8 Iconic buildings by Renzo Piano

8 Iconic buildings by Renzo Piano

Renzo Piano is one of the most distinguished architects who has made an extraordinary contribution to architecture over the last 50 years by creating most iconic buildings. He has created a spectrum of beautiful architectural creations all over the globe, from ‘The Shard’ in London to the‘Pompidou Centre’ in Paris, his buildings give an insight of his soulfulness and how he sees the world around him. Piano reevied numerous awards, including the Pritzker Architecture Prize(1998),  Japan Art Association's Praemium Imperiale prize for architecture (1995), the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal(2008), Gold Medal for Italian Architecture, to name a few for his commendable works of  architecture. He has recently achieved the Lifetime Achievement Award during a digital marathon by Rome's MAXXI National Museum of the 21st Century Arts.

To celebrate the birthday of the legendary Italian architect Renzo Piano, we have refined his 8 most significant architectural achievements below. Take a virtual tour of all his masterpieces with SURFACES REPORTER:

Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (1977)

Year of completion: 1977
Location: Paris, France

Centre Georges Pompidou is often considered as the building that propelled Renzo Piano’s career. The building started with an architecture competition that was launched by then President of France, Georges Pompidou in 1969 to create a new cultural centre for literature, art, and tourism. After getting 680 submissions, this is the architectural design of Piano and Richard Rogers astonished the world when it got selected as the winner of the contest. Opened in 1977, this contemporary art centre has today become one of the world’s most remarkable and treasured modern buildings.


Also read: Renzo Piano gets Lifetime Achievement Award

Nemo Science Museum (1997)

Nemo Science Museum (1997)

Year of completion: 1997
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

The amazing copper-green façade of Piano’s this building makes the NEMO Science Museum become one of the most distinguishable buildings in Amsterdam. Positioned atop a subway on Amsterdam's eastern harbors, the structure looks like it surges radically out of the water. The rooftop of the building allows visitors to enjoy the piazza overlooking the city.

Read More about Renzo Piano here

Zentrum Paul Klee (2005)

Zentrum Paul Klee (2005)

Year of Completion: 2005
Location: Bern, Switzerland

Renzo Piano was hired to design a museum to pay homage to the late Swiss-born artist-Paul Klee. He was a prolific artist who had created over 10,000 paintings, drawings, and etchings throughout his career. The Piano brought the same peace and tranquility as the surrounding landscape of this building that is glimpsed in the work of that artist. Today, the museum accommodates more than 4000 works by the celebrated artist.

The New York Times Building (2007)

The New York Times Building (2007)

Year of Completion: 2007
Location: New York, New York

This is one of the most iconic modern works by Piano that showcases the cultural prominence of the globally-renowned newspaper- The New York Times.  Commissioned through a contest in 2000, this 52-story tower was first announced in 2001 while it was opened in 2007.  The sheer, sleek design of the building was intended to depict the transparency of the newspaper and display the everlasting bond between the Times and New York City. Today, it is entitled as the 11th tallest building in the city of New York and houses offices for the New York Times and many other renowned organizations

Also read: Renzo Piano: Architect who designs masterpieces

California Academy of Sciences

California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco (2008)

Year of Completion: 2008
Location- San Francisco

Signaling the noteworthy development in Sustainable architecture, the California Academy of Sciences by Piano was finished almost a decade ago. This building is the greenest museum in the world and received LEED Platinum, which is said to be the highest green standard in the United States of America. Spread over an area of 37,000m2, this building has an aquarium, a planetarium, an exhibition space, and research spaces in it.

The Shard, London (2012)

The Shard

Year of completion: 2012
Location: London, United Kingdom

The Shard is Piano’s one of the most famous buildings and it has become the most striking structure of the London Skyline. Reaching almost 72 storeys above London Bridge, this building contains offices, restaurants, and private apartments in it. The narrowest top has a viewing gallery. It is also dubbed as the tallest building in the UK. The wonderful feature that attracts the visitors nearby is the white glass design that radically changes colours as the day passes; mirroring the sky surrounding it.

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2015)


Year Opened: 2015
Location: New York, New York

Situated between New York’s High Line and Hudson’s river, the Whitney Museum of American Art was designed to offer views of both the dramatic Industrial landscape and the river. The structure, in the city’s meatpacking district, boasts over 2000 m2 of gallery space which is spread over 9 floors while the roofs fan out the building, giving views of the high line.

Centro Botin, Santander (2017)


Year Opened: 2017
Location: Santander

The Centro Botin positioned at the Spanish city of Santander, is Piano’s first building in Spain. Sprawled over an area of 10,000m2, the building shows the space for art, culture, and education. It divides across two D-shaped blocks combined by a steel walkway and an elevated glass. The building façade features 280,000 round ceramic tiles which show the reflections of the sunbeams and the sea.

You May Also Like To Read: 10 World Famous Architects who did not have formal Architecture Degree

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