Richard Rogers


Biography of Richard Rogers

Richard George Rogers, Baron Rogers of Riverside (born 23 July 1933) is an Italian-born British architect noted for his modernist and functionalist designs.

Rogers is perhaps best known for his work on the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Lloyd's building and Millennium Dome both in London, and the European Court of Human Rights building in Strasbourg. He is a winner of the RIBA Gold Medal, the Thomas Jefferson Medal, the RIBA Stirling Prize, the Minerva Medal and Pritzker Prize.

Rogers was born in Florence in 1933 and attended the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, before graduating with a master's degree from the Yale School of Architecture in 1962. While studying at Yale, Rogers met fellow architecture student Norman Foster and planning student Su Brumwell. On returning to England he, Foster and Brumwell set up architectural practice as Team 4 with Wendy Cheeseman (Brumwell later married Rogers, Cheeseman married Foster). Rogers and Foster earned a reputation for what was later termed by the media high-tech architecture.

By 1967, Team 4 had split up, but Rogers continued to collaborate with Su Rogers, along with John Young and Laurie Abbott. In early 1968 he was commissioned to design a house and studio for Humphrey Spender near Maldon, Essex, a glass cube framed with I-beams. He continued to develop his ideas of prefabrication and structural simplicity to design a Wimbledon house for his parents. This was based on ideas from his conceptual 'Zip Up' house, such as the use of standardised components based on refrigerator panels to make energy-efficient buildings. Rogers subsequently joined forces with Italian architect Renzo Piano, a partnership that was to prove fruitful. His career leapt forward when he, Piano and Gianfranco Franchini won the design competition for the Pompidou Centre in July 1971, alongside a team from Ove Arup that included Irish engineer Peter Rice.

This building established Rogers's trademark of exposing most of the building's services (water, heating and ventilation ducts, and stairs) on the exterior, leaving the internal spaces uncluttered and open for visitors to the centre's art exhibitions. This style, dubbed "Bowellism" by some critics, was not universally popular at the time the centre opened in 1977, but today the Pompidou Centre is a widely admired Parisian landmark. Rogers revisited this inside-out style with his design for London's Lloyd's building, completed in 1986 - another controversial design which has since become a famous and distinctive landmark in its own right.

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