Born to a family of contractors in Genoa, Italy, Renzo Piano (b. 1937) first gained international recognition when he co-designed the Pompidou Centre in Paris with English architect Richard Rogers in 1977. Piano has since designed more than 40 structures, including museums, galleries, churches, music parks, bridges, and airports. His mastery at creating spaces that link beauty and light with serenity and sustainability has earned him many honors, including the Pritzker Architecture Prize, AIA Gold Medal, Kyoto Prize, and the Sonning Prize.
Following graduation from the Milan Polytechnic Architecture School in 1964, Piano worked in his father's construction business and later joined the offices of Louis Kahn in Philadelphia and Z.S. Machowsky in London. In 1980, he started the Renzo Piano Building Workshop and now maintains offices in Genoa and Paris.