Even while being decorated with many of most elite starchitect honors–chief among them the ultra-elite and newly-disgraced Pritzker Prize–Richard Rogers has consistently expressed himself as a man for others. The same can be said of Rogers’ London-based firm, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, evidenced in their work, but also this aspirational social statement on their website. Like his 2008 show at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, this conviction shines through and is the basis of a retrospective on his life, opening today at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. In a recent interview with Dezeen, Rogers explains, “The idea is that we have a responsibility to society. That gives us a role as architects not just to the client but also to the passer-by and society as a whole.”
“On one wall [of the exhibition] it will say ‘a place for all people, all ages, all creeds, the rich and the poor’,” Rogers explains. “That was actually the first paragraph I wrote with Renzo [Piano] when we entered the Pompidou competition but it also explains the heart of the exhibition. That gave us the way of handling the Pompidou, not just as a building but as a place–which I’m much more interested in…On another wall there will be the Hellenic oath which states ‘I will leave this city more beautiful than I entered it’. It was an oath that all citizens made and I would like to think it’s an oath we are all required to make.”
Click here to read Richard Rogers’ interview with Dezeen, online at Dezeen.com.