Richard Rogers, one of the leading architects of the British High-Tech movement, turns 81 today. Rogers made his name in the 70s and 80s, with buildings such as the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Headquarters for Lloyd’s Bank in London, which utilized highly expressive structures that placed services on the exteriors.
In an article for The Guardian Richard Rogers questions why, with space still left in urban areas, we should build in the countryside? Lord Rogers, no stranger to political activism, chaired the UK’s Urban Task Force in the 1990s, culminating in his report Towards an Urban Renaissance. Now, over fifteen years later, his plea for denser, better designed urban environments has been rekindled as he argues that: “We can’t go on like this. The housing shortage threatens both the economy and our quality of life.” Laying out a clear argument reinforced by his forty years of experience as an architect, you can read his article in full here.
Held annually in Singapore, the WAF annually recognizes the world’s most amazing architecture projects (you can learn more here). They have announced an impressive line-up of prominent architects who will speak at the World Architecture Festival in October, including:
- Rocco Yim of Rocco Design Associates will be speaking about his involvement in the West Kowloon Cultural District, the largest arts and cultural project in Hong Kong to date
- Richard Rogers will speak candidly about his life as one of the most influential global figures in architecture and his future agenda
- Moshe Safdie will be closing the Festival, looking back over his extensive career to talk exclusively about the defining moments that shaped its path
The renowned speakers complement a list of notable projects that will soon be revealed in a shortlist. Registration for the event, which takes place from October 1-3, is open now. Sign up and stay tuned to ArchDaily for the latest coverage of the World Architecture Festival and the co-located event, the INSIDE Festival.
Following the news that Lloyd’s of London is planning to leave it’s Grade-I listed headquarters designed by Richard Rogers, Edwin Heathcote has written an interesting article asking whether the Lloyd’s Building - along with some other more spectacular failures of ‘iconic’ commercial architecture – can teach us anything about how we ought to design buildings. He argues that while high-profile design serves developers well, tenants seem to prefer bland yet functional corporate buildings, leading Heathcote to ask: shouldn’t we be seeking something in between? You can read the article in full here.
Insurance firm Lloyd’s of London has indicated that it plans to leave its famous Richard Rogers-designed headquarters, which it has occupied since construction ended in 1986. Lloyd’s has recently been involved in talks with Henderson, the developer of Make Architects‘ Gotham City project which earlier this year gained planning permission for a site adjacent to their current headquarters.
More on the building’s uncertain future after the break
Maggie’s Centres are the legacy of Margaret Keswick Jencks, a terminally ill woman who had the notion that cancer treatment environments and their results could be drastically improved through good design. Her vision was realized and continues to be realized today by numerous architects, including Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, and Snøhetta - just to name a few. Originally appearing in Metropolis Magazine as “Living with Cancer,” this article by Samuel Medina features images of Maggie’s Centres around the world, taking a closer look at the organization’s roots and its continued success through the aid of architects.
It was May 1993, and writer and designer Margaret Keswick Jencks sat in a windowless corridor of a small Scottish hospital, dreading what would come next. The prognosis was bad—her cancer had returned—but the waiting, and the waiting room, were draining. Over the next two years until her death, she returned several times for chemo drips. In such neglected, thoughtless spaces, she wrote, patients like herself were left to “wilt” under the desiccating glare of fluorescent lights.
Wouldn’t it be better to have a private, light-filled space in which to await the results of the next bout of tests, or from which to contemplate, in silence, the findings? If architecture could demoralize patients—could “contribute to extreme and mental enervation,” as Keswick Jencks observed—could it not also prove restorative?
This is the central idea behind the experiment Keswick Jencks, or “Maggie,” started with her husband, architectural historian and theorist Charles Jencks, more than two decades ago. Their mission—to provide free, global care for cancer patients through great architecture—has since expanded to encompass 17 building projects (“Maggie’s Centres”), many of them by celebrated architects like Richard Rogers and Rem Koolhaas.
NOWNESS has released the latest in their “In Residence” series, a collection of short videos that interview designers in their homes. This time, internationally renowned Mexican Architect Fernando Romero presents his Mexico City villa, designed by Francisco Artias in 1955, which he describes as “the ultimate modernity dream come true.”
The Y-Cube, a £30,000 factory-built 26 square meter flat which can be easily transported and craned into place, has been prototyped and successfully tested in the UK. The YMCA asked Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners to create the Y-Cube, an affordable alternative for residents moving on from the non-profit’s hostels. And now, the YMCA wants more of these one-bedroom dwellings.
“The beauty is that the units can be moved off site as quickly as they are installed,” says Andy Redfearn of the YMCA, “as we operate on short-term leases – we expect people to stay [in the Y-Cube] for between three to five years, giving them time to skill up and save for a deposit.”
On January 17th, the mayor of Caracas, Jorge Rodriguez, and British architect Richard Rogers signed a contract that confirms Rogers will oversee the design and construction of two new stadiums within ”Hugo Chavez” Park. Both stadiums should be completed by 2015.
The 200-hectare ”Hugo Chavez” Park will be located around the race course La Rinconada and the Museum Alejandro Otero (MAO). The project, which began in April 2013, includes the construction of a football stadium with capacity for 50,000 people and a baseball stadium with capacity for 45,000, plus a multipurpose gym and the new headquarters of the Bolivarian University of Venezuela.
In one of the latest short films from Nowness, director Matthew Donaldson explores the home of Ruth and Richard Rogers in London’s Chelsea. What appears to be a typical Georgian terrace from the outside, complete with “a resplendent facade in London brick with uniform windows and smart stucco”, opens up into a bold, colourful and homely series of internal spaces that could only belong to Richard Rogers.
“Architecture is too complex to be solved by any one person.”
Richard Rogers is an architect who understands the significance of collaboration. As a man with an intense social mind and a thirst for fairness in architectural and urban design, Rogers’ substantial portfolio of completed and proposed buildings is driven by the Athenian citizen’s oath of “I shall leave this city not less but more beautiful than I found it.”
In honor of his success, London’s Royal Academy (RA) is currently playing host to a vast retrospective of Richard Rogers’ work, from his collaborations with Norman Foster and Renzo Piano, to the large-scale projects that define Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) today. The RA’s extensive exhibition has been condensed into a series of motifs that have defined his architectural work, punctuated by memorabilia which offer personal insights into how Rogers’ career has been shaped by the people he’s worked with and the projects that he has worked on.
Continue after the break for a selection of highlights from the exhibition.
Developers in London are so afraid of encountering opposition from the Prince of Wales that they seek his approval before applying for planning permission – so says Richard Rogers, as revealed by this article in BD. Prince Charles, who is not shy about promoting his traditional tastes, has a sometimes difficult relationship with the architecture community, and Rogers previously accused him of “an abuse of power” when he was ousted from his Chelsea Barracks Project. You can read the full article here.
The New London Awards, which recognize the best projects in London – both recently completed and on the drawing-board – were held at London’s Guildhall on the 12th of July. Richard Rogers took the top prize of “New Londoner of the Year” in recognition of his life-long commitment to raising the quality of urbanism in the UK capital. The award coincides with his 80th birthday and a major retrospective at the Royal Academy.
See all the winners of the 17 different awards after the break.
Tomorrow (July 19th) at 1pm GMT, The Guardian will be hosting a live webchat with renowned English architect Richard Rogers. The soon to be 80-year old has already begun celebrating with a retrospective exhibition on his work at the Royal Academy. You can keep the Rogers-fest going by heading to The Guardian’s site and posting your questions in the comments section. The next day, you’ll be able to see responses from the architect himself. So, what would you ask Rogers?
As reported by BDOnline, Richard Rogers of Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners has announced his support in the long-standing battle to save England’s Preston Bus Station from demolition. In a letter to the English Heritage, Rogers described the 1969 brutalist landmark as “truly a major modern building and an outstanding piece of 20th century architecture” that is in dire need of refurbishment.
“Preston Bus Station is not only admired internationally, but it also continues to be fully functioning. It is a critical transport hub,” he stated. “I would encourage you to consider listing the bus station and support a much-needed refurbishment.”