Traces of Peter Rice
Traces of Peter Rice is a collaborative enterprise, British, French and Irish, representing the countries where Peter Rice passed most of his life and the cultures that formed him. These essays and cameos, amply illustrated from several archives, range widely across his career and legacy. Family, friends, scholars and colleagues write about his work, his solutions to intractable problems and his aesthetic sense, seeking to provide an understanding of his works and days. Arup Phase 2 in London, the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris and Farmleigh Gallery in Dublin have developed a series of exhibitions, workshops and conferences dedicated to Peter Rice, for which the essays in this volume provide an indispensable foundation.
PETER RICE (1935 –1992) is widely regarded as the most distinguished structural engineer of the late twentieth century. His innovations in materials and design greatly advanced the nature of modern architecture. Following early work on the Sydney Opera House, he defined the structural elements of significant buildings such as the Centre Pompidou, the Menil Collection museum, Lloyd’s of London, the Gare TGV at Roissy, the Pyramide Inversée of the Louvre, Kansai International Airport and the Full-Moon Theatre in the Languedoc.
His influence has shaped a new generation of architects and engineers, who renew through their own work his exploration of materials, his commitment to the integrity of a structure, his refusal of precedent and his courage as a designer. He has imprinted les traces de la main on material culture and the built environment through his use of cast steel, ductile iron, stone, glass and ferro-cement. Whether adapting nature’s patterns to build flexible structures or transforming our experience of the ecology of light,
Peter Rice’s public spaces delight and surprise us with their sensual mathematics and their triumphant integration of the human and the monumental. A native of Dundalk, Ireland, Peter Rice was educated at Newbridge College, Co. Kildare, and graduated from Queen’s University Belfast and Imperial College London. He joined Ove Arup & Partners in 1956, becoming a director in 1978. He was founder of Piano & Rice and of Rice Francis & Ritchie (RFR), and was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and of the Royal Institute ofArchitects of Ireland. In 1989 he received La Medaille d’Argent de la Recherche et de la Technique of the Académie d’Architecture, France, and in 1992 he was awarded the RIBA Gold Medal.
Click here to watch a short documentary from Arup on the life, career and legacy of Peter Rice.
KEVIN BARRY is Professor Emeritus, School of Humanities, National University of Ireland, Galway.
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