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Bowellism is a modern style of architecture associated with Richard Rogers. The Pompidou Centre in Paris (1977) by Rogers and Renzo Piano has been called a "vast exercise in Bowellism".[1] Based on the rationale that the greatest amount of floor space possible should be allowed for the interior so as to maximize space to appreciate the exhibitions, everything from the lifts to the sewage pipes was made visible on the outside of the structure.[2] This inside-out style was termed 'Bowellism' because it recalled the way the human body works. However, the style originated with Michael Webb's 1957 student project for a Furniture Manufacturers Association building in High Wycombe.[3][4][5] Webb coined the term in response to a comment on his design by Sir Nikolaus Pevsner in a 1961 lecture, in which he recalled hearing the words: "within the schools there are some disturbing trends; I saw the other day a design for a building that looked like a series of stomachs sitting on a plate. Or bowels, connected by bits of gristle".[6]


  1. ^ Jonathan Richards, Facadism, London: Routledge, 1994, ISBN 9780415083164, p. 60.
  2. ^ Richard Rogers, Architects, From Here to Modernity, archived at the Wayback Machine, 15 March 2004.
  3. ^ Geoffrey Howard Baker, The Architecture of James Stirling and His Partners James Gowan and Michael Wilford: A Study of Architectural Creativity in the Twentieth Century, Farnham, Surrey / Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate, 2011, ISBN 9781409409267, p. 158.
  4. ^ Radical Post-Modernism, ed. Charles Jencks, FAT, Architectural Design 81.5, Profile 213, Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley, 2011, ISBN 978-0-470-66988-4, p. 107.
  5. ^ Simon Sadler, Archigram: Architecture Without Architecture, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT, 2005, p. 23, 1.11, 1.12 caption, calling bowellism a "micromovement".
  6. ^ Samantha Hardingham and David Greene, The disreputable projects of David Greene, Architectural Association Publications 2007-10-01, OCLC 811429228, pdf p. 44.