Renzo Piano is full of steam

Fondation Jérôme Seydoux- Pathé, in Paris is a private center for cinema.

Fondation Jérôme Seydoux- Pathé, in Paris is a private center and a library for cinema, Ph: Michel Denancé

California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco,

California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, 2000-2008, Ph : Tim Griffith

I will admit it straight away : Renzo Piano is one of my favorite acrchitects and Fondation Beyeler in Basel, the idea I have of a perfect art gallery. So when I learned that Cité de l’architecture et du Patrimoine at Trocadero, was holding an exhibit of the Italian master, I rushed. And was happily relieved to enter the quiet space, with mostly professionals discussing attentively each building and material he uses. It was the same atmosphere as in his museums.

Cultural Center Djibaou in Noumea

Cultural Center Djibaou in Noumea, 1991-1998, Ph : Pierre-Alain Pantz

Of course, behind his name there is a large group of very talented architects, and this is what appears clearly in the many video interviews attached to each country and each building. For the variety of his projects is endless and I traveled from the Pompidou center one of his first (with Richard Rogers) in 1974, to Noumea, to Oslo and Greece, to the Academy of Science in California, to  the lovely Kimbell art museum extension in Fort Worth (which I visited years ago with Texas star architect Frank Welch), New York for the Whitney and London for the Shard (where I would love to go and have dinner).

The future Justice Hall in Paris, (model)

The future Justice Hall in Paris, (model), © RPBW – Renzo Piano Building

After marveling at the pictures, plans, models in the long curvy room of Palais de Chaillot, I sat to watch a long interview of Piano. « If every time, the location is different, your inspiration is  different», « Beauty yes, real beauty, what Greeks used to call « Kalos kagathos » good and beautiful at the same time”. His grey hair and blue eyes behind pale grey glasses are riveting. « Human adventure, one wants to understand, one wants to know… life is a constant transformation ». « Dream, human desire, love, dialogue, I like to think that beauty can change the world”. “Like writers or cinematographers, architects are builders of emotion ».

Renzo Piano at Centre Pompidou, on elf his first buildings with Richard Rogers

Renzo Piano at Centre Pompidou, one of his first buildings in 1974: his elegant is palpable everywhere!

The Shard in London is next to London bridge

The “Shard” in London,  next to London bridge and behind, the  whole exhibition, Vue de l’exposition Renzo Piano Building Workshop.  Ph : Gaston Bergeret © Cité de l’architecture & du patrimoine

Down below, another architect is being honored : Le Corbusier and his town of Chandigarth, fifty years later. It is very sweet to see all the films of the city in Punjab, the country club and the streets where Indian life has taken over the concrete buildings. It is all about universality of architecture!

But Renzo Piano’s lifestyle is more my style ! (until February 29 th, 2016)

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One Comment on ““Renzo Piano is full of steam”

  1. Tim

    I was sorry to miss this show earlier this month in Paris. Thanks, Laure, for your beautiful peeks inside and insights into it.

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