Having invited a number of high profile international architects to apply, many pulled out all the stops to win, hiring helicopters to take aerial photographs and producing large-scale models to discuss at interview. By contrast, Renzo Piano turned up with his daughter, apparently unprepared. No models. No drawings. Spending a number of days on site, in discussion with the client's expert groups, Piano rolled up his sleeves and started drawing, quickly establishing the concept of draping the landscape over the academy's essential functions. His approach dramatically changed the opinion of the client who had convinced themselves that their flying architect was the person for the job.
No Pingo Doce, February 2008