How much do you know about these architects born in July?

Test Your Wits About These Famous Architects and Designers

Architect Phillip Johnson outside of his Crystal Cathedral in 1980 in Garden Grove, California.
The first Pritzker Laureate, outside of his Crystal Cathedral in 1980 in Garden Grove, California. Photo by Joan Adlen/Hulton Archive/Getty Images, © 1980 Joan Adlen

Are architects the subject of trivia? Or are designers and builders influenced by where and when they were born?

The month of July is awash with notable birthdays of internationally famous architects—all important to the world of architecture and design. Can you name this month's honorees? Put on your thinking caps, and make the connections. The answers are on the next page.

The Questions: Name the Architect


In 1979 this Ohio-born architect received the very first Pritzker Architecture Prize to honor 50 years of designing, curating, and teaching. He lived another 26 years in the Connecticut glass house he built for himself.

Q2. This architect, born July 9, was known around Washington, DC for designing homes for Wounded Warriors at Fort Belvoir and building the artistic scaffolding and lighting for the Washington Monument. The rest of the country knew him for designing merchandise for Target and J.C. Penney.

Q3. Everyone simply knows him as "Bucky," inventor of the Geodesic Dome.

Q4. Like Bucky, this architect with a July birthday had a great showing at Expo '67 in Canada, not with dome architecture, but with prefabricated, modular housing called Habitat '67.

Q5. When this architect met Bucky in 1949, her love of designing with geometry was solidified, which influenced both her architecture and the work of her partner, Louis I. Kahn.

Q6. This contemporary French architect looks Gothic, likes Rock 'n Roll, and impressed the critics with her design for the first restaurant in Garnier's Paris Opéra House. What is her name?

Q7. Born on July 23, this Japanese architect designed a sports complex for the 1992 summer Olympic games in Barcelona, Spain.

Q8. Also born on July 23, this British architect designed the yet-unbuilt 3 World Trade Center, but he got his start with Renzo Piano at Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Q9. Born on July 25 in 1952, this Portuguese architect won the Pritzker Prize in 2011.

Q10. Also born on July 25, this 2002 Pritzker winner has practiced architecture according to the Aboriginal proverb, to "touch the earth lightly." His Master Classes in Australia are world-famous.

Extra Credit Question:

  • On July 21, 1853 the New York State legislature authorized the government takeover of hundreds of acres of prime privately-owned real estate in order to give birth to this famous city park.

The Answers... >>>

Question and Answers:

Q1. Who was honored with the first Pritzker Prize?

Answer: When he became the first Pritzker Laureate, Philip Johnson, born July 8, 1906, was in the middle of building the well-known Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California.

Q2. What architect designed products for J.C. Penny's and Target?

Answer: The whimsical Michael Graves, born July 9, 1934, has designed for the Walt Disney Company, too.

Q3. What futurist architect, known as "Bucky," invented the geodesic dome?

That would be R. Buckminster Fuller, born July 12, 1895, whose ideas and writings continue to influence generations of dreamers and builders. In 2004, the USPS even put Bucky's image on a postage stamp.

Q4. What architect began his career in Montreal, Canada by designing modular housing units at Expo '67—the same world exposition that featured Bucky's Geodesic Dome, Biosphere?

Israeli-born Canadian architect Moshe Safdie, born July 14, 1938, went on to have a low-key, high profile career. His international designs range from the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Israel to the Marina Bay Sands Casino and Resort in Singapore.

Q5. This architect born in July met R. Buckminster Fuller in 1949. Her interest in geometry influenced the work of Louis I. Kahn and a young Kahn intern named Moshe Safdie. Who is this influential yet relatively unknown woman architect?

Anne Griswold Tyng, born to missionary parents in China, July 14, 1920.

Q6. She may look Gothic, but this French architect can rock and roll. Who has been impressing the critics with her red and black designs?

Born July 18, 1955 in Laval, France, Odile Decq has been running the business Odile Decq Benoît Cornette Architectes-Urbanistes (ODBC Architects) since her partner died. Now this "lady in black" has Studio Odile Decq all on her own.

Q7. Plenty of great Japanese architects are working around the world, but which one designed for the 1992 Barcelona, Spain Olympic summer games?

Arata Isozaki, born July 23, 1931 in Oita, Kyushu, Japan was also a Disney architect along with Michael Graves!

Q8. Well before they both won Pritzker prizes, this architect and Renzo Piano designed the Pompidou center in Paris, France during the 1970s. They never looked back.

British architect Richard Rogers was born July 23, 1933 in Florence, Italy—good reason to begin a career with the famous Italian architect Renzo Piano.

Q9. Before he won the 2011 Pritzker Architecture Prize, this Portuguese architect teamed up with Portuguese Álvaro Siza Vieira, the 1992 Pritzker Laureate, to create the 2005 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London.

Eduardo Souto de Moura was born July 25, 1952 in Porto, Portugal

Q10. Who is the most famous Australian-based architect, known to "touch the earth lightly"?

Pritzker winner in 2002, Glenn Marcus Murcutt was born in London, England, July 25, 1936

Extra Credit Question:

This New York State legislation passed on July 21, 1853 gave birth to which iconic city park?

One of the world's great city parks, Central Park in Manhattan got its start from the government's power of eminent domain. The Park opened in 1857. Twenty years later, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux expanded the park.