Our Top 10 Favorite Architects for Design Inspiration

Design inspiration comes from many sources including the natural landscape, art, travel, and leaders in the field. For Diane Kett, lead architect at Amity Kett, her design inspiration comes from influential architects whose styles span decades and range from the ornate to the beautifully simplistic. When asked to pick a favorite architect for her design inspiration, she simply could not choose just one. Here are her top 10 favorite architects who inspire her designs again and again. 

1. Kohn Pedersen Fox

Kohn Pedersen Fox or KPF is one of the world’s largest architecture and master planning firms headquartered in New York City. They have designed six of the world’s 11 tallest towers and are known for orchestrating breathtaking facades for developments ranging from residential to commercial. The firm was founded in 1976 and started setting the standard of architectural redevelopment when ABC selected them to convert a West Side armory into their new studio. 

We are inspired by their unique organization of facades, like in this residential development in Hong Kong that is modeled after a folding screen to allow for expansive windows with privacy from neighbors. 

2. Santiago Calatrava 

Santiago Calatrava is a Spanish architect, structural engineer, and artist known for his sculptural forms and designs that seem to defy gravity and support themselves. He is famous for his bridges, towers, and stadium buildings that challenge traditional conventions and appear to be light, airy, and open. 

He inspires us to play with light and forms within our designs to create spaces that are uplifting and bright. 

3. Renzo Piano

Renzo Piano is an Italian architect who is known for his modern designs like The Centre Pompidou in Paris, France. He delicately designs public spaces so that they are comfortable, graceful, and utilize natural light. 

He influences us to keep our architecture designs simple and cut out the fuss to make way for practical living and enjoyment. 

4. Eileen Gray

Eileen Gray is a prominent architect of the early 1900s who also worked in furniture and interior design. She is a major contributor to the turn of the century Bauhaus movement, and her furniture designs are still available on the market and seen in homes today. 

She broke into what was a man’s industry and worked her way to a place of historical note with her braveness and tenacity. She inspires to never let anyone put you down or define where your capabilities lie. 

5. Will Bruder

Will Bruder is an American architect based in Portland, Oregon. He is known for his designs that play with light in relation to the movements of the sun and moon to create beautiful patterns and forms throughout the days and seasons. He also uses modular forms and has been praised for unique exterior facades. 

His inspirational work pushes us to consider sunlight, seasons, and moon phases in our designs and how the shifting world around us can affect the inside of a space. 

6. Mary Colter

Mary Colter is another female architect who pushed boundaries and carved her space in a male-dominated industry. She is known for her designs that defined the Grand Canyon National Park, like the landmark buildings for the Fred Harvey Company and the Santa Fe Railroad. She helped to establish the Southwest style by combining elements of Spanish Colonial, Mission Revival, and Native American motifs. 

She inspires us to break boundaries and achieve the unachievable through impactful design. 

7. Fay Jones

Fay Jones is an American architect and former apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright who received the AIA Gold Medal, the highest honor awarded by the American Institute of Architects for his work. His Thorncrown Chapel was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000, only 20 years after it was built, because of its stunning architectural significance. He is known for his amazing churches and striking use of light. 

He inspires us to create uplifting and bright spaces. 

8. Julia Morgan  

Julia Morgan is an American architect who designed more than 700 buildings in California during her impressive career. She founded her own architecture firm in 1904, establishing herself as one of the top residential architects in the Berkley area. She is best known for her designs on the Hearst Castle. She created beautiful homes and stunning public buildings that took advantage of unique proportions and materials. 

She always put her clients first and designed spaces to meet their wishes and needs. She inspires us to always prioritize our clients and find unique design solutions for their lifestyles. 

9. Antoni Gaudi 

Antoni Gaudi is the famous Catalan architect known for leading the Modernisme movement and designing some of Barcelona’s most famous structures, like the Sagrada Família Basilica. More than 135 years after laying the cornerstone of the Sagrada Família, construction still continues and is not expected to be complete until 2026. His work is highly inspired by organic forms and takes inspiration from Neogothic art, the Orientalism movement, and the Roman Catholic faith. 

Gaudi’s designs take our breath away and inspire us with captivating details and design feats that edge on the impossible. He inspires us to create revolutionary designs that captivate. 

10. Hector Guimard 

Hector Guimard is a French architect and designer who led the Art Nouveau movement. He achieved notoriety when he designed Castel Beranger, the first Art Nouveau apartment building in Paris which won an 1899 competition for the best new building in the city. He designed over 50 buildings and 140 iconic Paris Metro entrances. However, only two of these famed Metro structures exist today. 

His designs captured the organic form and created a stunning historical atmosphere that is impossible to recreate. He inspires us to dream and build the unexpected. 

Influence in Amity Kett’s Architectural Designs

Architectural design inspiration comes from many places, and we reference a wealth of history and design when we approach every plan. Inspiration may come from simplistic modern designs that appear to defy gravity with cantilevers, ornate organic forms rooted in historical movements, or the powerful forces of women architects who dared to defy convention. Wherever inspiration may strike, we use it to create unique architectural plans that meet the needs of our clients and exceed their expectations. 

Now you know our favorite architects here at Amity Kett, make sure to check out our favorite interior decorator for more style inspiration. 

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