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Richard Rogers

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Title: Richard Rogers  
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Subject: Stirling Prize, Centre Georges Pompidou, Structuralism (architecture), Millennium Dome, Senedd
Collection: 1933 Births, British Architects, Fellows of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Italian Architects, Knights Bachelor, Labour Party (Uk) Life Peers, Living People, Members of the Order of the Companions of Honour, Modernist Architects, People Educated at Kingswood House School, People Educated at St John's School, Leatherhead, People from Florence, Pritzker Architecture Prize Winners, Recipients of the Praemium Imperiale, Recipients of the Royal Gold Medal, Richard Rogers, Richard Rogers Buildings, Stirling Prize Laureates, Welsh Eisteddfod Gold Medal Winners, Yale School of Architecture Alumni
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Richard Rogers

The Lord Rogers of Riverside
Rogers (left) with Queen Elizabeth II and Sue Essex AM (right), at the opening of the Senedd building in Cardiff, Wales.
Born Richard George Rogers
(1933-07-23) 23 July 1933
Florence, Italy
Nationality British, Italian
Alma mater Architectural Association School of Architecture, Yale School of Architecture
Occupation Architect
Awards RIBA Gold Medal (1985)
Thomas Jefferson Medal (1999)
Praemium Imperiale (2000)
Stirling Prize (2006), (2009)
Minerva Medal (2007)
Pritzker Prize (2007)
HonFREng[1] (2005)
Practice Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Buildings Centre Georges Pompidou
Lloyd's building (Grade I)
Millennium Dome
European Court of Human Rights
Madrid-Barajas Airport terminal 4
London Heathrow Terminal 5
Senedd, Cardiff
Projects Towards an Urban Renaissance
Grand Paris

Richard George Rogers, Baron Rogers of Riverside, CH, Kt, FRIBA, FCSD, HonFREng[2] (born 23 July 1933) is an Italian-British architect noted for his modernist and functionalist designs in high-tech architecture.

Rogers is perhaps best known for his work on the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Lloyd's building and Millennium Dome both in London, the Senedd in Cardiff, 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.


  • Early life and career 1
  • Later career 2
  • Selected projects 3
    • Team 4 3.1
    • Richard and Su Rogers, with John Young and Laurie Abbott 3.2
    • Piano + Rogers 3.3
    • The Richard Rogers Partnership 3.4
    • Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners 3.5
  • Publications 4
  • Honours and awards 5
  • Palestine controversy 6
  • Personal life 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Early life and career

Richard Rogers was born in Florence (Tuscany) in 1933 from Italian parents. His father, William Nino Rogers (1906-1993), was the cousin of Italian architect Ernesto Nathan Rogers. His ancestors moved from Sunderland to Venice in about 1800, then settling in Trieste, Milan and Florence. During World War II William Nino Rogers decided to come back to England. Richard went to St Johns School, Leatherhead upon moving to England, and later attended the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, before graduating with a master's degree from the Yale School of Architecture in 1962.[3] 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).[4] Rogers and Foster earned a reputation for what was later termed by the media high-tech architecture.[5]

By 1967, Team 4 had split up, but Rogers continued to collaborate with Su Rogers, along with John Young and Laurie Abbott.[6] In early 1968 he was commissioned to design a house and studio for Pompidou Centre in July 1971, alongside a team from Ove Arup that included Irish engineer Peter Rice.[8]

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.

Later career

Aerial view of the Millennium Dome

After working with Piano, Rogers established the Richard Rogers Partnership along with Marco Goldschmied, Mike Davies and John Young in 1977.[9] This became Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners in 2007. The firm maintains offices in London, Shanghai and Sydney.

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.

In 1995, he became the first architect to deliver the BBC's annual Reith Lectures. This series of five talks, titled Sustainable City, were later adapted into the book Cities for a Small Planet (Faber and Faber: London 1997, ISBN 0-571-17993-2). The BBC made these lectures available to the public for download in July 2011.[10]

In 1998, he set up the Urban Task Force at the invitation of the British government, to help identify causes of urban decline and establish a vision of safety, vitality and beauty for Britain's cities. This work resulted in a white paper, Towards an Urban Renaissance, outlining more than 100 recommendations for future city designers. Rogers also served for several years as chair of the Greater London Authority panel for Architecture and Urbanism. He has been chair of the board of Trustees of The Architecture Foundation. From 2001 to 2008 he was chief advisor on architecture and urbanism to Mayor of London 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.[11] Rogers has also served as an advisor to two mayors of Barcelona on urban strategies.

Amidst this extra-curricular activity, Rogers has continued to create controversial and iconic works. Perhaps 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; the building itself cost £43 million.[12]

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.

Some of Rogers's recent plans have failed to get off the ground. The practice was appointed to design the replacement to the Central Library in the Eastside of Birmingham; however, his plan was shelved for financial reasons. City Park Gate, the area adjacent to the land the library would have stood on, is now being designed by Ken Shuttleworth's MAKE Architects.

Selected projects

Team 4

  • Creek Vean, Cornwall, UK (1966)
  • Reliance Controls factory, Swindon, UK (1967)

Richard and Su Rogers, with John Young and Laurie Abbott

Piano + Rogers

The Richard Rogers Partnership

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Las Arenas, Barcelona


Rogers has written several books during his career including:

  • Architecture: A Modern View, Thames and Hudson (1991) ISBN 9780500276518
  • A New London (co-author Mark Fisher and the Labour Party), Penguin (1992) ISBN 9780140157949
  • Cities for a Small Planet, Faber & Faber (1997) ISBN 9780571179930
  • Towards an Urban Renaissance, Urban Task Force (1999) ISBN 185112165X
  • Cities for a Small Country, Faber & Faber (2000) ISBN 9780571206520

Honours and awards

Rogers was knighted in 1991 by Queen Elizabeth II.[16][17] He was created Baron Rogers of Riverside, of Chelsea in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on 17 October 1996.[18] He sits as a Labour peer in the House of Lords.[19] Rogers was appointed a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour (CH) in the 2008 Birthday Honours list.[20]

Rogers was awarded the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 1985 and made a Chevalier, L’Ordre National de la Légion d'honneur in 1986. He received a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 10th Mostra di Architettura di Venezia.[21] In 2006, the Richard Rogers Partnership was awarded the Stirling Prize for Terminal 4 of Barajas Airport,[22] and again in 2009 for Maggie's Centre in London.[23] He was also appointed as a Honorary Fellow[24] of the Royal Academy of Engineering[25] in 2005. In 2007 Rogers was made Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize – architecture's highest honour.[26] He was awarded the Minerva Medal by the Chartered Society of Designers in the same year.

Rogers has been awarded honorary degrees from several universities, including Alfonso X El Sabio University in Madrid, Oxford Brookes University, the University of Kent, the Czech Technical University in Prague and the Open University. In 1994, he was awarded an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Science) by the University of Bath.[27]

Palestine controversy

In February 2006, Lord Rogers hosted the inaugural meeting of the campaigning organisation Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine (APJP) in his London offices. At that time his practice had secured a number of projects in New York, including the redevelopment of the Silvercup Studios site, a masterplan for the East River Waterfront and a commission for a $1.7 billion expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Centre in Manhattan. Rogers however publicly dissociated himself from the group within weeks, following an outcry from generally pro-Israeli New York voters and politicians, which threatened him with the loss of prestigious commissions including projects in New York and abroad.[28] He announced his withdrawal with the statement, "I unequivocally renounce Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine and have withdrawn my relationship with them."[29]

Personal life

Rogers is married to Ruth Rogers, chef and co-owner of The River Café restaurant in west London. They have two sons together, Roo and Bo (deceased 2011).[30]

Rogers also has three sons, Ben, Zad and Ab, from his first marriage to Su Brumwell. He has ten grandchildren and a younger brother, Peter William Rogers, a property developer and co-founder of Stanhope.

In 2015, he was named one of GQ's 50 best dressed British men. [31]


  1. ^ "List of Fellows". 
  2. ^ "List of Fellows". 
  3. ^ "Richard Rogers". Press Release CV. Richard Rogers Partnerships. Retrieved 31 July 2006. 
  4. ^ Ian Lambot (Ed.), "Norman Foster: Buildings and Projects Volume 1 1964–1973", Watermark Publications (1991), pp. 14–15, ISBN 1-873200-01-3.
  5. ^ "Richard Rogers + Architects – From the House to the City". Design Museum. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "Richard Rogers, Pritzker Speech" (PDF).  
  7. ^ "Richard Rogers: Beginnings". Pompidou Centre. Retrieved 23 October 2009. 
  8. ^ "Architecture of the Building". Centre Pompidou website. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  9. ^ "Competitively speaking: a born organiser, Marco Goldschmied of Richard Rogers Partnership is being tipped as a possible future RIBA president". Advameg Inc. Retrieved 11 July 2010. 
  10. ^ "BBC Radio 4 unveils 60 years of Reith Lectures archive". BBC News. 26 June 2011. 
  11. ^ "Richard Rogers steps down as advisor to mayor". Mayor of London's office. Retrieved 1 November 2009. 
  12. ^ "Millennium Dome". RHSP. Retrieved 30 October 2009. 
  13. ^ "Dr Rogers House". Richard Rogers Partnership. Retrieved 27 October 2006. 
  14. ^ "B&B Italia.". Retrieved 22 October 2009. 
  15. ^ "INMOS Factory – Richard Rogers". Retrieved 19 April 2009. 
  16. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 52563. p. 2. 15 June 1991.
  17. ^ The London Gazette: no. 52858. p. 4257. 10 March 1992.
  18. ^ The London Gazette: no. 54559. p. 14045. 23 October 1996.
  19. ^ UK Parliament.
  20. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58729. p. 4. 14 June 2008.
  21. ^ Biennale Architecture: 10th International Architecture Exhibition (2006), Official Awards
  22. ^ "RIBA Stirling Prize 2006". RIBA. Retrieved 27 October 2006. 
  23. ^ "RIBA Stirling Prize 2009". RIBA. Retrieved 26 November 2009. 
  24. ^ "List of Fellows". 
  25. ^ "List of Fellows". 
  26. ^ Robin Pogrebin (28 March 2007). "British Architect Wins 2007 Pritzker Prize". New York Times. Retrieved 28 March 2007. 
  27. ^ "Honorary Graduates 1989 to present".  
  28. ^ "Boiling point". The Guardian (London). 9 March 2006. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  29. ^ Burkeman, Oliver (9 March 2006). "Israel-Palestine conflict engulfs Rogers's .7bn New York project". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  30. ^ Rainey, Sarah (3 November 2011). "Lord Rogers' son Bo found dead in bath". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  31. ^ "50 Best Dressed Men in Britain 2015". GQ. 5 Jan 2015. 

External links

  • Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners website
  • Large list of major Richard Rogers skyscrapers with data and images
  • Rogers, Stirk, Harbour and Partners projects portfolio
  • Pritzker Prize 2007
  • Richard Rogers presents the 2007 Annual Discourse at the Royal Institute of British Architects (video)
  • The 1995 BBC Reith Lectures: Sustainable City by Richard Rogers
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