The master architect and his restaurateur wife welcome us into their converted Georgian London townhouse.
Ruth Rogers jokes that her husband, whose accomplishments include the Centre Pompidou, Lloyds of London and The Millennium Dome, took a house and turned it into a barn. Yet extraordinarily, the exterior of the building is an archetypal Georgian terrace; a resplendent facade in London brick with uniform windows and smart stucco. From the street there is no hint of the vertiginous staircase that zigzags through the air of the dramatic living space inside. “A room is the beginning of a city,” says Rogers and there are plenty of nods towards his architectural preoccupations. An industrial palette of natural light and acid-bright color is everywhere. Even the window-box geraniums are a signature pink. A column of Mao Zedong portraits courtesy of Andy Warhol, works by Cy Twombly and a fine collection of Philip Gustons are displayed alongside Mexican craft art and clusters of elegant ceramic vessels made by Richard’s mother. That the Rogers refer to the living space as a “piazza” is significant; the communal spirit of Italy, and in particular Florence where Richard was born, is an enduring influence on them both.