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The 10 most famous architects of all time


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Title: The 10 most famous architects of all time

The 10 Most Famous Architects of All Time
Michelangelo (1475-1564)
Nowadays, he is well known for his master
painting and sculpture pieces, however
Michelangelo was also a master architect. He was
among the first to start out from the classical
style and challenge traditional expectations.
In 1523, Pope Clement VII commissioned
Michelangelo to design a two-story library on top
of an existing convent. Michelangelo employed
radical principles to his design of the
Laurentian Library, breaking rules of the
classical style. For instance, he took practical
elements, like brackets traditionally used as
supportive structures, and uses them merely for
Laurentian Library
Michelangelo's most famous contribution to
architecture is probably the dome of St. Peter's
Basilica. It stands as one of the most
recognizable landmarks in the world and inspired
many imitators, such as the Capitol building in
Washington, D.C.  However, the dome itself was
not completed by the time Michelangelo died.
Scholars still debate on how much the ultimate
construction deviates from Michelangelo's plans.
St. Peter's Basilica
The Capitol
Mimar Sinan (1489-1588
Michelangelo's contemporary in the Ottoman Empire
was Mimar Sinan. By 16th century, he worked on
more than 300 structures, including mostly
mosques but also palaces, schools and other
buildings. Unquestionably the most influential
Turkish architects in history, Sinan perfected
the design of the domed mosque, which was an
important symbol of both political power and the
Islamic faith in the Ottoman Empire.
Mimar Sinan
Although born Christian, Sinan was drafted into
the Janissary Corps and converted to Islam. After
quickly rising in the ranks to chief of the
artillery, he first displayed his talent in
architecture by designing fortifications and
bridges. He became Chief of the Imperial
Architects in 1538 and began building mosques.
His masterpieces include the Selimiye mosque in
Edirne, as well as the Süleymanive mosque in
Istanbul. Selimiye includes a massive central
dome supported by eight pillars and encompassed
by four minarets (spires). Inspired by the Hagia
Sophia, Sinan designed the Süleymanive mosque
with a central dome supported by four half-domes.
The original structure incorporated not only
workship space, but also a hospital, madrasahs
(Islamic schools), baths and shops.
Selimiye Musque
Sülleymanive Musque
Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723
Wren was a professor of astronomy in Oxford who
came to architecture though his interest in
physics and engineering. In the 1660s, he was
commissioned to design the Sheldonian Theater at
Oxford and visited Paris to study French and
Italian baroque styles. In 1666, Wren had
completed a design for the St. Paul's Cathedral
dome. One week after it was accepted, however,
the Great Fire of London raged through the city,
destroying most of it, including the cathedral.
St. Pauls Cathedral
Sheldonian Theater
The Great Fire created an unexpected opportunity
for Wren, and he was soon at work on
reconstruction. Although plans for a sweeping
reconstruction of the city involved too much
difficulties. By 1669, he was appointed surveyor
of royal works, which put him in charge of
government building projects. Eventually, he had
in hand 51 churchs designs, besides the St.
Paul's Cathedral.
Louis Henry Sullivan (1856-1924)
Known for the principle of "form follows
function," Louis Henri Sullivan was anxious to
break free from tradition and became influential
in imitating a distinctly American architecture.
Similar to Sir Christopher Wren, Sullivan
benefited from a great fire. The Great Fire of
1871 in Chicago resulted in a construction boom
and afforded architects like Sullivan with work
for the decades to come. As a young man, he
worked briefly in the offices of prominent
architects Frank Furness and then William Le
Baron Jenney. He was only 24 years old when he
became a partner in Dankmar Adler's firm in 1881.
Auditorium Building
Wainright Building
Carson Building
Prudential (Guaranty) Building
National Farmers Bank of Owatonna
As some other architects started implementing
steel to build taller structures, so the
skyscraper was born. Sullivan was instrumental in
creating a new functional design for these new
tall buildings rather than sticking with
unfashionable traditions. Because of this, some
contemporaries refer to Sullivan as the "Father
of the Skyscraper" (though others attribute this
title to Jenney). His designs also incorporated
both, geometric shapes and organic elements.
Although most of his work was done in Chicago,
his most famous work is the 10-story Wainwright
building in St. Louis, built in 1890, and the
16-story Guaranty Building in Buffalo, built in
Le Corbusier (1887-1965)
Charles Édouard Jeanneret made some of the most
significant contributions to architecture in the
20th century. He and the painter Amédée Ozenfant
began the publication "L'Espirit Nouveau" in 1920
and wrote under pseudonyms. Jeanneret chose a
name from his family lineage Le Corbusier. He
embraced functionalism, rejecting excessive
nonstructural ornamentation, and favored the
modern materials of concrete and steel in his
He was particularly well-known for his houses and
would become a major figure in the developing of
the International Style of architecture. His
designs used free-flowing floor plans, as well as
column supports that allowed for walls that could
be placed independent of the structure. He placed
his buildings on stilts, partially because he
believed this to be encouraging to a hygienic
lifestyle. And finally, his buildings
incorporated flat roofs that could accommodate
gardens. Summing up his philosophy, he described
a house as "a machine for living in."
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Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926)
Encouraged by his faith in God and as a nature
lover, the Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi
developed a style all of his own. Born in 1852 in
the Catalonia region of Spain, Gaudi was a
fervent Catholic who believed that he could
glorify God by deriving his inspiration from
nature, God's creation.
Taking his clues from nature, then, Gaudi favored
curves rather than straight lines, varied
textures and vibrant colors. His unique and
somewhat peculiar style was part neo-Gothic, part
avant-garde, part surrealistic. The architect and
his work became also famous in Barcelona. 
However, in the 1920s and '30s, the architectural
world favored International Style, which starkly
contrasted Gaudi's philosophies. So it wasn't
until the 1960s that Gaudi started gaining wide
The Cathedral of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
stands as his most famous work. However, the
cathedral was unfinished at his death in 1926
and, although work continued, remains unfinished
to this day.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969)
Born in Germany in 1886, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
(commonly known by his surname, Mies) was one of
the many modern architects to make the transition
from the more ornate, traditional styles of the
19th century to the sleek, minimalist styles of
the 20th century. 
German Pavilion
After quickly establishing his reputation in
residential work in his home country, he was
chosen to design the German Pavilion for the 1929
International Exposition in Barcelona. He is also
known for designing Barcelona chairs,
cantilevered chairs with steel frames. In 1937,
however, he moved to the United States, where he
served as longtime director of (and designed the
campus for) the School of Architecture at
Chicago's Armour Institute.
While in the United States, he designed many
well-known skycrapers, including the Seagram
building in New York City and the Lake Shore
Drive apartments in Chicago. As he sought to
reflect the Industrial Age in his building
designs, he often featured exposed structural
steel. And always emphasizing that "less is
more". His designs display simplicity and
elegance without excessive ornamentation. There
is a Prize of Architecture with his name.
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Leoh Ming Pei (1917- ?)