Top 5—Italian contemporary architects

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Italy - home of iconic gastronomic delights, fashion, sweeping coastal towns, the Catholic religion, and some of the world's best architects; it is here that today we are going to travel to take a look at some of the most unique, impressive and original designers. We have collated our top 6 favourites, in no particular order, pairing them with a similar visual representation. Of course, with the range of dynamic and skilful architects in Italy it was no easy feat to choose a mere 6! We have featured two Pritzker Prize winners who hail from Italy, along with a range of inter-disciplinary individuals that include product designers, engineers, and theorists. 

When it comes to style, Italy reigns supreme. A fashion, design, and flair-filled powerhouse, this ancient country is brimming with gorgeous surprises, intriguing artefacts, and a range of original yet timeless designs. If you love Italy, architecture, or simply want to take a look at some interesting houses, buildings, and interiors, then check out the gorgeous photos below!

Aldo Rossi

Date of Birth: 3 May 1931 – 4 September 1997

Known for: his architectural theory, drawing, architecture and product design

As the first Italian to receive the coveted Pritzker Prize, Aldo Rossi is truly an accomplised and intriguing architect. Having studied at the Polytechnic University of Milan, Rossi is known for having worked on and designed the Monte Amiata complex, the Teatro Carlo Felice, Teatro La Fenice, and the Bonnefanten Museum. Rossi's architectural style was particular and defined, often highly recognisable and based in fervent and well researched theoretical beliefs. Described by Pritzker juror Ada Louise Huxtable as 'a poet who happens to be an architect', Rossi is an unforgettable designer. Many of Rossi's designs feature small symmetrical windows, similar to the building in the example above, and are always uniquely individual.

Renzo Piano

Date of Birth: 14 September 1937

Known for:  elegant use of glazing within his designs, Pritzker Prize winner, well-engineered buildings

Known for his sweeping lengths of glazing that are used to create impressive buildings, Renzo Piano is one of the truly incredible architects of our time. Best known for designing The New York Times building, the Shard in London, the Centre Georges Pompidou, and the Parco della Musica, Piano is an iconic designer, as well as a modern visionary. 

As well as designing impressive structures in some of the world's largest cities, Piano is also known for his museum commissions that include the Morgan Library in New York, and the NEMO museum in Amsterdam. Coming from a family of builders, Renzo Piano took his ancestors knowledge of engineering and applied it to create some of the most visually recognisable and delightful skyscrapers we see today. 

Massimiliano and Doriana (Mandrelli) Fuksas

minimalistic Houses by Eldridge London
Eldridge London

Glazed facades and balconies to cemetery elevations

Eldridge London

Date of Birth: 9 January 1944/unknown

Known for:  using new materials and looking at new ways of manufacturing products

Italy's power couple, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas truly embody Italian style and design. Massimiliano was born in Rome in 1944, and after studying there, opening his first firm in 1967. It was in 1985 that be worked in partnership with wife, Doriana Mandrelli, opening a number of international offices around the globe. After winning an Honorary Fellowship of the American Institute of Architects, another Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Grand Prix d'Architecture Française and the International Architecture Award 2007, Fuksas cemented himself as a truly unique and impressive creative mind. 

His main works include the Armani Fifth Avenue, in New York, the Vienna Twin Tower in Vienna, Austria, and the Departure Hall of Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport, China. However, there are many more unbelivevale buildings that have already been built, or are under construction. Known for utilising angular glass, his designs are not unlike the gorgeous example in the image above. 

Gae Aulenti

Date of Birth: December 4, 1927 – October 31, 2012

Known for: industrial design, exhibition design, furniture, architecture, interior design, lighting, graphics and stage design

Boasting an incredible array of talents, Gae Aulenti is truly a force to be reckoned with. A prolific female architect in a male dominated industry, she rose to fame by working on well known museum projects including the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, the Contemporary Art Gallery at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Palazzo Grassi in Venice, and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.

Involved heavily in the Milan design scene of the 1950s and '60s, Aulenti was known for her usage of varying mediums, and strong analytical abilities. Contributing regularly to the design magazine Casabella-Continuità, she was able to branch into the written word, while reaching a large audience. In the example above we see an illustration of a rocking chair not unlike some of Aulenti's designs.

Michele De Lucchi

modern Living room by The OK Corral
The OK Corral

Mid-century nest of side tables

The OK Corral

Date of Birth: 8 November 1951

Known for: Intriguing design objects that involve abstract shapes such as the “Kristall” plastic laminate table

Recognised as an architect that has devoted himself to industry, Michele De Lucchi is truly an iconic Italian architect and designer. Working for the most part as an architect, Lucchi is well known for his inventive and unique mid-century furniture designs, reminiscent of the image above. With a style that is heterogeneous, with a changeable formal approach to design, he is an experimental designer who approaches his work with care and thoughtfulness.

Did this Ideabook inspire you to create and renew your abode? If you would like a little more domestic inspiration, check out: Low cost ways to transform your living room

Do you have a favourite architect (Italian or otherwise)? Leave us a comment below, we'd love to hear from you!
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