Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW)

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About Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW)

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Renzo PianoThe Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) is an international architectural practice with offices in Paris, Genoa and New York City.

The Renzo Piano Building Workshop is led by 14 partners, including founder and Pritzker Prize laureate, architect Renzo Piano. The company permanently employs nearly 130 people. Our 90-plus architects are from all around the world, each selected for their experience, enthusiasm and calibre.

The company’s staff has the expertise to provide full architectural design services, from concept design stage to construction supervision. Our design skills also include interior design, town planning and urban design, landscape design and exhibition design services.

Since its formation in 1981, RPBW has successfully undertaken and completed over 120 projects across Europe, North America, Australasia and East Asia. Among its best known works are: the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas; the Kansai International Airport Terminal Building in Osaka; the Kanak Cultural Center in New Caledonia; the Beyeler Foundation in Basel; the Rome Auditorium; the Maison Hermès in Tokyo; the Morgan Library and the New York Times Building in New York City; and the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Recently completed works include the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum extension in Boston, the Shard in London, and the Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo.

The quality of Renzo Piano Building Workshop ’s work has been recognised by over 70 design awards, including major awards from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

In all our work we aim to address the specific features and potential of a particular situation, embracing them into the project while responding to the requirements of the program. We continue to push the limits of building technology – innovating, refining and experimenting – to come up with the very best solution for each situation.

Our method of working is highly participatory, with clients, engineers and specialist consultants all contributing from the beginning of a project and throughout the design process.

Our approach to design is not strictly conventional and involves the use of physical models and one-to-one scale mock-ups to help test and develop our proposed design concepts. We also believe that the design process is not linear and that it requires architects to think and draw on different scales at the same time, considering each finished detail in the development of the overall design.

Renzo Piano was born in Genoa, Italy, in 1937, into a family of builders. He has maintained strong sentimental and cultural ties with his hometown. Genoa’s historic center, its port and its connection to the sea, and his father’s trade activities deeply influenced the young architect’s perspective.

During his studies at the Milan Polytechnic, Renzo Piano worked at Franco Albini’s workshop. He graduated from the University in 1964 and began working with experimental lightweight structures and basic shelters.

Between 1965 and 1970, Piano traveled extensively to the United States and the United Kingdom. In 1971, he founded “Piano & Rogers” jointly with Richard Rogers, and together they won the competition for the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, where Piano currently lives.

From the early 1970s until the 1990s, he collaborated with engineer Peter Rice and established “Atelier Piano & Rice” in 1977.

In 1981, Piano founded the “Renzo Piano Building Workshop” (www.rpbw.com), employing a hundred people with offices in Paris, Genoa and New York.

Piano’s projects include, among many others, the Cultural Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris; the regeneration of Genoa’s old port; the redevelopment of Potsdamer Platz in Berlin; the Kansai International Airport Terminal in Osaka; the Beyeler Foundation Museum in Riehen; the Centre Paul Klee in Bern; the remodeling and expansion of Morgan Library and the New York Times’ new building in New York; and the Parco della Musica Auditorium in Rome.

Renzo Piano ’s many awards include the Pritzker Architecture Prize (1998) and the Gold Medal by the American Institute of Architects (2008).