On February 13, 2014, the Royal Institute of British Architects inaugurated a new gallery in its central London headquarters with “The Brits Who Built the Modern World.” Drawing on a deep inventory of drawings, models, photographs, and film, the exhibition tells the story of how six influential British architects, all of whom were born within five years of one another in the 1930s, put their own unique stamp on modernism in the latter half of the 20th century.
A cross-sectional rendering of the Pompidou Center in Paris, designed by Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano. Image copyright Rogers Strik Harbor + Partners, courtesy of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
The Pompidou Center in 1977. Image copyright Martin Charles, courtesy of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
The Reichstag by Norman Foster. Image copyright Nigel Young, courtesy of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
The Hearst Tower in Manhattan, designed by Foster + Partners. Image copyright Chuck Choi, courtesy of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
The Hong Kong skyline, including the HSBC building designed by Foster + Partners (foreground) and the Peak Tower designed by Terry Farrell (illuminated at top). Image courtesy of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
A rendering of Farrells' design for a new multi-modal rail station in Delhi, India, which is being built to handle 272 trains and 500,000 passengers per day. Image copyright Farrells, courtesy of the Royal Institute for British Architects.
Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, Nicholas Grimshaw, Michael and Patty Hopkins, and Terry Farrell have designed many of the world’s most distinctive buildings, including the Reichstag in Berlin (Foster), the Pompidou Center (Rogers, with Renzo Piano), and the Peak Tower in Hong Kong (Farrell). Through their individual projects, they moved beyond simple modernism to embrace industrial touches, such as steel skeletons and prefabricated elements.
The exhibit, which runs through May 27, is being presented in conjunction with a BBC television documentary of the same name to be broadcast in the spring of 2014.