Renzo Piano Talks Architecture and Discusses ‘The Shard’ with BBC News

’s Sarah Montague interviews Renzo Piano, the mastermind behind London’s most controversial and newest skyscraper: ‘’. Prior to the interview,  Montague spotted Piano blending into the crowd during the opening of the 310-meter skyscraper “spying” on the onlookers. When asked about this moment, Piano revealed the great advice he received from the prominent Italian film director Roberto Rossellini upon the completion of the Pompidou Center in Paris: “You do not look at the building, you look at the people looking at the building.” It was during this moment that Piano observed “surprise” and “wonder, but not fear” amongst the onlookers – a reaction he seemed to be content with.

Despite Piano’s attempt to refrain from controversy, it is hard to avoid when your design intends to celebrate a “shift in society” as does the ‘Shard’. Change tends to stir mixed emotions and spark debate. However, being part of this “human adventure” as an architect is what Piano finds most rewarding. He states: “You don’t change the world as an architect, but you celebrate the change of the world.”

Bas-relief © Renzo Piano Building Workshop
View from Saint Paul’s Cathedral (December 2012) © Lumberjack
Cite: Rosenfield, Karissa. "Renzo Piano Talks Architecture and Discusses ‘The Shard’ with BBC News" 18 Feb 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 16 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down +6

    There are a lot of great things said by Renzo Piano in this interview, like “You don’t change the world. You celebrate the change of the world.” And I admire him for putting up with this ignorant and obnoxious journalist ;)

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +3

    a master-piece, a true genius and great answers to these questions.
    London: watch and learn how to change the world.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down +6

    she is way too sharp on him…. doesn’t she know architects normally have no control on the operation sides of things? She should impose some of the questions to the developers.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    “As an architecr, if you raised something wrong, it’s wrong forever.”

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