The architect Richard Rogers, the general manager of la Caixa Foundation, Jaime Lanaspa, and the director of la Caixa Foundation Culture Area, Ignasi Miró, have presented the Richard Rogers + Architects. From the house to the city exhibition. The British architect has often been described as the last humanist, in recognition of his determination to create public spaces that encompass the diversity and complexity of the contemporary world and to contribute to finding new forms of collective living.
The display consists of a detailed survey of the work of Richard Rogers and his varied teams of collaborators over the last 40 years and will enable visitors to discover architectural and urban design projects from the start of his career, placing special emphasis on his collaboration with Renzo Piano on the design of the Centre Georges Pompidou (1971-1977), as well as the numerous projects executed from his own architectural practice, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (formerly Richard Rogers Partnership).
From the Lloyds of London building to Terminal 4 at Barajas Airport; from the innovative Zip-Up House of 1968 to his proposals for Shanghais Lu Jia Zui urban development, the exhibition presents a wide range of projects which will help the public gain an insight into the social role that Rogers attributes to architecture.
Influenced by the English School of the 1970s in his buildings, and by the Italian approach to cities, Rogers architectural and urban philosophy is based on his belief in a civil society and the relationship between the built environment and social inclusion. The exhibition also illustrates the concern for ecologically sustainable development which has shaped Rogers work since the beginning of his career.
By employing new materials and innovative techniques, Rogers and his team build structures which are lightweight, transparent and environmentally friendly, that establish a seductive interplay of light and shadow and are simple to understand and use.
The exhibition was inaugurated in the Centre Pompidou in Paris in November 2007, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the opening of that cultural complex, and subsequently travelled to the Design Museum, London, where it could be seen during Spring 2008. Following its stage in CaixaForum Barcelona, the display moves to CaixaForum Madrid, before continuing its international tour of Europe, Asia and North America.
For its presentation in CaixaForum Madrid
the exhibition will dedicate special attention to current and future projects, above all those being undertaken in Spain. So Madrid will provide an opportunity to see plans and models of Rogers work for the Palmas Altas Technology Park in Seville, for arrival of the high-speed train to Valladolid and for the Zaragoza 2008 Expo Bridge. Additionally for the Madrid exhibition, new models have been created of Heathrow Airports Terminal 5.
The exhibition includes a huge 50-metre wall which shows Rogers architectural output in chronological order, offering a rapid review of 40 years of architectural theory and practice. In the adjacent hall, the architect and his team discuss their work, their philosophy and its influences in two audiovisual productions. The projects unfolded by Richard Rogers and his partners are illustrated in the exhibition with a wide variety of materials, including models, drawings, photographs, films and writings by the architect.
Richard Rogers + Architects. From the house to the city is organised in seven colour-coded sections, each of which examines an architectural theme which is developed through a series of projects, models, photographs, drawings and films. The thematic areas presented Transparent, Legible, Green, Public, Urban, Lightweight and Systems feature one or more projects which are particularly relevant under each heading. In this way the visitor is introduced to the architects most important achievements around the world, for example the Lloyds building (London), the Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Bordeaux Law Courts, the National Assembly for Wales (Cardiff), the Millennium Dome (London), the Pudong Masterplan (Shanghai), Terminal 4 at Barajas Airport (Madrid) and 88 Wood Street (London). The exhibition is completed with two further sections. One, under the heading Early Projects, shows a prototype of the Zip-Up House, his revolutionary proposal for the industrial construction of houses, while the second and final section, Work in Progress, provides a detailed review of recent and current projects by the team of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.