Remembering Richard Rogers | Wallpaper*

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In memory of Richard Rogers (1933 – 2021)

We celebrate the life and career of Richard Rogers, one of the most influential architects of our time and the 2007 Pritzker Prize-winning Richard Rogers, who died on December 18, 2021 at the age of 88. ..

As one of the most influential architects of our time, Richard Rogers had an immeasurable influence on modern cities. His studio brought artistry and elegance to everything from factories and warehouses to office towers, transforming the literal components of architecture into a major aesthetic expression. As a pioneering index of what became known as “high tech,” Rogers and his associates realized the dream of the first modern architect’s mechanical age.

Born in Italy, Rogers studied at the AA School, then met Norman Foster and Subramwell at Yale University, and then became his first wife and partner with Foster and Wendy Cheeseman at Team 4 Architects, founded in 1963. became. With 10 years of experimental and pioneering practice, working primarily in industrial architecture, the studio was subdivided and the Richard Rodgers Partnership was established in 1977. The studio’s first major work, the Pompidou Center in Paris, has come to define the era. Invented in collaboration with Italy’s Renzo Piano, another giant of new industrial architecture, Pompidou was the most prominent of the five projects in which the partnership was completed. Using the spirit of 1960s experimenters like Archigram, the Art Center created huge floorboards for flexible exhibition spaces by pushing all services out. The result is a jigsaw puzzle of colored plumbing and meandering escalators that stands in stark contrast to the city’s historic textiles.

Above: Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano at the construction site of the Pompidou Center in January 1977. Photo: Jean Pierre Courderc / Roger Viollet via Getty Images..Above: Rogers and Piano at the 2006 Venice Architectural Biennale, taken by Jonathan Frantini for the December 2006 issue of Wallpaper * (W * 94)

Piano continued to set up his own architectural workshop in Genoa, but Rogers seems destined to go from one building to another, defining one era. The next project on the drawing board was the new office of Lloyd’s of London. Pompidou brought the loose-fitting legacy of freedom in the 1960s to the 1970s, while Lloyd’s Building predicted the traits of veins that were fairly strait-bound in the 1980s. It was headquartered as a power suit and adopted Pompidou’s infamous “inside-out” quality on City Street, but with a plain denial of color. Stainless steel and glass were the main materials. In the six years it took to build, technology had little time to catch up with the vision and opened in 1984 and was very controversial due to cost overruns, but it was undeniably great. It was probably the first modern office building to capture the joy in detail, defining the wonderful city hall of Soane or Lutyens and exchanging decoration for the joy of technology.

Richard Rogers created a limited edition cover of the July 2013 issue of Wallpaper * featuring architect citations published in AD Magazine in the late 1970s after the Pompidou Center was completed.

In 1986, Rogers performed a groundbreaking show at the Royal Academy, alongside James Stirling and Foster. This was the equivalent of Hugh Hudson’s movie-like war cry. High-tech architecture was regarded as the true heir to the country’s heated technological revolutionary heritage, affirming the futurist Space Age of Dandea, which infused the postwar era. However, Rogers did not fully agree with his former partner’s love for the car. RRP’s work was underpinned by a long-standing obsession with urbanism and a sense of social justice. Rogers’ commitment to the great “m” modernism was firmly rooted in the origin of the socialist movement. Rogers had architecture in his blood. His cousin Ernesto Nathan Rogers, one of Italy’s leading post-war architects, created Torre Velasca in Milan in 1958 with a partner at BBPR. There has always been a broad and Mediterranean approach to the role of society, family, culture and space in Rogers’ offices. The self-designed studio for this practice in Hammersmith was famous for being adjacent to the River Cafe, which was co-founded by Rogers’ second wife, Ruth. The practice itself limits the salaries of directors to the minimum wage percentage and has generous employee benefits that maintain a loyal and long-term team.

For some time, Lloyd’s industrial aesthetics have led to the execution of truly industrial projects, with plans for urban design hampered by funding and opposition. The complexity is so complex that it has created expertise within the enterprise, and the decade-long project has become more and more common as clients approach the Rogers team to solve complex urbanism and infrastructure puzzles. At the same time, the company has evolved a palette of materials, shapes and colors, improved off-the-shelf components, and developed unique bespoke solutions for the services and structures that shaped the work. At the 1934 Art Exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, industrial products such as ball bearings and springs were placed on a pedestal and celebrated like a glossy abstract sculpture. Perhaps this turning point-one path to rationalization and mechanical purity, one path to naked mechanical charm-separates Rogers and Foster. The latter can be said to have a greater desire to see machines that are more disciplined and wrapped in the possibilities of engraving new materials. But on the other hand, Rogers finds freedom of space and function as well as the aesthetic purity of the mechanical interior.

Richard Rodgers of the 2006 Venice Architectural Biennale, published in the December 2006 issue of Wallpaper *. Photo: Jonathan Frantini

Inevitably, success means scaling up. Rogers Partnership has never tried a grand project from the beginning. This occasionally meant piercing his head over the balustrade and shooting political anti-aircraft guns. The RRP Millennium Dome is the best of Britain’s flawed 2000 celebrations, and has since been widely acknowledged as a vast structure that provides its flexible overview. Despite other well-known spats, especially in Prince of Wales, Rogers inevitably became an established figure, living in the magnificent George dynasty converts in the heart of Chelsea, and knights in 1991. After getting a qualification and sitting in the House of Wales for 5 years. Baron Rogers of Riverside can still devastate the industry, but more recently, with a broad portfolio of companies, from experimental prefabricated housing units in Homeshell to London’s most expensive One Hyde Park apartments, social awareness. May conflict with.

The house of Richard and Ruth Rogers in London. Includes a collection of Wallpaper * magazines (left, low shelf) and paintings by Philip Guston. It appears in the April 2018 issue of Wallpaper *. Photo: Matthew Donaldson

The democratic structure of the practice itself has not diminished. In 2007, Ivan Harbor and Graham Stirk became senior partners and were renamed Rogers Stirk Harbor + Partners. Rogers retired in September 2020, and his last project, the Château Lacoste drawing gallery in Provence, was announced in the spring of 2021. A summary of the life and work of a visionary architect.

The agenda of Rogers Stirk Harbor + Partners is experimentation and innovation. Located in 122 Leadenhall, London, the company’s unique smartly designed office building is on the road to Lloyd’s perfectionism. Future projects will include Terminal 4 at Shenzhen Bao’an Airport, a distillery in Horse Soldier Bourbon, Kentucky. H Farm, a library and auditorium in the heart of the Hammersmith & Fulham Civic Campus in London, and the Startup Education Campus in Venice. Rogers Stirk Harbor + Partners continues to offer a bold architectural vision. §

Above: An architectural model designed by Rogers of the Drawing Gallery in Chateau Lacoste, Provence, France. Photo: Robin Friend.. Bottom: Completed gallery, 24 meters long, fixed to the ridge with galvanized steel rods, so it looks like it’s floating on a slope. Photo: James Reeve


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