation, was born into a family where art and architecture touched the lives of almost every individual. One of the most famous architects of all time, Rem Koolhaas followed the footsteps of his grandfather Dirk Roosenburg, a modernist architect who worked for Hendrik Petrus Berlage, instead of following the path of his father, a screenwriter who won a Golden Bear and was twice nominated for the Academy Award for Documentary Feature. Rem Koolhaas began studying architecture in 1968 at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. He then studied architecture at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York City. One of the most famous architects of all time, Rem Koolhaas founded OMA (The Office for Metropolitan Architecture) in London with Elia Zenghelis, Zoe Zenghelis and Madelon Vriesendorp in 1975. Then Zaha Hadid, a student of Rem Koolhaas, joined the team. This team has completed many projects that left their mark in the architectural world. Rem Koolhaas has decorated his career with numerous awards, including the Pritzker Prize, one of the most prestigious architectural awards in the world. Rem Koolhaas, a journalist before studying architecture, wrote books, including reference sources such as Delirious New York, S, M, L, XL, and Project on the City, making his ideas immortal. At the same time, with Volume Magazine, which he co-founded with Mark Wigley and Ole Bouman, he aimed to show that architects not only build buildings, but also shape living spaces and social phenomena with their ideas. Rem Koolhaas is one of the most famous architects of all time, both with the buildings he designed and the brand new perspectives he added to the architectural world and his passion for transferring information from generation to generation.
Born : September 14, 1937, Pegli, Italy
Notable Works :The Centre Pompidou, The Shard, Whitney Museum of American Art, Tjibaou Cultural Center, Fondation Beyeler
Renzo Piano is one of the most famous architects of all time, whose expertise is lightweight structures designed using steel and reinforced polyester. Construction is a family legacy for Renzo Piano. His grandfather started the family business, and then Renzo's father took over. Born in Genova, Italy, in a family of builders, Renzo Piano studied architecture at the Milan Polytechnic University and graduated in 1964. His older brother Ermanno, who had an engineering education at the University of Genoa, started to manage their building company. Renzo Piano, who has been teaching at the university for three years, decided to improve his technical skills, and first, he worked with world-renowned architect Louis Kahn in Philadelphia, and then he worked with engineer Zygmunt Stanlislaw Makowski in London. His first project was a factory in Genova, completed in 1968, with a roof made of steel and reinforced polyester. Renzo Piano, one of the most famous architects of all time, gained international recognition by designing the Pavilion of Italian Industry at Expo 70 in Osaka, Japan. He collaborated with his brother Ermanno to develop construction materials that look engineering advanced and also artistic. After this success, he met Richard Rogers and founded the company they worked with between 1971 and 1977. One of the duo's most famous works is the modern headquarters of B&B Italia, one of the top Italian furniture brands. He founded the Renzo Piano Building Workshop in 1981 and opened offices in Paris, Genova, and New York. Renzo Piano has accomplished many projects, including amazing buildings such as Center Pompidou, Kansai International Airport, Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, Maison Hermès, and the New York Times Building. Renzo Piano, who won the Pritzker Prize, the most prestigious award in architecture, in 1998, is one of the most famous architects of all time.
Born : December 15, 1907, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Died : December 5, 2012, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Notable Works :Niterói Contemporary Art Museum, Museu Oscar Niemeyer, Cathedral of Brasilia, Edificio Copan, Ibirapuera Auditorium - Oscar Niemeyer
One of the most famous architects of all time, Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho, whom we know as Oscar Niemeyer, was one of the architects who pioneered the development of modern architecture. Oscar Niemeyer, one of the very few architects in world history who had the chance to design almost all civil buildings in an entire city and did not hesitate to assume this responsibility, was the creator of the buildings that formed Brasília's identity. After graduated from Escola Nacional de Belas Artes at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Oscar Niemeyer started his professional career by drawing at local architectural companies. Oscar Niemeyer's first major work was the buildings he designed for the Pampulha region in the city of Belo Horizonte. However, the work that made Oscar Niemeyer famous in both the national and international architectural community was the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, and then he became one of the sought-after architects of both domestic and overseas projects. Oscar Niemeyer met Le Corbusier and became a member of the group of elite architects who designed the United Nations Headquarters, and this project doubled his reputation. He was assigned by Brazilian president Juscelino Kubitschek in 1956 to realize his largest-scale project. And in 1960, Oscar Niemeyer completed designing civil buildings in the new capital of Brazil. One of the most famous architects of all time, Oscar Niemeyer designed buildings including the National Congress of Brazil, the Cathedral of Brasília, the Palácio do Planalto, the Palácio da Alvorada, and the Supreme Federal Court, and therefore created the skyline of Brasília. Oscar Niemeyer, who moved to Paris in 1964, returned to Brazil in 1985 and was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the most prestigious award for architects, in 1988. As one of the most famous architects of all time, Oscar Niemeyer designed more than 600 buildings in his 78-year career and inspired new generation architects.
Born : June 25, 1852, Reus, Spain
Died : June 10, 1926, Old Hospital de la Santa Creu, Barcelona, Spain
Notable Works :La Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, Casa Mila, Casa Batlló, Casa Vicens Gaudi
Antoni Gaudi was one of the rare architects who managed to create the architectural identity of a city. That city is Barcelona. In an era dominated by Neo-Gothic art and Oriental architectural approaches, Modernism was the correct term to describe Antoni Gaudi's works. Antoni Gaudi, one of the most famous architects of all time, was known for his works embellished with unique architectural techniques and details. Sagrada Família, the most famous of these works, has become the symbol of Barcelona and even Spain. Antoni Gaudi, who was inspired by nature while designing his works, experienced difficult times due to different health problems, but these diseases enabled him to take sick leave and stay away from the battlefield during his military service. During this period, he studied architecture at the Llotja School and the Barcelona Higher School of Architecture and graduated in 1878. Antoni Gaudi, who worked as a draughtsman alongside the famous architects and contractors of the period in order to cover the school expenses, started to create works that would change the face of Barcelona after receiving his degree. The Plaça Reial is Antoni Gaudi's first work and later gained recognition with the Casa Vicens. He designed many of his works such as the Güell wine cellars, the Güell Pavilions, the Palau Güell, the Park Güell, and the Colònia Güell for the industrialist Eusebi Güell. While designing his works, Antoni Gaudi set out by making three-dimensional models rather than drawing. Seven of the works of Antoni Gaudi, one of the most famous architects of all time, have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Antoni Gaudi's best-known work is, of course, the Basílica de la Sagrada Família, but nearly every one of his works is among architectural wonders.
Ieoh Ming Pei
Born : April 26, 1917, Guangzhou, China
Died : May 16, 2019, Manhattan, New York, NY
Notable Works :Suzhou Museum, Louvre Pyramid, Miho Museum, Museum of Islamic Art, Bank of China Tower
Ieoh Ming Pei, one of the most famous architects of all time, had the opportunity to observe the architectural diversity and laid the foundations of his own architectural style, thanks to the fact that he lived in different cities at a young age. Born in Guangzhou and moved to Hong Kong a year later, Ieoh Ming Pei moved to Shanghai at the age of 10 with his family, whose roots go back to the Ming dynasty, and grew up there. With the inspiration of Shanghai architecture, he did research for university education and decided to study architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and went to the United States in 1935. Although he dropped out of his architectural education and started to study engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he returned to his real passion, architecture, and focused entirely on architecture with the inspiration he received from Le Corbusier. He quit his job at Harvard during the Second World War and worked on the National Defense Research Committee. After the end of the war, Ieoh Ming Pei moved to New York in 1948 and started working at the Webb and Knapp architectural firm. Ieoh Ming Pei, who has signed many famous architectural projects with his team for seven years, founded the I. M. Pei & Partners architectural company in 1955. He designed many buildings both at home and abroad, including the Society Hill Towers, the Luce Memorial Chapel, and the new Mesa Laboratory. These successful projects multiplied Ieoh Ming Pei's reputation, and The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum solidified his place among the world's most famous architects. Ieoh Ming Pei won the Pritzker Prize in 1983. His works such as Dallas City Hall and Hancock Tower made him known in the architectural world, while The Louvre Pyramid, opened in 1989, became Ieoh Ming Pei's most famous work.
Born : April 15, 1489, Karaman, Turkey
Died : July 17, 1588, Turkey
Notable Works :Süleymaniye Mosque, Selimiye Mosque, Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, Topkapi Palace Museum, Sehzade Mosque
Born : July 8, 1906, Cleveland, OH
Died : January 25, 2005, New Canaan, CT
Notable Works :Glass House, Seagram Building, Christ Cathedral Campus, Rothko Chapel, Chapel of St. Basil
Born : April 9, 1918, Copenhagen, Denmark
Died : November 29, 2008, Helsingør, Denmark
Notable Works :Sydney Opera House, Can Lis, Bagsværd Church, Utzon Center, Kingo Houses
Born : October 30, 1632, Wiltshire, United Kingdom
Died : March 8, 1723, St. James's, London, United Kingdom
Notable Works :St. Paul's Cathedral, Monument to the Great Fire of London, Kensington Palace, Royal Observatory Greenwich, Temple Bar London