With the recent passing of architectural legend I.M. Pei, we’ve decided to take a look back at Paris and its construction history. So many great minds have brought their piece to the building, and now, the city of lights remains as a testimony to their crafts.


French historian Félicien Carly wrote: “Parisian history can either be read on pages, or on building façades.” A saying that is true for every city, but that resonates more in the French capital. The megalopolis is, to most, a universal symbol of elegance and playfulness. Its buildings have always embodied this — as early as the gothic era and recently as the decorative art, or modern movements.

In this huge cultural fusion, the ones that enter posterity have created some of the most iconic structures. 


All share a sense of uniqueness: the Haussmanian mouldings and straight channels have set the basis for what modern Paris feels like. Names like Le Corbusier, Niemeyer or for that matter, Pei, have elevated this in a global way, while the Italian trio behind the Pompidou Center was there to disrupt traditional views on design.


The list below features 4 Parisian architecture names that have influenced the state of today’s architecture in the city.