Veteran Architect Richard George Rogers passes away at 88

Richard George Rogers, (23 July 1933 – 18 December 2021) was a British Architect who was born in Italy and was known for his modernist and functionalist high-tech projects.

Rogers’ work on the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Lloyd’s Building and Millennium Dome in London, the Senedd Building in Cardiff, and the European Court of Human Rights building in Strasbourg were among his most well-known projects.

Interesting facts about Richard George Rogers

Age88 Years (at the time of his Death)
Zodiac signLeo
Relationship StatusMarried
SpouseRuth Rogers
Children1. Bo Rogers (Died)
2. Roo Rogers (Died)
3. Ab Rogers
3. Zad Rogers
4. Ben Rogers
ParentsFather: William Nino Rogers
Mother: Dada (nee Geiringer)

Well known British Architect, Richard Rogers passes away at 88

Richard Rogers, the acclaimed British architect behind iconic structures like the Pompidou Centre in Paris, has passed away at the age of 88. Rogers, whose innovative designs reshaped the skylines of Paris and London, breathed his last on Saturday night, December 18, 2021.

During his illustrious career, Rogers made a lasting impact on the field of architecture, not only through his groundbreaking buildings but also through his influence on public policy.

Among his most notable creations are the Lloyd’s Building in the City of London, which pushed architectural boundaries, and the Pompidou Centre in Paris, a remarkable feat of modernism. His designs, including the Millennium Dome and the striking ‘Cheesegrater,’ left an indelible mark on the London skyline.

Born in Italy, Richard Rogers was recognized as one of the pioneers of the “high-tech” architecture movement. His structures, characterized by the use of industrial materials such as glass and steel, brought a fresh and vibrant aesthetic to the architectural landscape.

Throughout his career, Rogers received numerous accolades for his outstanding contributions to the field. In 2007, he was honored with the prestigious Pritzker Prize, solidifying his position as one of the most influential architects of his time.

The cause of Richard Rogers’ death has not been specified, but his son, Roo Rogers, confirmed the sad news and mourned the loss of his father.

Richard George Rogers Came from an Anglo-Italian family

Richard George Rogers was born In the bustling city of Florence, Tuscany, on July 23, 1933, into an Anglo-Italian family.

During the time of Richard Rogers’ birth, his father, William Nino Rogers, was pursuing his studies in medicine, marking the beginning of a remarkable journey for the Rogers family.

His father, William Nino Rogers, hailed from a family connected to Ernesto Nathan Rogers, a prominent Italian architect. Nino himself was a doctor, and interestingly, his own father was a British émigré who had settled in Italy and worked as a dentist.

Richard George Rogers Early Life

Richard’s mother, Dada (nee Geiringer), was an art enthusiast who would go on to become a potter. She came from a distinguished Trieste family with a lineage of architects and engineers. As a testament to her intellectual pursuits, she had the privilege of being taught English by none other than the renowned writer James Joyce.

Dada originated from Trieste, a city with its own intriguing architectural legacy. Her father, who had delved into the fields of architecture and engineering, made a significant career shift to assume an executive role in an insurance company.

In addition to his family, Richard Rogers had a younger brother named Peter William Rogers, who pursued a career in property development and co-founded Stanhope.

Leaving Italy from rising threat of Fascism

The family’s journey took an unexpected turn in 1939 when they made the decision to leave Italy, seeking refuge from the rising threat of fascism. Their destination was Britain, where they sought solace and new beginnings. However, their arrival was met with the realities of the time, as they found modest lodgings in a cramped boarding house in Bayswater. Their living conditions were far from ideal, with a coin meter for heating and a small cupboard serving as their bath.

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Tracing back to the early 19th century, his ancestors embarked on a remarkable journey that spanned from Sunderland to Venice, then to Trieste, Milan, and finally settling in Florence. It was here that Richard’s father, William Nino Rogers, made the pivotal decision to return to England in 1939, seeking a safer future for his family.

After Leaving Italy, Pursing Education in England

After relocating to England, he enrolled at St John’s School in Leatherhead. However, his academic performance didn’t meet conventional standards, due to his struggles with reading and memorization. After becoming a father, that Rogers discovered he was dyslexic, offering a new perspective on his earlier struggles.

Following his time at St John’s School, Rogers embarked on a foundation course at the Epsom School of Art, which now stands as the University for the Creative Arts. However, his educational pursuits were briefly interrupted as he fulfilled his National Service obligations from 1951 to 1953.

Richard George Rogers at Yale School of Architecture

Rogers embarked academic journey by enrolling at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. It was during this period, from 1954 to 1959, that he earned the esteemed Architectural Association’s Diploma (AA Dipl).

Rogers pursued a master’s degree (M Arch) at the renowned Yale School of Architecture in the United States. Supported by a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship, he embraced the opportunities that awaited him at Yale and thrived in this new environment. It was during his time at Yale, in 1962, that Rogers encountered fellow students who would become lifelong collaborators and friends: Norman Foster, an architecture student, and Su Brumwell, specializing in planning.

Early Career

Following his time at Yale, Richard Rogers ventured into the realm of architecture by joining Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in New York City. However, his return to England in 1963 marked a turning point as he, together with Norman Foster and Su Brumwell, established their architectural practice known as Team 4. Notably, Wendy Cheesman, who later married Foster, also contributed to the collaborative efforts. The collective talents of Rogers and Foster would later be recognized for their pioneering approach, often referred to by the media as “high-tech architecture.”

From Team 4 to Innovative Projects

By 1967, Team 4 had dissolved, but Richard Rogers continued to collaborate with Su Rogers, along with John Young and Laurie Abbott. It was during this period that he received a commission to design a distinctive house and studio for Humphrey Spender near Maldon, Essex.

Continuing his exploration of innovative architectural concepts, Rogers developed ideas of prefabrication and structural efficiency, which manifested in the design of a house in Wimbledon for his parents. Drawing inspiration from his conceptual Zip-Up House.

Richard George Rogers Team of Four

A significant turning point in Richard Rogers’ career occurred when he joined forces with renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano. Their career trajectory accelerated when, in July 1971, they, along with Gianfranco Franchini, emerged as the winners of the design competition for the iconic Pompidou Centre. Teaming up with a group from Ove Arup, which included the talented Irish engineer Peter Rice, Rogers and Piano’s visionary vision for the Pompidou Centre captured the imagination of the world.

Richard George Rogers Professional Career focus on Architecture, Urbanism, and Sustainable Design

Richard Rogers, along with Marco Goldschmied, Mike Davies, and John Young, founded the Richard Rogers Partnership in 1977. This architectural firm would later evolve into Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners in 2007, a renowned global practice with offices in London, Shanghai, and Sydney. Rogers’ professional career was marked by a dedication to architecture and urbanism, with a particular emphasis on sustainability and the thoughtful utilization of cities.

As his career progressed, In 1986, he showcased his visionary thinking in an exhibition titled “London As It Could Be” at the Royal Academy. Collaborating with esteemed architects James Stirling and Norman Foster, Rogers presented proposals for transforming a substantial area of central London. Although some of these ideas were ultimately deemed impractical by the city’s authorities, the exhibition sparked public discourse and demonstrated Rogers’ commitment to pushing boundaries and challenging conventional urban planning.

His Controversial Creations, The Millennium Dome and the New World Trade Center

Throughout his career, Richard Rogers continued to create striking and contentious architectural works. Among the most famous is the Millennium Dome, designed by the Rogers practice in collaboration with engineering firm Buro Happold and completed in 1999. This project garnered significant political and public debate due to the exhibition’s cost and content, with the building itself having a price tag of £43 million.

In 2006, his firm was selected as the architect for Tower 3 of the new World Trade Center in New York City, replacing the iconic structure destroyed in the September 11 attacks.

His Legacy and Resignation

On June 30, 2020, Richard Rogers stepped down from his directorship at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. As per the founding constitution, the Rogers name will be removed from the practice by 2022. Despite this transition, Rogers’ contributions to architecture, urbanism, and sustainability will continue to shape the field and inspire future generations of designers.

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Esteemed architect Richard George Rogers achieved significant success throughout his career, contributing to numerous renowned architectural designs. As a result of his accomplishments, his estimated net worth was around $5 million to $10 million at the time of his death.

With his fruitful career and financial success, Rogers enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle alongside his family in England.

Richard George Rogers Personal Life, Marriage, and Family

Richard George Rogers married to Ruth Rogers, a renowned chef and the owner of The River Café restaurant in west London. Together, they are raising five children.

Richard George Rogers Wife Ruth
Richard George Rogers Wife Ruth

Rogers had two sons, Roo and Bo (who sadly passed away in 2011), with his beloved wife Ruth. Additionally, he had three sons, Ben, Zad, and Ab, from his previous marriage to Su Brumwell.

Su Brumwell, his first wife, remained a trusted friend, while his post-AA acquaintance, the esteemed architect Norman Foster, became a cherished friend and colleague. Notably, Foster later married Georgie’s (Rogers’ friend) younger sister, Wendy.