- Richard Rogers
BiographyBorn in Florence in 1933, Sir Richard Rogers is one of the best-known names in the archistar system for his famous projects built over the course of half a century, primarily with Team 4 (with Norman Foster, 1963-1967), Renzo Piano (from 1971 to 1977) and then with Rogers and Partnership.
After graduating in London in 1959, Rogers continued his studies and began his career in the US, where he met many influential figures, including artists. He met Norman Foster at a master’s programme in Yale; in 1963 the two and their wives founded Team 4.
Individually and with the group, Rogers designed a series of private homes and housing developments, but it was the industrial buildings in Swindon (1966) that marked a turning point in Rogers’ and Foster’s career.
Based on the criteria of lightness, these are buildings that continue the British construction tradition while laying the foundations for the high-tech style of both architects’ subsequent production. Later in the seventies Rogers also began teaching (Yale, MIT, Princeton).
In 1971 he formed a partnership with Renzo Piano and the two won the competition for construction of Centre Pompidou in Paris, one of the best-known and most controversial architectural projects of the seventies.
With the studio that has borne his name since 1977, Rogers built Lloyd’s of London (1978-1986), now a renowned emblem of modern architecture and high-tech style. Studio Rogers currently focuses on the issues of environment and sustainability, as stated in the volume Cities for a Small Planet (1997).
With its structures recognisable for their transparency and spectacular nature, Rogers’ architecture is generally considered in an “evolutionary” sense, with definite functional goals, while his experimentation regarded working processes and materials (high performance architecture).
Projects of recent decades include Fleetguard Factory in Quimper (France) and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The Millennium Dome is a rather uncharacteristic project, less consistent with his personal style.
The many awards Rogers has won include the 2007 Pritzker Prize. Rogers has been awarded the “Tower 3” project at Ground Zero in Manhattan (2016).
Richard Rogers selected projects
- Centro Civico, Scandicci, Firenze (Italia), 2014
- Rifunzionalizzazione Stadio di Las Arenas, Barcellona (Spagna), 2011
- One Hyde Park, Londra (Gran Bretagna), 2010
- Maggie's Centre, Londra (Gran Bretagna), 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 (Gran Bretagna), 2001
- Paddington basin, Londra (Gran Bretagna), 2000
- Millennium Dome (oggi The O2), Greenwich, Londra (Gran Bretagna), 1999
- Corte Europea dei Diritti dell’Uomo, Strasburgo (Francia), 1995
- Sede di Channel 4, Londra (Gran Bretagna), 1994
- Complesso residenziale Thames Reach, Londra (Gran Bretagna), 1987
- Sede dei Lloyd’s, Londra (Gran Bretagna), 1986
- PA technology Labs, Princeton, New Jersey (USA), 1985
- Fleetguard Factory, Quimper (Francia), 1983
- Centro Georges Pompidou, Parigi (Francia), 1977
- Patscentre, Melbourne, Cambridgeshire (Gran Bretagna), 1975
- Zip-up House, 1971
- Reliance Control Electronics factory, Swindon (Gran Bretagna), 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.
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