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8 Women who revolutionised the global architecture industry

Article-8 Women who revolutionised the global architecture industry

8 women architects article
As part of its ongoing WIRE series, Cityscape Intelligence looks at how 8 women in the global architecture industry have made it their life’s work to revolutionise design. We put the spotlight on the women who have paved the way and those rising stars breaking down international barriers.

OBE FARSHID MOUSSAVI: Iranian-born British architect, Farshid Moussavi is a professor at Harvard University and founder of one of the world’s most creative design agencies, Farshid Moussavi Architecture. Recognised for bringing a strong intellectual precision to her work, Moussavi taught for eight years at London’s Architectural Association and headed the Institute of Architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. In addition to her numerous teaching positions, Moussavi is best known for the Osambashi Passenger Terminal in Japan, and London’s Victoria Beckham Flagship Store and Harrods’ Toys Department. 

DAME ZAHA HADID: This listicle would be incomplete without Iraqi-British architect, Zaha Hadid. Nicknamed the Queen of the Curve, Hadid was the first women to win the coveted Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004 and the RIBA Gold Medal in 2016. Her famous no-nonsense determination and futuristic styles saw her pave the way for architects across the world.

Notable for her sharp angles, use of concrete, steel, and curving facades, Hadid - who passed away in 2016 - is remembered for the London Aquatics Centre, built for the 2012 Olympics, the Eli and Edyth Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku, and the Guangzhou Opera House in China.

JEANNE GANG: American architect Jeanne Gang has been instrumental as a designer in the era of climate change. Gang is recognised for employing recycled materials, drawing on sustainable techniques, and her abilities to tackle urban sprawl in America’s most congested cities. Among her accolades is the Aqua Tower in Chicago, an 82-storey skyscraper that earned two titles: being the tallest building in the world designed by a woman when completed in 2010, and having one of the largest green roofs in the city. In 2020, she took on a former coal-burning power plant transforming it into a student union.

KAZUYO SEJIMA: Japanese architect, Kazuyo Sejima has been in the architecture industry for three decades and has followed the simple philosophy of understanding space’s social use in relation to its inhabitants. Her simple, clean and modernist style earned her the Pritzker Prize in 2010, making her the second woman to receive it. From the Louvre-Lens in France to the New Museum in New York, Sejima’s work has traversed countries.

MARIAM KAMARA: French-Niger architect, Mariam Kamara lives by one design principle, believing that the role of architects is to elevate, dignify and provide a better quality of life. In 2014 she founded the architecture and research firm Atelier Masomi, which takes on urban design, both public and cultural projects and is known for its employment of locally produced materials. She is currently working with Sir David Adjaye on the Niamey Cultural Center, set to become Niger capital’s first municipal library which features a group of five raw earth buildings.

DENISE SCOTT-BROWN: Regarded as one of the most influential and prolific architects of the 20th Century, Zambian-South African Denise Scott-Brown is still an advocate for women at 91 in the architecture industry internationally. Together with her husband and partner, Scott Brown, the pair took on the postmodern movement and revolutionised design and were both jointly awarded the 2016 American Institute of Architects Gold Medal. Based in Philadelphia, her notable works include Seattle Art Museum, and Provincial Capitol Building, France.

SHAHIRA FAHMY: Three-time recipient of the prestigious Harvard post-doc fellowships, Shahira Fahmy is considered among Egypt’s highly sought-after architects. Founder and principal at Shahira Fahmy Architects, Fahmy’s work spans the MENA region, UK and Europe. Notable work under her belt includes the Andermatt Swiss Alps Ski Resort, The Delfina Foundation in London, and the Mask Architects’ Project for the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and COP22, in 2016. Fahmy also serves as a jury member for UNESCO for the Nouri Mosque Complex in Mosul, Iraq.

SUCHI REDDY: Founder of Manhattan-based firm Reddymade, Reddy’s work is unapologetically avant-garde. The Indian-American architect and artist has already bagged a few impressive projects under belt including the Google Store in New York, Cherokee Residence in Beverly Hills and her installation me+you at the Smithsonian.



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