Place For All People @duffythewriter review

A Place For All People. Richard Rogers is one of the most prominent figures in the world of architecture. Founder of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, he is a respected British architect known for his love of modernist and functionalist design whose buildings include the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Lloyds Building in the City of London. A Place For All People is a visually stunning coffee table book which gives an insight, not only into the life of Rogers but the buildings that inspired him and the vision he has for our world. A Place For All People brings together buildings old and new, with intelligent discussion about how humans impact the environment and how we will all find a place to live in the ever-shrinking world of the future.

A Place For All People starts where all good books should. At the beginning. The glossy pages are filled with photos from 1940’s Europe and the buildings which first inspired Rogers, but also those which he called home growing up. From here, the book takes us through Rogers rich, rewarding, and inspirational life. This is not solely a book about architecture. The pages share a vibrant life of activism, politics, love, entrepreneurship, business, and family.  There is even a stoush with Prince Charles which I feel still burns intensely with Rogers.

“All good architecture is an expression of its age, materials, and technology.” -Richard Rogers

Centre Pompidou, Paris. Designed by Richard Rogers
Centre Pompidou, Paris. Designed by Richard Rogers

The book is full of detail, beautiful buildings, and designs. Yet, there is also important discussion about ‘what comes after?’.  Buildings last for hundreds of years, but services and technology inside outdate much quicker. Buildings need to be able to adapt and house new services easily, otherwise, the buildings become rubble, and we start again, losing great design and our history.  The environment is now a priority when designing new buildings, which was not much of a consideration in the 70’s and 80’s. Sustainability and thoughtful design are not only implemented in the architecture and design, but interior design and services are becoming more innovative, environmentally friendly and design focussed; right down to the humble hand dryer, or toilet used in an office building. Every detail in a new build needs to be future proof if it is going to survive.

Is A Place For All People Worth The Read?

Richard Rogers constantly challenges us to think about how we live.  Should we be living in tiny, uninspiring building blocks? Or should we be looking at creative and stimulating compact living spaces that work within our cities? It’s clear he has an outstanding and rare talent for designing one of a kind buildings, and these buildings work in partnership with our surroundings so that work and play will make for a better world. An important question is raised in this book. How will we manage the increasing wealth gap and climate change when designing living spaces for our people in the future?

“Richard Rogers brings ideas and a fascinating personal story to life with as much flair, passion, brilliance and originality as he has brought buildings to life for over half a century. A simply wonderful read”. – Stephen Fry

A Place For All People is much more than a glossy coffee table book. It is a fascinating personal story, brought to life with stunning architecture, teachings, and shared experiences from one of the world’s most talented architects. Anyone interested in our human future, design, and art will devour this delightful coffee table book.

A Place For All People RRP $59.99 is published by Allen & Unwin and is available at all major bookstores.

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