Famous World Architects

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni Famous World Architects(March 6, 1475 February 18, 1564), commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet and engineer. Despite making few forays beyond the arts, his versatility in the disciplines he took up was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with his rival and fellow Italian Leonardo da Vinci. Two of his best-known works, the Pieta and the David, were sculpted before he turned thirty. Despite his low opinion of painting, Michelangelo also created two of the most influential works in fresco in the history of Western art: the scenes from Genesis on the ceiling and The Last Judgment on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel in Rome. Later in life he designed the dome of St. Peter's Basilica in the same city and revolutionised classical architecture with his use of the giant order of pilasters.
Michelangelo was asked by the consuls of the Guild of Wool to complete an unfinished project begun 40 years earlier by Agostino di Duccio: a colossal statue portraying David as a symbol of Florentine freedom, to be placed in the Piazza della Signoria, in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. Michelangelo responded by completing his most famous work, David in 1504. This masterwork, created out of a marble block from the quarries at Carrara that had already been worked on by an earlier hand, definitively established his prominence as a sculptor of extraordinary technical skill and strength of symbolic imagination. Also during this period, Michelangelo painted the Holy Family and St John, also known as the Doni Tondo or the Holy Family of the Tribune: it was commissioned for the marriage of Angelo Doni and Maddalena Strozzi and in the 17th Century hung in the room known as the Tribune in the Uffizi. He also may have painted the Madonna and Child with John the Baptist, known as the Manchester Madonna and now in the National Gallery, London.

Famous World ArchitectsGiovanni Lorenzo Bernini (December 7, 1598 November 28, 1680) was a pre-eminent Baroque sculptor and architect of 17th century Rome. Bernini was born in Naples to a capable Mannerist sculptor, Pietro Bernini, originally from Florence. There as a boy, his skill was soon noticed by the painter Annibale Carracci and by Pope Paul V, and Bernini gained the patronage exclusively under Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the pope's nephew. His first works were inspired by antique Hellenistic sculpture. Bernini's architectural conceits include the piazza and colonnades of St Peter's. He planned several Roman palaces: Palazzo Barberini (from 1630 on which he worked with Borromini); Palazzo Ludovisi (now Palazzo Montecitorio); and Palazzo Chigi.
Bernini's first architectural project was the magnificent bronze St. Peter's baldachin (1624-1633), the canopy over the high altar of St. Peter's Basilica, and the facade for the church of Santa Bibiana (1624). In 1629, before the Baldacchino was complete, Urban VIII put him in charge of all the ongoing architectural works at St Peter's. He was given the commission for the Basilica's tomb of the Barberini Pope. Bernini did not build many churches from scratch, preferring instead to concentrate on the embellishment of pre-existing structures. He fulfilled three commissions in the field; his stature allowed him the freedom to design the structure and decorate the interiors in coherent designs. Best known is the small oval baroque church of Sant'Andrea al Quirinale which includes the statue of St. Andrew the Apostle soaring high above the aedicule framing the high altar. Bernini also designed churches in Castelgandolfo (San Tommaso da Villanova) and Ariccia (Santa Maria Assunta).

Leon Battista AlbertiFamous World Architects (born February 14, 1404 April 25, 1472) was an Italian author, artist, architect, poet, linguist, philosopher, and cryptographer, and general Renaissance humanist polymath. In Italy, his first name is usually spelled "Leon". Alberti's life was described in Giorgio Vasari's Vite. He was one of two illegitimate sons of a wealthy Florentine merchant, Lorenzo Alberti. At the time of Leon's birth, his father Lorenzo lived in Genoa, but the family soon moved to Venice, where Lorenzo ran the family bank with his brother. Alberti received the best education then available to an Italian nobleman. From around 1414 to 1418 he studied classics at the famous school of Gasparino Barzizza in Padua. He then completed his education at the University of Bologna, where he studied law. In his youth, according to stories, Alberti couldwith his feet togetherspring over a man's head, he was a superb horseman, and he "learned music without a master, and yet his compositions were admired by professional judges." Alberti received his doctorate in canon law in 1428. In the early 1430s he went to Rome where he worked as an abbreviator at the Papal curia, drafting papal briefs.
In the mid-1430s, Alberti moved to Florence with Pope Eugenius IV, who had been driven out of the Holy City. Alberti was appointed canon of the Florentine Cathedral. He admired greatly its dome, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. At that time it was the largest in the world, a unique manifestation of the integration of art, science, and technology, the spiritual symbol of the Florentine Rinascita. In 1450, Alberti was commissioned to transform the Gothic church of S. Francesco, Rimini, into a memorial to the local warlord Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, his wife Isotta, and courtiers. The church is usually known as the Tempio Malatestiano. Its dominating form is the classical triumphal arch, Alberti's favorite structure, but the severe, restrained facade was never quite finished.
Alberti wrote I Libri della famiglia which discussed of education, marriage, household management, and moneyin the Tuscan dialect. The work was not printed until 1843. Like Erasmus decades later, Alberti stressed the need for a reform in education.

Andrea Palladio Famous World Architects(November 30, 1508 August 19, 1580), was an Italian architect, widely considered the most influential person in the history of Western architecture. Palladio was chosen by the most powerful members of the Venetian society for numerous important commissions. His success as an architect is based not only on the beauty of his work, but also for its harmony with the culture of his time. His success and influence was a result of the integration of extraordinary aesthetic quality with expressive characteristics that resonated with his client's social aspirations. This integration of beauty and deep meaning is apparent in three major building types: the urban palazzo, the agricultural villa, and the church. In his urban structures he developed a new improved version of the typical early renaissance palazzo (exemplified by the Palazzo Strozzi). Adapting a new urban palazzo type created by Bramante in the House of Raphael, Palladio found a powerful expression of the importance of the owner and his social position. The main living quarters of the owner on the second level are now clearly distinguished in importance by use of a flattened classical portico, centered and raised above the subsidiary and utilitarian ground level (illustrated in the Palazzo da Porto Festa and the Palazzo Valmarana Braga).
Similarly, Palladio created a new configuration for the design of Roman Catholic churches that established two interlocking architectural orders, each clearly articulated, yet delineating a hierarchy of a larger order overriding a lesser order. This idea was in direct coincidence with the rising acceptance of the theological ideas of St. Thomas Aquinas, who postulated the notion of two worlds existing simultaneously: the divine world of faith and the earthly world of man. Palladio created an architecture which made a visual statement communicating the idea of two superimposed systems, as illustrated at San Francesco della Vigna. In a time when religious dominance in Western culture was threatened by the rising power of science and secular humanists, this architecture found great favor with the Church as a clear statement of the proper relationship of the earthly and the spiritual worlds.

  • 1550: Produces drawings for Palazzo Chiericati and Villa Foscari
  • 1552: Begins work on Villa Cornaro and the palace of Iseppo De' Porti
  • 1554: Begins work on Villa Barbaro in Maser
  • 1556: In Udine he works on Casa Antonini and in Vicenza begins with Palazzo Thiene. While his assignments increase along with his fame, he collaborates with Daniele Barbaro on his commentary on Vitruvius, providing the drawings.
  • 1558: Realises a project for the church of San Pietro di Castello in Venice and probably in the same year begins the construction of Villa Malcontenta
  • 1559: Begins Villa Emo in the village of Fanzolo di Vedelago
  • 1561: Begins the construction of Villa Pojana and at the same time of the refectory of the Benedictine San Giorgio Monastery, and subsequently the facade of the monastery Monastero per la Carita and the Villa Serego
  • 1566: Palazzo Valmarana and Villa Zeno
  • 1567: Begins works for the Villa Capra "La Rotonda"
  • 1570: He is nominated Proto della Serenissima (Illustrious citizen of Venice), and publishes in Venice I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura (The Four Books of Architecture)
  • 1571: Realises: Villa Piovene, Palazzo Porto Barbaran, the Loggia del Capitanio and Palazzo Porto Breganze.
  • 1577: Begins the construction of the church of Il Redentore
  • 1580: Prepares drawings for the interior of the church of S. Lucia in Venice and in the same year on 23 March oversees the beginning of the construction of the Teatro Olimpico but dies on 19 August 1580

Marcus Vitruvius Pollio

Marcus Vitruvius Pollio (born c. 8070 BC, died after c. 15 BC) was a Roman writer, architect and engineer (possibly praefectus fabrum during military service or praefect architectus armamentarius of the apparitor status group), active in the 1st century BC. Vitruvius is the author of De architectura, known today as The Ten Books on Architecture,[citation needed] a treatise written of Latin and Greek on architecture, dedicated to the emperor Augustus. This work is the only surviving major book on architecture from classical antiquity.
Vitruvius is famous for asserting in his book De architectura that a structure must exhibit the three qualities of firmitas, utilitas, venustas that is, it must be strong or durable, useful, and beautiful. According to Vitruvius, architecture is an imitation of nature. As birds and bees built their nests, so humans constructed housing from natural materials, that gave them shelter against the elements. When perfecting this art of building, the ancient Greek invented the architectural orders: Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. It gave them a sense of proportion, culminating in understanding the proportions of the greatest work of art: the human body. This led Vitruvius in defining his Vitruvian Man, as drawn magnificently by Leonardo da Vinci: the human body inscribed in the circle and the square (the fundamental geometric patterns of the cosmic order).

Le Corbusier

Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris(October 6, 1887 August 27, 1965), was a Swiss-born architect, designer, urbanist, writer and also painter, who is famous for his contributions to what now is called Modern Architecture. In his 30s he became a French citizen. He was a pioneer in theoretical studies of modern high design and was dedicated to providing better living conditions for the residents of crowded cities. His career spanned five decades, with his buildings constructed throughout central Europe, India, Russia, and one each in North and South America. He was also an urban planner, painter, sculptor, writer, and modern furniture designer.
Le Corbusier taught at his old school in La-Chaux-de-Fonds during World War I, not returning to Paris until the war was over. During these four years in Switzerland, he worked on theoretical architectural studies using modern techniques. Among these was his project for the "Dom-ino" House (1914-1915). This model proposed an open floor plan consisting of concrete slabs supported by a minimal number of thin, reinforced concrete columns around the edges, with a stairway providing access to each level on one side of the floor plan. This design became the foundation for most of his architecture for the next ten years. Soon he would begin his own architectural practice with his cousin, Pierre Jeanneret (1896-1967), a partnership that would last until 1940. Le Corbusiers theoretical studies soon advanced into several different single-family house models. Among these was the Maison "Citrohan", a pun on the name of the French Citroen automaker, for the modern industrial methods and materials Le Corbusier advocated using for the house. Here, Le Corbusier proposed a three-floor structure, with a double-height living room, bedrooms on the second floor, and a kitchen on the third floor. The roof would be occupied by a sun terrace. On the exterior Le Corbusier installed a stairway to provide second-floor access from ground level. The house used a rectangular plan, with exterior walls that were not filled by windows, left as white, stuccoed spaces. Le Corbusier and Jeanneret left the interior aesthetically spare, with any movable furniture made of tubular metal frames. Light fixtures usually comprised single, bare bulbs. Interior walls also were left white. Between 1922 and 1927, Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret designed many of these private houses for clients around Paris. In Boulogne-sur-Seine and the 16th arrondissement of Paris, Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret designed and built the Villa Lipschitz, Maison Cook (see William Edwards Cook), Maison Planeix, and the Maison La Roche/Albert Jeanneret, which now houses the Fondation Le Corbusier.