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Richard George Rogers, Baron Rogers of Riverside, CH, Kt, FRIBA, FCSD, (born 23 July 1933) is a British architect noted for his modernist and functionalist designs. He was born in Florencemarker in 1933 and attended the Architectural Association School of Architecturemarker in Londonmarker, before graduating with a master's degree from Yale School of Architecturemarker in 1962.

Early career

While studying at Yale Rogers met fellow student Norman Foster. On returning to England he and Foster set up architectural practice as Team 4 with their respective wives, Su Brumwell and Wendy Cheeseman. They quickly earned a reputation for what was later termed by the media high-tech architecture.

By 1967 the Foster/Rogers partnership had split up, but Rogers continued to collaborate with Su, developing his ideas of prefabrication and structural simplicity to design a Wimbledon house for his parents. This was based on ideas from his conceptual 'Zip Up' house, such as the use of standardised components based on refrigerator panels to make energy-efficient buildings.

Rogers subsequently joined forces with Italian architect Renzo Piano, a partnership that was to prove fruitful. An early commission was a house and studio for Humphrey Spender near Maldonmarker, Essex, a glass cube framed with I-beams. His career leapt forward when he won the design competition for the Pompidou Centremarker in July 1971 with Piano, alongside a team from Ove Arup that included Irish engineer Peter Rice.

This building established Rogers's trademark of exposing most of the building's services (water, heating and ventilation ducts, and stairs) on the exterior, leaving the internal spaces uncluttered and open for visitors to the centre's art exhibitions. This style, dubbed "Bowellism" by some critics, was not universally popular at the time the centre opened in 1977, but today the Pompidou Centre is a widely admired Parisian landmark. Rogers revisited this inside-out style with his design for London's Lloyd's Buildingmarker, completed in 1984 - another controversial design which has since become a famous and distinctive landmark in its own right.

Later career

After working with Piano, Rogers established the Richard Rogers Partnership in 1977. This became Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners in 2007. The firm maintains offices in London, Barcelonamarker, Madridmarker, and Tokyomarker.

Rogers has devoted much of his later career to wider issues surrounding architecture, urbanism, sustainability and the ways in which cities are used. One early illustration of his thinking was an exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1986, entitled "London As It Could Be", which also featured the work of former partner Norman Foster and James Stirling. This exhibition made public a series of proposals for transforming a large area of central London, subsequently dismissed as impractical by the city's authorities.

In 1995 he became the first architect to deliver the annual Reith Lectures, later adapted into the book Cities for a Small Planet (Faber and Faber: London 1997, ISBN 0571179932). In 1998 he set up the Urban Task Force at the invitation of the British government, to help identify causes of urban decline and establish a vision of safety, vitality and beauty for Britain's cities. This work resulted in a white paper, Towards an Urban Renaissance, outlining more than 100 recommendations for future city designers. Rogers also served for several years as chair of the Greater London Authority panel for Architecture and Urbanism. He resigned from this post in 2009. He has been Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Architecture Foundation. From 2001 to 2008 he was chief advisor on architecture and urbanism to London mayor Ken Livingstone; he was subsequently asked to continue his role as an advisor by new mayor Boris Johnson in 2008. He stood down from the post in October 2009. Rogers has also served as an advisor to the mayor of Barcelona on urban strategies.

Amidst this extra-curricular activity, Rogers has continued to create controversial and iconic works. The most famous of these, the Millennium Domemarker, was designed by the Rogers practice in conjunction with engineering firm Buro Happold and completed in 1999. It was the subject of fierce political and public debate over the cost and contents of the exhibition it contained, although the building itself cost only £43 million.

In May 2006 Rogers' practice was chosen as the architect of Tower 3marker of the new World Trade Centermarker in New York City, replacing the old World Trade Center, which was destroyed in the September 11 attacks. His old classmate, contemporary and former practice partner Norman Foster is also designing a new WTC tower.

Some of Rogers' recent plans have failed to get off the ground. A masterplan submitted as a competition entry for a regeneration project in Newcastle-upon-Tynemarker was beaten by in favour of a Terry Farrell design. The practice was appointed to design the replacement to the Central Librarymarker in the Eastsidemarker of Birminghammarker; however, his plan was shelved for financial reasons. City Park Gatemarker, the area adjacent to the land the library would have stood on, is now being designed by Ken Shuttleworth's MAKE Architects.

Selected projects

Team 4

  • Creek Vean, Cornwall, UK (1966)
  • Reliance Controls factory, Swindon, UK (1967)

Richard and Su Rogers

  • 22 Parkside (Dr Nino and Dada Rogers' house), Wimbledon, UK (1967)
  • Zip Up house (1968)
  • Humphrey Spender house, Maldon, Essex, UK (1967-1968)

Piano + Rogers

  • Universal Oil Products, Tadworth, UK (1969-1974)
  • B&B Italia headquarters, Como, Italy (1972-1973)
  • Centre Pompidoumarker, Paris, France (1971–77)
  • IRCAMmarker, Paris, France (1971-1977)
  • Patscentre Research Laboratory, Melbourn, UK (1976-1983)

The Richard Rogers Partnership

  • Lloyd's buildingmarker, London, UK (1978–84)
  • Fleetguard Manufacturing Plant, Quimper, France (1979-1981)
  • Inmos microprocessor factorymarker, Newport, Wales (1980–1982)
  • PA Technology Centre, Princeton, New Jersey, USA (1982-1985)
  • Old Billingsgate Marketmarker, London, UK (1985-1988)
  • Centre Commercial St Herbain, Nantes, France (1986-1987)
  • The Deckhouse, Thames Reach, London, UK (1986-1989)
  • Paternoster Square, London, UK (1987)
  • 45 Royal Avenue, London, UK (1987)
  • Reuters Data Centre, London, UK (1987-1992)
  • Kabuki-cho Tower, Tokyo, Japan (1987-1993)
  • Antwerp Law Courts, Belgium (1988-2006)
  • Marseilles Provence Airportmarker, Marignane, France (1989-1992)
  • Heathrow Air Traffic Control Tower, London, UK (1989-2007)
  • Channel 4 Headquarters, London, UK (1990-1994)
  • European Court of Human Rightsmarker, Strasbourg, France, 1995
  • 88 Wood Streetmarker, London, UK (1990-1999)
  • Tower Bridge House, London, UK (1990-2005)
  • Daimler complex, Potsdamer Platzmarker, Berlin (1993-1999)
  • Bordeaux Law Courts, Bordeaux, France (1993-1999)
  • Montevetro, London, UK (1994-2000)
  • Lloyd’s Register building, London, UK (1995-1999)
  • Minami-Yamashiro Primary School, nr Kyoto, Japan (1995-2003)
  • Millennium Domemarker, London, UK (1996-1999)
  • Broadwick House, London, UK (1996-2000)
  • Designer Retail Outlet Centremarker, Ashford, Kent, UK (1996-2000)
  • Madrid-Barajas Airportmarker Terminal 4, Madrid, Spain (1997-2006)
  • Chiswick Business Park, London, UK (1998-)
  • Paddington Watersidemarker, London, UK (1999-2004)
  • The Seneddmarker (National Assembly for Wales), Cardiff, Wales (1999-2005)
  • East River Waterfront, New York, USA (2004-2006)
  • Hesperia Towermarker, Barcelona, Spain (2005)

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Honours and awards

Rogers was knighted in 1991 by Queen Elizabeth II. He was created Baron Rogers of Riverside in 1996. He sits as a Labour Peer in the House of Lordsmarker . Rogers was appointed a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour in the 2008 Birthday Honours list.

Rogers was awarded the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 1985 and made a Chevalier, L’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur in 1986. He received a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 10th Mostra di Architettura di Venezia. In 2006, the Richard Rogers Partnership was awarded the Stirling Prize for Terminal 4 of Barajas Airportmarker, and again in 2009 for Maggie's Centre in London. In 2007 Rogers was made Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize - architecture's highest honour. He was awarded the Minerva Medal by the Chartered Society of Designers in the same year.

Rogers has been awarded honorary degrees from several universities, including Alfonso X El Sabio University in Madrid, Oxford Brookes Universitymarker, the University of Kentmarker, the Czech Technical University in Prague and the Open Universitymarker.

Palestine controversy

In February 2006, Lord Rogers hosted the inaugural meeting of the campaigning organisation Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine (APJP) in his London offices. At that time his practice had secured a number of projects in New York, including the redevelopment of the Silvercup Studiosmarker site, a masterplan for the East River Waterfront and a commission for a $1.7 billion expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Centre in Manhattan. Rogers publicly dissociated himself from the group within weeks, however, following pressure from strong pro-Israeli interests in New York which threatened him with the loss of prestigious commissions including projects in New York and abroad. He announced his withdrawal with the statement "I unequivocally renounce Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine and have withdrawn my relationship with them.".

Rogers at first said he was dissociating himself from APJP because of its published aims and "in view of the suggested boycott (of Israeli companies) by some members," although APJP denied it was promoting such a boycott. Rogers subsequently hardened his line, coming out with statements defending Israel's right to build its separation wall. He described the Israel-Palestine conflict as being between a "terrorist" state and a "democratic" one and said that he was "all for the democratic state".


Rogers is married to Ruth Rogers, chef and co-owner of The River Cafémarker restaurant in west London. They have two sons, Roo and Bo. He also has three sons, Ben, Zad and Ab, from his first marriage to Su Brumwell. He has ten grandchildren.


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