In 2020 only 17% of registered architects were women in the US. There is a significant progress compared to 1999 (20 years before) as the percentage then was only 13%, but there is still a long way to go. Here are some great women architects, a true inspiration to all.
Dame Zaha Hadid
Zaha Hadid was the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize (in 2004), she was born in Iraq in 1950. Described by The Guardian as the “Queen of the curve” she liberated architectural geometry. One of the busiest and most influential architects in the world, she started her career in controversy. Her early designs were criticized as “paintings that could not be built”. Zaha Hadid opposed that architecture “should be able to excite you, to calm you, to make you think”. And she was right. Her signature style are stairways that seem to float in space, curved floors and walls that were seldom vertical.
Lina Bo Bardi
One of the most prolific women architects, she was born in Italy in 1914. After World War II Bo Bardi moved permanently in Brazil. She designed “The Glass House” – which was her own house – in 1951. Today it is considered a great work of rationalist architecture. Her most famous work though is the Museum of Art in Sao Paulo. She came up with the breakthrough idea of suspending the building above a square she was supposed not to block under any circumstances.
A pioneer of women architects, born an Irish aristocrat in 1878, Eileen Gray moved to Paris for studies in 1902. Mostly known for her lacquered furniture designs, Gray’s architectural masterpiece is Villa E-1027. Built on the Cote d’ Azur in 1929 it has become a symbol of modernism. The Villa was the exact opposite of what was considered “charming” at the time. Extraordinarily innovative E-1027 is among the first ever projects in Europe to interpret the principles of the modern movement. “Everyone, even in a small house needs to feel free and independent”. This is Gray’s dogma behind the design of E-1027. Therefore every room has a balcony with outdoor access.
She deeply believed that better design helps in creating a better society, so her work aimed mainly to create functional living spaces. Born in Paris in 1903 she joined Le Corbusier’s studio and also collaborated with Jean Prouvé. Charlotte Perriand was inspired by Art Deco, she loved the aesthetic of the machines and also Art Brut. Her most well-known architectural project is Les Arcs, a 1960s ski resort in France. A true inspiration for women architects.