An audience with Richard Rogers

Last weekend was the final day at the Richard Rogers Exhibition, Inside Out. I went to have a look as I was finishing a project in that area and had walked past his signature coloured vents positioned outside a number of times, there was also an Audience with Richard Rogers so a moment to meet Rogers himself.

Firstly you are greeted with a classical Richard Roger bust set in the niche of the central staircase. Next you walk into a head banging neon pink room with video, wall mounted quotes and the voice of Rogers, to immerse yourself in his thoughts. The following rooms hold a collection of personal belongings (some sculptures I photographed were among my favourites as one looked very like Rogers himself!), photos, models of unbuilt and built projects, neon coloured pieces of structure suspended in the air, enormous competition drawings adorning the walls and miniature sketches of concepts throughout. Richard Rogers likes to do things on a grand scale so the choice of the exhibition location was surprising as everything appeared crammed in as were the people, although I suspect that the numbers of people exceeded the Royal Academy’s estimates.

Whilst taking in everything in one of the rooms I noticed a small chap in a bright blue jumper, no one had yet noticed it was in fact Rogers himself. He had arrived to give the lecture, he talked for around an hour about all his projects on show, and at 80 gave no reason to believe he was ready to retire. He talked about his concepts and linked this between a number of projects, it is true to say that his technical style architecture along with Norman Foster and Renzo Piano is becoming a very common sight within the city of London – the building looking like a machine. Although I prefer a more sympathetic style of architecture myself I can see now how recognisable and familiar this style is, and joint with cutting edge technology is trying to create a sustainable and efficient building type for the future.

Overall I felt the exhibition had been well collated and it was interesting for me to learn more about a man who had been prolific for his buildings but more reserved about his actual life, but as Rogers said that day Architecture is his life.

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