Concept

Renzo Piano

Summary
Renzo Piano (ˈrɛntso ˈpjaːno; born 14 September 1937) is an Italian architect. His notable buildings include the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (with Richard Rogers, 1977), The Shard in London (2012), the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City (2015), İstanbul Modern in Istanbul (2022) and Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens (2016). He won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1998. Piano has been a Senator for Life in the Italian Senate since 2013. Piano was born and raised in Genoa, Italy, into a family of builders. His grandfather had created a masonry enterprise, which had been expanded by his father, Carlo Piano, and his father's three brothers, into the firm Fratelli Piano. The firm prospered after World War II, constructing houses and factories and selling construction materials. When his father retired, the enterprise was led by Renzo's older brother, Ermanno, who studied engineering at the University of Genoa. Renzo studied architecture at the University of Florence and Polytechnic University of Milan. He graduated in 1964 with a dissertation about modular coordination (coordinazione modulare) supervised by Giuseppe Ciribini and began working with experimental lightweight structures and basic shelters. Piano taught at the Polytechnic University from 1965 until 1968, and expanded his horizons and technical skills by working in two large international firms, for the modernist architect Louis Kahn in Philadelphia and for the Polish engineer Zygmunt Stanisław Makowski in London. He completed his first building, the IPE factory in Genoa, in 1968, with a roof of steel and reinforced polyester, and created a continuous membrane for the covering of a pavilion at the Milan Triennale in the same year. In 1970, he received his first international commission, for the Pavilion of Italian Industry for Expo 70 in Osaka, Japan. He collaborated with his brother Ermanno and the family firm, which manufactured the structure. It was lightweight and original composed of steel and reinforced polyester, and it appeared to be simultaneously artistic and industrial.
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