In some families, passion and creativity seems to be passed from generation to generation. For these five legendary architectural dynasties, the talent to construct some of the world’s most iconic structures just happens to run in the family. From the international landmarks of I. M. Pei and his two sons, Chieng Chun and Li Chung, to the monumental works by design duo Eliel and Eero Saarinen, it’s clear that these renowned architects have left their mark around the world. With Father’s Day just around the corner, we take a look at some of architecture’s founding fathers, and the sons that continue to follow in their footsteps.

One of Eero Saarinen's most influential structures, the St. Louis Gateway Arch.

Eliel and Eero Saarinen Sharing the same birthday (August 20) as well as an eye for design, father and son were both awarded Gold Medals from the American Institute of Architects for their contributions to U.S. architecture. Before emigrating to America from Finland, Eliel constructed the Helsinki Central Railway Station. He later designed and became president of the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where son Eero was a student. Eero’s own design feats include the St. Louis Gateway Arch , the JFK International Airport, and iconic furnishings for Knoll.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Soloman R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Frank and John Lloyd Wright The designer of numerous buildings across the U.S., Frank Lloyd Wright is often referred to as one of the greatest architects of the 20th century for his distinctive emphasis on simplicity and beauty. His son John Lloyd Wright is also a famed architect, but he may be best known for inventing the popular toy Lincoln Logs, which would later be honored in the National Toy Hall of Fame.

The Louvre Pyramid designed by I.M. Pei.

I. M., Chieng Chun, and Li Chung Pei Often credited as one of the world’s greatest modern architects, I. M. Pei has dotted the world with his sleek designs, including the Louvre Pyramid in Paris and the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong. His sons Chieng Chun and Li Chung continue to grow the family legacy, contributing more than 20 years to their father’s architecture firm before founding their own, the New York–based Pei Partnership Architects, in 1992.

The National September 11 Memorial Museum designed by Steven Davis.

Lewis and Steven Davis Best known for Brutalist apartment towers and Beaux Arts landmarks in New York, architect Lewis Davis cofounded the prolific firm Davis Brody Bond, where his legacy lives on. His son Steven is currently a partner at the company, whose portfolio includes the National September 11 Memorial Museum.

The towering Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur designed by César Pelli.

César and Rafael Pelli Argentine-born architect César Pelli is known for some of the world’s most stunning skyscrapers, including Kuala Lumpur’s soaring Petronas Towers. His son Rafael has also made a name for himself in the field, including the reconstruction of the World Financial Center, and is a partner at his father’s New York–based firm, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects.


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