Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) is an international architectural practice based in London. Over three decades, RSHP has attracted critical acclaim and awards with built projects across Europe, North America and Asia. The practice is experienced in designing a wide range of building types including: office, residential, transport, education, culture, leisure, retail, civic and healthcare. The quality of its designs has been recognised with some of architecture’s highest awards, including two RIBA Stirling Prizes, one in 2006 for Terminal 4, Madrid Barajas Airport and the other in 2009 for Maggie’s London.
RSHP employs around 200 people, including 9 Partners, 10 Associate Partners and 57 Associates, in offices across the world – London, Sydney and Shanghai. A ‘Think Tank’ philosophy is employed at every level, to enable design and management leaders to collaborate and contribute their individual expertise. Weekly meetings – open to all employees – provide a vital forum for discussion of current competitions and on-going projects, as well as a platform for creativity and new solutions appropriate to each design. This ‘collegiate’ approach to the work of the practice is embodied in a constitution that consciously brings a moral dimension to our work and takes the form of, among other initiatives, a staff profit-sharing scheme and significant contributions to charity, with staff members nominating the charities of their choice.
RSHP Chairman, Richard Rogers, is the 2007 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate, winner of the 2000 Praemium Imperiale Prize for Architecture and the recipient of the RIBA Gold Medal in 1985. Richard was awarded the Légion d’Honneur in 1986, knighted in 1991 and made a life peer in 1996. He was Chief Advisor on Architecture and Urbanism to the former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone and has played an advisory role on design to the current Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. He has acted as Chairman of the British Government’s Urban Task Force and was a member of the Mayor of Barcelona’s Urban Strategies Advisory Council.
Richard Rogers Partnership became Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners in 2007 to reflect the growing importance of two of the younger Partners, Graham Stirk and Ivan Harbour, and their role alongside Richard Rogers in the practice’s future. Together with other long-standing Partners, Stirk and Harbour represent the inherent continuity and consistency of the philosophy which the practice applies to all its work. The name change also demonstrates the practice’s confidence in its ability to continue to meet those challenges still to come.
Over three decades, RSHP (formerly Richard Rogers Partnership) has evolved a set of core principles that guide all our work:
City and Context
At RSHP, we believe that cities are the physical framework of our society, the generator of civil values, the engine of our economy and the heart of our culture. Compact, multi-centred cities are the only environmentally sustainable form of urban development for future generations. They are a rational and economical way of creating human settlements that offer a high quality of life.
Public space between buildings influences both the built form and the civic quality of the city, be they streets, squares or parks. A balance between the public and private domain is central to the practice's design approach. Buildings and their surrounding spaces should interrelate and define one another, with external spaces functioning as rooms without roofs.
Work, leisure and domestic activities are becoming interchangeable, leading to the creation of open-ended, flexible structures. The structure of buildings set the scale, form and rhythm of the architectural environment, within which change and improvisation can take place. The practice searches for a more subtle world between solid and transparent, a sequence of spaces where the eye is led through overlapping strata, where light and shadow enhance the impression of transparency.
Today's buildings are more like evolving landscapes than classical temples in which nothing can be added and nothing can be removed. Open ended, adaptable frameworks with large, well-serviced and well-lit floors, on the other hand, offer the possibility for a long life span for the building and a variety of possible uses.
It has become clear that the risk associated with climate change will pose serious challenges to society. Buildings, neighbourhoods and cities should be designed to minimise pollution and carbon emissions. This implies not only using renewable energy sources (including wind, sun and water), but designing energy efficient buildings and masterplans that encourage vegetation and biodiversity.
RSHP believes that a strong social vision is the driving force behind a happy and productive workforce, which is critical for the development of a sustainable civil society. With this in mind the practice has produced a constitution that enshrines ideas about community, teamwork, equity, collaboration and social responsibility.
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