The Women Shaping Our Skylines

AmuseMarch 08, 2016

To celebrate international women’s day here are 11 women shaping where we live.


Architecture has long been a man’s world. It’s hard to believe that the Pritzker Prize, the most sought-after award in architecture, hadn’t been won by a woman until 2004, a whole century after the first female architect was recorded. (She was called Louise Bethune and she designed The Lafayette, an impressive 19th century hotel in Buffalo, New York.)


But rather than remind you what more there is still to do for women globally, here is a celebration of just some of the women who’ve triumphed in a man’s world – and in doing so have shaped the way we live through buildings and space.


Annabelle Selldorf – 42 Crosby Street by Selldorf Architects

Annabelle Selldorf is the New York-based architect behind a number of iconic properties on the Manhattan skyline. Born in Germany, Annabelle studied in New York where her restrained and elegant designs became a firm favourite with artists and galleries. Hauser & Wirth, David Zwirner, Jeff Koons and David Salle have all called on her. Selldorf Architects’s latest designs include the Abercrombie & Fitch flagship stores in New York, London, Milan, Paris, Copenhagen and Tokyo, as well as a new residential building in Manhattan.


Zaha Hadid – 520 West 28th Street by Zaha Hadid Architects

The British-Iraqi architect, Zaha Hadid was the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize. Zaha is the Grande Dame of architecture and the only female architect to gain worldwide acclaim in her own right. Her designs—often described as ‘neofuturistic’ mimic the ebbs and flows of nature with bold curves and elegant lines. Most notably in Zaha’s design for the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Azerbaijan, which won her numerous awards. Her latest project is the first residential design byZaha Hadid Architects, a space-age block of flats overlooking the Whitney Museum in Manhattan.