Renzo Piano

It’s the press view of our Renzo Piano exhibition today: a very thoughtful exploration of his practice as an architect through models, drawings and original archival material. I hadn’t realised that he came to London in 1969 to teach at the AA and set up practice with Richard and Su Rogers then, pre-Pompidou entry. I’ve also always liked his building for the Menil Foundation in Houston, even better than Pompidou – light and lightweight, highly respectful of its suburban surroundings, looking out onto greenery. There’s a nice drawing of the roof structure, showing Renzo Piano with a pipe. Amongst later projects, the two that I know are the Whitney Museum, successful not just for its creation of good public spaces at the bottom of the High Line, but for very good, well considered back-of-house spaces, often neglected in museum projects; and the Shard, which I’ve always liked for its cathedral-like monumentality on the skyline. But there are also lots of projects I don’t know.

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