Spotlight: Norman Foster

Spotlight: Norman Foster

Arguably the leading name of a generation of internationally high-profile British architects, Norman Foster (born 1 June 1935)—or to give him his full title Norman Robert Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank of Reddish, OM, HonFREng—gained recognition as early as the 1970s as a key architect in the high-tech movement, which continues to have a profound impact on architecture as we know it today.

Queen Alia International Airport. Image © Nigel Young / Foster + PartnersThe Gherkin . Image © Nigel YoungHearst Tower. Image © Chuck ChoiBeijing Airport. Image © Foster + Partners+ 46

Foster's architecture is remarkably diverse; he has designed skyscrapers, offices, galleries, airports, stadiums, parliament buildings, city masterplans and even a spaceport. Yet his work is unified by one theme, identified in the jury citation for his 1999 Pritzker Prize: "from his very first projects, it was evident that he would embrace the most advanced technology appropriate to the task." It is this devotion to the latest architectural technology that earned him his place in the High-Tech movement, with buildings such as the Willis Faber & Dumas headquarters and the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts.

Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank. Image © Wikimedia user WiNG licensed under CC BY 3.0
Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank. Image © Wikimedia user WiNG licensed under CC BY 3.0

Though High-Tech has now largely faded as a "movement," instead being assimilated into multiple other strands of mainstream architecture, Foster's work continues to push the boundaries of architectural technology, earning him commissions such as Apple's futuristic new Cupertino Campus building and one of the world's first purpose-built sustainable "smart cities," Masdar.

Masdar Institute. Image © Nigel Young / Foster + Partners
Masdar Institute. Image © Nigel Young / Foster + Partners

Since it was founded in the 1960s, Foster + Partners has been prolific, earning Foster two Stirling Prizes, an RIBA Gold Medal, an AIA Gold Medal and a knighthood in addition to his Pritzker Prize. Designs such as the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, The Gherkin in London, and The Hearst Tower in New York have ensured that Foster has secured his place as one of the greatest architects of the 21st century.

Hearst Tower. Image © Chuck Choi
Hearst Tower. Image © Chuck Choi

See all of Norman Foster's (completed) works featured on ArchDaily via the thumbnails below, and a selection of further articles below those. A complete list of all our coverage of Foster + Partners' work, including as-yet unbuilt proposals, can be found at this link.

Spaceport America. Image © Nigel YoungQueen Alia International Airport. Image © Nigel Young / Foster + PartnersThe Gherkin . Image © Nigel YoungHearst Tower. Image © Chuck ChoiBeijing Airport. Image © Foster + PartnersYale School of Management. Image © Chuck ChoiMcLaren Production Centre. Image © McLarenBMCE Headquarters. Image © Nigel Young / Foster + PartnersLenbachhaus Museum. Image © Nigel Young / Foster + PartnersFree University's Philology Library. Image © Rudi MeiselHong Kong and Shanghai Bank. Image © Wikimedia user WiNG licensed under CC BY 3.0Vieux Port Pavilion. Image © Nigel Young / Foster + PartnersCampus Luigi Einaudi. Image © David VicarioFaustino Winery. Image © Nigel Young / Foster + PartnersMasdar Institute. Image © Nigel Young / Foster + PartnersArt of Americas Wing at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Image © Nigel Young / Foster + PartnersFaena Aleph Residences. Image © Nigel YoungSainsbury Centre. Image © Tim CaynesWillis Headquarters at Lime Street. Image © Foster + PartnersAbu Dhabi Central Market. Image © Nigel Young / Foster + PartnersThe Bow. Image © Nigel Young / Foster + PartnersUAE Pavilion – Milan Expo 2015. Image © Foster + PartnersYacht Club de Monaco. Image © Nigel Young / Foster + PartnersNew City Hall in Buenos Aires. Image © Foster + PartnersArt of Americas Wing at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Image © Nigel Young / Foster + PartnersSperone Westwater Gallery. Image © Nigel Young / Foster + PartnersErnst & Young Headquarters, Amsterdam. Image © Foster + PartnersMaggie's Cancer Centre Manchester. Image © Nigel Young / Foster + PartnersNew German Parliament, Reichstag. Image © flickr user oh-berlin, licensed under CC BY 2.0Chateau Margaux Winery. Image © Nigel Young / Foster + PartnersWembley National Stadium. Image © Nigel YoungApple Regent Street. Image © Nigel YoungApple Dubai Mall. Image © Nigel YoungKulum Eispavilion. Image © Nigel YoungAqwa Corporate. Image © Nelson KonApple Store Michigan Avenue, Chicago. Image © Nigel YoungBloomberg's European HQ. Image © Nigel YoungThe Murray Hotel. Image © Nigel Young / Foster + PartnersOcean Terminal Extension. Image © Foster + Partners3Beirut. Image © Nigel Young / Foster + PartnersApple Park Visitor Center. Image © Foster + PartnersBund Finance Centre / Foster + Partners + Heatherwick Studio. Image © Laurian GhinitoiuElephant House. Image © Nigel Young+ 46

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5 Lessons From Norman Foster's Lecture at the Barbican

Norman Foster Explains How Drones in Rwanda Could Lead the Way for New Cities

Norman Foster Stresses the Importance of Interdisciplinary Architecture in Creating Future Cities

Video: Norman Foster Recreates Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion Car

Norman Foster Revisits New York's Hearst Tower With Drones

Norman Foster Discusses the Dawn of High-Tech Architecture in This 1971 Interview

Norman Foster's Interview with The European: "Architecture is the Expression of Values"

VIDEO: Norman Foster on Apple's Cupertino Campus

TED Talk: Norman Foster on Green Architecture

Norman Foster on Urbanism, Emerging Economies and Airport Design

From Productivism to Scenography: The Relighting of Norman Foster's Hongkong and Shanghai Bank

Foster + Partners Declared Largest Practice In The UK

Norman Foster Is 82 And He Instagrams Better Than You Do

About this author
Cite: Rory Stott. "Spotlight: Norman Foster" 01 Jun 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/380738/happy-78th-birthday-sir-norman-foster> ISSN 0719-8884
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Spaceport America. Image © Nigel Young

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