7 Modern Architects Who Are Wowing The World
Architecture has played an important role in the way the whole world has changed in past century. We see it everywhere, from high-rising skyscrapers to a vast glass building on water, and even 'housing for all'. Every day brings a challenge to deliver something new and innovative that works in sync with the nature. Fulfilling all these challenges are the architects who work day and night to bring out the structures that would live on for decades to come.
MakaanIQ lists seven such modern-day architects who have been wowing the world with amazing architectural marvels:
César Pelli, The US
One of the veterans in the industry of design and architecture, César Pelli is known for designing some of the tallest buildings across the world, as well as some major urban structures. The 86-year-old architect's famous works include Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, World Financial Centre in Manhattan, Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood and the Mathematics Building and Lecture Hall at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He started his own design firm Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects (then known as Cesar Pelli & Associates) in 1977.
It was in 1991 that Pelli was listed among the 10 most influential living American architects by American Institute of Architects (AIA). He was also given the Aga Khan Award in 2004 in recognition of his work on Petronas Twin Towers. Pelli studied architecture at the Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, and later went on to complete his studies at the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2008, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of arts by the Yale University for his work in architecture.
David Childs, The US
One of the principal architects of the controversial One World Trade Center in New York City, David Childs is a US-based architect. Childs began practising architecture in the early 1970s. At present, he serves as the chairman of architecture design firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Earlier, he served as the chairman of the National Capital Planning Commission, from 1975 to 1981. Some of his renowned projects apart from One World Trade Center include JFK International Airport's arrival building, Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, 450 Lexington Avenue, and 7 World Trade Center 250 at Greenwich Street. His major works have been in the US.
Childs had graduated from Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts, in 1959, and from Yale University in 1963.
Hafeez Contractor, India
A Padma Bhushan awardee, Hafeez Contractor is an India-born architect who began his career in 1968 while he was studying for a degree. He is known for his contribution to modern-day architecture in India. He works across categories like residential, commercial, hospitality, retail malls, even educational institutions. Some of his renowned works include Hiranandani Gardens in Mumbai, software development park for Infosys in Pune, Imperial I and II (India's tallest towers) in Mumbai, a 337-acre educational facility (which according to a report by The New York Times looks like St Peter's Basilica in Vatican City), DLF CyberCity in Gurugram, among others. He has also been instrumental in formulating a slum rehabilitation scheme in collaboration with the urban development department of Mumbai. He wants to provide home to every Indian and is on panel of the housing boards of states like Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh.
Contractor studied architectural studies from the Academy of Architecture in Mumbai, and Columbia University, New York. His fondness to sketch, draw and design buildings began when he was a child and shaped his future as an architect.
Norman Foster, England
The British architect Norman Foster is known for his high-tech architecture design. He began practising architecture in 1967, when he founded his architecture firm Foster+Partners in London. During more than five decades of experience, some of his renowned projects were The Gherkin in London, New German Parliament in the Reichstag, Chek Lap Kok International Airport, among others. He has been instrumental in building modern day structures in the commercial and institutional projects.
In 1961, Foster graduated from the Manchester University School of Architecture and City Planning, and later won a Henry Fellowship to the Yale University, from where he did his masters degree in Architecture. He has won many awards for his works. These include Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1999, the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal for Architecture in 1994, the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture in 1983, and the Gold Medal of the French Academy of Architecture in 1991. In 1990, Foster was also granted a Knighthood at the Queen's Birthday Honours, and in 1999 was honoured with a Life Peerage, becoming The Lord Foster of Thames Bank.
Rem Koolhaas, The Netherlands
Known for his architecture publications and ambitious projects, Rem Koolhaas is a Dutch architect. He has been practising architecture since 1975, when he first set up his own design company, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), in London, in partnership with Madelon Vriesendorm and Elia and Zoe Zenghelis. The architect won fame from his publications like Delirious New York; S,M,L,XL; Project On The City, among others. It was in 1972, after his graduation from Architecture Association School in London, that he received a fellowship from the Harkness Fellowship, and researched about architecture in the United States. He also wrote his first book Delirious New York. In the field of architecture, Koolhaas' most ambitious projects have been the CCTV Headquarters in Beijing. Some of his other renowned projects include Prada stores, the new building of Shenzhen Stock Exchange, a master plan for White City in London and the Netherlands Dance Theater in The Hague.
Koolhaas was in 2000 awarded the Pritzker Prize, and in 2008 he was listed among the World's Top 100 Most Influential People by the Time Magazine. He has studied at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London and at the Cornell University, New York. He is also a Professor in Practice of Architecture and Urban Design at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.
Renzo Piano, Italy
Listed among the 100 most influential people in the world in 2006, Italian architect Renzo Piano is the founder of Renzo Piano Building Workshop. He began his journey in the world of architecture in the year 1965. With works mostly dedicated to skyscrapers, Piano has designed the world-renowned London building, The Shard, the tallest building in the European Union. Some of his other renowned works include The Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam and Morgan Library in New York.
He has also designed a watch named Jelly Piano for the watch brand Swatch. This clear watch, influenced by one of Piano's greatest works, Centre Georges Pompidou, exposes all the inner mechanics.
Piano graduated from the university Politecnico di Milano in 1964 with a dissertation on modular coordination. He then began work on lightweight structures. He was awarded the prestigious Pritzker Prize in 1998 and also considered for the Nobel Prize for architecture. He has also been awarded the AIA Gold Medal.
Sheila Sri Prakash, India
Sheila Sri Prakash is known to be one India's first woman architect pioneering in sustainable urban and socioeconomically sensitive design. She has completed more than 1,200 projects in her career of 35 years. In 1979, she founded her own architectural design company, Shilpa Architects, and in 2013 she was named among the 'Top 100' architects in the world by Italian Journal of Architecture – Il Giornale dell' Architettura. She has also named among the 50 most influential in architecture and design in 2015 by Architectural Digest.
She has worked across categories like commercial, leisure, residential, and social structures, and some of her renowned works include Mahindra WorldCity in Chennai, Larsen & Turbo's office in Chennai, BMTC by IL&FS in Bengaluru and her own global design studio which has been awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum rating for New Construction by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). She was invited to contribute to the United Nations 2012 Rio+20 Summit in Brazil, where her recommendations were adopted under the mandate for sustainability titled "Reciprocal Design Index". She has also spearheaded the 'Reciprocity Wave' movement, under which art is used to create awareness about social and ecological issues.
Based out of Chennai, Prakash graduated from School of Architecture & Planning, Anna University (1977), and later attended a 12-week executive education programme at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. She was a charter member instrumental in establishing the Indian Green Building Council. Trained in various fields of arts, such as Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Veenai, classical Indian music, painting and sculpting, she was also regarded as a child prodigy for her talent.