Famous Architects: 3 of the most famous women architects

Famous Women Architects of Modern History: Sophia Hayden Bennett, Marion Mahony Griffin, Eileen Gray


Most of the books on architectural history leave the impression that men, above all, shape the architecture of the 20th century. Actually, that's a pretty discriminating approach to the subject. In addition to Le Corbusier, Mies, Wright and Kahn, one should better get to know the names of some ladies who are also of great importance to modern and contemporary architecture.

We would like to draw your attention to some of them and advise you to stick to it: they have all designed some of their remarkable buildings.

Sophia Hayden Bennett

Sophia Hayden Bennett was born in 1869 in Santiago, Chile. Her father was a local and the mother - American. She was one of the few women of her time to receive an academic degree in architecture. This happened in the School of Architecture.

Sophia Hayden Bennett graduated in 1890 and in 1891 she was invited to the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. She should participate in the competition for the design of Woman'sBuilding. Her design was also her graduation project and it represented a three-storey building in the style of the Italian Renaissance. It won the first prize of all 13 proposals.

Sophia Hayden Bennett

famous architects women sophia hayden bennett

Sophia Hayden Bennett was 21 at the time and got $ 1,000 for her project. A man would get ten times more for the same performance at that time. During construction, she was put under a lot of pressure and had to make many changes. She fell ill as a result and had to go to a sanatorium to recover.

After that, she never worked as an architect again and in society this was taken as evidence that a woman was not supposed to work as an architect.

Marion Mahony Griffin

Also Marion Mahony Griffin is one of the bravest ladies among the famous architects of recent times. She was an employee of Frank Lloyd Wright. Griffin was born in 1871 and also studied in Mit School of Architecture.

In 1894 she started working for her cousin and she met many famous architects there. One of these was Frank Lloyd Wright and she was the first person he hired. Griffin created the distinctive water-color plasters found in his Prairie style homes.

Marion Mahony Griffin

famous architects women marion mahony griffin

Their collaboration ended in 1909, when Frank Lloyd Wright left for Europe. He wanted to give her the orders of the studio, but she said off. She was hired by his successor. Actually, she got the last name Griffin, with whom she is known today, only in 1911, when she married Walter Burley Griffin, who also worked at Wright.

Eileen Gray

Eileen Gray was born into a rich aristocratic family in Enniscorthy, Ireland in 1878. She studied art history in London and then moved to Paris. In 1902 she continued her studies there. Her professional knowledge in lacquer work has enabled her to open a joint studio with the Japanese craftsman SeizoSugawara. Not only has she perfected her skills, she has also been hired by wealthy clients to design interior designs.

Eileen Gray

Berenice Abbott Photograph of Eileen Gray, 1927, NMIEG: 2003.569, Eileen Gray Collection II

Based on her experience, she built the house E-1027 for herself and her lover Jean Badovici.

The house E-1027


The house is located in the south of France and its design has led to very daring experiments with furniture. They have been heavily influenced by architecture and have remained some of the most distinctive pieces of interior design to date.

famous-architect-women-eileen gray-armchair

eileen gray-style bibendum-replica-chair-famous-architect-women


After separating from her lover, Eileen Gray did not want to visit house E-1027 as often. But Le Corbusier was obsessed with it. He moved into a house nearby and even invaded once to smear the house with his own paintings.

Women have played a crucial role in the development of interior design and architecture. These three ladies are an example of why it pays to explore their contribution.