Renzo Piano’s studio-RPBW- was created in 1981 by Renzo Piano. There are offices in Italy (Genoa), in France (Paris) and in the United States (New York).
RPBW is directed by 9 partners. Among them, architect Renzo Piano is the founder of the studio and the Laureate of the Pritzker Prize.
The studio fully employs roughly 130 architects as well as 30 co-workers with different skills, notably 3D visualization artists, model makers, archivists, administrative staff, office workers.
RPBW has been involved and has successfully completed over 140 projects in the world.
Gênes (Italy), 1937.
Born into a family of builders, he has always given much importance to materials and building techniques.
To him, the work of an architect is a long maturing process, from the design to the end of a project. Renzo Piano takes great account of the context of his buildings. Thanks to architecture, such immaterial elements as transparency, lightness and light are materialized.
«The beauty of a space does not come from the fact that it is limited by walls or ceilings but from the fact that such elements as light, colours, greenery have been used.… »
Renzo Piano, 1968
RENZO PIANO’S ARCHITECTURE
Renzo Piano defines himself as a listener, an architect in a constant dialogue with his client as well as the site.
He is a modest and approachable man. Institutions as well as the greatest sponsors trust him.
His keen sense for detail gives his works an irreproachable perfection. Contrary to Le Corbusier, he mostly uses steel and glass but he knows how to carry out the order and to adapt to the place, for example in Ronchamp, where everything was built in concrete.
He founded the Renzo Piano Building Workshop in 1981. He is the President and has 14 partners who are also architects, with whom he has realized all his creations. His foundation (2004) aims at revealing new talents, encouraging research in architecture and supporting young architects thanks to scholarships.
Renzo Piano is recognized as a prominent figure in the artistic world. He was awarded numerous prizes and honorary distinctions (Pritzker Prize, senator of the Italian Republic).
QUELQUES ŒUVRES DE RENZO PIANO
CENTRE GEORGES POMPIDOU, PARIS, FRANCE, 1977
CITE INTERNATIONALE, LYON, FRANCE, 1996
BEYELER FOUNDATION, BÂLE, SWITZERLAND, 1997
MAISON HERMÈS, TOKYO, JAPAN, 2001
PALAIS DE JUSTICE, PARIS, 2012
PARIS, FRANCE, 1977
The project was commissioned by then French President of the Republic, Georges Pompidou, in 1969. An international architectural competition was launched by the French Ministry of Culture in 1971. It was won by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers.
The whole structure of this 10-floor and 5-level building is made of steel. Huge 48 -meter- long warren trusses span the full width of the building. They are connected to columns at each end by a die-cast steel “gerberette”. This massive and visible set of structural components suppresses the need for internal support and thus enables the creation of huge open spaces.
Despite earlier widespread opposition to the project, the public was quick to embrace the “Centre Pompidou”. Since its opening in 1977, over 150 million visitors passed through its doors. Because of this extraordinary popularity, it became necessary to close the building to renovate it and to enlarge public spaces. The “Centre Pompidou” was reopened in 2000.
NEW-YORK, UNITED-STATES, 2015
Inaugurated in 2015, the new Whitney Museum of American Art substantially enlarged the Whitney’s exhibition and programming space. For the first time, the complete collection of the Museum could be viewed. Today, the growing collection comprises over 19,000 modern and contemporary American works of art.
Clad in blue-pale grey steel panels, the eight-storey building is powerfully asymmetrical.
A gallery of permanent exhibitions, a theatre, a library, a conservation centre, museum offices, reading rooms compose the Museum today.
The new Whitney reopened on the 1st May, 2015.
THE BEYELER FOUNDATION,
BÂLE, SWITZERLAND, 1997
The Beyeler Foundation museum came into being when arts patron and collector Ernst Beyeler decided to share his extraordinary collection with the public. It was built in the park of the 18th-century Villa Berower, which houses the museum’s offices and a restaurant. Beyeler wanted the art to be lit entirely by natural light and the museum to be immersed in the surrounding greenery.
The building sits on a long and narrow plot of land dotted with centuries-old trees, bordered by a road at its eastern edge and to the west by cultivated fields that spread out over the entire valley.
The museum building has a rigorous site plan made up of four main walls of equal length that run in a north-south direction along the perimeter wall. The walls- 127 m long and 4.8 m high- are made of reinforced concrete and covered in a red porphyry stone mined in Patagonia, its grain and hue reminiscent of the stone used for Basel Cathedral.
The cross section is more dynamic: the walls have different heights, with the one further east extending into the park to become a low wall resembling the building that leads visitors towards the entrance. The museum exploits the natural slope of the terrain and its glass roof seems to float over the more solid structure of the walls.
The inner spaces of the museum are organized by the four traversing walls and, north and south, the galleries end with floor to ceiling windows that are 6.8 m wide and 5 m high. These vas windows connect the indoors with the outside and help to establish a dialogue between the works of art on display and the surrounding landscape. Along the western side, the intimate rooms of the museum are flanked by a long narrow winter garden encased in glass: a space for contemplation and rest.
TOKYO, JAPAN, 2001
Celebrated French fashion house Hermès commissioned Renzo Piano to design a building for their Japanese headquarters in 1998.
Its location at the heart of Tokyo’s densely built, neon-lit Ginza shopping district, and the stringent building regulations regarding earthquakes and fire, have influenced a compact and unique building with a distinctive glass façade. The building contains a shop, offices, an exhibition space and access to the underground station below Harumi Avenue.
The slim building, only 10 m wide on its Harumi Avenue frontage, runs back 56 m along a quiet side street, and rises 10 storeys high. It has a unique glass façade made of 13,000 bespoke, 450 mm-square glass blocks (with special smaller, curved glass bricks at the building’s corners).
Much larger than standard glass blocks, these were especially made by Vetroarredo in Florence, Italy, and had to meet stringent fire and earthquake regulations. Their stamped textured glass finish means they are translucent rather than transparent, the overall effect of the façade being somewhat like a contemporary version of the traditional Japanese screen.
GENOA, ITALY, 2020
The new bridge over the Polcevera represents a significant junction for the road connections and transportation in Genoa, Liguria and the whole of Italy. Following the collapse of the Morandi bridge on 14 August 2018, its rapid reconstruction aims at becoming a model for the renovation and adaptation of Italian infrastructure with a high social, economic and strategic significance. The new viaduct, which crosses the anthropised area of Val Polcevera, takes on the character of an “urban bridge”. This condition has characterized the design, ensuring that it is in tune not only with the infrastructure itself, but also with the surrounding area.
The new bridge is rested on the ground by means of slender reinforced concrete piers with an elliptical section of 4 meters by 9.5 meters.