Le Corbusier was a Swiss-French designer, painter, architect, writer, and urban planner. He was one of the pioneers of modern architecture. During his illustrious career, which spanned 50 years, Le Corbusier designed buildings in India, Japan, Europe, and North and South America. He is also credited with revolutionizing urban planning.
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.
André Le Nôtre was a 17th-century French landscape architect. Born into a family of gardeners, he later became the principal gardener of King Louis XIV of France. He is credited with designing the gardens of the Palace of Versailles. His other works include the design of gardens and parks at Saint-Cloud, Chantilly, Fontainebleau, and Saint-Germain.
Eugène Viollet-le-Duc was a French architect and author. He is credited with restoring prominent medieval landmarks in France, including iconic buildings which had been damaged during the French Revolution. He restored Notre-Dame de Paris and the Basilica of Saint-Denis, among others. He is regarded as the first theorist of modern architecture and wrote extensively on the subject.
Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban was a French military engineer. Widely regarded as the greatest engineer of his generation, Vauban played a prominent role in Western military history. He worked under Louis XIV and his principles for fortifications were used for almost a century. He is credited with building major ports and projects including the Canal de la Bruche.
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.
Paul Virilio was a French cultural theorist and aesthetic philosopher. He wrote extensively on a wide range of topics, including technology, architecture, the military, cinema, history, mass media, and terrorism. He also taught intensive seminars at the European Graduate School. Physicists Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont criticized him for what they characterized as his misunderstanding of science.
Hector Guimard was a French designer and architect. A popular exponent of the Art Nouveau style, Guimard is credited with designing several important landmarks, including Paris' first Art Nouveau apartment building, The Castel Béranger. Although Art Nouveau went out of style during the 1910s, Hector Guimard's works attracted critical acclaim in the 1960s, with art historians praising his architectural works.
Charlotte Perriand was a French architect and designer known for her unique approach of correlating “the art of dwelling with the art of living.” She was interested in designing from a young age and received her training at the École de L'Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs. She worked with prominent Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier for several years.
Claude Nicolas Ledoux was a French architect, known for developing an eclectic architectural style, linked with budding pre-Revolutionary social ideals. First noticed for his imaginative woodwork at Café militaire, he was soon flooded with commissions, designing numerous private houses in the neoclassical style for the French elite, also receiving commission for designing public buildings including the Ledoux’s Theatre of Besançon.
Étienne-Louis Boullée was a French architect and visionary whose work continues to have a massive impact on the works of contemporary architects. A highly respected architect during his time, Boullée served as the chief architect under Frederick II of Prussia. Étienne-Louis Boullée is widely regarded as one of the most influential and prominent personalities of French neoclassical architecture.
Charles Garnier was a French architect best known for designing important landmarks, such as the Opéra de Monte-Carlo and Palais Garnier. Charles Garnier also designed several public and private buildings on the Italian Riviera and is thereby sometimes credited with turning the place into a tourist attraction.
Auguste Perret was a French architect who developed the architectural use of reinforced concrete. Perret is credited with designing many important edifices like the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and Church of Notre-Dame du Raincy. In 1948, Perret was honored with the Royal Gold Medal and he won the AIA Gold Medal in 1952. He also influenced younger architects like Le Corbusier.
Christian de Portzamparc was the first architect from France to earn the Pritzker Prize. He was first drawn to architecture when he went through the designs of Swiss architect Le Corbusier. His own love for music led him to design many performance venues such as the Paris Opéra Ballet School.
17 Louis Le Vau
French Baroque architect Louis Le Vau began his career designing hotels and homes for the rich; Château du Raincy being one of his early notable works. Appointed the first architect to the king, he later undertook his most memorable work, adding service wings to the Palace of Versailles and rebuilding its garden façade, helping to develop the French Classical style.
18 Jean Prouvé
French architect Jean Prouvé, the son of artist Victor Prouvé, revolutionized prefabricated metal construction. His innovative designs include the Meridian Room of the Paris Observatory and the Church of the Sacré-Coeur de Bonnecousse. He was part of the Academy of Architecture and taught at the School of Arts and Crafts.
Fulk III Nerra, also known as the Count of Anjou, was one of the Angevin dynasty’s early rulers. He is remembered for building about 100 castles, including several that were built of stone and protected his borders. He was also known as le Grand Bâtisseur, or the Great Builder.
Seventeenth-century French Baroque architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart is best remembered for designing Versailles as the city planner of King Louis XIV. His great-uncle, François Mansart, who was one of the pioneers of classical French architecture. His other works include Place Vendôme and the Château de la Chaize in Odenas.
Part of the École des Beaux-Arts school of architecture, French architect Henri Labrouste is best known for popularizing iron frame construction. The Prix de Rome winner also designed the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève and the Bibliothèque Nationale. He also received a pension from the French government and lived in the Medici Villa.
French architect Claude Perrault is best known for his design of the Louvre’s eastern façade. Trained in math and medicine, he began his career as a physician. He was also part of the Academy of Sciences. Apart from designing the Colonnade, he had also designed the Paris Observatory.
Andreas Feininger was one of the world's most prolific photographers. He was well known for his black-and-white photographic explorations of the urban landscape. Feininger's subject matter included the city, machines, and sculpture, and he rarely captured people or portraits. He was also a prolific writer and theorist and published over 30 books on photography.
24 Tony Garnier
One of the greatest architects from Lyon, Tony Garnier is remembered for his utopian plan of an industrial city, Cité Industrielle. The Prix de Rome winner is considered one of the pioneers of the use of reinforced concrete. His other works include the Grange Blanche Hospital and the Les États Unis.
Best known for designing the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, or the French National Library, Dominique Perrault popularized his own modernist style of design. He also designed the cycling track and the swimming pool in the 1999 Berlin Olympics. He also teaches at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.
François Mansart was a French architect who introduced classicism into French Baroque architecture. Widely regarded as the most accomplished French architect of the 17th century, Mansart's works are celebrated for their high degree of elegance, subtlety, and refinement. François Mansart is also credited with popularizing the mansard roof, which creates an extra floor of habitable space in a building.
Jacques-Germain Soufflot was a French architect credited with introducing neoclassicism to the world. Soufflot designed several important edifices, including the Panthéon in Paris which was originally built as a church dedicated to Saint Genevieve. Such was his popularity that by 1755 Jacques-Germain Soufflot had gained architectural control of all of Paris' royal buildings.
French-born American architect Paul Philippe Cret was a late Beaux Arts school member. Apart from teaching at the University of Pennsylvania, he designed major buildings such as the Washington DC-based Pan American Union and the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia. He had also served the French army during World War I.
Robert Mallet-Stevens was a French designer and architect. An influential personality, Robert Mallet-Stevens designed several shops, factories, private homes, and apartment buildings. He also designed film sets including the set for L'Inhumaine, which is considered a masterpiece. His works inspired the 1929 film The Mysteries of the Château de Dé which was directed by surrealist filmmaker and photographer Man Ray.
One of the most significant architects of the 18th century, Ange-Jacques Gabriel built many major structures during the reign of Louis XV. Born to premier architect Jacques V, he later succeeded his father. His most notable works include the Place de la Concorde and the Petit Trianon at Versailles.
Best known for designing the Arc de Triomphe, Jean Chalgrin was a proponent of Neoclassical architect. The Prix de Rome winner was one of those responsible for the revival of the basilican style of church building. He died before he could complete the Arc de Triomphe, commissioned by Napoleon.
32 Jean Goujon
Jean Goujon was a French architect and sculptor who served under Henry II of France in the 1540s. Goujon's style influenced several artists of the School of Fontainebleau and also had an impact on the decorative arts. Some of his most popular works include Fountain of the Innocents and allegories on the facade of the Louvre.
Jacques-François Blondel was a French teacher and architect who served as a professor at the Académie Royale d'Architecture after running his own school of architecture for several years. Jacques-François Blondel is credited with teaching many future architects like Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart, Étienne-Louis Boullée, Jean-François-Thérèse Chalgrin, and Louis Jean Desprez. In 1755, he was made an inductee of the Académie Royale d'Architecture.
One of the founders of projective geometry, French mathematician Girard Desargues began his career as an architect and an engineer, designing several private and public buildings in Paris and Lyon and also a project for lifting water. Eventually he became associated with a group of Parisian mathematicians and undertook researches on perspective and geometrical projections, publishing several papers on it.
36 Pierre Puget
Pierre Puget was a French Baroque architect, painter, sculptor, and engineer. His sculptures expressed drama, pathos, and emotion, making them unique and setting them apart from the academic and classical sculptures of French classicism. Pierre Puget is credited with helping Pietro da Cortona paint the ceilings of the Palazzo Pitti at Florence and the Palazzo Barberini in Rome.
Jacques-Nicolas Billaud-Varenne was a French lawyer and politician of the Revolutionary period. An influential personality, Billaud-Varenne played an important role during the Reign of Terror and is regarded as a key architect of the Reign of Terror. One of the most important members of the Committee of Public Safety, Billaud-Varenne worked with influential figures like Maximilien Robespierre and Georges Danton.
Charles Percier introduced what is now known as the Empire style of interior decoration, along with Pierre Fontaine, whom he met while studying architecture in Paris. The Prix de Rome winner often blended Greco-Roman and Egyptian styles of architecture and co-designed much of the Louvre and the Tuileries Palace.
Born to famous Italian architect Ennio Quirino Visconti, Louis Visconti studied architecture in Paris. He later became one of the chief architects of the Louvre. However, his best-known creation was Napoleon’s tomb at Les Invalides. He was one of the proponents of the Second Empire style.
Germain Boffrand is remembered as one of the pioneers of the Régence style, also known as a precursor to the Rococo style. He initially studied sculpture but later joined the workshop of architect Jules Hardouin Mansart. His major creations were for Nantes and Paris. He also penned Livre d’architecture.
French architect Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond is best known for designing the Russian city of St. Petersburg. Born to a painter father, he later studied gardening techniques from André Le Nôtre. He is also remembered as a talented landscape designer who designed the gardens for Peter I (the Great)’s palace.
42 Daniel Marot
Daniel Marot was a Dutch furniture designer, architect, and engraver. He is credited with designing the interiors of Het Loo Palace which was built by the House of Orange-Nassau. Daniel Marot is also credited with popularizing ornamented ceilings in the Netherlands.
43 Jean Bullant
Jean Bullant was a French sculptor and architect best remembered for designing and building the tombs of influential personalities like Henri II, Anne, Duke of Montmorency, and Catherine de' Medici. Bullant also worked on some of the most important and iconic structures like the Tuileries Palace, the Château d'Écouen, and the Louvre Museum.
Jacques Lemercier was a French engineer and architect. Along with François Mansart and Louis Le Vau, Jacques Lemercier helped develop the French Classical style and introduced classicism to French Baroque architecture. During the late-1630s, he was made the chief architect, a position that came with the responsibility of overseeing all the royal building enterprises.
William Of Sens was a French architect and master mason best remembered for rebuilding the choir of Canterbury Cathedral, which is often counted among the finest examples of early Gothic architecture in England. William of Sens is also credited with constructing Sens Cathedral, which is widely regarded as France's first complete Gothic Cathedral.
Salomon de Brosse was a French architect who worked during the early 17th-century. An influential personality, De Brosse's works had a major influence on the works of another important architect, François Mansart. Counted among the most important architects of his generation, Salomon De Brosse was commissioned to design ambitious projects, such as the Luxembourg Palace in Paris.
Robert de Cotte was a French architect-administrator who helped introduce the Rococo style to France. A student of Jules Hardouin-Mansart, Robert de Cotte is credited with completing the former's unfinished projects, such as the Grand Trianon and the royal chapel at the Palace of Versailles. He also collaborated with Hardouin-Mansart in many of his projects during his lifetime.
Hector Lefuel was a French architect best remembered for his outstanding work on the Louvre Palace, including the reconstruction of the Pavillon de Flore and Napoleon III's Louvre expansion. Hector Lefuel is also credited with designing funerary monuments of important and influential personalities like François Bazin and Daniel-François-Esprit Auber.
Libéral Bruant was a French architect best remembered for designing the Hôtel des Invalides in Paris. During his lifetime, Bruant collaborated with other important architects like Jules Hardouin Mansart. In 1671, Libéral Bruant was among the eight architects inducted into the Académie royale d'architecture, which was created by Louis XIV.
50 Jean Perréal
Jean Perréal was a French portraitist who worked for French Royalty during the 16th century. A multi-talented personality, Jean Perréal was also a sculptor, architect, and limner of illuminated manuscripts. During his successful career, Jean Perréal worked for prominent and influential personalities like King Charles VIII, Charles of Bourbon, Francis I, and Louis XII. He also designed tombs and medals.