Thursday Salute to Originals: Female Force in Architecture

For our Thursday Salute to Originals, we usually like to highlight an unusual or innovative art piece, installation, or design; something more physical, tangible.  But this Thursday, we’d like to switch gears to something a bit different – more an ode to the brains behind the design, if you will.

The sudden death of famed architect, Zaha Hadid, has prompted many to consider the significance of not only her work as an individual, but what her accomplishments have meant for females in the design industry. Recently the New York Times released an article chronicling the struggles that female architects face in this male-dominated field, and this got us thinking. In any profession there are not-so-glamorous parts; but in architecture, females in particular seem to often get the short end of the stick – or at the very least, are not given the recognition they should. (After all, it’s pretty easy to rattle off a long list of famous male architects. But it becomes more challenging when trying to do the same with female architects).

In an effort to call attention to the substantial impact women have had on the built environment, we’ve compiled a visual “salute” as a reminder of those influential female contributions. Take a few moments to feast your eyes on several iconic buildings all backed by the brains of female architects.


Heydar Aliyev Center | Zaha Hadid


Musée d’Orsay | Gae Aulenti


Glass Pavilion @ Toledo Museum of Art | Kazuyo Sejima (SANAA)


Pierresvives | Zaha Hadid


Oasis Academy Hadley | Hannah Lawson


Aqua Tower | Jeanne Gang


Hearst Castle | Julia Morgan


Rolex Learning Center | Kazuyo Sejima (SANAA)


Rolex Learning Center | Kazuyo Sejima (SANAA)


Siobhan Davies Dance Studio | Sarah Wigglesworth


Wrap House | Alison Brooks (ABA)


Zlin Congress Centre | Eva Jiricna


Guangzhou Opera House | Zaha Hadid

Today we give our biggest salute to women in the architecture realm – from the established professionals highlighted above, to the ones working their way up the ranks, to the ones still in school, to the young girls growing up with Lego sets. For overcoming hurdles and carving their way into a male dominated field, all while creating beautiful, challenging, and innovative designs along the way, your contributions in this arena – both visually and socially – are certainly original!


Image Credits: Dezeen; Wikipedia (Aqua Tower); Wikipedia (Hearst Castle; Wikipedia (Rolex Learning Center); Wikipedia (Musee d’Orsay); Arch2O; Afasiaarchzine; E-Architect (Oasis Academy Hadley); E-Architect (Zlin Congress Centre); The Architectural League NY; Alison Brooks Architects