Some buildings in the world have transcended from being mere structures to becoming an iconic part of our lives. We might not have visited these famous buildings (yet!), but we have pored over their photographs and mentally added them to our architectural bucket lists.
While some world-renowned architects have built this famous architecture, others have not yet reached that ultimate zenith of fame. The buildings they have designed have undoubtedly garnered appreciation and admiration, but the architects behind these marvelous designs deserve to be recognized in their own right.
Let us look at 20 Famous buildings by lesser-known architects:
1. The Interlace by Ole Scheeren | Famous buildings
The Interlace is a residential complex in Singapore inspired by the arrangement of Jenga blocks placed irregularly upon each other. This unique and eye-catching design ensured that Interlace was awarded the World Building of the Year title at the 2015 World Architectural Festival. Ole Scheeren pioneered this design along with the architectural firm OMA.
2. The Dubai Frame by Fernando Donis | Famous Architecture
This iconic structure which “frames” the glamorous buildings of Dubai has been designed by Ar. Fernando Donis. The architect won the 2009 ThyssenKrupp Elevator International Award to design an emblem to promote Dubai. His design has become a popular tourist attraction drawing millions of visitors every year.
3. Cube Houses by Piet Blom
These creative houses located in the Netherlands are based on the concept of “living as an urban roof.” Their unusual orientation has revolutionized the idea of a functional “house” and inspired similar designs in Toronto.
4. The Dancing House by Frank Gehry and Vlado Milunic | Famous Architecture
This kitschy design was a collaboration between architects Frank Gehry and Vlado Milunic. While Ar. Frank Gehry is well known for his unique contemporary designs, Ar. Vlado Milunic has not become quite as famous despite designing numerous other structures.
5. Root Bench by Yong Ju Lee | Famous buildings
Root bench is an installation for public use located in Yongsan-Gu, South Korea. The design is a result of the winning proposal in the Hangang Art Competition. This structure is often praised for blurring the boundaries between Nature and Design to create concinnity.
6. Star Apartments by Michael Maltzan
Located in Los Angeles, the six-story structure of Star Apartments has been designed to facilitate the recovery process for homeless residents of the city. The multiple terraces encourage communal interaction and rehabilitative activities while ensuring the entry of maximum air and sunlight.
7. Therme Vals by Peter Zumthor
This Pritzker award-winning architect has designed some of the most famous buildings in the world including the Therme Vals in Switzerland. His designs are known for being minimalist and elegant while retaining their functionality. He has won numerous awards over the years but not received the same degree of fame as other Pritzker award winners.
8. The Vessel by Thomas Heatherwick | Buildings Famous
This honeycomb-like structure located in New York is a popular tourist attraction. It is an elaborate, almost monumental design and has never failed to attract curious visitors in droves despite its controversial reputation.
9. Lotus Temple by Fariborz Sahba
The Lotus Temple is a Baha’i House of worship located in Delhi, India. Its flower-like shape and luminous marble cladding have attracted millions of visitors over the years. Despite the structure’s immense popularity and the many awards it has won, its architect has not quite achieved the same level of prominence.
10. Basil’s Cathedral by Pestnik Yakolev and Ivan Barma | Famous Architecture
This cathedral is, without a doubt, one of the most magnificent and famous buildings in the world. It is often regarded as a cultural symbol of Russia. However, its architects remain almost obscure despite designing a structure that has no parallels in the world.
11. Chrysler Building by William Van Alen | Famous buildings
A beloved icon in New York City, which was at one time the tallest building in New York, is the Chrysler Building. Its art deco architectural style and unique crown ensure that it remains an important part of the city’s skyline.
12. Empire State Building by William Lamb
At one time this skyscraper was the tallest building in the world and is still a popular attraction for millions of visitors. It is an American cultural icon and a symbol of New York City.
13. The Crooked House by Szotynscy and Zalenski | Buildings Famous
This fairytale-like structure in Sopot, Poland was built in 2004. It’s unique, almost outlandish shape has drawn a lot of attention ever since it was built. However, not much is known about its architects.
14. Taipei 101| Famous Architecture
Taipei 101 is a supertall skyscraper in Taipei, Taiwan. It was the tallest building in the world for 6 years from 2004 till 2010. At present, it is the largest and tallest green building in the world and is an icon of Taipei.
15. Walden 7 by Ricardo Bofill | Famous buildings
This apartment building located close to Barcelona in Spain is named after a science fiction novel. Its module-based design makes it unique and its bright external façade never fails to draw attention.
16. 2013 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion by Sou Fujimoto | Famous Architecture
In 2013 the Serpentine Gallery commissioned this Japan-based architect to design its summer pavilion. The delicate yet beautiful design attracted many visitors but the architect continues to lead a life away from the limelight.
17. 2018 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion by Frida Escobedo
The youngest architect to work on this iconic structure, Frida Escobedo has worked on numerous other urban projects but remains relatively unknown.
18. Japanese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale by Junya Ishigami | Buildings Famous
Not much is known about this award-winning Japanese architect who won the Golden Lion for Best Project at the 12th Venice Architecture Biennale.
19. Office in the Woods by Selgascano | Famous Architecture
This clean, simple yet iconic architecture office in Madrid was designed by the firm Selgascano for its use. The firm has been awarded many honors since its inception, but not much is known about its principal architects.
20. Bibliotheca Alexandrina library by Kjetil Traedal Thorsen and Craig Dykers of Snohetta | Famous buildings
One of the largest libraries in the world has been designed by the co-founders of the internationally lauded firm Snohetta. Not much is known about its principal architects.