12 Architect glasses: what's your style?

Greyscale image of architect Phillip Johnson with his head in his hands


Creating concepts to constructing cantilevers…

Life as an architect is one of patience and persistence.

It's an endless pursuit, to sculpt one's design-approach with the same reverence as the building being constructed.

Resultantly, the quintessential architect is:

  • intelligent
  • articulate
  • observant
  • almost always bespectacled.



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    Black circle glasses with black arms


    Glasses for an architect

    Stereotypically, and perhaps intentionally, architect glasses frames are often large and geometrical.

    As if to exemplify their vocation, their choice of eyewear seemingly imparts their own kind of facial architecture.

    Presumably, the studiousness, not to mention the longevity of an architect’s career is what necessitates the need for such memorable glasses.

    • large
    • thick-rimmed
    • chunky
    • geometrical
    • pronounced



    Your 12 architect glasses styles


    Le Corbusier at his writing desk

    Charles-Eduoard Jeanneret (Le Corbusier) wearing his trademark round-eye spectacles. Image Source


    Charles-Eduoard Jeanneret

    Arguably the originator of the round architect glasses style, Charles successfully branded himself through his adornment of thick round glasses frames.

    He famously became known as Le Corbusier and became even better known for his revolutionary influence over what is now considered, modern architecture.

    His radical way of thought and enduring influence is matched only by his choice of glasses frames.


    A rare colour photo portait of the architect known as Le Corbusier

    Le Corbusier wearing his trademark round and thick glasses frame. Image source


    Would you wear Le Corbusier's glasses?

    These thick round glasses are stark with a strong utilitarian aesthetic.

    If you were to wear something similar, they'd undoubtedly be a strong focal point in your appearance.

    • Very strong aesthetic
    • Confident
    • Assured
    • Studious
    • Creative

    Black round glasses frame with black arms



    Architect Peter Cook wearing blue architect glasses frame


    Sir Peter Cook

    Knighted by the Queen in 2007, Sir Peter Cook is an English architect and one of the founding members of the architectural group Archigram.

    With his work at Archigram, Cook became known for his highly conceptual and hugely debated "Plug-in City."

    Considering the outlandish and revolutionary nature of some his most famous projects, built and un-built, Cook is a highly acclaimed architect after an illustrious international career.


    Peter Cook wearing round blue glasses frame


    True to the round architect glasses style, Cook bravely adorns a pair of blue acetate spectacles.

    This colour seems loud but due to the neutrality of his grey hair and pale complexion, he suits the vibrancy of this eccentric glasses frame perfectly.



    Peter Cook wearing blue architect glasses frame giving a speech


    Round blue glasses?

    You might consider wearing this colour of acetate if you're looking for something a little more adventurous.

    A pair of colourful glasses frames are an excellent choice if you have an outgoing personality and often wear neutral clothing.

    • alternative
    • free-thinking
    • creative
    • quirky
    • unique


    Peter Cook wearing his round blue architect glasses



    Round blue architect glasses frame with silver legs





    Architect Neri Oxman wears oval black glasses frame

    Architect Neri Oman wears a subtle cat-eye glasses frame.


    Neri Oxman

    American-Israeli architect Neri Oxman has a varied background of design and biology.

    In conjunction with researchers from MIT, her recent and most progressive project focuses on the 3D printing of renewable polymers sourced from ocean plastic.

    Aptly, her oval glasses frame is also made from a bio-plastic called cellulose acetate. Just like our frames, this type of polymer is biodegradable as it is made from the pulp of cotton.

    How we make our frames


    Side view of architect Neri Oxman wearing black roll neck jumper


    Oval glasses?

    The oval shape of Neri's glasses frame is slightly cat-eyed, made from a high-shine black acetate.

    This style of frame is gentle and suits people with narrow facial features. If you have pronounced cheekbones and jawline, this style of frame would suit you very well.

    • Unisex
    • Adaptable
    • Can be worn casually and formally
    • Assertive
    • Neutral in black
    • Minimal


    Black oval pair of architect glasses





    Back and white image of Architect Jane Drew wearing 1960's style thick black glasses


    Jane Drew

    An English town planner and architect, Jane Drew regularly wore her thick dark glasses frame.

    Seen above, her frame's style is notably austere.

    This frame-choice was presumably an intentional aesthetic to steel herself in her pursuit of the mostly male dominated architectural industry of the 1930's.

    She was a brave and progressive woman and her glasses very much encompassed her ambition.

    • Focused
    • Confident
    • Resillient
    • Assured
    • Strong


    Boxy square black spectacle frame with black arms




    Architect Andrea Branzi sitting with his hands clasped


    Andrea Branzi

    Italian architect and designer, Andrea Branzi is best know for his work during the radical period of Italian architecture between the years 1960 -1970.

    Reminiscent of Le Corbusier's frame of choice, Andrea's round glasses style features regularly in his attire.

    Seen in the image below, he opts for this shape of frame in various acetate colours and patterns.


    Architect Andrea Branzi wearing round speckled glasses frame

    Architect Andrea Branzi fondly wears his thick round glasses. Image sourced from: Domaine Chaumont


    Andrea's freckled complexion is complimented and harmonised by his spectacle frame.

    In this example of architect glasses, the natural appearance of Andrea's speckled frame is a reminder of how timeless tortoise-acetate can really be.

    Notice his practical use of his frame strap, presumably for poring over blueprint drawings on his desk.


    Designer and architect Andrea Branzi looking out of window


    Side view of Architect Andrea Branzi wearing rollneck jumper and black round glasses frame


    We particularly like the charming rivet clusters that join Andrea's frame together.

    In contemporary eyewear, the use of three-rivets is less common unless it's used for chunky frames with large temples.

    However, three rivet hinges are a very strong formation, which which permanently fastens the hinges-parts to the temples and frame front.

    Learn how we rivet our glasses.


    Architect Andrea Branzi in a hat glasses and scarf


    Are round glasses for you?

    These classic tortoise glasses frames have enduring appeal and are made from a utterly timeless acetate.

    For a studious look, these are the glasses for you.

    • timeless
    • traditional
    • warm
    • astute
    • classic
    • natural

    Round tortoise glasses frame with rose gold legs


    Architect and lecturer Mabel O Wilson wears cat eye glasses frame

    Architect Mabel O.Wilson wears here bold cat-eye glasses frame. Image source: Bard Graducate


    Mabel O.Wislon

    Since around 2012, the resurgence of classic eyewear has seen the re-popularisation of 1950's spectacles design.

    Architect Mabel O.Wilson proudly wears her heavily cat-eyed glasses frame to great affect. This is a bold style with a strong 1950's kitsch aesthetic.


    Cat eye glasses?

    For women, this style is an eternal favourite thanks to it's sweeping, feminine corners.

    Seen above, this type of frame is most adaptable in dark colours such as black or tortoise.

    • stylish
    • pronounced
    • feminine
    • bold
    Black oval pair of architect glasses




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    Side on view of architect Kazuyo Sejima wearing her glasses on top of her head


    Kazuyo Sejima

    Japanese architect Kazuyo is best known for her playful integration between interior and exterior in her extensive architectural work.

    Artfully, Kazuyo's design approach implements contrasting surfaces in her buildings such as metals, glass and marble.

    As the second ever women to win the architecturally acclaimed Pritzker Prize in 2010, Kazuyo is a prime example of women in her field.


    Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima wearing rectangular pair of glasses

    Architect Kazuyo Sejima opts for a rectangular black glasses frame. Image Source


    Square black glasses?

    In the image above, Kazuyo's choice of glasses is quite stylised.

    A boxy black glasses frame like this is a perfect way to balance soft facial features. If you have a round face-shape, these are the architect glasses for you.

    • Assertive
    • Professional
    • Sharp-witted
    • Austere

    Chunky black frame glasses for architects




    Greyscale image of Piers Taylor wearing black acetate architect glasses


    Piers Taylor

    Award winning architect Piers Taylor has been recently televised in the BBC series "The worlds most extrordinary homes."

    His work heavily focuses on cost-conscious building techniques and processes to explore the possibilities of budget within domestic projects.

    His previous hit-programme "The house £100k built" showcases his interest for domestically accessible design and architecture.


    Piers Taylor wearing black acetate architect glasses


    Taylor often uses quick sketches to convey techniques and building ideas for both the viewer and the project-clients.

    His friendly demeanour and creative characteristics marry with his often vibrant attire. In the image above, his choice of thick square glasses are a dominant feature in his dress.

    Thick square glasses?

    • Creative
    • Professional
    • Contemporary
    • Shrewd
    • Intelligent


    Boxy square black spectacle frame with black arms



    Interior architect Sevil Peach sitting in her studio

    Interior architect Sevil Peach wears her large rectangular glasses frame. Image source: FrameWeb.com


    Sevil Peach

    Originally from Turkey, Sevil Peach studied Interior architecture at Brighton University in England.

    Having worked in the UK for several major architectural practices, she formed her own studio SevilPeach Architecture + Design in 1994.

    Her work primarily focuses on commercial workspaces where she aims to tap into the culture and potential of the people who work there.

    With numerous projects in her portfolio, she's been responsible for two projects with the renowned Swiss design-company Vitra.


    Three quarter view of Sevil Peach in her interview with Vitra

    Interior architect Sevil Peach wearing her large black rectangular glasses frame: Image source: Vitra


    Large black glasses frame?

    In the image above, Sevil adorns a large rectangular glasses frame.

    Juxtaposing her warm smile and round face, her choice of glasses strikes a good degree of balance against her white-grey hair.

    As with most of the architect glasses shown in this article, Sevil's style is understated and unbranded.

    • understated
    • confident
    • executive
    • acute

    Chunky black frame glasses for architects



    Greyscale image of architect Phillip Johnson


    Phillip Johnson

    Ok, so you've seen an abundance of round black glasses frames.

    But this article would be incomplete without the mention of Phillip Johnson and his extremely pronounced round spectacle frame.

    Comparably radical and as stark as his most famous building "The Glass House" the purism of his glasses represents his utterly distilled design principle.


    The Glass House by Phillip Johnson

    Phillip Jonhson's iconic "Glasses House" in Connecticut. Image source: Reddit


    Between the above and below images, there is an echo of similarity between his glasses frame and his famous Glass House.

    Most notably, his glasses have bold straight temples with no curvature for his ears.

    For obvious reasons, this style of temple is also known as a "paddle temple" which take resemblance to the lateral steel beams seen in his most famous building above.

    It might be somewhat abstract to compare the two entities, but Johnson's glasses are as bold and as brave as the work he is so well known for.


    Side view of Phillip Johnson wearing black architect glasses frame


    During the 1940's Johnson's design approach embodied the emerging modernist architectural style.

    The Glass House was an aesthetically austere building which arguably translates into his sense of dress and that oh so bold spectacle frame.

    Don't you just love them?


    Phillip Johnson sitting in front of a white architectural model


    As glasses designers we enjoy the unashamed statement of Philip Johnsons frame.

    This glasses style has been countlessly reinvented for the modern market and has become somewhat neutered.

    Perhaps we should make a pair in homage to this bespectacled icon?


    Phillip Johnson wearing round black acetate glasses


    Make the ultimate architect glasses?


    A pair of unassembled round glasses lying on top of marble

    Female architect Denise Scott Brown wearing transparent round glasses frame


    Denise Scott Brown

    South African architect Denise Scott brown has been described as one of the most influential architects of the twentieth century.

    Incongruous to the vastly male-dominated architectural industry of the time, Brown defied the ever-present sexism during her successful architectural career.

    Most prominently, she wrote a what-would-be feminist essay titled "Room at the Top?" concerning the male dominance within architecture.


    Transparent glasses?

    Denise has worn glasses for most of her life however we particularly like this example of her transparent glasses frame.

    • understated
    • subtle use of colour
    • shows rivet details
    • reserved
    • quiet

    Clear acetate architect glasses frame with silver arms



    Oscar Tusquets sitting at a bar having a drink


    Oscar Tusquets

    Spanish architect Oscar Tusquets is also a graphic and industrial designer.

    He was responsible for various projects including development of the 1992 Olympic Games village in Barcelona and the Auditorio Alfredo Kraus in Gran Canaria.

    Supplementary to his architectural career, Tusquets is also known for his partnership with Barcelona Design, an industrial design firm that specialises in domestic furniture and home-ware.



    As an architect and a multi-disciplinary designer, Tusquets has a charming sense of dress and creative flair.

    You don't have to speak Spanish to appreciate his sense of character in the video-interview featured above.

    As you'll have noticed, he's opted for yet another round frame-style in tortoise patterned acetate.


    Man looking over the top of his glasses wearing a grey suit jacket whilst walking under some trees


    Oval tortoise glasses?

    Tusquet's glasses frame is entirely circular and is more of an oval shape.

    This frame is less stylised than that of Le Corbusier's or Phillip Johnsons glasses frames and is much less stark on the face.

    A thin and oval pair of glasses are better for you if a full-round ones seems a little too stylised.

    • less bold than a full round frame
    • timeless acetate
    • strong browline
    • quirky
    • creative
    • suits narrow faces


    Tortoise acetate oval architect glasses frame




    IM Pei wearing tortoise round glasses smiling at camera

    Architect Ieoh Ming Pei wearing his round tortoise acetate spectacles: Image Source


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