Like Father, Like Son

In an idle moment, I made a list of celebrated architectural dynasties. There are many examples in the past, when knowledge was passed down informally from father to son:

Bartolomeo Sanmicheli and his brother Giovanni and his son Micheli
Andrea Palladio and his son Silla
François Mansart and his grandnephew Jules Hardouin-Mansart
Jacques V. Gabriel and his son Ange-Jacques
William Adam and his sons Robert and John
James Wyatt and his sons Benjamin Dean and Philip
Sir George Gilbert Scott and his son George Gilbert Jr. and his son Sir Giles Gilbert
Samuel Pepys Cockerell and his son Charles Robert and his son Frederick Pepys
Sir Charles Barry and his son Sir John
Benjamin Henry Latrobe and his son Henry
Richard Upjohn and his son Richard M. and his son Hobart

The practice has continued in modern times:

Frank Lloyd Wright and his sons John Lloyd and Lloyd

Eliel Saarinen and his son Eero
Albert Speer and his son Albert
Richard Neutra and his son Dion
Carlo Scarpa and his son Tobia
Emery Roth and his sons Julian and Richard
Edward Durrel Stone and his son Hicks
I.M. Pei and his sons Chien Chung and Li Chung
Cesar Pelli and his son Rafael
Quinlan Terry and his son Francis
Glenn Murcutt and his son Nick
Hugh Newell Jacobsen and his son Simon

It’s a surprisingly long list. Or, maybe, not surprising—growing up with an architect father must create a heightened sense of one’s surroundings. In some cases the father’s reputation dominates, in others the son’s. Robert Adam outshone his father, Henry Latrobe didn’t. In several cases—the Barrys, the Saarinens, the Scarpas—both generations achieved renown. Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, who designed the classic (and classical)  British red telephone box, had a not-so-famous architect-father, and a very famous architect-grandfather. In quite a few of the modern cases, given current longevity, father and son work together (Pei, Pelli, Terry, Jacobsen). The name recognition helps, too, of course.

Didi and I. M. Pei, photo: Sacha Waldman

One Response to Like Father, Like Son

  • MK Lanzillotta says:


    James Gamble Rogers, son and grandson – all who are Fellow of the AIA
    Stanford White and great-grandson, Samuel G. White, FAIA

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *