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Starchitect Fever: Top 10 Cutting-Edge Architects You Should Know About

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    Starchitect Fever: Top 10 Cutting-Edge Architects You Should Know About

    Skylines are constantly changing, thanks to the brilliant minds of this era's architects. Under development are grand buildings, from the World Trade Centers to the most expensive penthouse in Dubai. From neo-futuristic to postmodernist and cubist, here are 10 cutting-edge starchitects you should know. 

    1. Frank Gehry

    Born:  Toronto

    Practice: Gehry Partners

    Famous building: Guggenheim Museum

    In 2010, Vanity Fair named Frank "the most important architect of our age." The 86-year-old is known for his post-modern design, which you've probably passed sometime in your life, since his work spans from Massachussetts to Paris and Spain. In our recent report on the most unique museum buildings, guess whose name showed up the most times. That's right. Frank Gehry.

    2. Bjarke Ingels

    Born:  Copenhagen, Denmark

    Practice: Bjarke Ingels Group

    Famous building: 2 World Trade Center

    Bjarke prides himself on combining the practical with the beautiful, such as putting a garden on an 80th-floor balcony on 2 World Trade Center. Practical, but also bad for those with vertigo. His designs are "mad," according to The Guardian, with structures that seem illogical but effortlessly defy physics.

    3. Daniel Libeskind

    Born:  Łódź, Poland

    Practice: Studio Daniel Libeskind

    Famous building: One World Trade Center

    Daniel won the competition to be the master architect of One World Trade in 2013, cementing his place as one of the top architects around. Other than his geometric flair, he's also known around town for wearing almost exclusively black. Timeless, right? 

    4. Norman Foster

    Born:  Stockport, England

    Practice: Foster + Partners

    Famous building: Hearst Tower

    Norman's style is distinctly high-tech, earning him the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1999. But other than architect, Norman can put being a Lord down on on his résumé. He was knighted in 1990 and appointed to the Order of Merit in 1997.

    5. Gregg Pasquareli

    Born:  New York

    Practice: SHoP

    Famous building: Barclays Center

    As a native New Yorker, Gregg is an avid Knicks fan and has also helped design Brooklyn's sports arena, Barclays Center. His inspiration was to use materials from Brooklyn's post-industrial movement. (Stone was too Yankee-ish.) His firm was the third firm chosen for the tough project. 

    6. Zaha Hadid

    Born:  Baghdad, Iraq

    Practice: Zaha Hadid Architects

    Famous building: National Museum of the XXI Century Arts

    Zaha is the first woman ever to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004. Her National Museum of the XXI Century Arts, with its neofuturistic curves, took over 10 years to build. It's been called Naha's finest work to date by The Guardian.

    7. I.M. Pei

    Born:  Suzhou, China

    Practice: Pei Cobb Freed & Partners

    Famous building: Bank of China Tower

    At the age of 96, I.M. Pei has been around the architectural block, making him the oldest living Pritzker Prize winner. His first notable project was the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado, which blends in with its earthy surroundings.

    8. Renzo Piano

    Born:  Genoa, Italy

    Practice: N/A

    Famous building: The New York Times Building

    Renzo is both an architect and an engineer. In 2006, he was chosen as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME. Renzo designed the recent Whitney Museum in New York, which he described creating "social life, urbanity, invention, construction, technology, poetry, light—an immense rich bouillabaisse."

    9. Michel Abboud

    Born:  Beirut, Lebanon

    Practice: SOMA Architects

    Famous building: One at the Palm Jumeirah

    Michel works mainly in New York and the Middle East. His crown jewel project is the One at the Palm in Dubai, the most expensive development in the Middle East, built for wealthy money parkers. Every condo has its own swimming pool (the first of its kind in the world). Slated to be finished in 2017, one 42k SF penthouse will hit the market for about $54M. 

    10. Jean Nouvel

    Born: Fumel, France

    Practice: Ateliers Jean Nouvel

    Famous building: Doha Tower

    Jean was called a "curator of French architectur's cultural ambitions," by NYMag earlier this year. Like a true Frenchman, he's an avid fan of wine during lunch. Jean will be working on 53W53, a 1,050-foot-tall tower in Manhattan. When it comes to architecture, he likes to "push it to its limits."