10 Most Famous Architects Who Ever Lived

Frank Gehry poses in front of his Santa Monica, Calif., home. See more home design pictures.
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Master architects typically don't get the respect and celebrity of other artists like painters. Yet their work arguably has a greater effect on us in the long term. Buildings shelter and protect us throughout our lives for home, work and play. And architecture is essentially the art we live in. Even if we've never been in any of the buildings designed by master architects, we've probably been in plenty that incorporate their influences.

Frank Lloyd Wright called architecture "the mother art," explaining: "Without an architecture of our own, we have no soul of our own civilization." Indeed, buildings are both a practical necessity and an artistic expression of a culture. Architects make civilization not only possible, but also beautiful.

We'll explore some of history's most famous architects. Some have been known for their iconic work or lasting influence, while others shook the world with their innovative styles. We'll start with a true Renaissance man who had incredible influence for someone who came to architecture late in life.