Richard George Rogers, Baron Rogers of Riverside (born July 23rd, 1933) is a British architect noted for his modernist and functionalist designs. Rogers is 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.
He was born in Florence in 1933 and attended the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, before graduating with a master's degree from Yale School of Architecture in 1962. While studying at Yale, Rogers met fellow student Norman Foster. On returning to England he and Foster set up an architectural practice called Team 4 with their respective wives, Su Brumwell and Wendy Cheeseman. They quickly earned a reputation for what was later termed by the media high-tech architecture.
By 1967 the Foster/Rogers partnership 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 and Piano 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 1984 - another controversial design which has since become a famous and distinctive landmark in its own right. After working with Piano, Rogers established the Richard Rogers Partnership along with Marco Goldschmied, Mike Davies and John Young in 1977. This became Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners in 2007. The firm maintains offices in London, Barcelona, Madrid, and Tokyo.
Rogers has devoted much of his later career to wider issues surrounding architecture, urbanism, sustainability and the ways in which cities are used. One early illustration of his thinking was an exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1986, entitled "London As It Could Be", which also featured the work of James Stirling and Rogers' former partner Norman Foster. This exhibition made public a series of proposals for transforming a large area of central London, subsequently dismissed as impractical by the city's authorities.
From 2001 to 2008 he was chief advisor on architecture and urbanism to London mayor Ken Livingstone; he was subsequently asked to continue his role as an advisor by new mayor Boris Johnson in 2008. He stood down from the post in October 2009. Rogers has also served as an advisor to the mayor of Barcelona on urban strategies.
Amidst this extra-curricular activity, Rogers has continued to create controversial and iconic works. The most famous of these, the Millennium Dome, was designed by the Rogers practice in conjunction with engineering firm Buro Happold and completed in 1999. It was the subject of fierce political and public debate over the cost and contents of the exhibition it contained, although the building itself cost only PS43 million.
In May 2006 Rogers' practice was chosen as the architect of Tower 3 of the new World Trade Center in New York City, replacing the old World Trade Center, which was destroyed in the September 11 attacks. His old classmate, contemporary and former practice partner Norman Foster is also designing a new WTC tower.
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