Famous 21st Century Architects

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Frank Gehry

Frank Gehry
4
Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: February 28, 1929
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
Canadian-born American architect and designer Frank Gehry is best known for designing the Guggenheim Museum in Spain, the Louis Vuitton Foundation in France, and the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, U.S. He has won countless awards, such as the Pritzker Architecture Prize and the Praemium Imperiale.

 2 I. M. Pei

I. M. Pei
6
Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: April 26, 1917
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Guangzhou, China
Died: May 16, 2019

I. M. Pei was a Chinese-American architect who drew inspiration from the garden villas at Suzhou when he was young. He is credited with founding I. M. Pei & Associates, an independent design firm, in 1955. Today, the award-winning firm is known by the name, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. Pei is known for designing structures like the Mesa Laboratory.

 3 Norman Foster

Norman Foster
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Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: June 1, 1935
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Stockport, Cheshire, England

Norman Foster is an English designer and architect best known for his association with the progression of high-tech architecture. Regarded as an important personality in British modernist architecture, Foster has been granted several prestigious honors like The Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award. He also serves as the president of the Norman Foster Foundation which aims at helping young architects.

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 4 Oscar Niemeyer

Oscar Niemeyer
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Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: December 15, 1907
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Died: December 5, 2012
Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer is remembered as a pioneer of modern architecture. He is known for designing major buildings such as the President’s Palace and the Brasília Palace Hotel in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. He publicly spoke about his love for free-flowing designs and his dislike for straight lines.

 5 Tadao Ando

Tadao Ando
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Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: September 13, 1941
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Minato Ward, Osaka, Japan

 6 Bjarke Ingels

Bjarke Ingels
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Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: October 2, 1974
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark

 7 Renzo Piano

Renzo Piano
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Famous As: Architect, Politician
Birthdate: September 14, 1937
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Genoa

Pritzker Prize-winning Italian architect Renzo Piano was born into a family of builders from Genoa. His firm Piano and Rogers, was co-established with British architect Richard Rogers. The Renzo Piano Building Workshop worked on a number of museum commissions, most notably those of Menil Collection.

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 8 Moshe Safdie

Moshe Safdie
4
Famous As: Architect, urban designer, educator, theorist, and author who designed Habitat 67, a model housing complex and landmark in Montreal
Birthdate: July 14, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Haifa, Israel

Moshe Safdie is an architect, educator, urban planner, author, and theorist. He is best known for designing Jewel Changi Airport, Marina Bay Sands, and Habitat 67. Widely regarded as a thought leader, Safdie's work has inspired generations of architects all around the world. 

 9 Robert Venturi

Robert Venturi
3
Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: June 25, 1925
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: September 18, 2018

Robert Venturi was an American architect who founded the successful architectural firm, Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates. One of the 20th century's leading architectural figures, Venturi helped shape the way that students, planners, and architects think about architecture. Renowned for designing buildings like the Vanna Venturi House, Robert Venturi was honored with the prestigious National Medal of Arts in 1992.

 10 Sebastián Marroquín

Sebastián Marroquín
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Famous As: Son of Pablo Escobar
Birthdate: February 24, 1977
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Medellín, Colombia
Sebastián Marroquín is the son of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. He and his family fled to Mozambique after Pablo’s death, and then to Argentina, where he dropped “Escobar” from his name. He owns an organic clothing line and has written a book and contributed to a documentary about Pablo.

 11 Richard Meier

Richard Meier
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Famous As: Architect & Abstract Artist
Birthdate: October 12, 1934
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, U.S.

Richard Meier is an American architect and abstract artist who is credited with designing many iconic buildings, such as the San Jose City Hall, the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Getty Center, Los Angeles. Over the years Richard Meier has won several prestigious awards like the Pritzker Prize and the American Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate Award.

 12 Jean Nouvel

Jean Nouvel
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Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: August 12, 1945
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Fumel, France

Jean Nouvel is a French architect who was a founding member of Syndicat de l'Architecture, a labor union for architects. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts and entered into a partnership with François Seigneur. He built a brilliant career and is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Pritzker Prize, architecture's highest honor. 

 13 César Pelli

César Pelli
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Famous As: Architect, Entrepreneur
Birthdate: October 12, 1926
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: San Miguel de Tucumán

 14 Neri Oxman

Neri Oxman
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Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: February 6, 1976
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Haifa

Neri Oxman is an American-Israeli designer best known for combining design, computing, biology, and materials engineering into art and architecture. She also serves as a professor at the MIT Media Lab, leading the Mediated Matter research group. Praised as one of the modern-time greats, Oxman was included in ICON's 20 Most Influential Architects to Shape Our Future list in 2009.

 15 Charles Correa

Charles Correa
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Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: September 1, 1930
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Secunderābād, India
Died: June 16, 2015

 16 Nancy Allen

Nancy Allen
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 24, 1950
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York City, United States

Nancy Allen is an American actress who is regarded as the muse of director Brian De Palma; she appeared in several of De Palma's films throughout the 1970s and the early-1980s. In addition to acting, Allen also dedicates her time to cancer support. She works closely with the weSPARK Cancer Support Center, where she was named executive director in 2010.   

 17 Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 15, 1986
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is an American actor best known for playing Black Manta in the 2018 superhero film Aquaman. He is also renowned for portraying Doctor Manhattan in the superhero drama limited series Watchmen for which he was honored with the prestigious Primetime Emmy Award in September 2020.

 18 David Childs

David Childs
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Famous As: architect
Birthdate: April 1, 1941
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Princeton

Architect and chairman of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, David Childs is best known as the designer of the One World Trade Center in New York. While he initially studied zoology, he later deviated to architecture. His projects also include the Changi Airport in Singapore and the National Geographic headquarters.

 19 Maya Lin

Maya Lin
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Famous As: Designer
Birthdate: October 5, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Athens

Maya Lin is an American sculptor and designer whose competition-winning design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial earned her national recognition when she was still an undergraduate. Her life and career inspired an Oscar-winning documentary titled Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision. Maya Lin has won prestigious awards, such as the National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 20 Richard Rogers

Richard Rogers
4
Famous As: Architect, Politician
Birthdate: July 23, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: December 18, 2021

Richard Rogers is an Italian-British architect best known for his functionalist and modernist designs in high-tech architecture. Rogers is recognized for his work on popular buildings like Lloyd's building in London, the Pompidou Centre in Paris, and the building of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. He is the recipient of many awards, including the Thomas Jefferson Medal. 

 21 Dieter Rams

Dieter Rams
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Famous As: Industrial designer known for braun consumer products, Vitsœ 606 Universal Shelving System
Birthdate: May 20, 1932
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wiesbaden, Germany

 22 Daniel Libeskind

Daniel Libeskind
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Famous As: Architect, Musician, University teacher
Birthdate: May 12, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Łódź

Daniel Libeskind had initially moved to New York on a music scholarship. However, he later deviated to architecture and also taught for a while. One of his most celebrated designs is the Jewish Museum in Berlin. He also won a contest for a proposed design for rebuilding the World Trade Center.

 23 Gorō Miyazaki

Gorō Miyazaki
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Famous As: Film director, Animator, Screenwriter, Architect
Birthdate: January 21, 1967
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tokyo

Gorō Miyazaki is a Japanese animator, director, and screenwriter. The son of a prominent animator, he consciously decided not to follow in his father’s footsteps and became a landscape architect. Later on, he did enter the film business with the anime epic fantasy film, Tales from Earthsea, his directorial debut. He also served as the screenwriter on this project. 

 24 Shigeru Ban

Shigeru Ban
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Famous As: Architect, Restorer
Birthdate: August 5, 1957
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Tokyo

 25 Anish Kapoor

Anish Kapoor
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Famous As: Sculpture known for works like Cloud Gate in Chicago and Sky Mirror in New York, he won the Premio Duemila Prize in 1990 and the Turner Prize in 1991.
Birthdate: March 12, 1954
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, india

Born in India, sculptor Anish Kapoor initially studied engineering in Israel but soon quit his studies to study art in Britain. The Turner Prize-winning artist was the first living artist to earn a solo show at London’s Royal Academy of Arts. The Cloud Gate in Chicago remain his best-loved work.

 26 Steven Holl

Steven Holl
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Famous As: Architect, University teacher
Birthdate: December 9, 1947
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bremerton

Steven Holl drew on phenomenology for his architectural designs. The Alvar Aalto Medal-winning architect has built museums, commercial buildings, and residential complexes across the world, most notably the Linked Hybrid in China, the renovated American Memorial Library in Berlin, and a horizontal skyscraper in Shenzhen, named the Vanke Centre.

 27 Rem Koolhaas

Rem Koolhaas
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Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: November 17, 1944
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rotterdam, Netherlands

 28 Jeanne Gang

Jeanne Gang
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Famous As: architect
Birthdate: March 19, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Belvidere

American architect and the founder of Studio Gang Architects, Jeanne Gang is best known for her sustainable designs. The Aqua Tower in Chicago was designed by her and thus became the tallest building ever designed by a woman. She has also penned books such as Reverse Effect.

 29 Philippe Starck

Philippe Starck
4
Famous As: Interior architecture, Architect, Designer
Birthdate: January 18, 1949
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris

 30 Hermann Tilke

Hermann Tilke
3
Famous As: Racecar driver, Architect
Birthdate: December 31, 1954
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Olpe

 31 Denise Scott Brown

Denise Scott Brown
3
Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: October 3, 1931
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Nkana
Though Denise Scott Brown had mostly been known as the wife of postmodern architect Robert Venturi, she too was a talented architect. She also taught at UCLA and Yale. After Robert Venturi was announced as the winner of the 1991 Pritzker Architecture Prize, Denise snubbed the award ceremony in protest.

 32 Thom Mayne

Thom Mayne
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Famous As: Architect who helped establish the Southern California Institute of Architecture in 1971
Birthdate: January 19, 1944
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Waterbury, Connecticut, United States

Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne had a major role behind the formation of the Southern California Institute of Architecture. He also taught at UCLA and the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He later co-established his own firm, Morphosis Architects, which fellow architect Michael Rotondi joined later.

 33 David Adjaye

David Adjaye
3
Famous As: architect
Birthdate: September 22, 1966
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dar es Salaam

David Adjaye is a Ghanaian-British architect known for designing several noteworthy buildings like the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. In 2021, Adjaye became one of the youngest and the first African architect to be honored with the Royal Gold Medal by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

 34 Edmund Norwood Bacon

Edmund Norwood Bacon
4
Famous As: Urban Planner
Birthdate: May 2, 1910
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Pennsylvania, United States
Died: October 14, 2005
Architect Edmund Norwood Bacon initially worked as a designer in Shanghai. He then joined Philadelphia Housing and worked with architects such as Louis I. Kahn in giving shape to the Better Philadelphia Exhibit and designing the major landmarks of Philadelphia. He is the father of actor Kevin Bacon.

 35 Christopher Alexander

Christopher Alexander
3
Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: October 4, 1936
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria

Christopher Alexander is a British-American design theorist and architect whose theories have had influences on several fields, such as sociology, software, and urban design among others. An influential personality, Christopher Alexander's works have contributed immensely to the development of the technology behind Wikipedia and agile software development. He is also known for his 1977 influential book A Pattern Language.

 36 Bernard Tschumi

Bernard Tschumi
3
Famous As: Architect, University teacher
Birthdate: January 25, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lausanne

Bernard Tschumi is an architect, educator, and writer. One of the most important proponents of deconstructivism, Tschumi is credited with designing prominent landmarks like Parc de la Villette, Rouen Concert Hall, and the new Acropolis Museum. He has also served as an educator, teaching at prestigious institutions like Columbia University, Princeton University, and the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies.

 37 Thomas Heatherwick

Thomas Heatherwick
3
Famous As: Architect, Sculptor, Designer
Birthdate: February 17, 1970
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London

The founder of the London-based architecture firm Heatherwick Studio, Thomas Heatherwick is best known for his works such as the Seed Cathedral for the 2010 Shanghai Expo’s UK Pavilion and the 2012 Olympic Cauldron. A descendant of the owners of fashion brand Jaeger, he studied 3-D design and revolutionized architecture.

 38 Dara Huang

Dara Huang
0
Famous As: Founded the architecture and design firm Design Haus Liberty
Birthdate: 1983 AD
Birthplace: United States

 39 Adrian Smith

Adrian Smith
0
Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: August 19, 1944
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

 40 Vitaly Kaloyev

Vitaly Kaloyev
4
Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: January 15, 1956
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vladikavkaz, Russia

 41 Tessa Kennedy

Tessa Kennedy
4
Birthdate: December 6, 1938
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Guildford

Tessa Kennedy is a British interior designer who works for prominent hotels, restaurants, multi-national corporations, clubs, celebrities, and royalty. She is credited with establishing her own company Tessa Kennedy Design, Ltd., which has received many design accolades. Tessa Kennedy made headlines in 1957 when she eloped with English portrait painter Bede Evelyn Dominick Elwes.

 42 Peter Eisenman

Peter Eisenman
3
Famous As: Architect, University teacher
Birthdate: August 11, 1932
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Newark

One of the New York Five group of architects, Peter Eisenman heads Eisenman Architects and has designed urban projects. He has also taught at institutes such as Harvard and Princeton, and has penned books such as Eisenman: Inside Out. His creations include the City of Culture of Galicia.

 43 Nicholas Negroponte

Nicholas Negroponte
3
Famous As: Computer scientist, Architect, Investor, University teacher
Birthdate: December 1, 1943
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City

Computer scientist and architect Nicholas Negroponte founded the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Laboratory and the non-profit One Laptop per Child. Born into an affluent Greek family, he was educated at MIT and later taught at both MIT and Yale. He also penned the bestseller Being Digital.

 44 Ole Scheeren

Ole Scheeren
3
Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: January 6, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Karlsruhe, Germany

 45 Gauthier Destenay

Gauthier Destenay
0
Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: September 21, 1979
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Virton, Belgium

 46 Eva Gabrielsson

Eva Gabrielsson
3
Famous As: Architect, Writer
Birthdate: November 17, 1953
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lövånger, Sweden

 47 Tom Kite

Tom Kite
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Famous As: Golfer, Architect
Birthdate: December 9, 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: McKinney, Texas, United States

Tom Kite is an American golfer who ranked among the top 10 in the world for 175 weeks between 1989 and 1994. Kite has won 19 PGA Tour events, including the 1992 U.S. Open. He has also won three European Tour events and 10 PGA Tour Champions. In 1979, Tom Kite was honored with the prestigious Bob Jones Award.

 48 Pierre De Meuron

Pierre De Meuron
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Birthdate: May 8, 1950
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland

 49 Vito Acconci

Vito Acconci
3
Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: January 24, 1940
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States
Died: April 27, 2017

Vito Acconci was an American installation artist whose works had a profound influence on other popular artists like Karen Finley, Bruce Nauman, Laurie Anderson, and Tracey Emin. Acconci is credited with developing several public parks, artificial islands, airport rest areas, and other architectural projects across the United States.

 50 Helmut Jahn

Helmut Jahn
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Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: January 4, 1940
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Nuremberg

German-American architect Helmut Jahn was a significant figure of postmodern movement and is remembered for his steel-and-glass structures. His best-known works include Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and Germany’s Munich Airport Center. A yachting enthusiast, he owned three yachts named after his nickname, Flash Gordon. He died in a bicycle accident.