Richard Rogers’ greatest legacy is not a building but his activism

Rogers c Andrew Zuckerman 32521 M

As Richard Rogers retires from the practice he founded more than 40 years ago, former colleague Sarah Gaventa considers his legacy

Richard Rogers’ greatest achievements, to me, are not the buildings to which his name is attached – and whose design is often the work of others – but his contribution to the role and value of architecture in our society.

His highly effective activism, which is what it would be called now – lobbying and steering politicians and decision-makers, advocating for improving our cities and public spaces and the lives of citizens through quality design – seems far more important.

This activism applies to the practice too. He spotted and nurtured great talent; some who stayed to be his partners and others who went off to start their own successful practices – and whom he happily recommended for work.

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