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Mar 12

This video shows an interview with an Italian architect Renzo Piano. He is the recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, AIA Gold Medal, Kyoto Prize and the Sonning Prize. He graduated from the Politecnico di Milano in 1964 and began working with experimental lightweight structures and basic shelters. After over 17 years of architectural practice the architect founded the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, which today hires 150 people and maintains offices in Paris, Genoa and New York. Piano’s most recognizable projects are among others are Pompidou Centre in Paris, France Parco della Musica in Rome, Italy and Shard London Bridge. During the interview, Piano talks about his recent project and his architecture philosophy.

He thinks that architecture is really dangerous because if architects do something wrong it will be wrong for a long time. In opposite to other professions, as an architect you are creating things that have long lives. Because of this fact architects need to be sure that what they do should be absolutely correct, otherwise it will be wrong for a long time.

On the example of his recent project of Shard London Bridge, he convinces that it is possible to create a big building without the need to build a skyscraper. He explains that thanks to the mixed functions, the building could become public. He adds that this particular building is like the little vertical city because it has transportation on the bottom, and whole palette of commercial activities, offices, restaurants, public spaces even a hotel and viewing platform on the top. All those things make the building accessible and loved by the people. This building stands in opposition to a typical skyscraper which represents by its shape only power and money. Piano explains the reason why skyscrapers are not loved by people. Mostly because they are mysterious, selfish and closed down at 6 p.m. which make them completely separated from the city dwellers.

Piano thinks that architects should feel lucky because thanks to teir profession they are able to show who they are and what they represent by themselves. He convinces that there is always a story that is told by architecture, however it is not always a good story. Sometimes is about architect’s own identity and sometimes is about power, money and arrogance. This is what makes architecture so great adventure. Piano convinces that in architecture always desire meets the need and these two things play the main role and make architecture sometimes difficult.

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