My recent posts at World-Architects


Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Visionaries

Need a primer on the most famous and prolific architects working today? If so head on over to and flip through it's Visionaries in Style + Design feature on eleven (twelve if you count Herzog & de Meuron as two, and too many to count if you start to consider employees) international architects.


Admittedly geared to travelers, the piece gives a brief lowdown on why they're so famous, followed by a project "on the horizon," such as Frank Gehry's New World Symphony Hall in Miami Beach, pictured above. For many it may not offer anything new, but for others it helps get 'em up to speed on the big names in the bizness right now.

The list includes:

1) Norman Foster:

:: Claim to Fame: Reichstag dome, Berlin
:: On the Horizon: Terminal 3, Beijing Airport

2) Diller Scofidio + Renfro:

:: Claim to Fame: Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
:: On the Horizon: The High Line, New York

3) Frank Gehry:

:: Claim to Fame: The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
:: On the Horizon: New World Symphony hall, Miami

4) Renzo Piano:

:: Claim to Fame: Auditorium Parco della Musica, Rome
:: On the Horizon: Shard London Bridge, London

5) Jean Nouvel:

:: Claim to Fame: Torre Agbar, Barcelona
:: On the Horizon: Koncerthuset, Copenhagen

6) Santiago Calatrava:

:: Claim to Fame: Ciutat de les Arts i de les Cièncias, Valencia
:: On the Horizon: The PATH Terminal, NYC

7) Zaha Hadid:

:: Claim to Fame: Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, Cincinnati
:: On the Horizon: Opera House, Guangzhou

8) Richard Rogers:

:: Claim to Fame: Terminal 4, Madrid Airport
:: On the Horizon: Leadenhall Building, London

9) Thom Mayne:

:: Claim to Fame: Hypo Alpe-Adria Center, Klagenfurt
:: On the Horizon: Phare Tower, Paris

10) Rem Koolhaas:

:: Claim to Fame: Prada Epicenter, New York
:: On the Horizon: Dee & Charles Wyly Theatre, Dallas

11) Herzog & De Meuron:

:: Claim to Fame: The Tate Modern, London
:: On the Horizon: Olympic Stadium, Beijing


  1. I am reminded of the thing that Joshua Prince-Ramus said in a 2005 speech at the unveiling of the museum in Dallas:

    I want to first make a little PR statement about architecture," he began. "Architecture is not created by individuals. The genius sketch . . . is a myth. Architecture is made by a team of committed people who work together, and in fact, success usually has more to do with dumb determination than with genius."

    Perhaps, more curious is that in a world with a population of over 6 bil. people there are only 11... Small world or symptomatic of our small minds ability to have only 5 close friends?

  2. Credit Due...
    Here's the link for that quote:

  3. That quote would go well with this post of mine on the REX office photo.

    Even though most architects know, and I'm sure most other people know to a certain extent as well, that architecture is a collaborative act that requires many, many people, it's hard to divorce personality -- especially the charisma of a particular leader -- from the mix. This doesn't mean they should receive all the attention, good or bad, though with all the obsession over celebrity (is any building NOT designed by a celebrity architect worth attention,or even worthwhile as a building anymore?*) it's hard to see that happening in the press anytime soon.

    * I don't ask this as some form of agreement with it, but as the trend I see happening, like a club isn't worth talking about unless a celebrity is seen there.

  4. not to mention foster and partners is well over 1000 people and his design board of graham phillips, david nelson and spencer de gray make all the final decisions. foster has veto projects on those that he prefers.


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