1. Will Alsop, ALSOP Architects

Few architects have so committed themselves to such an unconventional architectural architecture as the maximalist Would Alsop. And fewer have managed to develop their designs as popular as ever. His almost completed “Chips” building was inspired by piled French fries; its extension to the Ontario College of Art and Design is one of the strangest and most exciting buildings in recent memory

2. Yansong Ma, MAD architects

Often, Chinese architecture has lived in the shadow of the West – copying their ideas, importing their talent. MAD is shifting this, leading the vanguard of a new wave of Chinese homegrown talent. Here’s their concept for Erdos Museum in China, which is near completion at the moment:

3. Minsuk Cho and Kisu Park, MASS Studies

MASS Studies is the success story of South Korea itself produced locally, and is globally recognised. Operating on a number of scales — from city planning to galleries and boutiques — they distinguished themselves with a specialization that is uncommon in Asian go-go design. Here is their concept for the 2010 Shanghai Expo Korean Pavilion which includes the Korean alphabet in its structure

4. Rem Koolhaas, OMA

MASS Studies is South Korea’s own locally produced, internationally recognized success story. Working at a variety of scales–from city plans to galleries and boutiques–they’ve distinguished themselves with a refinement that’s rare in go-go Asian architecture. Here’s their design for the Korean Pavilion of the 2010 Shanghai Expo, which integrates the Korean alphabet into its structure:

5. Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries, MVRDV

MVRDV – whose name for the team members is an acronym – made its mark with wacky concepts, like a high-rise pig farm. But they have matured into an amazingly elegant style ever since. Here’s their name, “Book Mountain,” that just broke ground. The whole building transforms the books into a symbolic, structural element

6. Shigeru Ban, Shigeru Ban Architects

Ban is a genius whose fabrics are unorthodox. He ‘s created architecture with paper for many years; he’s made his name with a house whose façade was just a massive, fluttering curtain. Here is his proposal for the Pompidou Metz Centre, influenced by the shape of a Chinese farmer ‘s hat:

7. Jacques Herzog and Pierre De Mueron, Herzog & De Meuron

Owing to strict modernists like Mies van der Rohe, the pair made their names incorporating surface design into styl architecture – which used to be taboo. They have made world news for their Olympic Stadium “Bird’s Nest.” But they had always been difficult to pin down. Here’s their proposal for Madrid’s CaixaForum Arts Centre, designed on the walls of an old power station:

8. Thom Mayne, Morphosis Architects

Thom Mayne made his name with hyper-angular, aggressive buildings. But there is more range to his designs than that. Here’s his sinuous proposal for the Phare Tower, scheduled to climb above the commercial district of La Defense in Paris, with groundbreaking to begin in 2010:

9. Zaha Hadid, Zaha Hadid Architects

Anyway, Zaha. You design horrible, unbelievably costly furniture, but yet we can not leave you because no one has been as effective in making such an unabashedly modern architectural dream a reality. Here’s her just-unveiled design for a Cairo business district:

10. Norman Foster, Foster + Partners

And who could forget Lord Foster, the man who spoke high-tech architecture into a design company with dozens of projects, with billions of budgets all over the world? Through structural logic and cutting-edge engineering advances the company has never seen anything less than a masterful stroke. Here is their proposal for Beijing International Airport Terminal 3 which was completed last year, This is probably the world’s largest, most technically sophisticated building