IN AUTUMN 1996
ATTENDED THE CEREMONY
OF THE RECONSTRUCTION
OF THE ISE SHRINE
In the Shinto tradition, every twenty years, the temple is dismantled and rebuilt identically on a site opposite the previous one, with the purpose of handing down construction and craft skills from one generation to the next. During the building, three generations come together: one that teaches, being over 60 years old, one that, having learned, erects the new building in keeping with tradition, and the young generation, which looks and learns.
While watching a temple being built, on a trip to Japan, Renzo Piano began to wonder how to convey his professional experience to young people. From this came the idea of doing so through a Foundation, by starting to welcome students to his workshop.
In 2004 the Renzo Piano Foundation was established in Genoa. It is a non-profit institution devoted to promoting the architectural profession by conducting study and research in the architectural field. The Renzo Piano Foundation's program is divided into several activities: Conservation and Valorisation of the Archive, Training and Education.
The second fundamental reason behind the birth of the Renzo Piano Foundation is the awareness of how important it is to preserve and make available the project documents accumulated in over fifty years of work.
In around 2000, when two major exhibitions were about to be held in Berlin and Paris, the need to build up an orderly and well organized archive became clear. A place of memory where it would be possible to share the history of many projects and make it accessible.