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Renzo Piano : architect biography

famous architect : Renzo Piano





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Renzo Piano architect
Renzo Piano architect
Renzo Piano architect
Renzo Piano architect
Renzo Piano architect

Renzo Piano

Renzo Piano architect Renzo Piano was bom into a family of builders in Genoa, Italy in 1937. His grandfather, his father, four uncles and brother were all contractors and Renzo Piano admits, Renzo Piano should have been one too, but instead chose architecture. Renzo Piano was studying at Milan Poitechnic Architecture School. During his studies Renzo Piano was working under the design quidance of Franco Albini. After his graduation in 1964 Renzo Piano worked in his father's company and during the time 1965-1970 Renzo Piano worked in offices of Louis I. Kahn in Philadelphia and ZS. Makowski in London. Other important influence Renzo Piano acknowledges, was Pierluigi Nervi. While still studying in Milan, Renzo Piano married a girt Renzo Piano had known from school days in Genoa, Magda Arduino. They have three children- 2 sons and the third child, daughter Lia, now 25, is pursuing a career in architecture.

Renzo Piano 's first important commission was in 1969 to design the Italian Industry Pavilion at Expo'70 in Osaka. The Expo project attracted much favorable attention, including that of another young english architect named Richard Rogers. The two architects found that they had a great deal in common and when an engineering firm suggested they worked together and enter the international competition for the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris; they did and won.

The result was a hundred thousand square meters in the heart of Paris, devoted to the figurative arts, music, industrial design and literature. In the two decades since it opened over a 150 000 000 people have visited it averaging more than 25 000 people per day - an overwhelming success - both with the people of Paris and international media. Both Rogers and Renzo Piano became recognizable names throughout the world.

related links

Renzo Piano - Great Buildings Online
Renzo Piano Building Workshop Official Site

Characteristics of this six-storey complex is visible technology in the form of construction grids, utility elements in bright colours and transparent pipes.

This building is often described as ,,high tech", but Renzo Piano prefers other modifiers. Renzo Piano says: ,,The centre was intended to be a joyful urban machine, a creature that might have come from a Jules Verne book, or an unlikely looking ship in dry dock. It is a double provocation: a challenge to academicism, but also a parody of the technological imagery of our time. To see it as high-tech is misunderstanding."

One of the casualties of this project, which required years of living in Paris, however, was Renzo Piano 's marriage. His wife preferred to Five in Genoa, so they separated. In 1989 Renzo Piano met Emilia Rossato when she came to work for his Renzo Piano Building workshop. They were married in 1992 by Jacques Chirac and they live in Paris and divide their time between offices in Paris and Genoa with frequent trips to his many projects around the world.

The Rano-Rogers collaboration remained 6 years; in 1977 Rogers moved his office from Paris to London, where Renzo Piano designed number of interesting buildings.

In 1995, Renzo Piano was called upon to renovate the Centre Georges Pompidou, because the popularity of the place needed to expand library and exhibition place and to reorganize public spaces. The renovation was reopened on the eve of new miilenium, December 31,1999.

Renzo Piano 's principal work includes more than 40 worid-famous projects, as museums, galleries, churches, music parks, institutes and national centers, shopping centers, bridges, reconstructions of squares, airports etc.

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One of his most famous museum is De Menil Collection in Houston, Texas. It was in 1982, that art collector Dominique de Menil contacted Renzo Piano to design a museum for her collection, which embodied more than 10 000 works of primitive and modem art. The museum was intended also as a centre for music, literature, theatre and cultural educational activities. It is located in a small park surrounded by low residential housing, and it is characteristic because of its simplicity, flexibility, open spaces and illumination with natural light Renzo Piano designed special roof of ,.leaves" of thin ferrocement which lets the light inside the exhibition rooms and to which additional liqhts could be easily attached.

Renzo Piano compares this museum with Centre Pompidou and says: " Paradoxically, the Menil Collection with its great serenity, its calm and its understatement is far more modern than Centre Pompidou. The technological appearance of Pompidou Centre is parody. The technology used for the Menil Collection is even more advanced, but it is not. On the other side of the world in Noum, New Caledonia, Rano was doing The Tjibaou Cultural Centre Rano explained that the project adressess the dfficulties of finding a way to express traditions of the Pacific in modem anguage. His concept is genuine village composed on ten structures of different sizes and functions. The largest is as tall as nine storey building. The ten structures of the ceter are organized into three villages: One is devoted to exhibition, another is for administrative staff, historians and other offices; the third is for creative activities such as oance, painting, sculpture and music. The constructions are curved structures resembling huts, built out of joists and ribs and Renzo Piano adds: ,,They are an expression of the harmonious relationship with the environment, that is typical for the local culture."

One of his latest projects was to design an airport in Osaka, Japan. Since Osaka had no room for an airport, the authorities decided to build an artificial island for it in the bay. Kansai Air Terminal is a structure with undulating, asymmetrical lines and is capable of handling 100 000 passengers a day and it is the largest building Renzo Piano ever designed.

In January, 1995, Kobe suffered an earthquake. Kansai is the same distance from the epicenter as Kobe. The intensity of the shock was the same, but Renzo Piano reports: ,,Kansai registered no damage, not even broken glass."

Renzo Piano was awarded about 30 prizes since 1978 till 2000. The most prestige were The Pritzker architecture prize, which Renzo Piano received in 1998 in White House, Washington, USA and The Wexner Prize in 2001 also received in USA, in Wexner Center for the Arts in Ohio.


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Frank Owen Gehry | Fumihiko Maki | Gottfried Boehm | Henry Hobson Richardson | Charles Ormond Eames | Christopher Wren | Ieoh Ming Pei
James Stirling | Kenzo Tange | Kevin Roche | Le Corbusier | Louis Henry Sullivan | Louis Isadore Kahn | Ludwig Mies van der Rohe | Luis Barragan
Marcel Breuer | Mario Botta | Michael Graves | Oscar Niemeyer | Paolo Soleri | Renzo Piano | Richard Meier | Robert Venturi | Tadao Ando

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