Renzo Piano

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Senator for life
Renzo Piano
Renzo Piano cropped.jpg
Piano in 2007
Born (1937-09-14) 14 September 1937 (age 76)
Genoa, Italy
Nationality Italian
Alma mater Politecnico di Milano
Awards Pritzker Architecture Prize
RIBA Gold Medal
Sonning Prize
AIA Gold Medal
Kyoto Prize
Practice Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Buildings Centre Georges Pompidou
Parco della Musica
Shard London Bridge
The New York Times Building
Nemo Science Centre in Amsterdam. The shape reflects the tunnel entrance it is built on
The Living Roof of the California Academy of Sciences, a museum and research facility in San Francisco, United States
Kansai International Airport, Osaka, Japan (1991–1994)
Shard London Bridge, London, UK (2012)

Renzo Piano, Ufficiale OMRI (Italian: [ˈrɛntso ˈpjano]; born 14 September 1937) is an Italian Pritzker Prize-winning architect. Architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff said of Piano's works that the "...serenity of his best buildings can almost make you believe that we live in a civilized world."[1]

In 2006, Piano was selected by TIME as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.[2] He was selected as the 10th most influential person in the "Arts and Entertainment" category of the 2006 Time 100.

In August 2013 he was appointed Senator for Life in the Italian Senate by President Giorgio Napolitano.[3]


Piano was born in Genoa, Italy, in 1937, into a family of builders. He was educated and subsequently taught at the Politecnico di Milano. He graduated from the University in 1964 with a dissertation about modular coordination (coordinazione modulare) supervised by Giuseppe Ciribini[4] and began working with experimental lightweight structures and basic shelters.[5]


From 1965 to 1970 he worked with Louis Kahn and Z.S. Makowsky. He worked together with Richard Rogers from 1971 to 1977; their most famous joint project, together with the Italian architect Gianfranco Franchini (it) is the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (1971). He also had a long collaboration with the engineer Peter Rice, with whom he shared a practice (L'Atelier Piano and Rice) between 1977 and 1981.

In 1981, Piano founded the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, which today employs 150 people and maintains offices in Paris, Genoa, and New York City.[6]

In 1994, Renzo Piano won the international competition for the new Auditorium in Rome. The Auditorium Parco della Musica, a large multi-functional public music complex situated in the north of city, was inaugurated in 2002.

In 1999, Piano designed a watch entitled "Jelly Piano (GZ159)" for the Swatch Summer Collection. The watch design is clear and the exposed inner workings were influenced by his Centre Georges Pompidou design.[7]

In 2001, he designed the Maison Hermes store in Ginza, Tokyo in the design of a traditional Japanese magic lantern.[8] It is fory-five meters tall by eleven meters wide.[8]

On 18 March 2008, he became an honorary citizen of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.[9]

Piano's recent expansion of the Art Institute of Chicago includes a 264,000-square-foot (24,500 m2) wing with 60,000 square feet (5,600 m2) of gallery space[10] called the Modern Wing, which opened on 16 May 2009.[1][11] It includes a "flying carpet", a sunscreen that hovers above the roof and a 620-foot (190 m) steel bridge connecting Millennium Park to a sculpture terrace that leads into a restaurant on the wing’s third floor.

His current projects include the The Shard, Europe's tallest skyscraper which was opened on July 6, 2012, and the Centro de Arte Botín. The Botin Foundation,[12] the largest private foundation in Spain, will invest over US $150 million for the construction and programming of a new Botín Center that will become an international reference in culture and education for the development of creativity through art.[13] Another controversial project nearing its completion is the Valletta City Gate in Malta which may result in the City's loss of its UNESCO title.[14]

On 30 August 2013 he was appointed senator for life because of his "outstanding cultural achievements" by the President of the Italian Republic.

Selected projects[edit]






  1. ^ a b Ouroussof, Nicolai (May 13, 2009). "Renzo Piano Embraces Chicago". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-05-13. 
  2. ^ "The 2006 Time 100". Time. 8 May 2006. 
  3. ^ "Il Presidente Napolitano nomina Abbado, Cattaneo, Piano e Rubbia senatori a vita". 2013-08-30. Retrieved 2013-08-30. 
  4. ^ Daniela Bosia (2013). L'opera di Giuseppe Ciribini. Milan: Franco Angeli. p. 15. Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  5. ^ "Renzo Piano: Environmentally Progressive Concept Design for Athens' Modern Urban Icon, The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC)". 2009-01-27. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  6. ^ "Renzo Piano Building Workshop website". Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  7. ^ "Official Swatch Website - Swatch International". Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  8. ^ a b Chevalier, Michel (2012). Luxury Brand Management. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-118-17176-9. 
  9. ^ "Renzo Piano počasni građanin Sarajeva -". 2008-03-18. Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  10. ^ Smith, Roberta (May 13, 2009). "A Grand and Intimate Modern Art Trove". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-05-13. 
  11. ^ Ouroussof, Nicolai (May 13, 2009). "Renzo Piano Embraces Chicago (slide show)". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-05-13. 
  12. ^ "Fundación Botín". 2012-09-30. Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  13. ^ "Botín Center / Renzo Piano". ArchDaily. 12 Jun 2012. 
  14. ^ Unesco to probe City Gate project. (2013-07-22). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  15. ^ Simon O'Hagan (April 28, 2012). "Renzo Piano: 'The Shard is my dream building'". London: The Independent. 
  16. ^ Arkiteknytt Article. ""Verdens vakreste museum"", Mars 2009
  17. ^ "ARS AEVI Museum of Contemporary Art in Sarajevo". Retrieved 15 June 2011. 
  18. ^ "Ars Aevi Project - News from Cooperazione Italiana allo Sviluppo in Bosnia Erzegovina". Retrieved 15 June 2011. 
  19. ^ a b "Le onorificenze della Repubblica italiana". Retrieved 2012-10-17. 

External links[edit]