Great Women Empowering the Field of Architecture

Yasmeen Lari
Zaha Hadid
Jane Drew
Denise Scott Brown
Kazuyo Sejima

The beginning of the 21st century marked the dawn of a new era for women around the world, It is when they started actively participating in different walks of life. Many professional organizations these days are overcoming traditional barriers, allowing women to work side-by-side with men. All these developments are helping our society overcome the ills of gender discrimination to some extent.

For decades, women have also been playing a very prominent role in the fields of architecture and design. Like their male counterparts, their extraordinary creations have made a significant impact on the global architectural industry.

In this blog, we are going to list down and discuss some of the world’s most talented female architects you should know about, including Yaseen Laari—who belongs to our very own country and has made us proud of her remarkable achievements.

So, without further ado, let’s get started!

THE WORLD’S MOST INCREDIBLE FEMALE ARCHITECTS

the most talented female architects in the world
Here’s all you need to know about the world’s most Incredible female architects

The brains behind some of the most remarkable urban developments and landmarks, here is a list of the most talented female architects in the world.

YASMEEN LARI

Yasmeen Lari is the very first Pakistani female architect who has become internationally famous. An entire section of Dezeen—a world-famous website for architecture and design—is dedicated to Yasmeen Lari. It’s a matter of great honour for our country. Apart from architecture, Lari has also made significant contributions as a proactive social activist.

Hailing from the hometown of D.I. Khan in Punjab, Yasmeen Lari completed her professional education at the School of Architecture, Oxford Brookes University. She is now an internationally acclaimed female architect who has also received Sitara Imtiaz, which is one of Pakistan’s highest civilian awards, for her contributions to the field of architecture.

Even after her retirement as a professional architect in 2000, she worked as a humanitarian relief worker and got involved in various historical conservation projects. She runs an UN-recognized NGO by the name of Heritage Foundation Pakistan for which she has also been honoured with the UN Recognition award.

Completed Projects: Naval Officers Housing, Angoori Bagh Housing (also known as ABH), Taj Mahal Hotel, Karachi (now known as Regent Plaza), Finance and Trade Center (shortened as FTC Building), Pakistan State Oil House. All of the projects that she has successfully completed in her professional career are located in Karachi.

Country of Origin: Pakistan

ZAHA HADID

Zaha Hadid was an Iraqi-British architect. She passed away in 2016, but her name will live forever due to her head-turning concepts and creations. She was the very first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize back in 2004. By experimenting with designing concepts to come up with unique spatial pieces of architecture, she breathed new life into architectural geometry and gave it a whole new expressive identity.

Owing to her impressive contributions to the global architecture industry, she was described as the “Queen of the Curve” by the Guardian—a UK renowned publication. Zaha Hadid died in 2016 but her legacy will live on forever as her architectural achievements have transformed the skylines of cities around the world.

Completed Projects: National Center for Contemporary Arts (Rome, Italy), Evelyn Grace Academy (London, England), and the Heydar Aliyev Center, (Baku, Azerbaijan). Her award-winning projects are found all around the world.

Country of Origin: Iraq

JANE DREW

Jane Drew is another name we’d like to include in our list of the world’s most incredible female architects. She was a British modernist architect of the 20th century. The extraordinary structures she designed are found in England, Africa, India, Sri Lanka, and the Middle East. Chandigarh was the biggest project she has worked on in her entire professional career.

The masterplan of the capital city of Punjab, India was designed by Janes Drew who worked on the project with Le Corbusier as well as her husband Maxwell Fry and his partner Pierre Jeanneret. The entire city was developed from scratch. After serving the construction industry for decades, this great English architect died in 1996.

Completed Projects: Institute of Contemporary Art in London (interior designing), the modern map of Chandigarh (Punjab, India), University of Ibadan (Nigeria). Her portfolio includes several other structures around the world, which were for public and corporate use.

Country of Origin: England

DENISE SCOTT BROWN

Along with a renowned architect, Denise Scott Brown was also a theorist and educator. Her concepts and ideas changed the way other professionals in the city look at different types of urban settings including buildings, and complexes.

Throughout her career, she has favoured vintage and rustic elements of design over modernist structures made with glass and steel. She belongs to the United States where most of her work can still be seen.

Completed Projects: Campuses of some of the major university buildings in the United States. She has also worked on historical preservation projects in Galveston, Philadelphia, Texas, and Miami Beach (Florida).

Country of Origin: United States

KAZUYO SEJIMA

Kazuyo Sejima is a japanese modernist female architect
The era of 21st century is the era of modernist architects like Kazuyo Sejima

One of the most renowned Japanese modernist architects, Kayuzo Sejima loves working with clean geometrical elements including squares and cubes with shiny surfaces. Partnering with Ryue Nishizawa, she has undertaken projects in different countries of the world including Switzerland, Germany, France, the Netherlands (Holland), England, Spain, and the United States. Sejima and her partner have been honoured with the Pritzker Prize in 2010 due to their incredible contributions to the field of architecture.

Completed Projects: Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, (Ohio, USA); 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, (Kanazawa, Japan), New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York City) are a few of her famous projects.

Country of Origin: Japan

These were some of the most successful women architects in the world whose extraordinary contributions continue to empower the field of architecture. They’ve also set examples for many aspiring female architects eyeing exemplary professional roles in the industry.

The contributions of women have significantly increased in today’s multifaceted professional world. Do you think these shifting dynamics could help reduce problems like social injustice and gender discrimination? Please feel free to share your thoughts with us at blog@zameen.com.

Also, don’t forget to read our post on the most famous Pakistani women who have made the nation proud with phenomenal achievements.