The role of the architect in design is one that we all tend to take for granted unless the building is a startling piece of art that can be enjoyed for years to come. The world's architects have entered a golden age that has seen the rise of contemporary architecture
, which has been the dominant force for the last few decades. The international nature of architecture and the role of architects has seen the rise of popular architects. They have led the charge to success over the last half-century.
are often the unsung heroes of the construction industry because they find ways to make their clients' dreams come true. Most architects work in an office where they use a range of media from pen and paper to computer-aided design to create homes, structures, and much more. It's true that without the architect, there would be no design. Still, the interior design can play a significant role in the finished home. A skilled designer is a treasure; she can complement the architect's vision, understand color trends in luxury design and art, and answer common questions about window treatments
and other important matters. Below are some of the most iconic and awarded architects of the last 50 years.
Sir Norman Foster
The Foster and Partners Architecture practice is one of the most prolific in the world with its head, Sir Norman Foster creating some of the most iconic buildings of the last 50 years. The winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize for his lifetime of work in architecture, Foster was born in Stockport in the U.K. and studied at the University of Manchester and the Yale School of Architecture. Foster would start his own practice in 1963. He would win a prize from the European Union for his work on the terminal building at Stansted Airport in the U.K. Among Foster's achievements are the tallest bridge in the world, the Millau Viaduct in Southern France and the skyscraper at 300 St. Mary Ave. in London, which is popularly known as "The Gherkin
Another Pritzker Prize winner, Renzo Piano focused much of his work on his home nation of Italy in the 1970s and 80s before pushing his work around the world in the last 30 years. Renzo Piano found himself regenerating the old port of Genoa in Italy in the 1970s and 80s with his design, including the use of the cranes used by docking companies in the past to lift visitors into the air in the large biodome filled with plants.
Piano's work moved forward in the 1990s and 21st-century with the development of many buildings in Japan and The Netherlands. The crowning achievement for Renzo Piano is often seen as The Shard, London's tallest skyscraper credited with dragging the ancient city into the 21st-century.
The New Mexico-based Antoine Predock began his career by studying for his Bachelor of Architecture from Columbia University. Although the U.S. architect's career has always been successful, Predock became a household name when he took the modernist style based around the Moorish architecture of Spain to New Mexico with the La Luz community. Since the construction of the La Luz community, Predock has become a household name for his design of the new San Diego Padres ballpark and the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery.
Unlike the other architects on this list, Tom Wright is principally known as the designer of a single building, the Burj Al Arab building Dubai. Wright took up the role of the Chief Designer of the Jumeirah Resort in Dubai with the task of constructing the hotel shaped like the sail of a traditional Arabic ship.
Dame Zaha Hadid
Born in Iran and based mostly in the U.K. for the majority of her life, Dame Zaha Hadid had a powerful effect on European Architecture for more than 20 years. Winning the Stirling Prize for British Architecture in 2010, 2011, and 2012 added to Hadid's iconic status. Referred to by the British press as the "Queen of the Curve," Hadid created iconic buildings such as the London Aquatic Center forming one of the centerpieces of the 2w012 London Olympic Games.