Lilliput Press is delighted to be reissuing Traces of Peter Rice for the first time in paperback. This book 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 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. On the books original publication in 2012, Arup Phase 2 in London, the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris and Farmleigh Gallery in Dublin 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), a native of Dundalk, was educated at Newbridge College, Queens University, Belfast and Imperial College, London. He joined Ove Arup & Partners in 1956 becoming a director in 1978. Widely regarded as the most distinguished structural engineer of the late twentieth century, his innovations in materials and design hugely advanced the nature of modern architecture. After early work on the Sydney Opera House, he defined the structural elements of buildings like 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 posthumous An Engineer Imagines (1994) became a byword amongst students and his peers.
His influence shaped a new generation of architects and engineers, through his commitment to the integrity of a structure, his refusal of precedent and courage as a designer. He has imprinted les traces de la main on material culture and the built environment with a 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, his public spaces delight and surprise with
their sensual mathematics and triumphant integration of the human and the monumental.