Designer: Piano & Rogers
Copyright: Emmanuel Thirard/RIBA British Architectural Library Photographs Collection (1996)
Richard Rogers won the Royal Gold Medal at a similar stage in his career as his former colleague in Team 4 Norman Foster, although his reputation was already based on the two buildings with which he is most associated in the popular imagination: The Pompidou Centre, which he designed jointly with Renzo Piano and the yet to open but much publicised Lloyd’s of London building.
His citation read: ‘Alone among the internationally respected architects of the latter half of the 20th century, Richard Rogers has brought to high technology an element of the Baroque, a richness and a popular touch.
'There is a warmth and breadth of approach in his work which reflects his own personality. He is interested in people first and his buildings are firstly for people. “People places” is one of his expressions and inevitably the Pompidou Centre has become a peoples’ palace – the most visited and enjoyed building in Europe. His unsuccessful competition entry for the national Gallery Extension was the only design which aimed to attract the crowds in Trafalgar Square, which linked the two.
Designer: Richard Rogers Partnership
Copyright: Duccio Malagamba/RIBA British Architectural Library Photographs Collection (2006)
‘His new building for Lloyd’s of London is a tour de force of structural ingenuity, constructional quality and a design of almost mediaeval richness of form in brilliantly expressed current technology. It will lead the heritage of the City of London into the 21st century with Richard Rogers a rightful heir to the traditions of Hawksmoor and Wren.
His place in the architectural history of this country, indeed the world, will however be as much to do with the successful results of his critical engagement with the political world. More than any other, he has ensured that politics can no longer be divorced from architecture, nor architects ignored where it matters in the corridors of power.