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RFR was founded in Paris in 1981 as Rice Francis Ritchie sarl, by Peter Rice (structural engineer), Martin Francis (industrial and yacht designer) and Ian Ritchie (architect). It has offices in Stuttgart, Germany; Shanghai, China; and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
RFR is a design engineering firm with its head office based in Paris and specialises in the design of complex structures and sophisticated building envelopes that reconcile engineering and architecture. RFR has designed structures intended for unique locations like the Musée du Louvre or the Louis Vuitton store on the avenue des Champs Elysées in Paris, the Capitol in Washington, the Irish Parliament building in Dublin, and the library of the Indian Parliament in New Delhi.
Ian Ritchie retired from RFR at the end of the 1980s to focus his work on architecture from his studio in London.
RFR was placed in judicial liquidation in late 2015 due to financial problems largely stemming from design errors made by its subsidiary RFR Gros Oeuvre + (RFR GO+) for the foundations of a new building for the Toulouse School of Economics, causing the entire construction site to be put on hold for a year. This followed other design errors by RFR GO+ discovered in Strasbourg the preceding year, requiring the demolition of the nearly completed building and the loss of the construction permit; and in Limoge in early 2015, requiring the installation of temporary props to stabilize the structure while the project engineers searched for a solution.
Despite an offer by a group of 13 employees to purchase the company and convert it to a worker cooperative (SCOP, Société coopérative et participative in French), the French court awarded the company to Artelia, a large French engineering conglomerate.
RFR has won international laurels and awards including French/European steel awards, RIBA Awards, INGENIEURBAUPREIS 2006 for the AWD stadium in Hanover, Académie de l'Architecture Silver Medal for Research and Technique.
• Le verre structurel, Peter Rice, Hugh Dutton, Editions du Moniteur, Paris, 1990
• Exploring materials, the work of Peter Rice, RIBA Gallery, London1992
• Peter Rice, An Engineer imagines, Artemis, London, 1994
• L'art de l'ingénieur, B.Vaudeville, JF.Blassel, H.Bardsley, M.Kutterer, Petit journal de l'exposition, 1997
• L'art de l'ingénieur : constructeur, entrepreneur, inventeur, Antoine Picon, 1997
Members of RFR regularly lecture internationally on glass structures and new geometric applications, including the Pisa university, Technical University Vienna, Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), and Ecole Spéciale d'Architecture, Paris, France.
- Louvre Pyramid
- Cité des Sciences, La Villette
- Charles de Gaulle International Airport (Roissy) Airport Terminal 2F
- Roissy Airport TGV Station
- Avignon TGV Station
- World Trade Center (Amsterdam)
- Irish Parliament Building
- Simone de Beauvoir Bridge