There is no escaping it, architecture is all around us every minute of the day. From the house you live in to the grand civic buildings that adorn our cities. Many of the highly talented architects that built our modern world are hardly known. Boy bands, models, football players, politicians and other rather insignificant professions are all famous around the world, but the architect behind the magnificent Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is known only in small circles.
Why is this? Perhaps the majority of the populace have no interest in heritage, or that the media are not really interested in something that will not make the tabloids. Whatever the reason it is a crime, and to redress the balance slightly this blog is dedicated to the architects that designed and built the world we all live in.
For those that are interested the person who designed the remarkable Guggenheim Museum was Frank Gehry. Gehry’s buildings are highly distinctive and they create an unbelievable phenomenon around them. Frank Gehry is one of the architects who has had a modicum of fame, tourists love his work, to them it is art. He has actually been named by Vanity Fair Magazine as the most important architect of our age. He has a unique skill that formulates spaces from the use of his materials and to the bystander it is a wonder. Apart from the Guggenheim Museum he also designed the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Marques Riscal Vineyard Hotel in Elciego and Der Neue Zollhof in Düsseldorf.
Leoh Ming Pei
Perhaps the greatest architect of modern times, Leoh Ming Pei’s most famous work is Le Grand Louvre which everybody knows as the Pyramid. The amazing structure has appeared in numerous films including the da Vinci Code. Many of his buildings are noted for their geometric forms and Pei tries to use Chinese influences in his design. His work adorns notable sites around the world including government buildings. His work includes the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, The Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong, The National Gallery of Art in Washington and the John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.
Safdie sprang to fame for his design of the impressive 1967 International & Universal Exposition – Expo 67. It is now one of Canada’s most remarkable structures and the nation bestowed the Gold Medal from the Royal Architectural Institute as recognition of their gratitude. Moshe Safdie went on to create some amazing architecture such as the daring glass filled National Gallery of Canada and the breathtaking Khalsa Memorial in India.
These three remarkable architects designed buildings that at the time were space-age and contemporary, using the most recent materials and design techniques that were available. They now hold pride of place in the countries that are home to them and stand as a testament to the art of architecture. In part two of our blog on the famous architects of the 20th century we look at the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, Zaha Hadid and Philip Johnson.