Piece by Piece: Inside the Renzo Piano Building Workshop

The Shard, London. Photo credit: © Chris Martin / Axiom.

Piece by Piece: Inside the Renzo Piano Building Workshop

July 16 – September 11, 2022
Harbourfront Centre, Artport Gallery, Toronto

World-class architecture firm Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) is bringing a collection of its award-winning projects to Toronto with Piece by Piece: Inside the Renzo Piano Building Workshop from July 16 – September 11, 2022. Presented by Harbourfront Centre in partnership with the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Toronto and RPBW, the exhibition will offer visitors an intimate look at the firm’s exquisite design processes, from first sketches to final built form.

Showcasing eleven of its most iconic works from its Paris and Genoa offices, each project was hand-selected to demonstrate the firm’s core principle of creating “places for people.” Each building, spanning a diverse range in geography, functionality and aesthetics, was designed to play a vital civic role within their communities. The highly skilled team at RPBW considers themselves builders even before architects, always present during construction. They believe that making a good building is a process that collectively involves collaboration with consultants across disciplines. The exhibition will underline the importance of how architecture is created, shining a spotlight on RPBW’s approach to making a design “piece by piece.”

“Renzo Piano transformed the way we think of public spaces and public buildings,” says Veronica Mason, Director, Istituto Italiano di Cultura Toronto. “This unique exhibition will give its viewers a better understanding behind the creative process of Renzo Piano himself and that of his renowned international studio RPBW.”

Connecting vastly different projects with a design approach inspired by the environment of each specific site, Piece by Piece: Inside the Renzo Piano Building Workshop takes attendees on a global tour of RPBW works with a selection of award-winning projects that includes the Centre Pompidou in Paris, The California Academy of Sciences, the London Shard, and the carbon-zero Children’s Hospital in Uganda. The works present the studio’s diversity in architectural production and eco-invention – all chosen to reflect the DNA of the firm’s evolving ethos.

Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) was established in 1981 by Renzo Piano with offices in Genoa, Italy and Paris, France. RPBW is led by 12 partners, including founder and Pritzker Prize laureate architect Renzo Piano. Our staff has vast experience working in multidisciplinary teams on building projects in France, Italy and abroad. Our work also includes interior design services, town planning and urban design services, landscape design services and exhibition design services. RPBW has successfully undertaken and completed over 140 projects around the world.

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Harbourfront Centre is a leading international centre for contemporary arts, culture and ideas, and a registered, charitable not-for-profit cultural organization operating a 10-acre campus on Toronto’s central waterfront. Harbourfront Centre provides year-round programming 52 weeks a year, seven days a week, supporting a wide range of artists and communities. We inspire audiences and visitors with a breadth of bold, ambitious and engaging experiences, and champion contemporary Canadian artists throughout their careers, presenting them alongside international artists, and fostering national and international artistic exchange between disciplines and cultures.

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Istituto Italiano di Cultura, the Cultural Section of the Consulate General of Italy in Toronto, was established in 1976. The Istituto is a Centre for cultural and academic activities, a school of Italian language and civilization, a source of information about contemporary Italy and a venue for art exhibitions, lectures, films, concerts and video screenings. In addition, the Istituto provides the opportunity for cultural collaboration between Italian and Canadian organizations and individuals, in order to facilitate exchange in the field of art, theatre, music, science and cinema. The Institute supports initiatives that favour intercultural and multilateral dialogue based on the principles of democracy, reciprocal respect and international solidarity.

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Please note that the Artport Gallery, inside Harbourfront Centre’s Main Building, is an accessible venue. Doors will remain open during gallery hours.