- Richard Rogers
BiographyBorn in Florence in 1933, Sir Richard Rogers is one of the leading ‘starchitects’ with notable projects completed over 50 years, in particular as part of Team 4 with Norman Foster (1963 to 1967), and Renzo Piano (1971 to 1977) followed by the Richard Rogers Partnership.
Since 2007 Rogers has worked with Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP).
Italian-born naturalized British, Rogers graduated in London in 1959, and in subsequent years launched his professional career and studio in the USA, where he came into contact with many influential figures, including from the arts. Having met Norman Foster during his Masters degree they, together with their wives, founded Team 4 in 1963.
During this period, individually and with the group, Rogers designed a series of private houses and residential complexes, including a house made of plastic, created with his wife, and his own property in Wimbledon in steel and synthetic materials. However, it was the industrial buildings in Swindon (1966) that marked a turning point in Rogers’ and Foster’s careers.
Based on the criteria of lightness, this style of architecture continues British construction traditions while laying the foundations for the high-tech style that would characterize the work of both architects. At the end of the Seventies, Rogers began his teaching career (Yale, MIT, Princeton).
In 1971, alongside Renzo Piano, he won the tender to construct the Pompidou Center in Paris, one of the most acclaimed yet controversial projects of the Seventies.
He founded his eponymous design studio in 1977 and designed the Lloyds of London headquarters (1978-1986), now emblematic of modern, high-tech architecture, and Fleetguard Factory at Quimper (1983). The Rogers studio currently focuses on environmental and sustainability issues, as outlined in his book Cities for a Small Planet (1997).
With spectacular structures recognizable for their transparency, Rogers’ architecture is generally considered “evolutionary”, with defined functional objectives, while he has experimented with working processes and materials (high performance architecture).
In recent years, he designed the Channel 4 headquarters in London (1994), European Court of Human Rights building in Strasbourg (1995), Paddington Basin, London (2000), Barajas airport terminal, Madrid (2004), East River Waterfront, New York (2004-2006), Maggie's Center, West London (winner of the 2009 RIBA Stirling Prize), One Hyde Park, London (2007-2010) and restoration of Las Arenas, Barcelona (2011).
The Millennium Dome (1999, today The O2), a dome-shaped exhibition hall located in London close to the Greenwich meridian, is the exception to and less consistent with his personal style.
The first US building by the current RSHP design studio was the multi-purpose skyscraper 3 World Trade Center (2018), an imposing building 80 floors and 330 meters high.
Started in 2006 and located at the center of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks site, it is the fifth part of Daniel Libeskind’s 2003 masterplan.
The Center Building for the London School of Economics and Political Science was completed in 2019 (work began in 2014), as was the International Spy Museum, Washington and the Louvre Conservation Center, Liévin (both of which began in 2015).
In September 2019, the foundation stone was laid for the expansion of the H-Farm innovation campus in Ca'Tron, a province of Treviso (designed in 2016). A project that “comprises a structure covering a surface area of 51 hectares, able to accommodate up to 3,000 people” which is destined to become "the greatest center for innovation in Europe" (La Repubblica).
Knighted in 1991, Rogers’ numerous awards include the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 1985, Praemium Imperiale Prize for Architecture, Japan Art Association in 2000, Pritzker Prize (2007) and Gold Medal 2019, AIA - American Institute of Architects, in "recognition of the British architect’s professional career and his influence on the theory and practice of the discipline".
Richard Rogers selected works and projects
- Progetto "New Green Paper: A Blueprint for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure", 2019
- Centre Building LSE - London School of Economics, Londra (Regno Unito), 2010
- International Spy Museum, Washington (USA), 2019
- Centre de conservation du Louvre, Liévin (Francia), 2019
- One Park Taipei (Taiwan), 2018
- Madrid Nuevo Norte (progetto), Madrid (Spagna), 2017
- Ampliamento del campus di innovazione H-Farm, Ca' Tron, Treviso (Italia), 2016 - in corso
- International Towers, Sydney (Australia), 2016
- Centro Civico, Scandicci, Firenze (Italia), 2014
- Rifunzionalizzazione Stadio di Las Arenas, Barcellona (Spagna), 2011
- One Hyde Park, Londra (Regno Unito), 2010
- Maggie's Centre, Londra (Regno Unito), 2008
- Palazzo di giustizia, Anversa (Belgio), 2006
- East River Waterfront, New York (USA), 2006
- Terminal dell’aeroporto di Barajas, Madrid (Spagna), 2004
- Grand Union Building, Londra (Regno Unito), 2001
- Paddington basin, Londra (Regno Unito), 2000
- Millennium Dome (oggi The O2), Greenwich, Londra (Regno Unito), 1999
- Corte Europea dei Diritti dell’Uomo, Strasburgo (Francia), 1995
- Sede di Channel 4, Londra (Regno Unito), 1994
- Complesso residenziale Thames Reach, Londra (Regno Unito), 1987
- Sede dei Lloyd’s, Londra (Regno Unito), 1986
- PA technology Labs, Princeton, New Jersey (USA), 1985
- Fleetguard Factory, Quimper (Francia), 1983
- Centro Georges Pompidou, Parigi (Francia), 1977
- Patscentre, Melbourne, Cambridgeshire (Regno Unito), 1975
- Zip-up House (progetto), 1971
- Reliance Control Electronics factory, Swindon (Regno Unito), 1966
- Jaffe House (Skybreak House), Maldon (Regno Unito), 1966
InterviewBrogi: What do you think of the present situation of Italian architecture?
Richard Rogers: There is no question that it is difficult to be an architect in Italy, because Italy has such a high standard of historical architecture. Here we are in Florence, probably the greatest city of the last at least thousand years, probably two thousand years, and everybody is very worried about touching the city. If you are so worried and everything is so political and everything is in two sides, it is very difficult for architects to develop a real sense of their value in the built environment. So there is very little [happening] with architecture at the moment; certainly yes, it is like Florence, in terms of modern architecture. And Italy in a sense has this problem. Now there are some excellent architects, we know perfectly well there are some excellent ones: my ex-partner, my direct friend Renzo Piano is a great architect, but he works internationally. Most of the architects I know who are working from Italy are tending to work somewhere else. So there is this problem. I think that Italy needs to recognize the importance of conserving the scale, the rhythm of architecture, but also that architecture is a living system, you can't suddenly stop in the sixteenth century; and everything else built since the sixteenth century should not be a copy of that architecture of the sixteenth century, it has to have its own identity, yet fitting into the framework of the past, but living today. So we learn from the past, we test the present against the past, and we imagine the future: that's how we progress.
Related Articles: Richard Rogers
The Town House project for Kingston University London by Grafton Architects, led by architects...
Adaptation and resilience: the keywords to tackle climate change. One of the most important...