Salone del Mobile Milano

Renzo Piano. The Art of Making Buildings

From The Shard in London to the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the buildings of Renzo Piano have enriched cities across the globe. The London Royal Academy of Arts wants to show the vision and invention behind his pioneering work, showing how architecture can touch the human spirit.

United by a characteristic sense of lightness, and an interplay between tradition and invention, function and context, Piano’s buildings soar in the public imagination as they do in our skylines. Counting the New York Times Building and the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre in Nouméa among his creations, he has cemented his place as one of the greatest architects of our times.

This exhibition follows Piano’s career, from the influence of his Genoese heritage and his rise to acclaim alongside friend and collaborator Richard Rogers, to current projects still in the making. Focusing on 16 key buildings, it explores how the Renzo Piano Building Workshop designs buildings “piece by piece”, making deft use of form, material and engineering to achieve a precise and yet poetic elegance.

Marvel in rarely seen drawings, models, photography, signature full-scale maquettes and a new film by Thomas Riedelsheimer that show how inspiring architecture is made. At the heart of the exhibition is an imagined ‘Island’, a specially designed sculptural installation which brings together nearly 100 of Piano’s projects.

Designed and curated in close collaboration with Piano himself, this is the first exhibition in London to put the spotlight on the architect in 30 years.

Renzo Piano. The Art of Making Buildings

Royal Academy of Arts.
The Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries

Burlington House, Piccadilly, Mayfair, London

15 September 2018 - 20 January 2019


01. Renzo Piano Building Workshop,The Shard, London Bridge Tower and London Bridge Place, London, 2012 - © RPBW. Photography: William Matthews.

Renzo Piano, The Shard: A View from St Thomas Street, 2018 - © RPBW.

02. Renzo Piano Building Workshop,Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre, Nouméa, 1998 - © RPBW. Photography: Sergio Grazia / ADCK - centre culturel Tjibaou.

Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Model of the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre, Nouméa - © RPBW.

03. Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2015 - © RPBW. Photography: Nic Lehoux.

04. Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Drawing of the Whitney Museum of American Art, (longitudinal section) - © RPBW.

05. Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Jérôme Seydoux Pathé Foundation, Paris, 2014 - © Michel Denancé.

06. Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Sketch of the California Academy of Sciences, 2009 - © RPBW