Rogers, Richard


Rogers, Richard
   b. 1933
   Architect
   Richard Rogers studied at London’s Architectural Association and at Yale University in the USA, where he met Norman Foster (see Foster Associates). Rogers and Foster returned to London and established Team 4 Architects, with Su Rogers and Wendy Cheesman. Their defining commission was Creek Vean House in Cornwall (1966), which owes its organic conception to the influence of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Team 4 was dissolved in 1968 and Rogers subsequently entered a partnership with Italian architect Renzo Piano. In 1971, Piano and Rogers won the commission to design the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. The Pompidou Centre, opened in 1977, is envisaged as ‘a people’s place…a cross between an information-oriented, computerized Times Square and the British Museum’. Reinterpreting futurist and constructivist aesthetic aims, this flexible and rhythmic structure of steel and glass is recognized as an outstanding achievement in postwar European architecture. Rogers’ international reputation was augmented when he and new associates John Young, Marco Goldschmied and Michael Davies were commissioned to redevelop the Lloyd’s of London headquarters in 1977. Richard Rogers Partnership designed a complexly layered futuristic building: its six serrated steel towers, opaque glass walls and central glazed atrium are perceived in dynamic vertical and horizontal sections from street level and as a visually integrated totality from the riverside. The design of the Lloyd’s Building, like the Pompidou Centre, allows for the controlled redistribution of internal space to suit changing needs. Since the completion of Lloyd’s in 1986, RRP has completed other prestigious projects, notably the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (1994). Major commissions in the late 1990s include Law Courts in Bordeaux, a new terminal at Madrid Airport and the Millennium Dome in Greenwich, London.
   Rogers is a trenchant critic of the intensively capitalized imperatives of postmodernism in contemporary architecture. Castigating postmodernism as an aesthetic determined by the principle ‘form follows profit’, Rogers has called for a ‘new cultural enlightenment’ in which architecture and urban planning would play key roles in the democratic restructuring of public space. He combines this vision of a revivified urban culture with an ecologically sustainable and holistic approach to the built environment. In 1996, Rogers was made a Labour peer and introduced to the House of Lords as Lord Rogers of Riverside.
   See also: high-tech
   Further reading
    Rogers, R. (1990) Architecture: A Modern View, London: Thames & Hudson (Rogers’s lucid examination of contemporary urban space).
   MARK DOUGLAS

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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