Romano Roland Paoletti
23 April 1931
|Died||13 November 2013 (aged 82)|
|Projects||Jubilee Line Extension|
Romano Roland Paoletti, CBE (23 April 1931 – 13 November 2013) was a British-Italian architect. He was best known for his work on the early stations for Hong Kong's Mass Transit Railway, and for commissioning the award-winning designs of the stations of London Underground's Jubilee Line Extension. He was described by the Architectural Review as "the Medici of London Transport".
Early life and career
Paoletti was born in London in 1931, at the City of London Hospital. His father was Italian and his mother French. The name Romano came from a church local to Lucca, Italy, where his father's family are thought to have lived for at least 700 years.
His father was treated as an enemy alien in the Second World War and the family had to move to Scotland. In 1942 Paoletti was sent to Clongowes Wood College, a Jesuit boarding school in County Kildare, Ireland. From 1948 he studied architecture at the University of Manchester, then moved to London to work with Basil Spence. After this he undertook postgraduate studies at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura in Venice under Carlo Scarpa and Giancarlo De Carlo. He became an assistant to Pier Luigi Nervi on the building of a new British Embassy in Rome to a design by Spence.
Paoletti later moved to Hong Kong, working at Palmer and Turner before becoming an architect at the rapidly expanding Mass Transit Railway (MTR) in 1975. He became chief architect in the MTR's programme to build a new urban transport system. He was responsible for the design of 37 stations over a period of twelve years.
Jubilee Line Extension
In 1990 Sir Wilfrid Newton, head of the MTR, left Hong Kong to become chairman of London Regional Transport and Paoletti joined him in London, as commissioning architect for the new stations as part of the 10 miles (16 km) Jubilee Line Extension.
There had been plans to extend the London Underground's Jubilee line for many years. The final route for the extension involved eleven stations: Westminster, Waterloo, Southwark, London Bridge, Bermondsey, Canada Water, Canary Wharf, North Greenwich, Canning Town, West Ham and Stratford, plus a new depot at Stratford.
Since the 1930s, London Underground's architects had designed the surface buildings, but the sub-surface spaces were designed by civil engineers and only fitted out by the architects. Paoletti hired different architects to design each station, while maintaining that all should share an "underlying philosophy and essential elements." The architects included: Troughton McAslan at Stratford and Canning Town, van Heyningen and Haward Architects at West Ham, Alsop, Lyall and Störmer at North Greenwich, Foster and Partners at Canary Wharf, Ron Herron at Canada Water, Ian Ritchie Architects at Bermondsey, MacCormac Jamieson Prichard at Southwark, Weston Williamson + Partners at Waterloo, and Michael Hopkins and Partners at Westminster His own in-house team also took on the design of Waterloo and part of London Bridge.
Many of the Jubilee line stations received individual awards and commendations for their architecture, including Westminster and Canary Wharf being jointly awarded the 2000 Civic Trust Building of the Year. The Royal Fine Art Commission named the extension as a whole their Millennium Building of the Year, with the chair of the judging panel calling it "comparable to the achievement of Haussmann when he constructed the great boulevards of Paris". Paoletti himself received the RIBA/Arts Council Award for "Client of the Year" 1999.
Paoletti won first RIBA Client of the Year award in 1998, and was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2000 New Year Honours for "services to Architecture". The Architectural Review called him "the Medici of London Transport".
He died in London. He was survived by his wife, Nora. They had no children.
- Glancey, Jonathan (17 January 2000). "All stations lead to Rome". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
- Saint, Andrew (15 December 2013). "Roland Paoletti obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
- Tributes paid to 'architect client' Roland Paoletti, Architests Journal, 15 November 2013
- Powell, p. 31
- Powell, pp. 6–7
- Davies, Hugh (13 June 2000). "'Brilliant' Jubilee Line wins Millennium award". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
- Mitchell, Bob (2003). Jubilee Line Extension: From Concept to Completion. London: Thomas Telford Publishing. pp. 355–356. ISBN 0727730282.
- "New Years Honours List — United Kingdom". The London Gazette (55710 (Supplement No. 1) ed.). 31 December 1999. p. 10. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
- "Roland Paoletti – Obituary". The Daily Telegraph. 19 November 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2015.