Spotlight: Richard Rogers

Centre Georges Pompidou / Richard Rogers + Renzo Piano. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/dalbera/2496569412'>Flickr user dalbera</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> Centre Georges Pompidou / Richard Rogers + Renzo Piano. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/dalbera/2496569412'>Flickr user dalbera</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>

As one of the leading architects of the British High-Tech movement, Pritzker Prize-winner Richard Rogers stands out as one of the most innovative and distinctive architects of a generation. Rogers made his name in the 1970s and '80s, with buildings such as the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Headquarters for Lloyd's Bank in London. To this day his work plays with similar motifs, utilizing bright colors and structural elements to create a style that is recognizable, yet also highly adaptable.

© 2013 Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners LLP © 2013 Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners LLP

Rogers was born in Florence, but his family moved to Britain during the Second World War, when Rogers was a child. After attending the Architectural Association in London, Rogers studied in the United States at Yale University, where he met fellow Brit Norman Foster. After graduating, the two architects joined forces with Su Brumwell and Wendy Cheeseman to form Team 4 in 1963. Though their collaboration as Team 4 lasted just four years, it would prove to be a crucial formative stage in British architecture, as both Rogers and Foster went on to be the leading names of the British High-Tech scene.

Rogers House / Richard & Su Rogers. Image © Tim Crocker Rogers House / Richard & Su Rogers. Image © Tim Crocker

Shortly after Team 4 was disbanded, Rogers began another fruitful collaboration, this time with Renzo Piano. The duo's big break came in 1971 when, working with architect Gianfranco Franchini and Peter Rice, an engineer from Arup, they won the competition to design the Centre Pompidou. Still young and relatively unknown, Rogers and Piano shocked many with their radical design, placing the building's services in full view in a trademark Rogers technique that went on to be known as "bowellism."

Inmos Microprocessor Factory. Image © Ken Kirkwood Inmos Microprocessor Factory. Image © Ken Kirkwood

Despite a mixed reception when it was completed in 1977, the Centre Pompidou has gone on to be a much-loved building in Paris. It is widely recognized as a defining moment in the history of museum design, as its unpretentious and futuristic design was intended to break down the elitist aura that was often held by art museums. A similar occurrence happened in London a decade later: now working as Richard Rogers Partnership, Rogers utilized his bowellist style again at the Lloyd's of London Building, garnering criticism at the time. However, the Lloyd's building is now a treasured landmark of central London, and was even given the UK's highest listed status, Grade I, in 2011.

Lloyd's of London Building. Image © Mark Ramsay Lloyd's of London Building. Image © Mark Ramsay

In the 1990s Rogers became involved in British politics, sitting in the House of Lords as a Labour Peer (his full title is Baron Rogers of Riverside). This led to an invitation by the government to set up the Urban Task Force, which in 1998 conducted a review into the causes of urban decay and outlined a vision for the future of British Cities in the paper "Towards an Urban Renaissance." For 8 years he was also chief advisor on architecture and urbanism for the Mayor of London.

The Leadenhall Building. Image © Richard Bryant – Courtesy of British Land/Oxford Properties The Leadenhall Building. Image © Richard Bryant – Courtesy of British Land/Oxford Properties

In more recent years Rogers has continued to produce work of great merit, winning the Stirling Prize in 2006 and 2009, and the Pritzker Prize in 2007.

Millennium Dome. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/jamesjin/58712717/'>Flickr user jamesjin</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> Millennium Dome. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/jamesjin/58712717/'>Flickr user jamesjin</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>

See all of Richard Rogers' work featured on ArchDaily via the thumbnails below, and more coverage of Rogers below those:

Richard Rogers wins Stirling Prize for Maggie's Centre

London Names RSHP's Leadenhall "Building of the Year 2015"

Richard Rogers Honoured at New London Awards

Richard Rogers Honored with Lifetime Achievement Medal

Richard Rogers Wins ULI J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development

Pritzker Prize Appoints Richard Rogers As Newest Jury Member

Pompidou Centre to Receive $110 Million Facelift for its 40th Anniversary

Richard Rogers Donates His Parents' Home To Harvard GSD

Richard and Su Rogers's Wimbledon House Photographed by Iwan Baan

Video: The Making of RSHP's Leadenhall Building

On Top of the City: Behind the Scenes at the Leadenhall Building

Richard Rogers Speaks Out Against Garden Cities Proposals

Architect Lord Richard Rogers and the Making Of Scandicci City

VIDEO: Ruth and Richard Rogers' London Home

RSHP Adapts Jean Prouvé's 6x6 Demountable House for Design Miami/Basel 2015

Review: 'Richard Rogers: Inside Out' at the Royal Academy