Norman Foster Foundation’s Madrid Headquarters to Inaugurate with Global Forum in June

The Norman Foster Foundation has announced plans for its new Madrid-based headquarters to be opened in June this year, whose inauguration will be marked by the first session of the global forum Future is Now, addressing future social, economic and design concerns architecture will face. With the intersection of art, technology, and design, the Foundation facilitates multifaceted thinking and discourse among architects and designers. The opening of its new headquarters is a vital step in “establishing a world-class archive and inaugurating an international program of research, education, and interdisciplinary projects.”

According to the Foundation, “the decision to establish the Foundation as an independent entity, separate from the architectural practice of Foster + Partners, grew out of the perceived need for a permanent physical space that could house the Archive and study center, receive students and graduates, and present programs and projects."

Droneport in Rwanda. Image Courtesy of Foster + Partners

Established in 2015, the Foundation’s renowned Archive is the focal point of the new facility in Madrid, boasting an inventory of over 74,000 drawings, models, photographs, sketchbooks, and assorted objects, revolving around Norman Foster’s life, work, and ideologies. With information from the 1950s onwards, the Archive offers a plethora of reference points for scholarly research and education and is also publicly accessible online.

Hearst Tower. Image © Chuck Coi

The headquarters will be based at a former residential palace in Madrid, its historic building complimenting a new single story glass pavilion that will occupy the courtyard, designed by the Norman Foster Studio within the Foundation. Featuring a seemingly floating glass fiber roof, the pavilion will stage events and display a collection of influential objects and references.

The birth of the Foundation grows out of the aspiration to help new generations to be better prepared to anticipate the future, especially in times of profound global uncertainty, and in particular to assist those professionals who are concerned with the built environment, said Norman Foster. Behind all this is our belief in the value of architecture, infrastructure, and urbanism to make a difference for the collective good.

Maggie's Cancer Centre in Manchester. Image © Nigel Young

To mark the establishment of its new home, the Foundation will also host Future is Now, its first global forum of three sessions on the topics of “Cities”, “Technology and Design”, and “Infrastructure.” Beginning with a keynote by Norman Foster, each session will include a keynote, an interview, and a moderated panel discussion, all of which will be live streamed on the Foundation’s website, here. Notable speakers will include 2016’s Pritzker Prize winner and Venice Biennale director Alejandro Aravena, and Apple’s Chief Design Officer, Jonathan Ive.

Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Image © Tim Caynes

Future is Now is the first of a series of research-driven and educational initiatives conducted by the Foundation, in collaboration with a range of institutions worldwide, such as MIT, the École Polythechnique Fédérale in Lausanne and the University of Cambridge. These will be overseen by the newly appointed Director Maria Nicanor, an architectural historian, and curator whose previous associations include the V&A Museum in London, and New York’s Guggenheim Museum.

More information about the Norman Foster Foundation, as well as the schedule for its inaugural global forum, can be found on its website, here.

News via: Norman Foster Foundation.

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Cite: Osman Bari. "Norman Foster Foundation’s Madrid Headquarters to Inaugurate with Global Forum in June" 13 Apr 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

Masdar Institure. Image Courtesy of Foster + Partners


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