Renzo Piano

Born into a family of builders, in September 1937, Renzo Piano is now an Italian architect and engineer. Piano is a renowned architect and is the holder of many achievements, he was the winner of the Pritzker Prize in 1998, he was selected by ‘TIME’ as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2006, and he was selected as the 10th most influential person in the ‘Arts and Entertainment’ category of the 2006 Time 100. Also, in August 2013 he was made Senator for life in the Italian Senate by the President, Giorgio Napolitano.

He Career began through collaborating with other architects, from 1965 to 1970 he work in the firm of Louis Kahn, an iconic architect in Philadelphia. He also worked with Z.S Makowski in London and he and Richard Roberts had a firm together between 1971 and 1977. In 1981 Piano founded Renzo Piano Building Workshop, and it now employs over 150 people, in offices across Paris, New York City and Genoa.

Some of his most well known pieces of architecture are the Nemo Science Centre in Amsterdam, The Shard in London, Kansai International Airport in Osaka, The New York Times Building, and The Living Roof of the Californian Academy of Sciences.

The Shard, in London is the piece of Renzo Pianos architecture that I find most interesting. The enormous glass structure is 1016ft high, making it the 2nd tallest free standing structure in England, and the 4th tallest building in Europe. The glass sides mirror those of a shard of glass, hence the name it was given, and it is often referred to a Shard of Glass. Inspiration for The Shard came when Piano met with the developer Irvine Sellar, according to Sellar, “He saw the beauty of the river and the railways and the way their energy blended and began to sketch in green felt pen on a napkin what he saw as a giant sail or iceberg”, and this is how the The Shard started, Sellar said, in a recent interview, that he still keeps the napkin the Piano sketched the design on in his office.


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