Stunning Exhibition of Works by Renzo Piano in London

Renzo Piano’s works have a characteristic sense of lightness to them. They feature an interplay of tradition with invention and function with context. He kickstarted his career with the controversial Pompidou Center in Paris, and since then he has worked on several outstanding projects like the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center and the Shard. Renzo Piano has managed to carve his name as one of the greatest architects of our times.

Photography: David Parry / Royal Academy of Arts

“Renzo Piano: The Art of Making Buildings”

On the 250th Anniversary of London’s Royal Academy of Arts, Renzo Piano will be presenting his work in the form of an exhibition. Titled “Renzo Piano: The Art of Making Buildings,” this comprehensive exhibition will be an overview of his practice through his significant projects. His recent signature buildings are displayed; however, the exhibition delves more into his earlier works and the structural system experimentations he had done.

Photography: Enrico Cano

“As an architect, you spend your life fighting against the force of gravity. It is the most stubborn force of nature,” says Piano
Two rooms of this exhibit focus on 16 of Piano’s greatest and most famous structures. Each is presented on its own white table with drawings, photographs, and models. Larger models and mockups soar from the ceiling.

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Photography: David Parry / Royal Academy of Arts

The airborne models respond to the models laid below and give the sense of being in a natural history museum. The detailed case studies of Renzo Piano’s past and ongoing projects, including the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures (currently under construction in Los Angeles), give a unique insight into the creative process.

Photography: David Parry / Royal Academy of Arts

This illuminating exhibition focuses on Renzo Piano’s career and his Building Workshop. It focuses on how Piano designs buildings “piece by piece”—making use of form and material to create a beautiful balance between elegance and engineering. Works of the visionary architect will be on display in the new Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries in Burlington gardens. Buildings that are displayed include Pompidou, Tjibaou center, New York Times Building, The Shard, and Whitney Museum of American Art.

Photography: David Parry / Royal Academy of Arts

Also, on display is the original study model of the 1987 Menil Collection, made during the design process.  Another highlight of the exhibition is the New York Times Buildings’ white ceramic rods from the full-scale mock-up. These were made to test scale, surface, and reflectivity among other things, during the design process.

Photography: David Parry / Royal Academy of Arts

The third room projects Thomas Riedelsheimer’s 17-minute film on two walls. The relaxed conversation between the filmmaker and the architect offers rare insights into the life of the architect.
Head to the Royal Academy of Arts, London to marvel at the engineering and design behind the drawings, photography, full-scale sketches and models. Enjoy Thomas Riedelsheimer’s film explaining the design process of Piano’s structures.

Photography: David Parry / Royal Academy of Arts

You can even see, at the heart of the exhibition, a sculptural installation called the “Island”, bringing together nearly 100 projects by Renzo Piano, from the15th of September to the 20th of January.

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