Richard Rogers, one of the world’s most celebrated architects, sadly passed away at the age of 88 in December 2021. The architect leaves behind a legacy few will be able to emulate, with his building design and city masterplanning skills renowned worldwide.

Rogers was a practising architect for more than 60 years, completing a suite of highly influential projects in that timeframe. Born in Italy in 1933 to British and Italian parents, the young family moved to London in 1939. He completed his studies at Architecture Association in London and Yale, while being plagued by undiagnosed dyslexia.

Rogers returned from Yale in 1963 to set up the practice Team 4 with colleagues Su Brumwell, Wendy Cheesman, and Norman Foster, taking on small projects. The Pompidou Centre in Paris springboarded Rogers into the limelight, after his design with Renzo Piano took out the worldwide design competition. Following the construction of the centre in 1977,  the architect formed the Richard Rogers Partnership. A year later, Rogers’ designs for the Lloyd’s of London building took out another design competition. The building has since been heritage listed, and is recognised as the youngest building to ever be placed on the register.

Two decades later, Rogers’ practice was renamed Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners, as it is now known today. The architect’s nous eventually reached Australian shores, designing 8 Chifley with Lippmann Partnership. 8 Chifley is a 34-storey commercial tower that features criss-crossing red braces and a raised terrace in the centre of the building. The tower is imagined as seven separate zones, each containing three floors. 

Towards the twilight of his career, Rogers was heavily involved in masterplanning for cities and outlining long term visions for metropolitan areas. Sydney’s Barangaroo development serves as a jewel in the crown of both Rogers’ career and his practice’s portfolio. A relatively untouched part of the harbour city until its redevelopment, Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners devised a plan that revolves around the traditional metropolitan matrix of streets and laneways, with a large amount of public space. The practice also created the three International Towers within the precinct, which is now a thriving mix of multi-residential, commercial and hospitality offerings.

Rogers was made a life peer of the House of Lords in 1996. He is a former winner of the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Gold Medal, the Pritzker Prize, and a two-time winner of the Stirling Prize. Rogers’ final gift to Australia, the Melbourne Metro, is currently under construction.