Piers Gough designs buildings, but not those very tall, all-glass rectangles you see in big cities like London and New York. One of his buildings is bigger at the top than it is at the bottom. Another is sprinkled with colored bricks, like bits of blue, green, red, and yellow candy pieces. Mr. Gough is an architect, a person who designs and supervises the construction of buildings — inside and outside — from a small house to a giant skyscraper.
Mr. Gough and three friends-fellow students started their own architectural firm in 1975. Originally called Campbell Zogolovitch Wilkinson and Gough, today it’s CZWG, and is based in London. Their many projects include the Canada Water Library (the building that’s bigger at the top), the Fulham Island Tutti-Fruiti building (the one with the colored bricks), and Alfred Court (a triangular, wavy-shaped apartment building with a pale green roof).
Creating a new building from start to finish is a long project, he says. Sometimes it can take five years before what began as a drawing is ready for the doors to open. Imagine spending five years on just one school project!
Mr. Gough credits his teachers for supporting his interest in art and architecture. “I had a great art teacher who strongly encouraged me to be an architect,” he said in an interview with the Royal Academy of Arts. “In my education art was a very important balance alongside the maths and science.”
Mr. Gough is now a CBE, Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, and a Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy Schools, London. But he’s still wearing his bold plaid suits and hasn’t trimmed his halo of curly hair. And his firm will keep making colorful buildings whose shapes make the most of the spaces they’re in.