Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet Michelangelo was a prominent figure of the High Renaissance. He is credited to have influenced the Western art in unprecedented ways. He is widely regarded as the greatest artist of his age and one of the greatest artists of all time. He was equally revered and respected as an architect.
Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect who designed over 1,000 structures in a career spanning 70 years. A pioneer of organic architecture, Wright influenced three generations of architects by playing a critical role in the 20th century's architectural movements. His structure Fallingwater is called America's best architectural work and Wright is considered the greatest architect America has ever produced.
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.
Buckminster Fuller was an American systems theorist, architect, designer, inventor, author, and futurist. He is credited with popularizing the geodesic dome, which resembles carbon molecules known as fullerenes. Fullerenes were named after Fuller for their resemblance to geodesic spheres. Fuller's work has influenced several personalities from different walks of life. His work has also inspired a couple of documentary films.
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.
Roman architect Vitruvius, believed to have served as a military engineer for Caesar’s army, is best remembered for his iconic work On Architecture, which consists of 10 parts, each detailing topics such as construction of temples, public buildings, and others. His book remains a vital treatise on ancient classical architecture.
Filippo Brunelleschi was an Italian architect, sculptor, and designer. Regarded as Renaissance architecture's founding father, Brunelleschi is hailed as the first modern engineer. Among his famous accomplishments is the design of the dome of the Florence Cathedral. He is also credited with inventing hydraulic machinery and designing machinery that was used in churches to re-enact Biblical stories through theatrical performances.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was a German-American architect. He is widely considered one of the many pioneers of modernist architecture. After emigrating to the United States, Mies worked on structures like the Promontory Apartments. He is best remembered for serving as the director of a popular German art school named the Bauhaus before its closure in 1933.
Eero Saarinen was a Finnish-American industrial designer and architect best remembered for his impressive designs for monuments and buildings. He is credited with designing important structures, such as the Washington Dulles International Airport, the TWA Flight Center, and the Gateway Arch. He is widely regarded as one of the 20th-century's most prominent American architectures.
Architect Sir Christopher Wren had built over 50 churches in London, the most popular of them being the St. Paul’s Cathedral. He was a major force behind the formation of the Royal Society and was also knighted for his achievements. He was also a member of the English Parliament.
Santiago Calatrava Valls is a Spanish architect and a structural engineer, internationally known for his sculptural bridges and buildings. Beginning his career in Zurich, building industrial and transportation structures, he soon became famed for his extraordinary designs and began to receive commissions from abroad, designing and building marvelous bridges, stadiums, museums, railway stations, airports, office buildings all over the world.
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.
16 Louis Kahn
Louis Kahn was an American architect who is credited with creating a style that was monolithic and monumental. Regarded as one of the 20th century's most influential architects, Kahn served as a professor at Yale School of Architecture and at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Design. His life and career inspired a documentary titled My Architect: A Son's Journey.
Philip Johnson was an American architect who organized the Modern architecture's first exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1932. A highly influential and respected architect, Johnson was honored with the prestigious AIA Gold Medal in 1978. The following year, he was honored with the first Pritzker Architecture Prize.
19 Alvar Aalto
Finnish architect Alvar Aalto initially had his studies interrupted by the Finnish Civil War, which saw him fighting for the White Army. His first architectural design was for his parents’ house. He had experimented with furniture and glassware, too. His works showcase a move from classicism to functionalism.
Walter Gropius was a German architect. Along with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Alvar Aalto, and Frank Lloyd Wright, he is regarded as a pioneer in modernist architecture. Gropius founded the Bauhaus School. The large-scale housing projects he designed in Berlin, Karlsruhe, and Dessau in the late 1920s and early 1930s became major contributions to the New Objectivity movement.
Louis Sullivan was an architect who became only the second person to be honored with a posthumous AIA Gold Medal. Dubbed the father of modernism and the father of skyscrapers, Sullivan contributed immensely to the Chicago School of architecture. He is also credited with mentoring Frank Lloyd Wright who went on to become a respected architect in his own right.
22 Jørn Utzon
American architect Daniel Burnham was one of the pioneering designers of the skyscrapers that populate cities such as Chicago. Part of the Beaux-Arts movement, he had been the director of the World’s Columbian Exposition. He also formed his own firm, Burnham & Root with John Wellborn Root.
25 Renzo Piano
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.
26 Tadao Ando
Italian painter and architect Raphael, along with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, formed the great trio who ushered in the High Renaissance. He is mostly known for his frescoes of the Vatican Palace and The School of Athens. He also designed the Chigi Chapel, among other structures in Rome.
31 Moshe Safdie
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.
32 Robert Hooke
Scientist Robert Hooke, also called England's Leonardo, initially gained recognition as an architect, conducting surveys following the Great Fire of London. He also taught geometry and was part of the Royal Society. He assisted Robert Boyle and eventually developed his own microscope, thus becoming the first to visualize micro-organisms.
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.
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.
36 El Greco
Andrea Palladio was an Italian architect remembered for designing villas, country houses, palaces, and churches. Widely regarded as one of the most influential architects in the history of architecture, Palladio designed 23 buildings in Vicenza and 24 villas in Veneto. Together, they are known as the City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto as named by UNESCO.
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.
Frederick Law Olmsted was an American journalist, landscape architect, public administrator, and social critic. Dubbed the father of American landscape architecture, Frederick was responsible for co-designing several well-known urban parks including Walnut Hill Park, Prospect Park, Cadwalader Park, and Central Park. He is also remembered for his work on the landscape encircling the US Capitol building.
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.
42 Jean Nouvel
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.
Fazlur Rahman Khan was a Bangladeshi-American architect and structural engineer. Regarded as the father of tubular designs, Khan is credited with designing several skyscrapers, including the Willis Tower and the John Hancock Center. Thanks to his ingenious use of structural systems, Khan is often referred to as the 20th century's greatest structural engineer and the Einstein of structural engineering.
45 Adolf Loos
Austrian architect Adolf Loos is often compared to American architect Frank Lloyd Wright in terms of his contribution. Loos believed architecture shouldn’t contain the extra elements and ornaments promoted by Art Nouveau. Mostly known for his residential projects, he built modern buildings such as the Goldman and Salatsch Building.
46 César Pelli
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.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh was a Scottish architect, designer, and artist. He was married to fellow artist Margaret Macdonald, and they both were influential on the European design movements Art Nouveau and Secessionism. Mackintosh is considered one of the most important figures of Modern Style (British Art Nouveau style). In his later years, he worked largely as a watercolorist.
Austrian visual artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser is remembered for his imagination, his love for bold colors and uneven forms, and his dislike for “straight lines.” He and his Jewish mother escaped the Nazis by posing as Christians. His architectural projects are focused on environment-friendly buildings, such as the Hundertwasserhaus apartment block.
50 Anish Kapoor
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.