10 Architecture Studios Led by Women [VI]

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Ellen van Loon

Ellen van Loonjoined OMA in 1998 and became Partner in 2002. She has led award-winning building projects that combine sophisticated design with precise execution. Recently completed projects led by Ellen include the shop-in-shops for Jacquemus at Galeries Lafayette and Selfridges (2022), the temporary showroom in Doha and store on Avenue de Montaigne in Paris for Tiffany & Co. (2022-23), Monumental Wonders exhibition for SolidNature in Milan (2022). Bvlgari Fine Jewelry Show (2021), Brighton College (2020), BLOX / DAC in Copenhagen (2018), Rijnstraat 8 in The Hague (2017), and Lab City CentraleSupélec (2017). Other projects in her portfolio include Fondation Galeries Lafayette (2018) in Paris; Qatar National Library (2017); Amsterdam’s G-Star Raw Headquarters (2014); De Rotterdam, the largest building in the Netherlands (2013); CCTV Headquarters in Beijing (2012); New Court Rothschild Bank in London (2011); Maggie’s Centre in Glasgow (2011); Casa da Musica in Porto (2005) – winner of the 2007 RIBA Award; and the Dutch Embassy in Berlin (2003) – winner of the European Union Mies van der Rohe Award in 2005. Ellen is currently working on The Factory Manchester – a large performing arts venue for the city; the renovation of Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) Berlin – Europe’s biggest department store – and the design of Lamarr, a new department store in Vienna; and the Palais de Justice de Lille.


Sheila O'Donnell (Dublin, Ireland, 1953), gets the B.Arch at University College Dublin in 1976, working for Spencer & Webster from 1978-1980, and Colquhoun and Miller between 1979 and 1980. In 1980, she obtained the Master of Arts from the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London, the same year she starts working for Stirling Wildford & Associates (London). O'Donnell has served as visiting professor at various universities like Princeton, Buffalo and Washington. He has been jury of awards such as the Royal Institute of British Architects (2005-2009), and member of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (Ireland) and the American Institute of Architects.

Sheila O'Donnell and John Tuomey established O'Donnell + Tuomey in 1988. The practice has developed an international reputation for cultural, social and educational buildings including the Irish Film Centre, Ranelagh School, Furniture College, Letterfrack, Glucksman Gallery, Cork, Timberyard Social Housing and the Lyric Theatre in Belfast. They are currently engaged in the design of university buildings, schools, housing and mixed use buildings in Ireland and the UK. They have been involved in urban design projects including the Temple Bar regeneration in Dublin and the Zuid Poort masterplan in Delft. Both lecture in University College Dublin and have taught at a number of schools of architecture in UK and USA including AA, Cambridge, Princeton, Harvard, Syracuse and Buffalo Universities. O'Donnell + Tuomey's work has been widely published and exhibited and has received many national and international awards.

Xu Tiantian. DnA_Design and Architecture

DnA_Design and Architecture is an interdisciplinary practice addressing our contemporary living environment,both physical and social,from scales small to large.

Their approach to projects starts with research and discussion on context,program,and their interaction,which we believe are the fundamental elements,or the DnA,that will define design and architecture,to adapt,engage,and contribute to our society of multiplicity and complexity.

Contextprogram,and their potential relationship,will cultivate architecture into a multidimensional expression and generate new experiment and exploration for users.Architecture will continue to influence and inspire our contemporary life.

Xu Tiantian is founding principal of DnA_Design and Architecture Beijing Office.She received her master of Architecture in Urban Design from Harvard Graduate School of Design,and her baccalaureate in architecture from Tsinghua University in Beijing.Prior to establishing DnA Beijing,She worked at a number of design firms in the United States and the Netherlands.She has received 2006 WA China Architecture Award and 2008 Young Architects Award from The Architectural League New York.


Lilly Reich (b. Berlin, Germany, 16 June 1885 - d. Berlin, Germany, 14 December 1947). In 1908 she moved to Vienna, where she worked at the Wiener Werkstätte, an association of artists, architects and designers who prusued the integration of all the arts in a common project, without distinction between major and minor arts, after training to become an industrial embroiderer, Lilly Reich began working briefly at the Viennese studio of architect, Josef Hoffmann. In 1911, she returned to Berlin and met Anna and Hermann Muthesius.

In 1912, she became a member of the Deutscher Werkbund (German Work Federation, an association founded in 1907 formed by industrialists, architects and artists that defined the German industrial design). In 1920, she became the first female member of its board of directors. She was also a member of the Freie Gruppe für Farbkunst (independent group for colour art) in the same organisation.

In 1914, she collaborated on the interior design of the Haus der Frau (woman’s house) at the Deutscher Werkbund exhibition in Cologne. She managed a studio for interior design, decorative art and fashion in Berlin until 1924. In the same year, she travelled to England and Holland with Ferdinand Kramer to view modern housing estates. Until 1926, she managed a studio for exhibition design and fashion in Frankfurt am Main and worked in the Frankfurt trade fair office as an exhibition designer.

Reich met Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1926 and collaborated closely with him on the design of a flat and other projects for the Deutscher Werkbund exhibition held in Stuttgart in 1928. In 1927, she moved into her own studio and apartment in Berlin. In mid-1928, Mies van der Rohe and Reich were appointed as artistic directors of the German section of the 1929 World Exhibition in Barcelona, probably owing to their successful collaboration on the Deutscher Werkbund exhibition in Stuttgart. In late 1928, Mies van der Rohe began to work on the design for the Tugendhat House in the Czech town of Brno. This was completed in 1930 and, alongside the Barcelona Pavilion, it is considered to be a masterpiece of modern architecture. The interior design for Tugendhat House was created in collaboration with Lilly Reich.

In 1932, Lilly Reich played an important role at the Bauhaus in Dessau and Berlin. In January 1932, the third Bauhaus director, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, appointed her as the director of the building/finishing department and the weaving workshop at the Bauhaus Dessau. She also continued to serve in this capacity at the Bauhaus Berlin, where she worked until December 1932.

In 1934, Reich collaborated on the design of the exhibition Deutsches Volk – Deutsche Arbeit (German people – German work) in Berlin. In 1937, Reich and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe were commissioned to design the German Reich exhibition of the German textile and clothing industry in Berlin. This was subsequently displayed in the textile industry section of the German Pavilion at the Paris World Exhibition of 1937. In 1939, she travelled to Chicago and visited Mies van der Rohe there. Following her return to Germany, Reich was conscripted to the military engineering group Organisation Todt (OT). After the war (1945/46), she taught interior design and building theory at Berlin University of the Arts. Reich ran a studio for architecture, design, textiles and fashion in Berlin until her death in 1947.


María Langarita (1979) is architect graduate from Universidad de Navarra, awarded with the Premio Nacional Fin de Carrera. She has been associate lecturer at the Architectural Projects Departament, at the Universidad de Navarra and at the ETSA Madrid, and as lecturer at the ETSAZ, Zaragoza, Spain. Víctor Navarro (1979) is architect graduate from the ETSA Madrid, he actually works as lecturer in Architectural Projects at the Universidad Europea de Madrid. They are both now developing their doctorate thesis. At the same time, Víctor Navarro together with Roberto González are co-founders of Urgente, defined as an aperiodic publication for the dissemination of documents that may be of current interest.

They work together since 2005. They have been prize winners in several competitions, among which the following could be highlighted: the renovation of the Nave 15 at Matadero Madrid to become the Red Bull Music Academy 2011, second prize at the international competition for the ARCO Actual Art Center in Madrid, first prize at the Intermediae/Prado international competition in Madrid, in an advanced stage of construction nowadays, and their work has been selected to be exhibited in different places and events like the XI BEAU Spanish Architecture and Urbanism Bienale (Comillas, Madrid, 2011), YAP Space Maxxi Roma (2011), XI Bienale Venezia (2008), FreshForward in Madrid (2007), 44 International Young Architects (travelling exhibition, Barcelona, 2007), and at the RojoMáquina Gallery, Madrid (2007). They also have been invited to a number of conferences and workshops, and they also have been jury in the Santo Domingo Bienale.


Frida Escobedo

Frida Escobedo (b. 1979, Mexico City) founded her practice in 2006, after four years as co-director of the architectural firm Perro Rojo. Her award-winning work has focused mainly on reactivating urban spaces that are considered to be residual or forgotten.

In 2004 she was awarded the Scholarship for Young Creators by the National Fund for Arts and Culture (FONCA) and in 2008 she was selected by Herzog & de Meuron as one of the architectural studios to participate in the Ordos 100 Project in Inner Mongolia, China. In 2009, she was a winner of the Young Architects Forum, organised by the Architectural League of New York. In 2013, she was selected as one of the three finalists for the Architecture programme at the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative and was nominated for the Arc Vision Prize for Women and the Iakov Chernikhov Prize. In 2014, she was selected as a finalist for the Designs of the Year at the Design Museum in London and was nominated for the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize of the Illinois Institute of Technology. In 2014, she won the Ibero-American Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism Prize (IX BIAU) in Rosario, Argentina. In 2017, she received the Emerging Voices Award by the Architectural League of New York.

Anne Tyng

Anne Griswold Tyng (Lushan, China, July 14, 1920 - December 27, 2011) was an architect and teacher known, among other things, for her struggle for the emancipation of women in the field of the artistic profession.

Due to the sabbatical year her father took, in 1938 Anne traveled with her family to the United States. She was the fourth daughter of this American Episcopal missionary. Later he would return to stay permanently in this country.

After graduating from Radcliffe University, Anne Tyng would be, in 1942, one of the first women to receive an architecture award from Harvard University, Massachusetts (1944). He studied with Walter Gropius and with Marcel Breuer.

After his academic training, Tyng worked with Konrad Wachsmann in New York (1944), with the industrial design firm of Van Doren, Nowland, and Schladermundt (1944), and in the office of Knoll Associates (1944-1945).

Anne Tyng was a woman who learned architecture and worked with some of the best architects, which made her take a place in the modern history of architecture.

Belinda Tato - Jose Luis Vallejo Ecosistema Urbano

Ecosistema urbano is a Madrid based group of architects, urban designers and professionals specialized in urban innovation projects, operating within the principles of design thinking at the intersection between different disciplines: architecture, urban design, engineering, sociology... 

ecosistema urbano was co founded in 2000 by architects Belinda Tato and Jose Luis Vallejo who have been the directors since then. Their approach can be defined as urban social design by which they understand the design of environments, spaces, dynamics and tools in order to improve the self-organization of citizens, social interaction within communities and their relationship with the environment. Ecosistema Urbano has used this philosophy to design and implement projects in urban contexts from different countries: Norway, Denmark, Spain, Italy, France, China, Russia, Paraguay, Bahamas, Ecuador, Bahrein, Honduras, USA, etc...

Ecosistema Urbano is specialized in urban consultancy projects (architecture and urban design), public space quality assessment and leads urban transformation processes (from initial conceptualization to final implementation) working for local, national governments and multilateral agencies. In recent years, their research has focused on the design of public spaces and its climatic conditioning, for contexts and climates as diverse as Bahrain or Norway. They have also designed and developed methodologies that incorporate participatory mechanisms with digital tools to allow collaborative network design.

Blanca Lleó

Blanca Lleó is a PhD architect, Chair Professor since 2012 and professor since 1990 of Architectural Design at the School of architecture of Madrid. Visiting Research at CambridgeUniv. (UK) and Princeton University, Visiting Professor at Rhode Island School of Design and at Cranbrook Academy of Art (USA). Professor invited at the Univ.Nacional de Colombia (Medellín),atChineseUniv. of Hong Kong, at Univ. Europea de MadridUEM and at Univ. Politécnica Catalunya ETSAB.

In 2019 has been choosen Academic of the Royal Academy of Doctors of Spain (Architecture and Fine Arts section), and in 2018 Blanca received the honorary NAN award for her professional career proposed by the Consejo Superior de los Colegios de Arquitectos de España (National Spanish Architects Council).

Recently, her lastest research work Vivir 100 Años Longevidad y Ciudad Futura in collaboration with Tokyo University has obtained the First Prize from the XIII Spanish Architecture and Urban Planning Bienalle (BEAU).

Blanca’s research about contemporary and modern house has been published in books such as InformeHabitar (Madrid 2006) and Sueño de Habitar (Barcelona, 1998 Arquia y 2005 GG), the later awarded the following: Premio Extraordinario Tesis Doctoral UPM, Caja de Arquitectos Award, COAM Awardand Bienal Iberoamericana.

Since 1985 she owns her own Architecture Office and has developed diverse buildings. Therefore, it can be distinguished the following projects: Nules lighthouse (First National Award Competition), Lorca’s city Hall (First National Award Comp.), Cadiz’s Park Sea Park (First National Award Comp.), Bibliobus (First Award of the City Hall of Madrid), Jaen’s Prision, Mirador building (First Award City hall of Madrid, finalist FAD awards, mention Spanish Biennal) and the Celosía Building (Finalist FAD AwardsSelected Mies van der Rohe Award) in collaboration with MVRDV, Mare DeuBuilding (SostianableEndesaAward), diverse projects for the historic Center of Toledo, Consorcio Zona Franca in Barcelona,Sitge’s City Hall, projects for private clients such as - Acciona, Necso o Parquesur - single houses as casa M, casa Perdiz, casa F,etc. She has also worked as a curator and designer for diverse exhibitions (Ignazio Gardella. Arquitectura a través de un siglo at MOPU and “El amor y el éxtasis”. Isabel Muñoz in Canal Isabel II).

Blanca’s works and buildings have been exhibited at the Biennale di Venezia, at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, at the TokioDesign Week, at the Aedes Gallery Berlin, in Shanghai International Exhibition 2010, atRIBA London, at the BEAU, in La Habana, in Moscow, etc. Moreover, her projects and researches have been published in international and national magazines such as Domus, Bauwelt, Arquitectura, Quaderns, SUMMA +, El Croquis, On diseño, Arquitectura Viva, a+t, Assemblage, JSAH, Compasses (Dubai), T+a (China), Wallpaper, Detail, etc.

Blanca has been invited to international conferences and seminars at GSD Harvard University, GSAPP Columbia University, University of Tokyo, Seoul National University, Università di Venezia, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Cervantes Institute, and at the universities of B. Aires, Hong Kong, Santiago de Chile, La Habana, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Frankfurt, Cerdeña, Istanbul, Medellín, among others.

Other positions held: Independentexpert of the Mies van der Rohe Prize, Member of the National Commission for the Evaluation of the Investigative Activity CNEAI, Member of the Court International Postgraduate Scholarships La Caixa, Vice Dean and co-Director for International Relationships of ETSAM, Member of the Commission of Quality of the Barcelona City Council, Patron of the Alejandro de la Sota Foundation and the National Museum of Architecture, Member of the Caja de Arquitectos and Patron of its Foundation.


Tatiana Bilbao (Mexico City, 1972). Graduated from Architecture and Urbanism at Universidad Iberoamericana in 1996, in 1998 she won honorable mention for her career and also appreciation for the best thesis of the year. Advisor for Urban Projects at the Urban Housing and Development Department of Mexico City in 1998-99. As advisor for the government, Tatiana was member of the urban council of the city.

In 1999 co-founds LCM S.C. In 2004 starts Tatiana Bilbao S.C. with projects in China, Spain, France and Mexico. Also in 2004 founds MXDF along with architects Derek Dellekamp, Arturo Ortiz and Michel Rojkind. MXDF is an urban research center, attending the production of space, its occupation, its defense and control in Mexico City.

In 2005 becomes design professor at Universidad Iberoamericana. Awarded with the Design Vanguard for one of the top 10 emerging firms of the year in 2007 by Architecture Record. Visiting professor at Andres Bello University in Santiago de Chile in Autumn 2008. Named as Emerging Voice by the Architecture League of NY in 2009.

In 2010 two partners joined David Vaner and Catia Bilbao. In December 2010 three projects where acquired by the Centre George Pompidou in Paris, France to be part of their Architectural Permanent Collection. Critics in universities such as Techknik Munich, MIT, UPenn, ETH etc. Spring semester 2013 she is visiting professor at FH Düsseldorf, Germany.





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