Pioneer of high-tech architecture, British-Italian architect, Richard Rogers has passed away at the age of 88, as confirmed on the website of studio Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.
Rogers received several awards during his career that spanned five decades, including the Pritzker Prize in 2007, the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 1985, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Medal in 1999, the Praemium Imperiale for Architecture in 2000, among others.
He earned a reputation for creating prefabricated structures, representing structural simplicity, what would later be referred to as high-tech architecture.
Best known for Pompidou Centre in Paris and Millennium Dome in London, here are the 10 significant projects that define Richard Rogers’ career.
Reliance Controls — Swindon, UK (1967)
Reliance Controls building was designed in collaboration with Norman Foster. It became the template for the new industrial and commercial architecture of the late 20th century. It comprised a highly flexible space, contained within the grid of the steel frame and sheltered by one large roof, built using ordinary, cheap materials.
Centre Pompidou — Paris, France (1971 - 77)
The radical design of Centre Pompidou was a culmination of Rogers’ work from the mid-1960s — an exposed steel structure, combining skin, technology, flexibility, movement and anti-monumentalism. Built in collaboration with Renzo Piano, the winning proposal extended the notion of flexibility to every part of the building component; the Centre acts as ‘an ever-changing framework’.
INMOS Microprocessor Factory — Gwent, UK (1982 – 1987)
This microchip factory features an exoskeleton of steel masts from which the roof is suspended—designed around a main central street that links the clean microchip production areas with the dirty office and service areas, featuring column-free flexible spaces that could adapt without disruption. The building components are prefabricated off-site, allowing for quick assembly and use of solid, opaque and transparent panels in the cladding.
Lloyds of London — London, UK (1978 - 1986)
Considered one of the most outstanding architectural achievements of the 1980s, the office tower balances technical efficiency and architectural expressiveness. The building is designed as a flexible dealing room that expands and contracts according to the needs of the markets by means of a series of galleries around a central atrium. The concept is of ‘Served and Servant’. Spaces create separate concentrated towers for zones such as stairs, lift, bathrooms, and mechanical services create highly legible structure. The building became the youngest structure to be given Grade I status.
Terminal 5, Heathrow Airport — London, UK (1988 – 2008)
The multi-level structure is contained beneath a curved floating roof, supported by a slim perimeter column providing highly flexible internal spaces. The freestanding steel-framed structures include departure and arrivals areas, check-in desks, commercial space, retail, offices, passenger lounges, back-up and other facilities. The long span envelope was developed in collaboration with Arup, creating highly flexible and visually dramatic internal space.
88 Wood Street – London, UK (1990 – 1999)
Located in the heart of London, 88 Wood Street is arranged as three linked blocks of offices, ranging from 8 storeys to 18 storeys. In-situ concrete construction was used for the main office wings in contrast to the steel-framed service towers.
Featuring a triple-glazed façade, the glazing system for the office floors also functions as a highly effective environmental control system. It includes using internal blinds integrated into the glazing panels and controlled by photo-cells installed on the roof, automatically adjusting the blinds settings, ensuring optimal climate control.
The Millennium Dome – London, UK (1996 – 1999)
The Millennium Dome was constructed to mark the beginning of the 21st century. It was designed as an assisted span and non-hierarchical structure, offering 100,000 square metres of adaptable space suitable for exhibitions and performance events. The dome rises to a height of 50 metres, held in place by twelve 100-metre steel masts and held together by more than 70 kilometres of high-strength steel cables supporting the Teflon-coated glass-fibre roof.
Barajas Airport, Madrid, Spain (2005)
The biggest airport terminal in Spain won Rogers’ practice their first RIBA Stirling Prize. The structure is a series of extrusions, providing flexibility and expandability, built using simple materials and a kit-of-parts approach. Featuring a wave-shaped roof, supported by tensioned trusses, the roof floats over the building, punctuated by skylights, bringing natural light inside the structure.
8 Chifley — Sydney, Australia (2005 – 2013)
The 30-storey building is designed as a series of adaptable two and three storeys interlinked vertical ‘villages’, providing the building with a high degree of flexibility. Central to this idea is the three-storey village square located on the 18th floor of the building, providing a focal point for all occupants. The building achieves a high degree of sustainability, receiving a 6-Star ‘Greenstar’ rating, providing 50 per cent less carbon emissions from a typical office of a similar size.
The Leadenhall Building — London, UK (2000 – 2014)
Located in the cluster of high-rise towers in central London, the Leadenhall Building’s tapering silhouette creates its distinctive profile. The ‘Cheesegrater’ profile results from a rectangular floor plate that progressively diminishes in depth towards its apex and is designed to protect sightlines to St Paul’s Cathedral.
The floor plans break away from the central core arrangement to create flexible space featuring a full perimeter braced-tube structure. The structure also creates a half-acre extension to the adjacent piazza of St Helen’s Square, creating a seven-storey high public space.