The 2019 ELLE Decor Architecture A-List

From every region and background, these individuals are changing the world one brick at a time.

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TOR SEIDEL

Architecture is the manmade environment. It is not just the statement towers changing the skylines of cities like New York, Shanghai, and London or stadiums built for a single Olympics broadcast. It's also a hospital in Burkina Faso, a kindergarten in rural Spain, a low-income housing complex in Niger, and a mosque in Bangladesh. Every region of the world produces geniuses of all colors and genders who define their own vernacular, changing our world one brick at a time. With that in mind, here, we present ELLE Decor's 2019 list of the world's greatest living architects, some beautiful renderings by Lego to honor these iconic structures.

RAFAEL ARANDA, CARME PIGEN & RAMON VILALTA

Firm: Origin: Spain HQ: Olot Key Projects: El Petit Comte Kindergarten and Les Cols Restaurant Marquee, which are both in Olot, Spain; Bell-Lloc Winery in Palamós, Spain Laureates: Pritzker Prize

rcr architects
RCR/Les Cols Restaurant
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architecture a list
For the second edition of ED’s list of the world’s greatest architects, we constructed six beautiful buildings with the help of our friends at Lego. Pictured on the left is the Lego rendering of El Petit Comte Kindergarten in Olot, Spain, and on the right is the building designed by RCR Arquitectes.
Yann Arthus-BertrandGetty Images


MARINA TABASSUM

Firm: Origin: Bangladesh HQ: Dhaka Key Projects: Baitur Rauf Jame Mosque in Dhaka; A5 residence and Independence Monument of Bangladesh and Liberation War Museum both in Dhaka and built while Tabassum was with URBANA

NICOLE BLAIR

Firm: Origin: United States HQ: Austin, TX Key Projects: The Hive (pictured); Chicon Duplex, and West Mary residence, all of which are located in Austin

Nicole Blair
Left: Lego rendering of The Hive. Right: The building designed by Studio 512.
Cory Dawson/Studio 512

ALEJANDRO ARAVENA

Firm: Origin: Chile HQ: Santiago Key Projects: Quinta Monroy Housing in Iquique, Chile; Innovation Center UC in Santiago, Chile; Monterrey Housing in Monterrey, Mexico Laureate: Pritzker Prize

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Alejandro Aravena/a structure by Elemental for Biennale Arte in 2015.
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CRAIG DYKERS AND KJETIL TRÆDAL THORSEN

Firm: Origin: Norway HQ: Oslo Key Projects: Oslo Opera House; Biblioteca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt; 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City

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Left: Lego rendering of the Oslo Opera House. Right: The building designed by Snøhetta.
Paola + MurrayGetty Images

DAVID CHIPPERFIELD

Firm: Origin: United Kingdom HQ: London Key Projects: Museo Jumex in Mexico City; Kunsthaus in Zurich, Switzerland; The Bryant in New York City

david chipperfield
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ADRIAN SMITH & GORDON GILL

Firm: Origin: United States HQ: Chicago Key Projects: Dancing Dragons in Seoul, South Korea (pictured); Jeddah Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE, which Smith designed while on staff at SOM

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The Lego rendering of the Central Park Tower, which was designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture.
CORY DAWSON

DIÉBÉDO FRANCIS KÉRÉ

Firm: Origin: Burkina Faso HQ: Berlin Key Projects: Gando Primary School in Gando, Burkina Faso; Opera Village and Centre de Santé et de Promotion Sociale, which are both in Laongo, Burkina Faso

Francis-Kéré
Francis Kéré
Erik-Jan Ouwerkerk
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A Lego rendering of Centre de Santé et de Promotion Sociale designed by Kéré Architecture.
PAOLA + MURRAY

MARIAM KAMARA

Firm: Origin: Niger HQ: Niamey Key Projects: Niamey 2000 in Niamey, Niger; Regional Market and Hikma Religious and Secular Complex, which are both in Dandaji, Niger Adjunct Professor: Brown University

The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative 2018-2019, Architecture Finalists Meeting
Mariam Kamara
Rolex Mentor and Protégé
niamey 2000
The Niamey 2000 housing complex by Mariam Kamara
TOR SEIDEL

DEBORAH BERKE

Firm: Origin: United States HQ: New York City Key Projects: Cummins Indy Distribution Headquarters in Indianapolis; 48 Bond Street, 40 East End Avenue, both of which are in New York City Side Hustle: Dean of Yale School of Architecture

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Deborah Berke
Deborah Berke Partners

DENISE SCOTT BROWN

Firm: Origin: Zambia HQ: Philadelphia
Key Projects:
Seattle Art Museum; Addition to the National Gallery in London; Franklin Park in Philadelphia Important Text: Co-wrote Learning From Las Vegas with Robert Venturi and Steven Izenour Controversy: While Robert Venturi, her late husband and business partner was awarded a Pritzker Prize in 1991, she was denied one.

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ODILE DECQ

Firm: Origin: France HQ: Paris Key Projects: La Banque Populaire de l’Ouest in Rennes, France; Le Cargo in Paris; New Cyprus Museum in Nicosia, Cyprus

odile decq
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BALKRISHNA DOSHI

Firm: Origin: India HQ: Ahmedabad Key Projects: Sangath, Amdavad ni Gufa, and Life Insurance Corporation Housing, all of which are located in Ahmedabad, India Laureate: Pritzker Prize

balkrishna doshi
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DORTE MANDRUP

Firm: Origin: Denmark HQ: Copenhagen Key Projects: Råå Preschool in Helsingborg, Sweden; Amager Children's Culture House in Copenhagen; Salling Tower in Aarhus, Denmark

Dorte-Mandrup
Espen Gronli

RYUE NISHIZAWA & KAZUYO SEJIMA

Firm: Origin: Japan HQ: Tokyo Key Projects: The New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City; Rolex Learning Center in Lausanne, Switzerland; Louvre-Lens in Lens, France. Laureates: Pritzker Prize

Ryue-Nishizawa-Kazuyo-Sejima
Takashi Okamoto

MOSHE SAFDIE

Firm: Origin: Israel & Canada HQ: Boston, MA Key Projects: Habitat 67 in Montreal (pictured); Marina Bay Sands in Singapore; Altair in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Moshe-Safdie
Michal Ronnen Safdie


CAZÚ ZEGERS

Firm: Origin: Chile HQ: Santiago Key Projects: LLU House in Lago Ranco, Chile; Hotel Tierra Patagonia in Lago Sarmiento, Chile; Capilla del Espíritu Santo in Puente Alto, Chile (pictured)

Cazú-Zegers
Pedro Quintana

PETER ZUMTHOR

Firm: Origin: Switzerland HQ: Haldenstein Key Projects: Therme Vals in Vals, Switzerland (pictured); Kunsthaus Bregenz in Bregenz Austria; Bruder Klaus Field Chapel in Mechernich, Germany Laureate: Pritzker Prize

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