The Renzo Piano Building Workshop / by Brendhan Stowe

Renzo Piano is an italian architect who has reinvented architecture through his projects dispersed around the world. His feature commisiones include a Mixed Use Tower in Sydney, Australia, an Air Terminal in Osaka Bay, Japan, the reconstruction of Potsdamer Platz in Berlin and the Beyeler Foundation Museum in Basel, Switzerland. But even these few projects don't begin to explain the full range of this great architect. 

He was born in 1937  in Genoa, Italy and raised in a family of constructors. His grandfather, his father, four uncles and a brother were all builders.  Instead he chose architecture later describing his work as a passion for construction, resulting from growing up surrounded by builders.

In 1980 he founded the Renzo Piano Building Workshop and presently occupies offices in Paris, Genoa and Berlin with approximately one hundred employees.

His first important project was in 1969, the design the Italian Industry Pavilion at Expo ‘70 in Osaka. 

He is perhaps best known for his controversial design of the Centre Georges Pompidou, located in the heart of Paris which was completed in 1978

Other notable works include the Whitney Museum at Gansevoort(2007-2015) in New York, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art(2006-2012) in Oslo, Norway, London Bridge Tower(2000-2012) in London and The New York Times Building(2000-2007) in New York

“We not only design things there, but we also make things, and test them. Keeping some of the action together with the conception makes me feel a little less like a traitor to my family. The name is also a deliberate expression of the sense of collaboration and teamwork that permeates our work.” 
-Renzo Piano

Renzo Piano Awards:

2008
Gold Medal, (AIA) American Institute of Architect, Washington, U.S.A.
Sonning Prize, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

1998    
The Pritzker Architecture Prize, The White House, Washington, U.S.A.

1995    
Art Prize of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Germany
Praemium Imperiale, Tokyo, Japan
Erasmus Prize, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

1989    
R.I.B.A. Royal Gold Medal for Architecture, London, U.K.    
Cavaliere di Gran Croce Award by the Italian Government, Rome, Italy