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Norman Foster Pritzker Prize-winning British Architect Sir Norman Foster is best known for structures that focus

on technological innovation and the materials that support them. Deeply concerned with the details of his architectural vision, Foster often uses repeating architectural modular units, such as seen in one of his most famous works, the HSBC Bank in Hong Kong (1980s), which affords workers an inordinate level of light and stunning views of Victoria Peak. Another of Fosters most important designs is the highest bridge (2004) in the world, located in Millau, France. Of the bridge, the citys mayor noted, The architect, Norman Foster, gave us a model of art. Antoni Gaudi (aka Antonio Gaudi) One of the most visionary and creative architects of the 20th century is Catalan Antoni Gaudi, whose architectural delights are sprinkled throughout Barcelona. His avant-garde style attracted such followers as Surrealist Salvador Dali in his day, and continues to delight tourists who come to Barcelona to experience the joy of his vision played out within its cityscape. Among his most famous works are Casa Batllo (1905) and Casa Mila (1905), Park Guell (1900), and his magnum opus, the unfinished Sagrada Familia Cathedral, which he worked on from 1884 until his death. Influenced by both Gothic Art and Modernism, he formed his own unique style that showcases his craftsman-like skills in stained glass, ironwork, carpentry, and ceramics. Seven of his works have been declared by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. Frank Gehry Described variously as a Punk Architect, Expressionistic, Postmodern, and Deconstructivist, influential architect Frank Gehry often designs buildings that are more akin to sculpture than structure. This Canadian-born architect has been labeled as the most important architect of our age by Vanity Fair, and his award-winning buildings and best known works include the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum in Spain (1997), the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles (2003), and the Dancing House in Prague (1995). Even Gehrys own California residence has become a tourist attraction, and director Sydney Pollack made a documentary film (Sketches of Frank Gehry) in 2005 about him. Michael Graves One of the Neo-Modernist New York Five, American-born Michael Graves is likely more well known today for his housewares collection at the big box store, Target, than his architectural influence. While his early architectural style began as an austere reinterpretation of Le Corbusier, his later work reflects a more wide-ranging motif, in which he borrows architectural

concepts from across the ages. Among some of his most famous buildings are the Humana Building in Louisville (1983) and the Dolphin and Swan Hotels in Walt Disney World, Orlando (1989), as well as his work with the German Steigenberger Hotel Chain, particularly in Egypt. Graves is known for his strong use of color and humor in his later design work. Louis Kahn Trained in Beaux-Arts, Kahn is best known for his simple, monolithic structures, which make a statement with their size and weight. Favoring the use of brick and poured concrete, his buildings have an importance and power that results from their simple design elements. Kahn was considered a philosopher as well as architect, and through his creation of buildings sought to discover what a material wants to be. This deeply felt aesthetic and his architectural examples have been the jumping off point for many architects to follow. Among Kahns most important buildings are the National Assembly Building of Bangladesh (1962) and the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California (1959). In 2003, Kahns son directed an Oscar-nominated documentary about him entitled, My Architect: A Sons Journey. IM Pei (aka Pei Leoh Ming) Chinese-born IM Pei is perhaps most famous for his use of pyramids in his constructions, most notably as the tip of the iceberg building at the Louvre Museum in Paris (1989). Pei frequently uses sharp, geometric shapes in his buildings, such as the John F. Kennedy Library (1979), which Pei believes was the most important commission of his life, and what critics have called the ice-blue skyberg, the John Hancock Tower in Boston (1973). Winner of numerous awards, Pei was given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum for his work. Renzo Piano This Italian architects signature is technologically advanced, environmentally balanced structures. Together with British architects Richard Rogers and Peter Rice, Piano helped build one of the most controversial buildings of his time, the Pompidou Center at the Place Beaubourg in Paris (1973), in which all of the internal structure of the building forms a colorful skeleton on the outside. Taking a lesson from the Pompidou, Piano applied these principles to additional architectural structures, including the De Menil Collection in Houston (1987) and a football stadium in Bari, Italy (1988). One of his most recent projects was an expansion of the Art Institute of Chicago (2009), which included a flying carpet sunscreen for the rooftop dining area and a bridge to Millennium Park from the art museum.

Paolo Soleri This visionary Italian architect created an entirely new language to describe his architectural design: arcology, combining architecture and ecology. His earlier works focused on bioclimatic principles and are a response to consumptive culture of the 20th century. Later, Soleri demanded energy efficiency and design according to ecological principles as cornerstones to his architectural creation. His most famous work can be seen in Arizona, where he has been working continuously on Arcosanti, his planned community for 5,000, which has been under way since 1970. His studio, Cosanti (1956), and other works along the Amalfi Coast of Italy are also highlights. In 2006, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the CoopersHewitt National Design Museum. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Part of the prominent Bauhaus school of design, German-born Mies van der Rohes architectural influences result from his pared-down vision of architectural greatness. As expressed by van der Rohe, It is often thought that heaviness is synonymous with strength. In my opinion it is just the opposite. Free of ornamentation, van der Rohes buildings focus on the best (albeit minimalist) use of materials like steel and glass and provide an open, airy appeal. One outstanding example is the 1958 Seagams Building in New York, designed by van der Rohe and Philip Johnson, a masterpiece of corporate modernism. An example of his great residential work can be seen in the Farnswoth House (1951), a brilliant example of modernist design applied to domestic life. Frank Lloyd Wright A legend in his own lifetime, American-born Frank Lloyd Wright was a prolific architect and writer. Scandalizing the public with his personal life, Wright is said to be the model for the Howard Roark character in Ayn Rands novel, The Fountainhead. He began his career as part of the Prairie School (under Louis Sullivan). His career evolved with his travels (coupled with a philosophy of organic architecture) into a more successful second half, defined by such famous residences as Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania (1935) and Tallesin West, his home and studio complex in Scottsdale, Arizona (1937), a laboratory for his architectural vision. He also designed many architectural elements within the homes he created, such as accompanying stained glass and furniture. The American Institute of Architects named Wright the greatest American architect of all time in 1991.

While these masters are some of the most influential architects of the 20th century, this list is by no means exclusive. Rather, it is intended to highlight the creative vision and achievement of some of the greatest architects living during this time.