Norman Foster, David Chipperfield and Ivan Harbour honour a ‘great pioneering architect of the modern age’

Graham Stirk, Richard Rogers and Ivan Harbour

Source: Dan Stevens

Richard Rogers with Graham Stirk, left, and Ivan Harbour

Norman Foster has led tributes to Richard Rogers, who died yesterday aged 88.

Foster described Rogers as his “oldest and closest friend” and a kindred spirit for 60 years.

“Richard Rogers was a great pioneering architect of the modern age, socially committed and an influential protagonist for the best of city life – such a legacy,” he wrote in a piece published on Building Design.

David Chipperfield wrote on Instagram: ”It is difficult to think that we will never see the beautiful smile of Richard Rogers again. He has left us so much through his work, his political engagement and the example he set as a person and his consideration for others. Few people can claim to have been genuinely loved by so many. In their sadness [his wife] Ruthie and the family must be so rightly proud of him.”

Ivan Harbour, a director of the practice founded by Rogers, described him as “a unique and wonderful human being” to whom he owed so much.

Harbour said: “Through Richard, as a young graduate, I learnt that architecture was about much more than the design of buildings; its social and political impacts were equally important.

“He gave me the opportunity when I was very young to explore and originate unencumbered in the highly creative environment that he presided over. I am indebted to him for that trust he placed in me.

“Over the subsequent 30-plus years we achieved more than I ever imagined possible, practising together, learning from each other, always looking to the future, always looking to make things better. His absence is very close, but his presence remains with me.

“I will never forget his wry smile, his infectious laugh, his paternal nature, and his sharp intellect. He was not an archetypical architect, but he was a unique and wonderful human being.”

Right from the start of his career when he and Renzo Piano won the competition for the Pompidou Centre as virtual unknowns, Rogers has designed some of the world’s most famous and best loved buildings.

He won the Pritzker Prize, the RIBA Gold Medal and two Stirling Prizes among many other honours, and was elevated to the House of Lords as Baron Rogers of Riverside by Tony Blair in 1997, where he served until May this year.

Ed Vaizey, a fellow member of the House of Lords and former architecture minister, tweeted: “Farewell to Richard Rogers, one of Britain’s greatest architects. He leaves behind an incredible legacy. I was lucky enough to list the home he built for his parents.”

Another peer, Andrew Adonis, former secretary of state and former chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, wrote: ”A true genius of modern city planning and architecture. He influenced a generation like no other and I was privileged to be a friend.”

The LSE’s director of estates Julian Robinson, who commissioned RSHP to design the recently opened Centre Building after an international design competition, tweeted: “Richard was a lovely bloke. He took a personal interest in the design and development of #lse Centre Building. Coming to site and donning full PPE to get to ride in the hoist to the top of the building at the age of 84!”

Immediate past president of the RIBA, Alan Jones, called him ”one of the global giants of the architects’ profession”.

London mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted: ”Terribly saddened to learn of the death of Richard Rogers. He was one of the world’s most influential architects and the brilliant mind behind some of London’s most iconic buildings. My condolences to Ruthie and the family.”

James Timberlake, from Kieran Timberlake, the practice that designed the new US embassy in Nine Elms, said: ”Grateful to Sir Richard Rogers for his gracious and generous participation in the jury and peer review of @KIERANTMBERLK’s winning design for @USAinUK for @StateDept - architecture has lost a giant.”

Architect and RIBA councillor Simone de Gale said: ”Richard Rogers nominated me to RIBA council where I am now honorary treasurer. He also supported our company’s Hammersmith Flyunder project (with West London Link Design). He was kind and modest in all his greatness. His works were beautiful and inspirational every time.”

Ambassador Simon Manley, the UK’s permanent representative to the WTO and UN in Geneva, tweeted a picture of Barajas, said: “RIP Richard Rogers, whose brilliant work (here at T4 in Madrid), will live on for generations to come.”

Tributes from the profession and beyond

RSHP partner Tracy Meller:

RSHP partner John McElgunn:

Grimshaw principal Angela Dapper:

Peter Barber, founder of Peter Barber Architects:

Hana Loftus, co-founder of Hat Projects:

Renzo Piano Building Workshop:

The foundation set up in memory of leading architectural visualiser Alan Davidson:

Writer and broadcaster Tom Dyckhoff:

Former RIBA president Ben Derbyshire:

Lara Kinneir, LSA tutor and ex-Design for London:

Charles Holland Architects founder and former FAT director Charles Holland:

The Welsh Parliament - Senedd:

Designer and musician Trevor Jackson:

Vicky Richardson, head of architecture at the Royal Academy:

Bartlett professor Sophia Psarra:

Public Practice associate Eleri Thomas:

Chris Romer-Lee, co-founder of Studio Octopi:

Alex Ely, founder of Mae:


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