The Greatest Modern Architects You Need To Know

World Architecture Day celebrated on the first Monday of every October, was set up by the Union International des Architects (UIA) back in 2005 to “remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat”.

Article Originally Published On October 2, 2017

To mark this occasion, a moment to consider the potential of architecture – and, indeed, socially -conscious architects – to transform the lives of human beings across the globe. In this article, you can read about the 10 greatest modern architects from our time, a tribute to them.

FRANK GEHRY

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City of Wine Complex
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Lou Rovo Center

There is no mistaking Gehry’s works, as they are the most distinctive, and innovative architectural phenomena around. His deconstructive forms are iconic as tourists flock to all of his buildings worldwide to marvel at the architectural forms he creates.  Named by Vanity Fair as “the most important architect of our age”, he has set the precedence for contemporary architecture. His ability to create spaces that manipulate forms and surfaces is his most notable feats and we all love his unique uses of materials that almost defy all logic in how they work together.

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT

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Fallingwater
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Guggenheim

Some consider Frank Lloyd Wright the greatest architect of all time. For he thought of interior & exterior spaces as one and was ahead of his time in building forms, construction methods, and never went to a formal architecture school.  His humble American upbringing led him to learn under Louis Sullivan – another legend in architecture – and to this day Wright is noted for his prairie-style buildings and organic influences. His organic and natural forms that seemed to become one with nature and his innovative detailing are still considered to be the best building and design concepts, even after nearly 150 years.

IEOH MING PEI

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National Center for Atmospheric Research
The Greatest Modern Architects You Need To Know architects The Greatest Modern Architects You Need To Know Entrance to the Le Grand Louvre in Paris
Entrance to the Le Grand Louvre in Paris

This Chinese architect came to study architecture in the United States as a teenager and later became one of the greatest architects of modern architecture. Almost 80 years later I.M. Pei’s work can be seen worldwide and are noted for their unique use of geometric forms and incorporating Chinese influences into his work. His National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado embodies Pei’s iconic geometric forms and unity with natural elements in their surroundings. Pei’s work graces some of the most prestigious government and acclaimed sites throughout the world.

ZAHA HADID

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Art Mobile
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Heydar Aliyev Center

The first woman architect whoever won the Pritzker Architecture prize went to the legendary Zaha Hadid. Born in Iraq Hadid went on to win this iconic award which is often termed the ‘Nobel peace prize of architecture’. Hadid’s forms are characterized as futuristic, unconventional, daring and artistic. Many of her projects were never built and she still was ranked on Forbes list at 69thmost powerful women in 2008. Her beautiful buildings always leave us with our mouths open.

PHILIP JOHNSON

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Glass House
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Crystal Cathedral

Noted as the American architect who founded the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, Johnson’s architectural works are easily identifiable. His glass house in Connecticut is one of the most familiar residences with its minimal interiors and expansive glass vistas were just one example of his use of the material. His amazing use of glass, steel, and later crystal became his world-renowned fame.  The Crystal Cathedral in California looks as though it should be in a child’s fairytale book it is the epitome of forward-thinking architecture that characterized Johnson’s Minimalism and Pop-Art styles.

See also: The Power Of Physics – Architectural Buildings With Distorted Designs

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TOM WRIGHT

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Burj Al Arab
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This helipad is also the worlds highest tennis court

British architect, Tom Wright is responsible for the Burj Al Arab in Dubai. Acclaimed for its luxurious amenities as a hotel and also one of the most recognizable buildings in modern architecture. Noted with the world’s tallest atrium, and equipped with its own helicopter landing pad and tallest tennis court at the top, Tom Wright definitely deserves to join the list of great modern architects.

LUDWIG MIES VAN DER ROHE

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Crown Hall
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Barcelona Pavilion

This German-American architect is termed one of the pioneers of modern architecture along with Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius. Mies was known for his minimalist and “less is more” approach to architecture and his forward-thinking of using plate glass and structural steel to divide interior spaces is one of his most notable characteristics in architecture. His innovative open floor plan concepts were first thought of by Van der Rohe and many of his interior concepts & furniture styles are widely used in today’s architecture and interiors.

RENZO PIANO

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The Shard
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NEMO Science Center

The Italian born architect was named one of Time magazine’s top 100 most influential people in 2008. Piano who is an Italian Pritzker Prize-winning architect has been instrumental in shaping modern architecture that stands on its own in recognition. The Shard – Europe’s tallest skyscraper in London has faced many controversies in its construction, but many feel it has given London a way to join the 21stcentury. In his younger years, he worked with the world-renowned architect Louis Kahn and soon become known for his unique applications of materials and details.

JEAN NOUVEL

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Arab World Institute
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Dentsu Building

Nouvel is a French-born architect who has won numerous prestigious awards and honours over the years for his projects, including the Pritzker Prize in 2008. Nouvel’s most acclaimed fame came from winning the design competition for the Arab World Institute in Paris that brought him international fame. Mechanical lenses in the south wall open & shut automatically and are reminiscent of Arabic latticework. The devices control interior lighting automatically from exterior light levels. Nouvel’s work is known worldwide and his use of innovative architectural concepts set him apart from many modern architects today.

MOSHE SAFDIE

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National Gallery of Canada
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Habitat 67

Safdie is another product of Louis Kahn’s apprenticeship that led to his remarkable modern architecture career. Originally from Haifa, Safdie is known for his 1967 International & Universal Exposition – Expo 67, which was Canada’s main celebration during its centennial year, and was deemed a remarkable cultural achievement. Safdie has been awarded much recognition of which the Gold Medal, from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, is among the finest.

See also: The Power Of Physics – Architectural Buildings With Distorted Designs

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