So many great architects’ buildings have graced our skylines and decorated our cities that it’s almost impossible to pick the best and brightest. Here is a list of five famous architects and their most iconic designs.
SAGRADA FAMILIA, BARCELONA BY ANTONI GAUDI
Image: Business Insider
Antoni Gaudi was born in 1852 in the Catalonia region, and has come to epitomise Spanish architecture. A devout Catholic he believed he could glorify “God” by taking his architectural inspiration from nature.
This appears to have worked rather successfully - Gaudi’s various creations are a kaleidoscope of curves, different textures and bright colours. His buildings can be seen all over Barcelona but there is one property that seems to define Mr Gaudi, namely the iconic Cathedral of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.
FALLINGWATER AND THE GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM, NEW YORK BY FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT
Photography by Brian Donovan
When you are considered by many to be one of the greatest modern architects of all time, it becomes a tough job to pick one building that best represents your work.
Frank Lloyd Wright is one such architect. I’ve picked two of his projects as iconic. The first is the famous Fallingwater, a magnificent home built in 1935 over a waterfall in south western Pennsylvania. A masterpiece that merges seamlessly with its natural surroundings, Fallingwater is the envy of anyone who ever wanted to live in luxury in nature.
It wouldn’t be right to mention FLW and not talk about his most famous job, The Guggenheim Museum in New York. The building itself is as famous for its design as the masterpieces it houses inside.
GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM, BILBAO BY FRANK GEHRY
Frank Gehry is a standout architect. He regularly extends the metaphorical middle finger to traditional design, producing some of the most innovative and quirky buildings of the modern era.
His work is completely distinctive, with many of them, including his home, having become tourist attractions due to their unique aesthetic.
While most of Gehry’s work is iconic – one of his most noticeable buildings is the titanium-covered Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Yes, the Guggenheims don’t mess about when designing their museums.
In addition to its architectural and aesthetic excellence, the museum also had an enormous economic, social and urban impact on its surroundings and continue to do so.
BURJ AL ARAB, DUBAI BY TOM WRIGHT
Image: Life With Travel
Tom Wright is one of the younger architects appearing on this page but his work on one of the most iconic buildings of all time, a relatively new one at that, has put him here with distinction.
British-born, Wright is responsible for the design of the world’s most recognizable hotel, the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, which is recognised as one of the tallest and most recognisable buildings in the world.
Wright’s brief was to create an icon for Dubai, one that people would forever associate with the Gulf Emirate, like the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Opera House in Sydney. Wright met his brief with some aplomb. Built to mimic the sail of a dhow, the building towers above the impressive Dubai skyline and has become instantly recognisable the world over.
THE WHITE HOUSE, WASHINGTON BY JAMES HOBAN
Photography by Francisco Diez
Probably the most recognisable building in the world, the White House was designed by Irish architect James Hoban.
In the late 1770’s Hoban submitted a plan for the design of the presidential mansion. He won the commission and construction began in 1793. The mansion was completed in 1801.
The White House, located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, D.C, is constructed from white-painted Aquia sandstone and has been home to every US leader since the country's second president John Adams.