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World Architects : Global Design Studios

Major Architecture Offices – Global Architectural Practice Listings

post updated 25 February 2024

World Architects - SANAA
© SANAA photograph © Takashi Okamoto

Famous Architects – Contemporary

e-architect have selected what we feel are the key examples of Architects in the World. We aim to include design studios that are either of top quality or interesting, or ideally both. The focus is on contemporary architecture practices but information on major historic design studios is also welcome.


Tadao Ando


Santiago Calatrava
David Chipperfield
Coop Himmelb(l)au
Edward Cullinan


Paulo Mendes da Rocha
Günther Domenig


Erick Van Egeraat
Peter Eisenman
Ralph Erskine


Terry Farrell
Feilden Clegg Bradley
Foreign Office Architects
Foster + Partners
Massimiliano Fuksas
Future Systems


Frank Gehry
Gerkan, Marg & Partners
Nicholas Grimshaw


Zaha Hadid
Herzog & de Meuron
Steven Holl
Hans Hollein
Michael Hopkins


Toyo Ito


Eva Jiricna


Rem Koolhaas
Kisho Kurokawa


Henning Larsen
Daniel Libeskind


John McAslan
Rick Mather
Mecanoo architecten
Richard Meier
Enric Miralles
Rafael Moneo
Morphosis Architects


Jean Nouvel




I M Pei
Cesar Pelli
Dominique Perrault
Renzo Piano


Ian Ritchie
Richard Rogers
Aldo Rossi

Moshe Safdie
SANAA Architects
Ian Simpson Architects
Alvaro Siza

Stanton Williams

Bernard Tschumi


Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates
Rafael Vinoly

Wilkinson Eyre

Peter Zumthor

World Architects – Famous Architecture Studios

Listed above are the key architect studios across the globe. Some major architects are listed individually as well as for their architecture practice, for example Rem Koolhaas is the lead designer in OMA. This is because in many design-led architecture offices the persona of the key designer can take on a slightly independent role – writing books or curating exhibitions under their name rather than for their practice. These architects tend to be the leaders in critical thinking about architecture.

Celebrated established architectural thinkers include Rem Koolhaas (OMA), Wolf Prix (Coop Himmelb(l)au), Winy Maas (MVRDV), Herzog & de Meuron, SANAA and Steven Holl. World-famous architects that are also highly inventive include Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid and Norman Foster.

Some architects are not popularly known globally but highly respected amongst their peers – examples would be Peter Zumthor and Snohetta. Architects with a wide international body of work include Tadao Ando, Santiago Calatrava, David Chipperfield and UNStudio.

The key up-and-coming architects include BIG, J Mayer H and JDS. Architects listed above who are from a slightly earlier generation and thus coming down from their peak are Aldo Rossi, Moshe Safdie and Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates.

We don’t list architects above that are no longer alive (apart from Enric Miralles whose key works are recent and still resonant) – but in the 20th Century the key architects are generally acknowledged to be Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright, though of course many will have others that they regard highest, such as Walter Gropius, Alvar Aalto and Louis Kahn.

Naturally tastes and fashions change with time and across the world’s regions, architects such as Meier, Morphosis and Libeskind have at times been hugely influential to architecture students and practitioners, but new shifts are of course emerging constantly, so evaluations of reputation need to be firmly rooted beneath fashionable concerns which naturally tend to be fleeting.

World Architect Portraits – Photos of key designers
Zaha Hadid architect
Zaha Hadid architect, photograph : Steve Double

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Duke’s Avenue House, Chiswick
Architects: IBLA
Dukes Avenue House in London
photograph : Brotherton Lock
Contemporary House in London

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