The 30 most famous architects in history

Compilation of 30 of the most famous architects in history , that for their works left an indelible mark. There is no exact data on the names of the sponsors of this art, but many architects who influenced its development.

Considered one of the branches of art, along 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 it was ancient Greece its birthplace.

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

Top 30 most famous architects in history

1- Miguel Á Angel Buonarroti

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(1475-1564, Italy) 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. Also, he is the designer of the dome of the Sistine Chapel.

2- Gian Lorenzo Bernini

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(1598-1680, Italy) It is not clear if Michelangelo had any influence on his works, but his works were closely related. He was undoubtedly the most representative figure of Italian Baroque and marked an entire 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.

3- Ustad Ahmad Lahauri

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

4- Ictino

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Perhaps he is one of the fathers of architecture, although there are no exact data from the 5th century BC. His works 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.

5- Calicrates 

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The other Greek teacher Together 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.

6- Bonanno Pisano

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(12th century, Italy) 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.

A defender of Byzantine art and classical antiquity, the sloping cathedral door is his own and in its bronze panels it recounts in twenty-four scenes the main episodes of the life of Christ.

7-William Morris

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(1834-1896, UK) Creative and stubborn in his ideas, Morris was the founder of the Arts and Crafts movement which rejected industrial production altogether, promoting a return to craftsmanship to develop his works. La Maison Rouge is his most admired work.

8- Antoni Gaudi

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(1852-1926, Spain) 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 left dozens of buildings and monuments.

The defender of modernism, elusive to straight lines, 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.

9- Walter Gropius

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(1883-1969, Germany) 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 ornaments, something he considered unnecessary.

10- Le Corbusier

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(1887-1965, Switzerland) A militant of clean, pure lines, Le Corbusier is another theoretician 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 “Le Modulor”, based on the dimensions of the human body. His masterpieces are the Villa Savoye, Poissy and the chapel of Notre Dame du Haut.

11- Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

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(1886-1969, Germany) Van der Rohe’s influence 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.

12-Gustave Eiffel

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(1832 -1923, France) While Eiffel was not an architect, it is impossible to circumvent him in this list due to the influence of his work as a civil engineer had generations of architects.

His concepts in the 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.

13-  Frank Lloyd Wright

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(1867-1959, United States) “Minimalism in all its expression”, such 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 feelings of amplitude.

His main objective was to differentiate enclosed spaces defined with a particular structure, which gives a unique style to his work Fallingwater House and Kaufmann House.

14- Frank Owen Gehry

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(1929, Canada) innovative, original and for architecture Gehry is art and as such every building should be a work of art, like a painting, sculpture or drawing.

His creation knew no limits, using all kinds of materials, structures, shapes and colors. I could build with irregularities and decompensated planes, to give expressive life to each work.

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).

15-Jorn Utzon

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(1918 – 2008 Denmark) 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.

16-  Richard Meier

(1934, USA) is perhaps the work of the Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona that best describes his style: clear, harmonious, with straight lines, spaces and an abundance of white light.

Admitted avowed to Le Corbusier and Lloyd Wright, Meier reflects this influence in his works.

17- Cesar Pelli

(1926, Argentina) Pelli is one of the most recognized architects today. Linked to teaching and research, his works stand out all over the world.

Among his works stand out the Petronas Towers, in Malaysia, which between 1998 and 2003 were the tallest buildings in the world.

18- Mario Palanti

(1885 – 1978, Italy) Maybe his name surprised, but this Italian architect is responsible for two iconic works in Buenos Aires and Montevideo, one of which (Barolo Palace) used to be the tallest building in Latin America in the early XX century

A lover of the neo-Gothic style, Palanti was responsible for 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 powerful reflector in their dome and are made with opposite orientations, as if looking at each other. Funny thing is Palanti took the plans with him and they never arrived.

19-  Philip Johnson

(1906-2005, United States) Johnson has a masterpiece, which is also his graduation project and his home. This architect built the Casa de Cristal, a structure entirely in iron, without concrete walls and completely covered in glass, as if it were a large window.

20-  Ieoh Ming Pei

(1917, China) 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 the criteria of Groupis and the “international style”.

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

21-Oscar Niemeyer

(1907 – 2012, Brazil) Admirer of Le Corbusier, this Brazilian architect 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.

22-  Norman Foster

(1935, UK) Foster is modernity for giving his works a touch that represents the changes the planet has seen in recent decades. An example of this is the Collserola communication tower in Barcelona.

23- Rafael Viñoly

(1944, Uruguay) This architect has works and designs all over the world, but his fame lies in the controversy of his concave glass designs, which cause a magnifying effect inside and outside that produces an increase significant temperature.

The reflection of the sun’s rays in Viñoly’s buildings has caused human burns, melting auto parts, and even an experiment in which a fried egg was cooked in one of its buildings.

24-Jean New

(1945, France) He is one of the most decorated architects of the present, with worldwide recognition for his works. The modern Torre Agbar building in Barcelona is one of his most notable works.

25- Buckminster Fuller

(1895-1983, United States) His fame lies in developing the geodesic dome, a structure composed of polygons, such as triangles and hexagons, whose vertices all coincide on the surface of a sphere. This shape inspired the name of carbon molecules called fullerenes.

This is Fuller’s main contribution to architecture, which is also notable for his work and philosophy on the world’s finite resources, which leads him to find ways to do more with less.

26-Kengo Kuma

(1954, Japan) “My goal is to reclaim space,” this Asian architect explains of his style, in which he seeks to combine contemporary Japanese minimalism with simple, pure designs.

Her mission in every work is to connect the work with the nature that surrounds it. The Vancouver Tower is one of his most remarkable works.

27-Louis Kahn

(1901-1974, Estonia) Following the ideas of Le Corbusier, this Estonian-born architect, 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. Besides the architect, he was a teacher and left a long legacy of writings and works.

28- Glenn Murcutt

(1936, Australia) Owner of simple, 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 done in his country, where he has worked on different residential projects with a style full of local sensibility and craftsmanship.

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 a tax. “

29- Zaha Hadid

(1950-2016, Iraq) Perhaps the most famous female architect. Despite his Iraqi origins, he has spent most of his career in England. Coming from deconstructivist currents, Hadid was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Prize, one of the most important in the discipline.

His 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.

30- Diébédo Francis Kéré

(1965, Burkina Faso) 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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