Jun 01, 2020

Top 10 European architects

Thomas Heatherwick
Alvaro Silva
Bjarke Ingels
Ben van Berkel
Sergio Burns
4 min
Top 10 European architects

Many top businesses are housed in buildings designed by some of the world's most renowned architects. Office buildings can make an important statement about a company, and some of the most well-known landmarks in cities across Europe are home to some of the business world's biggest names. 

Here are 10 European architects you should know.  

10. Thomas Heatherwick (United Kingdom)

London-born Heatherwick studied three dimensional design at Manchester Polytechnic and Royal College of Art (RCA), London. Designer Terence Conran has referred to Heatherwick as 'The Leonardo da Vinci of our times.' Major works include the Rolling Bridge, Paddington Basin, East Beach Cafe at Littlehampton and the UK's Pavillion for the 2010 Expo in Shanghai, China. Former Mayor of London Boris Johnston commissioned Heatherwick to design the new Routemaster London bus.

9. Alvaro Silva (Portugal)

Portuguese born architect, graduated from the School of Fine Arts of the University of Porto in 1955. Built four houses in Matosinhos in 1954 before he had completed his degree. Awarded the Pritzker Prize in 1992 for his work in a renovation project in the Chiado district of Lisbon, a rebuild of a historically important area of the city destroyed by fire in 1988.

8. Bjarke Ingels (Denmark)

Studied at the the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen. Has a reputation for bold and ambitious designs which often run counter to more traditional architectural conventions. Most notable works include Islands Brygge Harbour Bath, a series of four swimming pools in Copenhagen harbour, VM Houses, a multi-unit housing project in Copenhagen where blocks of residential dwellings were designed around the letters V and M

7. Ben van Berkel (Holland)

One of the funding partners of the globally acclaimed UNStudio (United Net Studio) in 1988. Studied at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, and at the Architectural Association in London, awarded AA Diploma with honours in 1987. Projects include the Karbouw office building and Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam. Other projects include Theatre Agora (Holland), Mercedes – Benz Museum ( Stuttgart, Germany) and W.I.N.D House (Holland).

6. Bernard Tschumi (Switzerland)

Studied in Paris and the Institute of Technology in Zurich, where he was awarded a degree in architecture in 1969. Son of architect Jean Tschumi now works and lives in New York and Paris. Early projects include Parc de Villette, Paris, in 1983, other notable projects include Rouen Concert Hall. As an educator Tschumi has taught at Portsmouth Polytecnic ( now University of Portsmouth) and Columbia University where he was Dean of the Graduate School of Architecture.

5. Jose Rafael Moneo Valles (Spain)

Valles studied architecture at the ETSAM, Technical University of Madrid(UPM) and later at the Spanish Academy in Rome. Winner of the Pritzker Prize in 1996, some of his best known projects includes the National Museum of Roman Art in Merida, Spain ; Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angles, Los Angeles ; and the Davis Art Museum at Wellesley College Massachussets. Renowned for his spacious interiors and his attention to detail.

4. Remment Lucas 'Rem' Koolhaas (Holland)

Koolhaas studied architecture at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London and at Cornell University, New York. He was also one of the founders of OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture) in London in 1975. He won the Pritzker Prize in 2000, and Time magazine put him in their top 100 of the World's Most Influential People. Best known for the CCTV Headquarters, Beijing, China (also known as the best skyscraper in the world), the Seattle Library (also known as one of the most important buildings of the 21st century).

3. Peter Thumfor (Switzerland)

Started out as an apprentice carpenter and studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Basel. Three years later he studied industrial design and architecture as an exchange student at the Pratt Institute in New York. Forming his own practice in 1979 Thumfor grew the business and gained an international reputation. He won the Pritzker Prize in 2009 and is best known for the glass and concrete cube that is the Kunsthaus Bregenz, Lake Constance, Austria, and the Kolumba Diocesan Museum in Cologne.

2. Renzo Piano (Italy)

Graduated from Milan Polytechnic Architecture School, Piano originally worked in his father's construction company. Founded Renzo Piano Building Workshop in 1980 and now has offices in Genoa, Paris and Berlin. Best known for Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, other projects include a housing complex on the Rue de Meaux, Paris, the world's largest air terminal at Osaka Bay, Japan and the San Nicola Soccer Stadium, Bari.

1. Lord Norman Foster (United Kingdom)

Foster graduated from Manchester University School of Architecture and City Planning before winning a Henry Fellowship to Yale University, Connecticut, where he was awarded a Masters Degree in Architecture. Foster founded Foster Associates in 1967, now known as Foster Partners with a presence in 20 countries across the world. A Pritzker prizewinner in 1999, Foster is the architect responsible for 30 St Mary Axe building, otherwise known, famously, as 'The Gherkin', headquarters of reinsurance company Swiss RE.

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Read the May 2016 issue of Business Review Europe magazine.

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