2008 AIA GOLD MEDAL: Born into a familly of boat builders, Italian architect and engineer Renzo Piano made his name with the 1971 completion of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. In 1998, he won the Pritzker Prize for architecture.
FROM THE FIRM:
The Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) is an international architectural practice with offices in Paris and Genoa.
The Workshop is led by 11 partners, including founder and Pritzker Prize laureate, architect Renzo Piano. The company permanently employs nearly 130 people. Our 90-plus architects are from all around the world, each selected for their experience, enthusiasm and calibre.
The company’s staff has the expertise to provide full architectural design services, from concept design stage to construction supervision. Our design skills also include interior design, town planning and urban design, landscape design and exhibition design services.
Since its formation in 1981, RPBW has successfully undertaken and completed over 120 projects across Europe, North America, Australasia and East Asia. Among its best known works are: the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas; the Kansai International Airport Terminal Building in Osaka; the Kanak Cultural Center in New Caledonia; the Beyeler Foundation in Basel; the Rome Auditorium; the Maison Hermès in Tokyo; the Morgan Library and the New York Times Building in New York City; and the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Recently completed works include the Shard in London, and the New Whitney Museum in New York.
The quality of RPBW’s work has been recognised by over 70 design awards, including major awards from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
In all our work we aim to address the specific features and potential of a particular situation, embracing them into the project while responding to the requirements of the program. We continue to push the limits of building technology – innovating, refining and experimenting – to come up with the very best solution for each situation.
Our method of working is highly participatory, with clients, engineers and specialist consultants all contributing from the beginning of a project and throughout the design process.
Our approach to design is not strictly conventional and involves the use of physical models and one-to-one scale mock-ups to help test and develop our proposed design concepts. We also believe that the design process is not linear and that it requires architects to think and draw on different scales at the same time, considering each finished detail in the development of the overall design.