Peter Rice in the Serres at La Villette observed by Hugh Dutton, 1990
Photo: Michel Denancé
© Michel Denancé

Traces of Peter Rice

Marking 20 years since Peter Rice’s death, the exhibition Traces of Peter Rice focuses on  his contribution to five significant design projects including the Centre Pompidou and the Musée des Sciences et del’Industrie, Paris; the Menil Collection, Houston; the Full-Moon Theatre, Gourgoubès; and the proposal for the Groningen Museum in the Netherlands in collaboration with artist Frank Stella.

Jennifer Greitschus, Head of Exhibitions at Arup and curator of Traces of Peter Rice said: “The legacy left by Peter Rice continues to resonate throughout the built environment and stimulate contemporary designers. In addition to showcasing past design stories, we are delighted to be presenting a new work by Tristan Simmonds inspired by Peter Rice’s collaboration with Humbert Camerlo on the Full-Moon Theatre.”

In 1992 Peter Rice was awarded the RIBA Gold Medal in recognition of his exceptional contributions to the design of the built environment. Kevin Barry, editor of the book Traces of Peter Rice writes: “Whether adapting nature’s patterns to build flexible structures, or transforming our experience of the ecology of light, Peter Rice’s public spaces delight and surprise with their sensual mathematics. Through his innovative use of materials, especially glass and steel, Peter Rice pushed the boundaries of his discipline”.

The exhibition reminds the designers, engineers, and artists of today that Peter Rice’s most influential projects relied equally on ingenuity and devoted collaboration. The exhibition features prototypes, maquettes, drawings, photography and a new documentary film. There are also references to Peter Rice’s love of poetry, his interests in horse racing and nature as well as personal photographs, which capture the spirit of the times.

The exhibition opened in London at Arup Phase 2 in November 2012 and tours to the Farmleigh Gallery, Dublin and the Naughton Gallery, Queen’s University Belfast in February 2014.

The book – Traces of Peter Rice – is a collaboration between Arup, Culture Ireland, the Centre Culturel Irlandais and the Irish Office of Public Works, bringing together contributions from family, friends, artists, scholars and colleagues from the worlds of engineering and architecture, including Richard Rogers, Renzo Piano, Andy Sedgwick and Sophie Le Bourva. It can be purchased online at

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