5 Most Influential Female Architects of the 20th Century

In the 20th century, where many people perceived the role of women as housewives, taking care of their homes, there were many female architects who brought a separate path for feminism, inspiration and thinking. for the future. From Los Angeles to Tokyo, these women Architects shaped a new aspect of the city, from broken glass ceilings to structures that exude a feminine beauty.

Portrait of the late Architect Marion Mahony Griffin, 1935. Photo: National Library of Australia
1. Marion Mahony Griffin (1871-1961)

Born in 1871 in Chicago, Marion Mahony Griffin was one of the world’s first licensed female architects. As one of the early designers of the architectural office Frank Lloyd Wright (the hero of American architecture), Griffin has made its mark on works, such as Fishwick House in Australia or private homes. the king of the auto industry, Henry Ford of Michigan). She has also been instrumental in expanding the style of the Prairie School in the United States, India and Australia in terms of native landscape and materials in the emerging democracies. Remembered as the greatest sketchers of American history, Scholar Deborah Wood says that part of Frank Lloyd Wright’s success is due to Marion Mahony’s drawings. Her drawings are also believed to have influenced great architects such as Mies van der Rohe or Le Corbusier.

Design drawings for the suburban residence of Marion Mahony Griffin. Photo: National Archives of Australia.
Portrait of Mrs. Julia Morgan, taken in 1926. Photo: Kennedy Library Online Archive, California Polytechnic State University
2. Julia Morgan (1872-1957)

Julia Morgan has spent her whole life pursuing her passion for architecture. She was the first woman to be admitted to the prestigious Beaux-Arts de Paris School of Fine Arts and became the first female architect to be licensed in California. At a time when most female architects will work with her husband at the company, Morgan started his own company in San Francisco after a year of working with famous architect John Galen Howard. . For 85 years of hard work, she has more than 700 building blueprints. One of the works of the late American female architect is Hearst Castle, which is trusted by the capitalist magnate William Randolph Hearst. In order to create the castle that combines the architectural quintessence that William wanted, Julia Morgan had to focus on doing it for nearly 3 decades. In 2014, she became the first woman to receive the AIA Gold Medal awarded by the American Institute of Architects.

Inside the Roman swimming pool of Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California.
Norma Merrick Sklarek’s photo beside contact papers (mid-late 20th century). Photo: The Smithsonian National Museum’s Collection of African American History and Culture, donated by David Merrick Fairweather and Yvonne Goff.

3. Norma Merrick Sklarek (1926-2012)

Known as “Rosa Parks” in the architectural village, who is referred to as “Black Woman”, Norma Merrick Sklarek has created a lively life for women of color. She was the first African-American woman to be officially licensed as an architect in both New York and California, as well as the first black woman elected to the prestigious Commissioner of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA). From blueprints of the US Embassy in Tokyo to the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles to the number One terminal at Los Angeles International Airport, all are the fruits of her efforts. In 1985, she partnered with Margot Siegel and Katherine Diamond to open what is believed to be one of the largest women-owned architecture firms in the country. Sklarek is not only remembered for her talent in architecture but also as an example to rise up in adversity, despite racism and gender discrimination, an admirable name of many female architects in the same field. .

Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles was designed in 1978. Photo: Gruen Associates
Zaha Hadid at Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center in Baku, photo taken November 2013. Photo: Dmitry Ternovoy
4. Zaha Hadid (1950 – 2016)

Dubbed the “Queen of curves”, the Iraqi-born British architect, Zaha Hadid is known as the creator of futuristic architecture with attractive curves for each building and famous for its architectural views. structure “360 degrees, why must always follow one thing”. From the Guangzhou Opera House, China to the Heydar Aliyev Center in Azerbaijan, Hadid broke all the norms with bold designs, crossing the lines between architecture and reality. In 2004, she became the first female architect to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize, considered the Nobel Prize in architecture. Her sudden death in 2016 created a shock in the art village, but the architectural heritages that she left behind are still a lasting testament to the endless vision and creativity of people.

Portrait of Kazuyo Sejima, taken in 2014. Photo: Columbia GSAPP
5. Kazuyo Sejima (1956-)

In 2010, the Japanese female architect, Kazuyo Sejima, became the second woman in the world to be honored with the Pritzker Architecture Award (together with male colleague Ryue Nishizawa, who co-founded the architecture firm SANAA. in Tokyo in 1995). Sejima is known for her clean, modernist buildings inspired by her Japanese heritage. Not only encapsulating her designs in the country “the rising sun”, Sejima also brought her name to the world, from the United States to Spain through remarkable works such as the Museum of Art. 21st Century Contemporary Art, Kanazawa in Japan, and New Modern Art Museum in New York City.

Sumida Hokusai Museum in Tokyo completed in 2016. Photo: Kakidai – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Source: Translation | Vu Huong (Source: design-milk)