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Norman Foster

Norman Foster Biography

born Paris (FRANCE) 1934 died Paris (FRANCE) 2002

Norman Foster was born in Manchester, England in 1935. his father was a shop manager in a poor area of Manchester, later a sucurity guard and a manual worker in a factory. his parents sent him to a private school and grammar school. There was a strong work ethic and pressure to leave school early and be a wage earner and Foster worked for two years in the city treasurer's office, studied commercial law, before leaving for national service in the royal air force. At this time he was developing a growing interest in architecture. When he came out of the air force he worked in a bakery, sold furniture, and worked in a factory.

After graduating from Manchester University School of Architecture and city planning in 1961, which he entered at age 21, he won a fellowship to Yale University where he gained a masters degree in architecture and where he got to know Richard Rogers. They became very close friends and in 1963 he worked with him and Sue Rogers, Gorgie Wolton and his wife, Wendy Foster, as a member of 'Team 4' until Foster Associates was founded in 1967 (now known as Foster and partners).

Since its inception the practice has received more than 190 awards and citations for excellence and has won over 50 national and international competitions. 1968 - 1983 cooperation with Buckminster Fuller on a number of projects. Foster was awarded the RIBA royal gold medal in 1983, and in 1990 the RIBA trustees medal was made for the Willis Faber Dumas building. He was knighted in 1990, and recieved the gold medal of the AIA in 1994. He was appointed officer of the order of the arts and letters by the ministry of culture in france in 1994. It was announced in the queen's birthday honours list on 12 June 1999 that Sir Norman Foster has been honoured with a life peerage, taking the title Lord Foster of Thames Bank.

In the same year he was awarded the prestigious 21st Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate – considered the nobel prize of architecture. his remarkable buildings and urban projects have transformed cityscapes, renewed transportation systems and restored city centres all over the world. many of these aesthetically and technologically groundbreaking projects are based on ecology - conscious concepts, setting new standards for the interaction of buildings with their environment. among his recent projects are some of the most remarkable architectural projects of the last years, including the reconstruction of the Reichstag in Berlin, the design of the great court at the British Museum in London, The Millennium Bridge (the first new Thames crossing for more than 100 years), and the new Hong Kong International Airport - the world's largest airport terminal.

Norman Foster has lectured throughout the world and has taught architecture in the united kingdom and the usa. he has recently accepted a post-graduate visiting professorship at university college, Bartlett School in London.

Select Timeline

Select Exhibitions

  • 2007 - Public City - Places for People New London Architecture at the Building Centre, London
  • 2006 - High Society Deutsches Architekturmuseum Frankfurt, Germany
  • 2006 - Biennale di Venezia Arsenale, Venice, italy
  • 2006 - London Architecture Biennale Railings Exhibition along the Biennale Walk Route and Peter Ackroyd's Thames, Millennium Bridge
  • 2006 - Norman Foster: Space and Time Pushkin Museum, Moscow
  • 2006 - Architektur + Sport Architekturmuseum der TU Munchen at the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany
  • 2006 - The Building Centre 75th Anniversary Exhibition: information and inspiration Building Centre, London
  • 2006 - Norman Foster: Gliding Through Space The Eric Arthur Gallery, Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, University of Toronto, Canada
  • 2006 - Foster and Partners: Works Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Canada
  • 2006 - GA Gallery Tokyo Moscow City Tower
  • 2005 - i shot Norman Foster The Yard Gallery, Architecture Foundation, London
  • 2005 - London Lights: The Art of Architectural Lighting Building Centre, London
  • 2005 - New London Architecture Building Centre, London
  • 2005 - GA Gallery Tokyo Smithsonian institution, Washington
  • 2005 - The RiBA Stirling Prize: The first 10 years Victoria & Albert Museum, London
  • 2005 - Dream of Tower Danish Architecture Centre, Copenhagen
  • 2005 - Milan and Lombardy. The Revival of the Future Barbican Centre, London
  • 2005 - Milano Santa Giulia Urban Centre, Milan
  • 2005 - The Sage Gateshead: Music and Light The Building Centre, London
  • 2004 - ArchiSculpture Fondation Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland
  • 2004 - Der Traum vom Turm NRW-Forum fur Kultur und Wissenschaft, Dusseldorf
  • 2004 - Biennale di Venezia Arsenale, Venice, italy
  • 2004 - GA Gallery Tokyo Beijing international Airport
  • 2004 - New City Architecture: People, Places & Buildings Finsbury Avenue Square, City of London
  • 2004 - Tall Buildings Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • 2004 - UrbanCow at the CowParade Manchester, UK
  • 2004 - London Architecture Biennale Selfridges, London
  • 2004 - Liquid Stone: New Architecture in Concrete National Building Museum, Washington
  • 2004 - Digital Fabricators Building Centre, London and Cambridge Art Gallery, Toronto
  • 2004 - Arts & Architecture, 1900-2000 Palazzo Ducale, Genoa, italy
  • 2004 - Fantasy Architecture 1500-2036 Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland
  • 2003 - A Tireless Pencil Tecno Showroom, Rome
  • 2003 - GA Gallery Tokyo Chesa Futura, St Moritz
  • 2003 - Zoomorphic Victoria & Albert Museum, London
  • 2003 - Sky High: Vertical Architecture Royal Academy of Arts, London and Urban Centre, Milan
  • 2003 - 25 Years: The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, UEA, Norwich
  • 2003 - Carre d'Art: A Decade of Cultural Projects by Foster and Partners Carre d'Art, Nimes, France
  • 2003 - OPEN: New Designs for Public Space Van Alen institute New York
  • 2003 - Big and Green National Building Museum Washington
  • 2002 - GA Gallery Tokyo Hearst Tower
  • 2002 - Biennale di Venezia Arsenale, Venice, italy
  • 2002 - Norman Foster Projects and Buildings Supreme Court, Singapore
  • 2002 - 50:50 Built and Unbuilt Architecture in Berlin Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, Germany
  • 2001 - Great Expectations Grand Central Station, New York
  • 2001 - Norman Foster: Architecture is About People Museum fur Angewandte Kunst, Cologne, Germany
  • 2001 - Norman Foster - The Architect's Studio Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen
  • 2001 - Exploring the City, The Foster Studio British Museum, London
  • 2000 - World Airports Deutsches Architektur Museum, Frankfurt, Germany
  • 2000 - Museums for a New Millennium: Concepts, Projects, Buildings travelling exhibition
  • 2000 - GA Gallery Tokyo Swiss Re
  • 2000 - Exploring the City Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich, UK
  • 1999 - GA Gallery Tokyo Millennium Bridge
  • 1999 - Architecture of Democracy Glasgow 1999
  • 1999 - Vertigo Glasgow 1999
  • 1998 - GA Gallery Tokyo Chek Lap Kok Airport
  • 1998 - Two Projects by Norman Foster - Carre d'Art Nimes and Bilbao Spain Harvard University, USA
  • 1998 - UNESCO 12 20th century Masterpieces Valencia and Paris
  • 1997 - New Urban Environment: British Architecture and its European Context Japan and China
  • 1997 - London the New Millennium Lothbury Gallery, London
  • 1997 - MiPiM Singapore
  • 1997 - SAiE Bologna Fair italy
  • 1997 - Critical Projects Architectural Association, RiBA, London
  • 1997 - Airports Architectural Association
  • 1997 - Recent Works Port of Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • 1996 - Projects in Duisburg Germany Technical University Eindhoven
  • 1996 - Range and Diversity Zurich
  • 1995 - Deutsche Projekte Munich
  • 1995 - Carre d'Art Venice Biennale, British Pavilon, Venice, italy
  • 1994 - Architecture and Urbanism Madrid, Caceres, Bilbao, Valencia, Spain
  • 1994 - Reichstag Aedes Galerie, Berlin
  • 1994 - Foster Projects Luton University
  • 1993 - Sir Norman Foster and Partners Recent Works DeSingel, Antwerp
  • 1993 - Foster Since the Bank Hong Kong
  • 1993 - Art of the Process RiBA, London
  • 1993 - RiBA Awards Exhibition RiBA, London
  • 1993 - Low Budget Buildings Architektur Forum, Zurich
  • 1992 - Architecture and Light ingolstadt, Germany
  • 1992 - The Art of Architecture Broxbourne Midsummer Festival, Hertfordshire
  • 1992 - Arc et Senans: British Architecture France
  • 1992 - Norman Foster Centre d'Architecture Arc-en Reve, Bordeaux, France
  • 1992 - World Triennale of Architecture Nara, Japan
  • 1992 - The Art of the Architect Kent institute of Art and Design
  • 1992 - indeterminate Form RiBA Eastern Region Architecture Centre Cambridge
  • 1991 - Projets Realise 1991 Academie d'Architecture, Paris
  • 1991 - Projets 1991 Ecole d'Architecture, Rennes, France
  • 1991 - Venice Biennale of Architecture British Pavilion, Venice, italy
  • 1991 - Foster Associates Aedes Gallery, Berlin, Germany
  • 1991 - Stansted Airport Colegio des Arquitectos, Barcelona
  • 1991 - Foster Associates Buildings and Projects 1991 Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, UEA, Norwich
  • 1990 - Les Nouveaux Projets Lyon Ecole d'Architecture, France
  • 1989 - Culture de l'Objet Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
  • 1989 - Foster Associates: Transport Projects Bilbao, Spain
  • 1988 - Foster Proyecti Madrid Barcelona, Seville, Vigo, Spain
  • 1988 - Foster 10: Tradition and Technology, Century Cultural Centre, Tokyo
  • 1988 - Tre Temi Sei Progetti: Norman Foster Pallazzo Vecchio, Florence, italy
  • 1987 - The Great Engineers Royal College of Art, London
  • 1987 - High Technology Architecture University of Eindhoven, Holland
  • 1986 - New Architecture: Fosters, Rogers, Stirling Royal Academy of Arts, London
  • 1986 - Norman Foster Galerie des Arenes, Nimes, France
  • 1986 - Hanover Trade Fair Erco/Hongkong Bank, Hanover, Germany
  • 1986 - Modern Redux Grey Art Gallery,New York University, USA
  • 1986 - Norman Foster : Une Volonte de Fer i.F.A. Paris, France
  • 1985 - Foster Associates : Six Architectural Projects Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, UEA, Norwich
  • 1985 - Biennale de Paris Paris, France
  • 1984 - Das Abenteuer der ideen Berlin, Germany
  • 1984 - Norman Foster: Architect Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester
  • 1984 - images et imaginaires Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
  • 1983 - Foster Associates Gainsborough House, Suffolk
  • 1983 - Architecture et industrie Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
  • 1983 - Archi-Sicomat Centro Edile, Milan
  • 1983 - Foster Associates : Architecture 1967 - 83 Studio Marconi, Milan
  • 1983 - Britain Salutes New York Drawing Centre, New York
  • 1983 - Le Centre Renault a Swindon i.F.A., Paris
  • 1983 - Three New Skyscrapers The Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • 1982 - British Architects The Royal institute of British Architects, London
  • 1980 - The Annual Summer Exhibition The Royal Academy of Arts, London
  • 1979 - Transformations in Modern Architecture The Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • 1979 - The Hammersmith Centre Project Riverside Studios, London
  • 1978 - Original Drawings : Foster Associates The Heinz Gallery, London
  • 1976 - The Work of Foster Associates Colegio des Arquitectos, Barcelona

Select Work

  • 2006 - Dresden Hauptbahnhof reconstruction, Dresden, Germany
  • 2005 - The Philological Library at the Free University of Berlin, Germany
  • 2005 - National Police Memorial, The Mall, London, United Kingdom
  • 2005 - 40 luxury apartments, St. Moritz, Switzerland
  • 2005 - Millau Viaduct, Gorge du Tarn, France
  • 2004 - Tanaka Business School, imperial College London
  • 2004 - McLaren Technology Centre, Woking, United Kingdom
  • 2004 - The Sage Gateshead, Gateshead, England
  • 2004 - 30 St Mary Axe, Swiss Re London headquarters, London, United Kingdom
  • 2004 - Metro of Bilbao, Spain
  • 2003 - Universiti Teknologi Petronas main campus, Malaysia
  • 2003 - Clark Center, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA
  • 2002 - HSBC Tower, London
  • 2003 - The Metropolitan Building in Warsaw
  • 2001 - Lionel Robbins Library renovation, British Library of Political and Economic Science, London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom
  • 2001 - J Sainsbury headquarters, Holborn Circus, London
  • 2001 - La Poterie metro station, Rennes, France
  • 2001 - Al Faisaliah Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • 2001 - Expo MRT Station, Singapore
  • 2000 - Center for Clinical Science Research, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA
  • 2000 - Millennium Bridge, London, United Kingdom
  • 2000 - Greater London Authority Building (London City Hall), London, United Kingdom
  • 1999 - Reichstag restoration, Berlin, Germany
  • 1999 - Department of Economics, Manor Road Building, University of Oxford, England
  • 1999 - Redevelopment of the Great Court of the British Museum, London, United Kingdom
  • 1998 - Hong Kong international Airport, Chek Lap Kok, Hong Kong, China
  • 1997 - Commerzbank Tower, Frankfurt, Germany
  • 1997 - The Clyde Auditorium, part of the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow, Scotland
  • 1995 - Law Faculty, Sidgewick Site, University of Cambridge
  • 1994 - Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraksa
  • 1993 - Carre d'Art, Nimes, France
  • 1992 - Torre de Collserola, Barcelona, Spain
  • 1991 - Terminal building at Stansted Airport, London, United Kingdom
  • 1986 - HSBC headquarters building, Hong Kong
  • 1983 - Renault Distribution Centre, Swindon, United Kingdom
  • 1978 - Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England
  • 1975 - Willis Faber and Dumas Headquarters, ipswich, England
  • 1971 - iBM Pilot Head Office, Cosham, Portsmouth, England

Quotes

Publications

  • Norman Foster: A Global Architecture (Universe Architecture Series) - by Martin Pawley, Universe Publishing (December 17, 1999)
  • Norman Foster Works 1 - by David Jenkins, Prestel Publishing (May 2003)
  • Catalogue - by Norman Foster, Prestel Publishing; Rev Upd edition (July 27, 2005)
  • Reflections - by Norman Foster, Prestel Publishing (January 20, 2006)
  • Norman Foster Works 4 - by David Jenkins, Prestel Publishing (October 30, 2004)

Quick Facts

  • Took an interest in architecture, particularly in the works of Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier.
  • He worked in the Manchester City Treasurer's office before joining National Service in the Royal Air Force.
  • Foster Associates' breakthrough building in the UK was the Willis Faber & Dumas headquarters in ipswich, from 1974
  • Today, Foster and Partners works with its engineering collaborators to integrate complex computer systems with the most basic physical laws, such as convection.
  • Foster's earlier designs reflected a sophisticated, machine-influenced high-tech vision. His style has since evolved into a more sublime, sharp-edged modernity.

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