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Transmission: Tuesday, 26th February 2008

Richard Rogers Inside Out

Alan Yentob takes Richard Rogers back to some of the landmark buildings he has designed, from the Pompidou Centre to Lloyds of London.

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Richard Rogers Inside Out 

Episode Guide: Richard Rogers Inside Out

Episode Guide: Richard Rogers Inside Out

Posted: Thursday, 21st February 2008

It has been an extraordinary eighteen months for Richard Rogers. Even by the standards of one of the world’s foremost architects, these are remarkable times.

The Pompidou Centre, the building he designed with Renzo Piano, which propelled him to the forefront of modern architecture 30 years ago, is currently celebrating its anniversary with a major retrospective of his work.

At the 2006 Venice Biennale, Rogers was presented with The Golden Lion for a lifetime’s achievement in architecture. Two months later, his practice, the Richard Rogers Partnership, was awarded Britain’s most prestigious architecture award, the Stirling Prize, for the new airport terminal in Madrid. And six months after that, Rogers received the highest honour in world architecture when he was made a laureate of the Pritzker Prize.

If all that wasn't enough, Rogers and his partners will be building one of the four new towers at the World Trade Center site in New York.

Over the last eighteen months, Alan Yentob has taken Rogers back to some of the landmark buildings he has designed, starting with the house in Wimbledon that he built for his parents in the late 1960s. Rogers and his first wife Su also remember their first ever project: a house at Creek Vean in Cornwall, built with Norman Foster in the early 1960s. The construction was so beset with problems that it nearly bankrupted both Rogers and Foster, and set them on a road to designing economical, high-tech and sustainable structures.

Yentob and Rogers visit Lloyds of London and the Pompidou Centre in Paris: buildings that have become icons of modern architecture. They also explore Rogers’ roots in Florence, Italy. Rogers explains how the Renaissance city fuels his beliefs about urban living. Vibrant, humane cities, he believes, are the way forward for a healthy society.

Roger is now chief architectural advisor to Ken Livingstone: the programme charts his role in helping to shape the creation of a new city the size of Leeds at Thames Gateway. It also touches on the other iconic buildings designed by his practice. The elegance of more recent work such as the Millennium Dome, the Welsh National Assembly and the Bordeaux Law Courts reveal a new freedom. The battle for modernism, Rogers claims, “has been won”.

Richard Rogers Inside Out, BBC One, Tuesday 26th February 2007, 22.35.

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