Senedd architect Richard Rogers dies age 88
The architect of the Senedd, Richard Rogers, has died at age 88.
Born in Florence in 1933, he designed some of the world’s most iconic buildings including the Millennium Dome, the Pompidou Centre and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
He won an international competition to design the Senedd building after the Secretary of State for Wales, Ron Davies, decided to locate it in Cardiff Bay in 1998. Building work was completed in 2006.
The Senedd was designed to be accessible and transparent – an open building for the people of Wales to see their elected representatives making laws and decisions that affect their lives.
“The National Assembly brings a place for people into the heart of democracy,” said Lord Rogers.
“The building is a piece of public realm, stretching up from the harbour to the city, so that citizens can watch and work with their elected representatives.”
Of the design, his firm said: “The building was not to be an insular, closed edifice. Rather it would be a transparent envelope, looking outwards to Cardiff Bay and beyond, making visible the inner workings of the Assembly and encouraging public participation in the democratic process.”
The Welsh Parliament responded to news of his death today.
“We are saddened to hear of the death of Richard Rogers, architect of the Senedd building. Our thoughts are with his friends and family,” they said.
“We thank Lord Rogers for his vision of our open and transparent parliamentary building.”
In 2007 he won the Pritzker Prize, architecture’s highest honour, and the jury said his work represented “defining moments in the history of contemporary architecture”.
Not everyone was a fan of his work, however. He described Prince Charles as “architecturally ignorant” after the heir to the throne criticised his designs.
RIP Richard Rogers, one of the very greatest pic.twitter.com/ALuU27RJ96
— D Fletcher Dunham (@dfdunham) December 18, 2021
He was knighted before receiving a life peerage in 1996, and sat in the House of Lords as a Labour peer.
He retired from the practice he founded in September 2020 and is survived by his wife Lady Ruth, four sons, and 13 grandchildren.
His son Roo Rogers confirmed his death to the New York Times.
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Although I would have preferred a building more grander to represent a new Wales, Richard Rogers laid the physical foundations of Welsh devolution after a 600 year hiatus.
And where the Welsh Conservatives prefer to demolish Welsh confidence, hope & aspirations, Rogers building planted the seed of Welsh democracy that has now grown into a strong Welsh oak, and I thank him for that.
Born in Firenze, what a start! One of the greats, so we were lucky to have him give a boost to Indy. We have architects now that can extend the Senedd building, using the
wood fluting techinque you can see on the photos. This is now used extensively on several new public buildings in Finland, Helsinki library, No2 air terminal etc.
Google or You Tube to see how plastic and beautiful this can be, used inside or out.
Diolch Richard Rogers, your work lives on…………..