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Renzo Piano is a man whose work is reinventing architecture in projects scattered around the world – from a Mixed Use Tower in Sydney, Australia to the mile-long Kansai Air Terminal on a man-made island in Osaka Bay, Japan to the master plan for the reconstruction of Potsdamer Platz in Berlin or the Beyeler Foundation Museum in Basel, Switzerland. Even this skip around the globe does not indicate the full range or enormous output of this prodigious architect. Renzo Piano’s projects include not only buildings that range from homes to apartments, offices to shopping centers, museums, factories, workshops and studios, airline and railway terminals, expositions, theaters and churches; but also bridges, ships, boats, and cars, as well as city planning projects, major renovations and reconstructions, and even television star of a program on architecture
“Cities are beautiful because they are created slowly,” says Piano. “It takes 500 years to create a city, and we (a group of architects are involved) have been asked to reconstruct a large chunk of Berlin in just five years.” He is referring to Potsdamer Platz, a part of Berlin that was destroyed by war, an area straddling the line between what was East and West Berlin, and not far from the Reichstag. In the 1920’s and 1930’s, it was the center of the city’s social and cultural life. Piano won the competition to develop the master plan for the area which when finished will be home and workplace for some 40,000 people, a figure that will double during each day with people drawn to the various activities there. [The Hyatt Foundation / Pritzker Prize]
Among the numerous projects, some notables in the art world include the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (with Richard Rogers), The Shard in London, Centro Botin, Cy Twombly Gallery, High Museum of Art Expansion, Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, Switzerland, the Modern Wing expansion of the Art Institute of Chicago, Harvard Art Museums expansion and renovation, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Piano founded the Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPW) in 1981 which today has one hundred fifty collaborators in offices in Paris, Genoa and New York.