On the 26th of September, Norman Foster will be at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao as the inaugural recipient of the very first BIA (Bilbao Bizkaia Architecture) Award. Recognizing Foster's contribution towards the development of Bizkaia through architecture and urban regeneration, the prize highlights Foster's iconic original design for the Metro Bilbao stations in the Basque Country.
Sponsored by the Bilbao City Council and other associates, the BIA Award will be presented biennially to individuals who reflect BIA's commitment to urban and architectural revival of the region. Focusing on challenges such as internationalism and citizen participation, BIA is also spearheading the Urban Regeneration Forum in September. The convention will create a space for the exchange of ideas of urban solutions between almost 300 international experts.
In a statement by the BIA, Foster's Metro Bilbao is described as the "first major project to transform the capital of Bizkaia and its metropolitan area." As an organization passionately working to "raise architecture to an indisputably important place," BIA has chosen a strong starting point with Norman Foster as the initial recipient of the new prize.
One of the most illustrious and prolific architects of this age, Foster's dedication to the goals of BIA is evident through his practice, Foster + Partners. The firm explains its design methodology as an approach that is "sensitive to location and culture, often combining the latest advancements in building technology with techniques drawn from vernacular traditions."