‘A blast of joy, energy and invention’ – in praise of Richard Rogers

The Observer’s architecture critic pays tribute to a charismatic trailblazer whose courage and vision changed British architectural practice for good One way to understand Richard Rogers is as a man who wanted everything. He wanted beautiful new buildings, a fair and civilised society and success for himself and his friends and collaborators. He was generous and tough, romantic and political. He wanted to be in the middle of it all. Such wishes made for a lifetime of majestic achievement, an impact as great as any British architect has ever made. Two documents from his early life sum him up. When he was born, his cousin Ernesto Rogers, a fine Milanese architect, wrote him a letter: don’t eavesdrop behind the door of life, it advised, break through it. As a student at the Architectural Association in London, R got a damning report from one of his teachers. His drawing was bad, it said, his method of work chaotic, his critical judgment inarticulate. Continue reading...

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