They formed the revolutionary Team 4 together in the sixties, briefly shining together, before going on to bigger and better things but Richard Rogers and Norman Foster remain the Lennon and McCartney of the British architecture scene.
These days both have their own ubiquitous firms named after them which they charismatically lead. Foster of course has Foster and Partners, whilst Rogers has Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, both of which have according to the Sunday Times Rich List of 2008 made them astonishingly rich.
Foster owns 85% of his design and architecture firm with his chunk of the shares worth between £300 million and £500 million (a little over one billion dollars) depending on the valuation you use. It makes him the richest architect in the world by a very big margin and has given him a level of wealth that allows him to maintain a private jet and a sprawling chateau in Switzerland.
Thanks to being more selective in his clients and refusing to relentlessly expand his firm, the Sunday Times Rich List estimated Richard Rogers wealth at a mere £40 million because of his shareholdings in his own firm but with this total there is unfortunately made one small mistake.
Always socially aware, Rogers established his practise so that it would be owned by the Thames Wharf Charity and that dividends from it, rather than simply enrich him, could be used throughout London on various charitable projects. As a result the Thames Wharf Charity owns all 20,000 preference shares in Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners in which the main value of the company is retained.
This doesn’t mean Richard Rogers doesn't have any shareholding at all because there are also eight ordinary shares of which he owns two giving him a quarter share of that portion. Before you think he is going to rush out and buy a Learjet there's one very important fact to bare in mind - these ordinary shares are worth a whole £1 each meaning if he does ever feel like cashing in his windfall Rogers can slum it and buy approaching half a whopper meal from Burger King. Who says architecture doesn't pay?