Richard Rogers, heralded architect, dies at 88

Pritzker Prize-winner was best known for his design of the Pompidou Center in Paris

Architect Richard Rogers (Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners)
Architect Richard Rogers (Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners)

Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Rogers, known for his work that transformed the cityscapes of Paris and London, died Sunday at 88.

The New York Times is reporting his death was confirmed by his son, Roo, with no cause of death given.

The British designer took home architecture’s biggest prize in 2007 for his “unique interpretation of the Modern Movement’s fascination with the building as a machine, an interest in architectural clarity and transparency, the integration of public and private spaces, and a commitment to flexible floor plans that respond to the ever-changing demands of users,” the newspaper reported at the time.

It came 30 years after he and fellow architect Renzo Piano won accolades for their design of the Pompidou Center, a museum in Paris noted for its exposed skeleton and bright tubes used from mechanical systems.

His Lloyds of London office building, opened in 1986 in that city’s financial district, features a similar inside-out design, with external escalators and elevators surrounding a soaring atrium.

When he won the award, Rodgers described his style to the Times as “celebrating the components and the structure.”

“This is how we get rhythm and poetry out of it,” he said.

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Of course, not all his designs were universally loved at first.

His Millennium Dome in London, part of a celebration of the coming 2000s that opened in 1999, was panned by the local press, but, 20 years on, is now being reevaluated.

Richard George Rodgers was born on July 23, 1933, to Nino and Dada Rogers in Florence, Italy. His father was the son of an English dentist, and his mother was the daughter of an engineer and architect. The family fled Fascist Italy in 1939 and moved to England where both his parents worked at a tuberculosis clinic.

He studied architecture at Yale on a Fulbright scholarship.

His other high-profile works include Terminal 4 at the Madrid-Barajas airport, which was completed in 2005, and the law courts in Bordeaux, France.

Rogers is survived by his son Roo, his wife, Ruth Rogers, and thee other sons, Ben, Zad and Ab. His son Bo died in 2001 at 27, according to the publication.

[New York Times] — Vince DiMiceli

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