Visit an aquarium, planetarium, rainforest, and natural history museum—all under one living roof.
Renzo Piano is celebrated internationally for designs that combine inventive forms, natural materials, and abundant natural light to create buildings with an exceptional sensitivity to their environment. He is best known for important cultural projects, such as the Menil Collection in Houston (1982-87) and the Beyeler Foundation Museum in Basel (1994-97); and historical, civic projects, such as the Potsdamer Platz on the site of the former Berlin Wall. Piano has also completed numerous parks and residential projects.
His buildings are distinguished for the deep connection to their cultural context. They enrich the existing landscape through a synthesis of imaginative design and a keen understanding of place and history. A recent example of Piano’s sensitivity to the regional environment of his buildings is the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center in Nouméa, New Caledonia, completed in 1998. After consultation with local advisors, Piano integrated regional materials, traditional construction methods, contemporary technology, and ecological design into an elegant structure that fits comfortably into the Melanesian culture.
Recent projects by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop include the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA; the Nasher Sculpture Garden in Dallas, TX; The New York Times building in New York City; the Harvard University Art Museums in Cambridge, MA; the Art Institute of Chicago, IL; the Paul Klee Museum in Bern, Switzerland; and the tower for London’s Bridge Station.
Piano was born into a builder’s family in Genoa on September 14, 1937, and graduated from the school of Architecture, Milan Polytechnic in 1964. As a student, he worked under the design guidance of Franco Albini. Between 1965 and 1970, Piano worked with Louis I. Kahn in Philadelphia and Z.S. Makowsky in London. During this period he met Jean Prouvé, a friendship which was to have a profound influence on his work. Piano collaborated with Richard Rogers on the design and construction of the Centre Pompidou in Paris (Piano & Rogers) from 1971-77. Following several years of partnership with Peter Rice (Atelier Piano & Rice), Piano set up the Renzo Piano Building Workshop with offices in Genoa, Paris, and New