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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Richard Rogers: a ground-breaking legacy

The world-renowned architect, Richard Rogers sadly died on 18 December, 2021, aged 88.

An innovator, celebrator of place and people and true original, Rogers had a dedication to society and to his city to create change through design, but always with a commitment to inclusivity and fun in his work.

RIBA President Simon Allford paid tribute to award winning architect, “Richard was well-known for his ground-breaking buildings but his legacy owes as much to his leadership across wider issues, as well as his great personal charm and generosity.

“He cared about buildings and creating successful public spaces around them. Richard’s innovative project of the 70s, the high-tech Pompidou Centre in Paris, designed with Su Rogers, Renzo Piano and Gianfranco Franchini, pushed the boundaries to show how contemporary architecture could complement even the most historic surroundings. His Lloyds of London project, built in 1986, radically changed the skyline and streetscape of the City of London – blazing the trail for innovative buildings to grow up around it. Most recent of these is Leadenhall (commonly known as the cheese grater) – designed and occupied by the practice he co-founded and renamed, Rogers Stirk Harbour.

“Richard’s passion and leadership on issues from urbanism to housing are reflected in his selection as advisor on architecture, urbanism and design to the Mayors of London and Barcelona. Notably he was the first ever architect to give the BBC’s Reith Lectures (1995), that led to his ‘Cities for a Small Planet’ manifesto. That, and his Urban Task Force Report on the state of our cities, for the Tony Blair’s Government, are still resonant now, over 20 years after their publication.

“Along with his practice, Rogers, Stirk, Harbour + Partners, Richard has been a long-term supporter of young people’s access to the architecture profession, helping fund the RIBA National Schools Programme, amongst other initiatives.

“He rightly achieved great acclaim during his lifetime, receiving some of the world’s highest honours, including the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture in 1985, the Légion d’honneur in 1986, the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2007 as well as twice winning the RIBA Stirling Prize (2006 – Barajas Airport and 2009 – Maggie’s Centre in west London). He was knighted in 1991 and was a Labour Peer in the House of Lords until this year.

“Richard will be remembered as one of the greatest pioneers of his generation and an inspiration to architects of the generations behind him. He helped build Britain as we know it and position it as a world centre of urban and architectural excellence. His influence on the modern world cannot be underestimated. He will be sorely missed.”

Read what the partners + staff at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) had to say here.

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