Celebrating Women in Architecture

Ethel Charles became the first woman architect to join RIBA in 1898. Here at BRW we are continuously inspired by women’s influence on design and the architectural profession. In honor of International Women in Architecture Day we asked our team who in particular has been influential to you and what buildings have had an impact on you…

Fernanda Marques for her tasteful and modern interior design work.”
– Oscar H

Deborah Berke is one of my favorite architects, period. Her work is clear and lucid and sophisticated. Her projects always look fresh never just trendy or fashionable. I especially find her residential work to be really special. I’d love to hire her to do a home for me.”
– Michael N

“I love how Maya Lin treats her sites as a canvas. Taking it up a notch she molds the surrounding to have people journey through the space.  She had a way to truly mesh art and architecture.  A couple of her projects that I admire are of course the Vietnam Memorial in DC and the Box House! I had the honor of meeting her while I was in school a few years ago!”
– Sonya S

“Julia Morgan, whose arts and crafts work is all over California”
– Fred C

“My favorite building by a woman architect is the Vitra Fire Station by Zaha Hadid.”
– Michael N

Vitra Fire Station - Wojtek Gurak
Copyright: Wojtek Gurak

“One of my favorite female architects that I admire is Lina Bo Bardi. Her work was bold for a purpose and did not let gender define her potential in the profession.”
– Carmen T

“Lina Bo Bardi; her work is inspiring because she designed freely, spontaneously, but with great insight, and with playfulness always in mind.

I especially appreciate Lina Bo Bardi’s Sesc Pompéia in Sao Paulo.  The fact that so much of the public appreciates and values every space she created is something to strive for.  She did not design out of ego, but out of a purpose to make an environment better for her community.”
– Alexis F

Sesc Pompeia - Renata SantonieroCopyright: Renata Santoniero

“Cynthia Weese, FAIA inspired me at a crucial time. She was Dean at my architecture school when I was an undergraduate, and she was one of the few female architects I had yet met. Her door was always open even though she must have been incredibly busy. This giving nature extended to the architectural philosophy that permeated the school, in that architecture must be OF the community, not merely IN it.”
– Carol K

Across the office many people admired Studio Gang Architects, led by MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang, for the design of Aqua Tower in Chicago.

“Personally the most calming setting I have experienced is to relax on a beach listening to the soft waves crash against the sand. Unfortunately, being a city dweller, I do not have a beach nearby Dallas TX to enjoy this simple pleasure.  Yet the Aqua tower is reminiscent of this experience through the visual breakup of a mundane rectangular building through the undulating façade.  For just a brief moment we get to relax from another concrete jungle thanks to the creation of architect MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang.”
–Darryl R

“She [Jeanne Gang] reminds me that our job is to develop a sense of community through the built environment that we design.
She also utilizes different design methods to achieve her goals.
Rather use a tool box than one tool.”
– Andy O

“This was one of the first high rise buildings that I saw, which left a lasting impression.  I typically quickly forget most multi story buildings as they seem to be unremarkable.  However, the Aqua Tower was able to address the floor slabs uniquely by protruding them past the walls and giving each floor a different organic shape and ultimately turning a standard geometric shaped high rise into an organic, artistic sculpture.”
– Katherine P

“Jeanne Gang. Her work is daring and bold without being contrived or gaudy.
The fluid design of the tower was created with such a novel concept; by varying the footprint of each of the projecting balconies. Its such a simple move that creates a dramatic impression. I appreciate the dual nature of this seemingly simple yet highly complex design.”
– Jason C

Aqua Tower - S.ZelovCopyright: S.Zelov


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