Contemporary Architecture

Renzo Piano , Richard Rogers – Centre Georges Pompidou

Technology cannot be an end in itself but must aim at solving long term social and ecological problems.“

— Richard Rogers

The team’s architectural intention:

  • Building on the lines of an “evolving spatial diagram”.
  • Large degree of flexibility.
  • Facades that would be “information surfaces.“
  • To maximise spatial movement and flow

Design Phase:

  • A 3-level infrastructure housing the technical facilities and service areas,
  • A vast 7-level glass and steel superstructure, including a terrace and mezzanine floor

The style

  • revealed structure
  • exposed ducts
  • machine-precision aesthetics

Greater care given on how they work.


  • Exposed first Time
    • Blue – Air
    • Green – Fluids
    • Yellow – Electricity cables
    • Red – Movement and flow (elevators) and Safety (fire extinguishers).

Movement and flow:

  • Maximise functional movement and flow
  • Inside out.–Free from circulation and servicing
  • Attractive differences rather than soft-edged harmony.
  • The building portrays its own datum .
  • This public display of components—steel skeleton and diagonal
  • bracing as outcome of  interior  requirement.
  • Unobstructed and adaptable interior volumes

The exterior zone of the structural frame is there to provide tension forces outside the main volume’s external columns, pulling the cantilevered horizontal members downward to reduce the bending forces on the floor span.– eliminates the need for supporting columns across the interior span of 157 feet (53.3 meters) mechanical and air-conditioning services are then placed in the exoskeletal frame

Inside Pompidou :

  • Public access to the museum areas is not from the escalator tubes, as the building exterior seems to suggest, but from doors located centrally at the lower edge of the plaza
  • Double-height interior forum connects the street level with the plaza level in a single volume .
  • Plaza-level reception area also looks down into a performance-level basement where a theater and meeting rooms are situated.
  • An interior escalator takes visitors to the street level on the northwest corner of the building
  • Small lobby connects to elevators and the exterior escalator.– visitors can already look down 46 feet– In reality, the escalator serves only the mezzanine, level four, and level six–
  • Horizontal circulation platforms occur inside the frame — most of them restricted to staff access and emergency exits.

Critical Structural Issues – Achieving column free space

In plan, the superstructure of the building consists of three zones.

  • The middle zone contains the 157-foot clear span across the building interior between the main columns.
  • The outside two zones make up structural wall frames to support and cantilever.

Outer tension in the wall frame act to reduce the bending moments on the center of the span

As a Building:

  • Structural exhibitionism
  • A symbol of process and technology
  • Turning the building inside out was the most successfully realized architectural intention.
  • Static monumentalism is out; dynamic servicing and flexible floor space is in.
  • A ceiling isn’t required to shape a space, as many urban spaces. Our vision is more oriented to the horizontal than to the vertical.

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Contemporary Architecture

Richard Rogers – 88 Wood Street


  • ARCHITECT: Richard Rogers Partnership
  • Date: 1993-1997
  • Construction: concrete frame with steel bracing, glass curtain wall
  • first City building completed by RRP since Lloyd’s of London in 1986
  • At 4 metres x 3 metres and weighing in at 800 kg (1,760 lbs) each, the floor-to-ceiling height triple-glazed, laminated glazing units are some of the world’s largest and contain internal blinds adjusted by photoelectric cells which automatically adjust to suit the climate.


The 33,000 m² building is arranged as three linked blocks of office accommodation that step up from eight storeys on Wood Street, where the context includes two listed buildings, to fourteen and finally eighteen storeys to the west, responding to the taller built topography towards London Wall


  • Industrial aesthetics, but in a slightly different way than Llyod’s London
  • Structure and equipment as ornament
  • Use of metals in façade
  • ‘Open expression’ …..but with a control, unlike Llyod’s and Pompiduo
  • Concept of ‘machine design’ taken forward but with a different logic

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Contemporary Architecture

Richard Rogers – National Assembly of Wales


  • ARCHITECT: Richard Rogers and Partners
  • INAUGURAL: 2 August 2006
  • LOCATION: Cardiff Bay Wales, London
  • USE: Assembly Building of Welsh or The Senedd (Senate)

Design Specifications:

  • To be an “exemplar” building in terms of sustainability
  • Creating an easily accessibility
  • Application of renewable technologies
  • Minimize energy consumption and waste
  • Life span of 100 years

About the building:

  • Transparent form of the building
  • Democratic values of openness and participation
  • Thermal mass of the plinth
  • Public spaces elevated on a slate-clad plinth
  • Roof, the most significant visual impact.
  • Wales looking with confidence to its future
  • Materials: rough slate, smooth concrete, steel, glass and timber
  • Essentially a series of shallow domes, it ripples its way out to sea
  • “wind funnel” that both ventilates and helps to daylight the chamber
  • Circular debating chamber is a lofty dome, lined inside with aluminium tubes and with a glittering light-reflector at its apex

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