Richard Waite caught up with the victorious Richard Rogers to discuss his Pritzker Prize win and his plans for the future.
When did you first hear you'd won the prize?
I have known about this for about two weeks, but I was told I'd have my head cut off if I said anything. The only person who knew was Renzo Piano, and he was on the jury.The Pritzker Prize surely tops off a fantastic few months.
It has been a good year, with winning the Golden Lion in Venice, then the Stirling success followed by the Pompidou Exhibition. Yes, it has been a good year.It's a cheeky question, but which are you most proud of receiving?
I can't say there have been any favourites, but the Pritzker is the only really international award and is recognised by architects everywhere. It's wonderful to have it and it is not really just about me, it's about all the many people I have worked with over the years.How do you think the Prize will impact on the practice's workload - especially bearing in mind your recent name change [to Rogers Stirk Harbour]?
We are going through a fantastic period of work. For the first time we can truly be selective about what we want to do. Earlier this week we had a pretty amazing request from America, but we had to say no. At least for the next six months anyway. We always tend to be selective but it is great to be able to choose not only the jobs but who we are doing them with. And we might be changing the name, but that doesn't change the situation about the practice. This office is design led.What is there left to achieve?
Well I'm not retiring! I'm still interested in buildings, public spaces and regeneration but I'd like to get involved in more complex problems However I can still get very excited about anything from a house to a city - after all that's the name of the exhibition at the Pompidou 'From the House to the City'. A light fitting can excite me still too.Why do you think it took so long to win the prize? [Renzo Piano was awarded the Pritzker in 1998]
I didn't think about examining why I hadn't won it and now and I'm just happy to receive it.I hear the ceremony will be held in London this year.
It's an amazing bit of luck. I will be able to get all my old friends there who I owe so much to - and I'm a Londoner after all.'