Born into a family of builders in Genoa, Italy in 1937, Renzo Piano is hardly the kind of architect that you could define in one word. In fact, the Renzo Piano architecture style that the world knows of is not what you can narrow down to a trademark style. From skyscrapers to energy-efficient diminutive houses, classy institutes to sombre museums, he’s dipped his beak in all waters. And yet, in spite of his eclectic style, one thing remained constant – his penchant for high-tech designs.
It was in 1971 that the Pritzker Prize winning Italian architect began what was to be his most rewarding collaboration with Richard Rogers. The Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, a high-tech architecture housing a public library, the largest museum for modern art in Europe and a centre for music and acoustic research was the most celebrated result of that partnership. The unveiling of the complex led to a great rush of reaction, mostly of awe. National Geographic summed up the design as “love at second sight”, French daily Le Figaro said “Paris has its own monster, just like the one in Loch Ness” and the NYT said it “turned the architecture world upside down”.
Centre Georges Pompidou Exterior
Photo Credit – archdaily.com
The interior of the Centre Pompidou.
Photo Credit – casaidea.com, atkielski.com
The Renzo Piano Building Workshop, a professional alliance of international architects and designers, was formed in 1981. With offices in Paris, Genoa and New York City, the firm is over 120 projects old and has about 130 people engaged in exhibition design, interior design, landscape design, town planning and urban design. The firm has over 70 design awards to its credit.
Renzo Piano Building Workshop Punta Nave, Genoa
Photo Credit – twisted – architectureweek.com, sifter.com
Renzo Piano’s architectural achievements were not limited to big constructions merely. The £17,000 micro-house ‘Diogene’ was his idea of a living space within a 2.5 m x 3 m enclosure. Fitted with a kitchen, a bedroom and even a shower, it was Renzo’s dream project since he’d been designing them in the 60s and his ambitious take on downsizing and sustainable energy. ‘Diogene’ is made completely of wood and covered with aluminium panels.
Renzo Piano opens door to his micro-house
Photo Credit – dailymail.co.uk
Hear him talk about his ambitious project in this video.
Where there’s a micro-house, there’s The Shard too, an 87-storied skyscraper in London that is arguably the tallest building in the EU. Alternatively called the Shard of Glass, it’s a glass façade pyramid tower with 72 occupied radiator floors, a viewing gallery and an open observation floor. Energy efficient and spiralling over the London skyline, the tower of 11,000 glass panes is and will remain an inspiration to architecture students and professionals.
Photo Credit – designboom.com, en.mercopress.com
Watch this heart-opening interview of the architect by Arch Daily in which he speaks about his destiny and the Renzo Piano Building Workshop.