The Royal Academy marks 50 years of pioneering work by Renzo Piano, the architect who co-designed Paris’ Centre Pompidou and went on to add The Shard to London’s skyline.
Featuring rarely seen drawings, models and signature full-scale maquettes, this exhibition is the first survey of internationally renowned architect Renzo Piano’s work in London for almost 30 years. Designed and curated in collaboration with Piano, the showcase explores the design process behind a selection of some of the architect’s most iconic buildings.
Born in Genoa, Italy to a family of builders, Piano rose to fame alongside fellow architect, Richard Rogers, with whom he fought off competition from 280 other design teams to win the commission to build Paris’ new contemporary arts centre, Centre Pompidou. Gaining fame – and some notoriety – for the building’s iconic ‘inside-out’ approach, Piano went on to design the New York Times Building in 2007, The Shard in London in 2013 and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York in 2015.
Described by Rogers as ‘the marriage of poetry and technology’, Piano’s pioneering architectural approach is characterised by a mix of tradition and invention. On show in the Royal Academy’s newly refurbished space in Burlington Gardens, and part of a reinvigorated focus on architecture initiated by the gallery’s 250th anniversary, Renzo Piano charts one man’s extraordinary career – from its beginnings through to future projects in the making.