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America's Go-To Architect
How Renzo Piano has quietly become one of the world's foremost, most
prolific architects

To the consternation of some critics like Nicolai Ouroussoff, Renzo
Piano has become the go-to architect for American cultural
institutions—the default choice when more “adventurous” designers flame
out, bust the budget, or spook timid museum boards. And while he did
indeed inherit faltering projects once attached to other big names (most
notably, The Whitney Museum and LACMA, with Rem Koolhaas), Piano’s
credentials are indisputable: thirty-plus years designing some of the
world’s most important buildings, a precise and rigorous (and
construction-friendly) aesthetic, an urbane and utterly charming
personality likely to put even the most skittish directors and donors at