Like Father, Like Son: Can you name these father-son architect tandems?

In celebration of Fathers' Day, we are bringing out something light from our archives, where we quiz you on these nine father-son architect tandems

  • June 17, 2020

  • Written by Miguel R. Llona

  • Introduction by Denny Mata

  • Images from Wikipedia.com, nickkahler.tumblr.com, and pixabay.com

In celebration of Fathers’ Day, we’re bringing out something light from our archives. Following the footsteps of highly acclaimed father architects might have been hard to live up to, but the architecture landmarks by these father-son architect tandems show that collaboration between fathers and sons is possible, even amidst conflicting design ideas. Can you name all nine father-son architect tandems?

BluPrint Name the Architect Father and Son Architect Tandems
Louvre Pyramid in Paris

1 Often called one of the masters of Modern architecture, this Chinese-American architect had two sons who joined his firm and helped him work on buildings such as the Fragrant Hill Hotel in China, the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library in Boston, and the controversial Louvre Pyramid in Paris (pictured). His sons would go on to partner up with their own firm in 1992, with the Macao Science Center, Shanghai Commercial Bank, and Bank of China among their notable projects. Their father served as an architectural consultant and collaborated with them, particularly for the Suzhou Museum in China.

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BluPrint Name the Architect Father and Son Architect Tandems
T-House

2 The architecture of this German father and son exuded a sense of imposing power and strength, due to their rigid and cubic forms. The father’s work exemplified this most, with his designs of the Messe Torhaus in Frankfurt and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Hamburg. For the son, it was his T-House (pictured) that propelled him to fame, together with his metal sculpture series called Heavy Metal that mimicked the forms of his architecture. Tragically, the son passed away in 2006 at the age of 48, just one year before his father also met his demise.

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BluPrint Name the Architect Father and Son Architect Tandems
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

3 The Los Angeles skyline has this next father-and-son duo to thank for some of its most iconic buildings. Before his move to Los Angeles, the father toiled away in Seattle in the 1890s before an economic depression forced him to look for work elsewhere. His son joined him in 1920, and together they built some of the landmark buildings of Los Angeles, which includes the University of South California, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (pictured), and Union Station. Traces of Art Deco, Streamline Moderne, and Mission Revival can be found in the duo’s architecture.

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BluPrint Name the Architect Father and Son Architect Tandems
Gateway Arch in St. Louis
BluPrint Name the Architect Father and Son Architect Tandems
Ibere Camargo Museum

4 One of the most famous father-son architect tandems, this Finnish pair was responsible for masterpieces such as the Gateway Arch in St. Louis (pictured), the First Christian Church in Columbus, Ohio, and the Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo. The father moved to the United States in 1923, and specialized in the Art Deco style while his son was known for his futuristic shapes and curves.

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5 This Portuguese father architect’s stature is hard to live up to: before even finishing his Architecture degree in 1955, he had already completed four houses, and opened his own firm in the same year. A Modernist architect, he was known for his mass housing projects particularly for the city of Evora, several institutional buildings such as the School of Architecture for Porto University and the College of Education in Setubal and the Ibere Camargo Museum (pictured), all done in a clean, geometric style. In 1992, he received the Pritzker Prize for his work. Meanwhile, his son has followed in his footsteps and has flashed his talent in residential projects such as Casa Tolo, a house that embraces a sloping terrain done within a modest $150,000 budget.

BluPrint Name the Architect Father's Day 2020
United States Capitol

6 The father in this duo holds the distinction of being considered the “Father of American Architecture.” An immigrant from England, he brought British Neoclassicism to the United States, influenced by the architecture he was exposed to while traveling in Germany, Paris, and Rome. He moved to Virginia and later on to Philadelphia and Washington D.C., where his architecture career began to flourish with projects like the Bank of Pennsylvania, the United States Capitol (pictured) and several government buildings. His son, a civil engineer, eventually collaborated with him in establishing a water supply for New Orleans, but made a name for himself by designing railway bridges across the United States, most notably the Thomas Viaduct.

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BluPrint Name the Architect Father and Son Architect Tandems
London’s Palace of Westminster

7 This English architect had no problem with succession: two of his five sons became architects and went on to design several institutional buildings across England in the 1800s, including the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, the Great Eastern Hotel in London and Dulwich College. As for the father, he was responsible for rebuilding the London’s Palace of Westminster (pictured), and became well-known for employing the Italian Renaissance garden style for the gardens of country houses he designed. Two more sons followed him into the construction industry: one became a surveyor, and the youngest became an engineer who worked on the Blackfriars Railway Bridge.

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BluPrint Name the Architect Father's Day 2020
Fallingwater

8 The second son of this famous American architect made like a prodigal son: he left home in 1909 after being estranged from his father to (unsuccessfully) try his hand at a number of jobs, but returned three years later to join his father’s practice. This reunion would be short-lived as the pair had a disagreement over the design of the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, causing them to go their separate ways once again. The son would take a detour into toy design before embarking into architecture again, designing several buildings and houses. However, he wasn’t able to reach the stature of his father—after all, his father was only recognized by the American Institute of Architects as “the greatest American architect of all time.”

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BluPrint Name the Architect Father's Day 2020
Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

9 When it comes to achievements, the ninth of our father-son architect tandems can be said to be on equal footing with each other. The elder’s claim to fame is designing some of the world’s tallest buildings, the most notable of which is the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (pictured). Some of his other projects include the Pacific Design Centre in Los Angeles and the World Financial Center in New York City. Not to be outdone, his son’s portfolio includes the 55-story Bloomberg Tower in New York, and more importantly the Verdesian, the first high-rise residential building to be feted with LEED Platinum certification in the United States.

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This first appeared in BluPrint Special Issue 3 2014. Edits were made for BluPrint online.
Answers: 1) I.M., Chien Chung, and Li Chung Pei; 2) O.M. and Simon Ungers; 3) John and Donald Parkinson; 4) Eliel and Eero Saarinen; 5) Alvaro Joaquim and Alvaro Leite Siza Vieira; 6) Benjamin and Benjamin II Latrobe; 7) Charles, Charles Jr, and Edward Barry; 8) Frank and John Lloyd Wright; 9) Cesar and Rafael Pelli
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