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Renzo Piano
Introduction:
Renzo Piano was born into a family of builders in Genoa, Italy in 1937 The
family had a construc...
Contributions:
Renzo Piano's first important commission was in 1969 to design the Italian
Industry Pavilion at Expo'70 in ...
Work Done:
In 1995, Renzo Piano was called upon to renovate the Centre Georges
Pompidou. He was asked to expand the librar...
sculpture and music. The constructions are curved structures resembling
huts, built out of joists and ribs and Renzo Piano...
Achievements & Awards:
In 1981, the Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) was established, and it
currently has a staff of ...
Latest Project:
Ten years after the completion of Georges Pompidou Centre, in 1987
another remarkable project came to him ...
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English Assignment 2

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Transcript of "English Assignment 2"

  1. 1. Renzo Piano Introduction: Renzo Piano was born into a family of builders in Genoa, Italy in 1937 The family had a construction business that included his father, grandfather and his uncles. Piano grew in a strong environment of construction. As a child he used to visit his father’s construction sites and like any other child, he was fascinated to see the people at work creating stimulating structures. Usually, construction does not thrill adults so much, unless they are involved, but for the children, it’s an adventure and a lot of fun. The same thing happened with Piano; he looked at the details and the execution due to an instinctive curiosity. He also wondered about the designers who designed those buildings. As he grew, his curiosity about the designers amplified and he decided to become an architect. He was seventeen when he approached his beloved father with the idea of going to an architecture school. "Why do you want to be just an architect? You can be a builder," was his father's response. “You can make things, why would you just design things?”. Renzo Piano was studying at Milan Polytechnic Architecture School. During his studies, Renzo Piano was working under the design guidance of Franco Albini. In 1964, he received his diploma and subsequently worked with his father, a building contractor, in Genoa. It was on building sites that the young architect acquired the rudiments of his experimental and craftsman like philosophy. Between the years 1965 and 1970, Piano worked with Louis Kahn in Philadelphia and with Z.S. Makowsky in London studying stressed-skin space grids and three-dimensional structures in tension.
  2. 2. Contributions: Renzo Piano's first important commission was in 1969 to design the Italian Industry Pavilion at Expo'70 in Osaka. The Expo project attracted much favorable attention, including that of another young English architect named Richard Rogers. The two architects found that they had a great deal in common and an engineering firm suggested they worked together and enter the international competition for the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris; they did and won. The result was a hundred thousand square meters in the heart of Paris, devoted to the figurative arts, music, industrial design and literature. In the two decades since it opened, over a hundred and fifty million people have visited it averaging more than twenty five thousand people per day - an overwhelming success - both with the people of Paris and international media. Both Rogers and Renzo Piano became recognizable names throughout the world. Characteristics of this six-storey complex is visible technology in the form of construction grids, utility elements in brightcolours and transparent pipes.This building is often described as, “high tech", but Renzo Piano prefers other modifiers. Renzo Piano says “The center was intended to be a joyful urban machine, a creature that might have come from a Jules Verne book, or an unlikely looking ship in dry dock. It is a double provocation, a challenge to academicism, but also a parody of the technological imagery of our time. To see it as high-tech is misunderstanding." One of the casualties of this project, which required years of living in Paris, however, was Renzo Piano's marriage. In 1989, Renzo Piano met Emilia Rossato when she came to work for his Renzo Piano Building workshop. They got married in 1992 by Jacques Chirac and they live in Paris and divide their time between offices in Paris and Genoa with frequent trips to his many projects around the world.The Rano-Rogers collaboration remained 6 years; in 1977 Rogers moved his office from Paris to London, where Renzo Piano designed number of interesting buildings.
  3. 3. Work Done: In 1995, Renzo Piano was called upon to renovate the Centre Georges Pompidou. He was asked to expand the library and exhibition place and to reorganize public spaces. The renovation was reopened on the eve of new millennium, December 31,1999. Renzo Piano's principal work includes more than 40 world-famous projects, as museums, galleries, churches, music parks, institutes and national centers, shopping centers, bridges, reconstructions of squares, airports and many more.One of his most famous museum is De Menil Collection in Houston, Texas. It was in 1982, that art collector Dominique de Menil contacted Renzo Piano to design a museum for her collection, which embodied more than ten thousand works of primitive and modern art. The museum was intended also as a center for music, literature, theatre and cultural educational activities. It is located in a small park surrounded by low residential housing, and it’s characteristic is unique because of its simplicity, flexibility, open spaces and illumination with natural light. Renzo Piano designed a special kind of roof, almost like leaves,a thin ferrocement which lets the light inside the exhibition rooms and to which additional lights could be easily attached. Renzo Piano compares this museum with Centre Pompidou and says: "Paradoxically, the Menil Collection with its great serenity, its calm and its understatement is far more modern than Centre Pompidou. The technological appearance of Pompidou Centre is parody. The technology used for the Menil Collection is even more advanced, but it is not. On the other side of the world in Noum, New Caledonia, Rano was doing The Tjibaou Cultural Centre.Rano explained that the project addresses the difficulties of finding a way to express traditions of the Pacific in modern language. His concept is genuine village composed on ten structures of different sizes and functions. The largest is as tall as nine storey building. The ten structures of the center are organized into three villages: One is devoted to exhibition, another is for administrative staff, historians and other offices; the third is for creative activities such as oance, painting,
  4. 4. sculpture and music. The constructions are curved structures resembling huts, built out of joists and ribs and Renzo Piano adds “They are an expression of the harmonious relationship with the environment, that is typical for the local culture."
  5. 5. Achievements & Awards: In 1981, the Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) was established, and it currently has a staff of 150 and offices in Paris, Genoa and New York. RPBW has designed buildings all around the world: the Menil Collection in Houston, the terminal for Kansai International Airport in Osaka, the FondationBeyeler Museum in Basel, the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre in New Caledonia, PotsdamerPlatz in Berlin, the redevelopment of the Genoa harbour, the Auditorium “Parco dellaMusica” in Rome, the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, the extensions of the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Morgan Library in New York, the MaisonHermès in Tokyo, the New York Times headquarters, the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago, the rehabilitation of the Ronchamp site, the expansion of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Recognition of his achievements has included awards such as the RIBA Royal Gold Medal for Architecture in 1989, the PreamiumImperiale in Tokyo in 1995, the Pritzker Architecture Prize in1998, and the AIA Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects in 2008. Some of his most important current projects include the redevelopment and enlargement of the Fogg Museum in Cambridge (Massachusetts), the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Campus of Columbia University in New York, an expansion of the Kimbell Art Museum in Forth Worth, the London Bridge Tower in London, the Tower San Paolo in Turin, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens and the Botin Art Centre in Santander, Spain.
  6. 6. Latest Project: Ten years after the completion of Georges Pompidou Centre, in 1987 another remarkable project came to him – the Kansai Air Port at Osaka Bay. A building spread across a little less than 1.5 kilometers. It was to be constructed on a man-made island and because this artificial island was continuously sinking the structure had to be flexible enough to sustain irregular settlements. This project required a great deal of technical expertise without compromising on the aesthetics and both were perfectly achieved by Piano’s committed team. Due to the spectacular architecture and engineering of this world- renowned terminal, Kansai International Airport is now considered to be one of the most brilliantly designed terminals ever erected. It was completed in 1994 and was inaugurated by the Prince of Japan. Just before the completion of Kansai Airport, in 1993, Peter Rice died. It was a great setback for Piano as he and Peter had designed many beautiful structures together for sixteen years. However Piano then founded the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, with offices in Paris and Genoa. Today, some 100 people work with him in close collaboration with some associated architects, linked to him by years of experience. His father's romance for construction and his childhood memories at the construction sites have never been forgotten. Perhaps that is the reason for the name Renzo Piano Building Workshop, rather than Piano Architects & Associates. Piano not only designs but makes things and tests them.

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