The patron saint of Bowellism, Richard Rogers is famous for his inside-out style of buildings such as the well-loved Pompidou Centre and celebrated Lloyd’s Building, as well as the iconic Millenium Dome. Find out more about this Anglo-Italian architect with our cheat sheet.
“We have a responsibility to society. That gives us a role as architects not just to the client but also to the passer-by and society as a whole.” — Richard Rogers
Spotlight on Richard Rogers
Born in Florence on 23 July 1933, Rogers’ British ancestors had lived in Italy since the 1800s. But on the outbreak of war in 1939, Rogers and his family moved to England. At school he discovered he was dyslexic, which made it difficult to read.
Rogers completed an art foundation year before completing conscription in the National Service between 1951 and 1953. He received his architecture diploma in London, before winning a Fulbright Scholarship to complete his Diploma in Architecture at Yale.
Rogers set up architecture firm Team 4 in 1963 with contemporaries Su Brumwell, Wendy Cheeseman and Norman Foster. He went on to develop ideas based around prefabrication and quick to assemble homes, such as the Zip-Up House exhibited at the 1969 Ideal Home Exhibition in London.
Rogers found success in partnership with two other Italian architects Renzo Piano and Gianfranco Franchini. The trio won the design competition to create the Pompidou Centre in July 1971. The building became one of Rogers’ most famous designs, featuring the inside-out look named as “Bowellism” thanks to the way colorful ductwork and service elements are placed on the building’s exterior.
One of Rogers’ most famous buildings in this “Bowellism” style is the Lloyd’s Building in London, completed 1986. Often named the Inside-Out Building, it was granted Grade I status by Historic England, only 25 years after completion.
Key Points of Note
Recalling the way the human body works, the movement of inside-out style was nicknamed Bowellism. Ducts, lifts, service pipes and so on are located on the exterior of the building which serves to maximize the interior space. While critics decry the look, admirers applaud the way Bowellism
Rogers was awarded by Queen Elizabeth II for his work. He was made knight Baron Rogers of Riverside, of Chelsea in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on 17 October 1996.
In 2007 Rogers was made Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize – architecture’s highest honour.