Richard Rogers

Richard Rogers (Florence, July 23, 1933) is a British architect. He studied at the prestigious Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, and then earned a master's degree at Yale University (1962). In 1971, together with Renzo Piano, he started the company Piano & Rogers, which designed the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Richard Rogers
Richard Rogers


Beginning of his career

Born in Florence in 1933, Rogers studied at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. He graduated with a master's degree from Yale University in 1962. While studying at Yale University, Rogers met fellow student Norman Foster. On their way back to England, they set up an architectural firm together with their respective wives, Su Brumwell and Wendy Cheeseman. Thus they built a flourishing reputation with architecture that was later called high-tech architecture by the media.

In 1967 the paths of Rogers and Foster parted, but Rogers continued to work with Su Rogers, with John Young and Laurie Abbott. In early 1968 he was commissioned to design a house and studio for Humphrey Spender near Maldon, Essex. His plans: a glass cube framed with I-beams. He continued to use his ideas of prefabrication and structural simplicity to develop a Wimbledon house for his parents. This was based on the ideas of his conceptual "Zip-Up" house, to create energy efficient buildings.

Rogers then joined forces with Italian architect Renzo Piano, a partnership that paid off. His career took a leap forward when, together with Piano, he won the design competition for the Centre Pompidou in July 1971, along with a team from Ove Arup & Partners that included Irish engineer Peter Rice.

This building confirmed Rogers' trademark of displaying most of the building's services (water, heating and ventilation ducts, and stairs) on the outside, leaving the internal spaces uncluttered and open to visitors during exhibitions. This style, called "Bowellism" by some critics, was not universally popular at the time the center opened in 1977, but today the Centre Pompidou is a widely known landmark in Paris. Rogers blended this inside-out style with his design for London's Lloyd's building, completed in 1986 - another controversial design that has since become a well-known and notable landmark in architecture.

Later Career

Rogers devoted much of his later career to broader issues of architecture, urban planning, sustainability and the ways in which cities are used. His ideas were featured in an exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1986, entitled "London If It Could Be", which also featured the work of James Stirling and former partner Norman Foster.

In 1998, he founded the Urban Task Force, at the invitation of the British government, to help identify the causes of urban decay and form a vision of safety, vitality and beauty for Britain. Rogers served for several years as chair of the Greater London Authority panel on Architecture and Urbanism. He stepped down from this post in 2009. He has served as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for Architecture. From 2001 to 2008 he was senior advisor on architecture and urbanism to the then Mayor of London Ken Livingstone. He was then asked by the new Mayor Boris Johnson in 2008 to continue his role as advisor. He stepped down from this post in October 2009. Rogers also served as an advisor to the Mayor of Barcelona on urban planning.

In the midst of these sideline activities, Rogers continued to be controversial and iconic. Perhaps the most famous of his designs, the Millennium Dome, was designed by Rogers' firm along with the engineering firm Buro Happold and was completed in 1999. It was the subject of fierce political and public debates over the cost and content of the permanent exhibition that would be on display there, although the building itself cost only €43 million.

In May 2006, Rogers was chosen as the architect of Tower 3 of the new World Trade Center in New York, replacing the old World Trade Center that was destroyed in the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Some of Rogers' recent plans have no luck getting built. Many of his plans are turned down for financial reasons. However, this happens everywhere so it is nothing personal.


In February 2006, Rogers was a guest at the first meeting of the campaign organization Architects and Planners of Justice in Palestine (APJP) in London. At that time, his firm was secured from a number of projects in New York, including the redevelopment of Silvercup Studios and a commission for a $1.7 billion expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.

However, Rogers decided not to go with APJP in response to pro-Israel constituents and New York politicians who had threatened him with the loss of the prestigious contracts, including projects in New York and abroad. He announced his withdrawal with the statement, "I unequivocally distance myself from Architects and Planners of Justice in Palestine and have divested myself of any contact and further relationship."

The River Cafe

Ruth Rogers, Richard's wife, has been running the renowned restaurant The River Cafe in London since 1987, which was remodeled and furnished by her husband in a building on the north bank of the Thames. The Italian cuisine has a good reputation. Together with her co-owner Rose Gray, and after her death alone, Ruth Rogers wrote a number of cookbooks.


Some of his well-known works include:

  • Centre Pompidou in Paris - together with Renzo Piano (1972-1978)
  • The Lloyd's building, London (1979-1984)
  • European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg (1984)
  • The Millennium Dome in London (1999)
  • Aeropuerto Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Terminal 4, Madrid (2005)
  • The Senedd, the parliament building of Wales, Cardiff (2006)
  • The new Antwerp courthouse, also known as the butterfly palace (2006)
  • The Protos winery in Peñafiel, Ribera el Duero, Spain (2008)

An overview of all his work can be found on the website of his firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.


Rogers was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1981. He became Baron Rogers of Riverside in 1966. He sits as a Labour peer in the House of Lords. Rogers also became a member of the Order of Companions of Honor in 2008.

Rogers was awarded the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 1985 and became a Chevalier in L'Ordre National de la Legion d'honneur in 1986. He received a Gold Lion for Lifetime Achievement. In 2006 Richard Rogers Partnership was awarded the Stirling Prize for Terminal 4 of the Aeropuerto Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas, and again in 2009 for Maggie's Centre in London. In 2007, he was laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. In the same year, he was awarded the Minerva Medal by the Chartered Society of Designers. in 2019, the American Institute of Architects chose Rogers as laureate of the AIA Gold Medal.

Rogers has been awarded honorary doctorates from several universities, including Alfonso X El Sabio University in Madrid, Oxford Brookes University, the University of Kent, Czech Technical University in Prague and The Open University.


"I would like to be known for buildings which are full of light, which are light in weight, which are flexible, which have low energy, which are what we call legible — you can read how the building is put together." – Richard Rogers, 2007.


  • Christoph Gunßer (ed.): Energiesparsiedlungen. Concepts - Techniques - Realised Examples. Georg D.W. Callwey Munich 2000, p. 159[4]


  • Imagine ... Richard Rogers: Inside Out. Documentary, Great Britain, 2007, 55:30 min, Director: James Nutt, Presenter: Alan Yentob, Production: BBC, Series: Imagine, First broadcast: 26 February 2008 on BBC One, Synopsis and video excerpt from BBC.


Visit our media section for a complete overview.


Architects and Planners of Justice in Palestine
High-Tech Architecture
Norman Foster
Richard Rogers
Structural Expressionism
The River Cafe


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This page was last changed on 2021-09-21.