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Norman Foster

10 Architects to Design Chapels for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale

14:00 - 16 January, 2018
10 Architects to Design Chapels for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, © <a href=''>Dennis Jarvis [Flickr]</a>, bajo licencia <a href=''>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>. ImageBasílica papal de San Pedro, El Vaticano
© Dennis Jarvis [Flickr], bajo licencia CC BY-SA 2.0. ImageBasílica papal de San Pedro, El Vaticano

In 2018 the Vatican will participate in the Venice Architecture Biennale for the first time. Ten international architects will construct 10 different chapels as part of the representation of the city-state in the Italian architecture event. The news was confirmed by Paraguayan media outlets ABC y Última Horawho revealed that one of the participants was local architect Javier Corvalán.

The elite group of architects was selected by Francesco Dal Co, an Italian architecture historian and curator. The designers have been instructed that their chapels must be able to be relocated so that they can be deployed around the world, in places that are in need of these spaces of worship.

The architects who will build chapels in the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale:

Norman Foster Named Next President of the UK's Royal Fine Art Commission Trust

16:00 - 15 January, 2018
Norman Foster Named Next President of the UK's Royal Fine Art Commission Trust, Lord Norman Foster speaking at the Royal Fine Art Commission Trust’s annual lecture in Manchester last year. Image Courtesy of Royal Fine Art Commission Trust
Lord Norman Foster speaking at the Royal Fine Art Commission Trust’s annual lecture in Manchester last year. Image Courtesy of Royal Fine Art Commission Trust

Lord Norman Foster has been named the next President of the UK’s Royal Fine Art Commission Trust, an independent charity aimed at promoting “visual awareness and public appreciation of high-quality design” within the United Kingdom.

Chaired by one of architecture’s foremost patrons, Lord Peter Palumbo, the organization was established in 1987 as a complement to the Royal Fine Art Commission (since absorbed into the UK Design Council), the Government’s advisor on matters affecting public amenity and aesthetics in England and Wales.

Foster + Partner's Apple Park Visitor's Center Opens to the Public

08:30 - 20 November, 2017
Foster + Partner's Apple Park Visitor's Center Opens to the Public, © Apple
© Apple

The Visitor's Center at Apple's new Cupertino campus has opened to the public. As the public face of a vast complex designed by Foster + Partners, the independent building is "a uniquely designed architectural extension" of the company's new headquarters. "With similar aesthetics in staircases, stone walls, and terrazzo floors," the center’s "cantilevered carbon fiber roof appears to float," supported only "by stone clad cores and no other extraneous columns for support."

© Apple © Apple © Apple © Apple + 5

New Public Transit Map Series Launches with London Underground

14:00 - 19 November, 2017
Tottenham Court Road mural by Eduardo Paolozzi. Image © Will Scott for Blue Crow Media
Tottenham Court Road mural by Eduardo Paolozzi. Image © Will Scott for Blue Crow Media

Your obsession with transit-oriented design has been answered with the newest map series by Blue Crow Media. The first in this series, London Underground Architecture and Design Map curates original content by transport design historian, Mark Ovenden paired with photography by Will Scott to depict the London Underground. Mark Ovenden is a specialist in graphic design, cartography, and architecture in public transport with an emphasis on underground rapid transit, making him the natural fit for the design of this map.

Park Royal by Felix James Lander. Image © Will Scott for Blue Crow Media Arnos Grove by Charles Holden. Image © Will Scott for Blue Crow Media Canary Wharf by Norman Foster. Image © Will Scott for Blue Crow Media © Will Scott for Blue Crow Media + 9

Surface Magazine Talks to Norman Foster About Designing for Bloomberg and Cementing His Legacy

17:05 - 30 October, 2017
The cover of the November 2017 edition of Surface Magazine. Image Courtesy of Surface Magazine
The cover of the November 2017 edition of Surface Magazine. Image Courtesy of Surface Magazine

If you’re trying to get buildings that work with nature, that consume less energy, that are more healthy, and more joyful, you need to go out to a younger generation, and try to anticipate the future 

- Norman Foster

Even for a career filled with an impressive number of peaks, right now Norman Foster seems to be having a particular moment, with the completion of the world's most sustainable office building in London and the recent opening of the new Madrid headquarter of his eponymous think tank, the Norman Foster Foundation.

These triumphs have an inspired a profile in the most recent edition of Surface Magazine that takes a look at the extraordinary path of Foster's career and how he has grown into one of the architecture world's most successful businessmen. Written by the magazine's executive editor, William Hanley, the story features quotes from Foster during his recent trips to Madrid and London on topics ranging from tackling world problems to becoming the go-to designer for Apple's corporate headquarters and flagship stores.

Bloomberg’s New European Headquarters Rated World's Most Sustainable Office Building

04:00 - 10 October, 2017
Bloomberg’s New European Headquarters Rated World's Most Sustainable Office Building, © Bloomberg
© Bloomberg

Bloomberg’s new European HQ, which is located in the heart of the City of London, has been rated the world’s most sustainable office building. Designed by Foster + Partners, the office complex has been awarded an Outstanding BREEAM rating, attaining a 98.5% score – the highest design-stage score ever achieved by any major office development.

© Bloomberg © Bloomberg © Bloomberg © Bloomberg + 9

How Narinder Sagoo And Foster + Partners Are Turning Architectural Preconceptions On Their Head (With A Pencil)

14:45 - 22 September, 2017
How Narinder Sagoo And Foster + Partners Are Turning Architectural Preconceptions On Their Head (With A Pencil), © Foster + Partners
© Foster + Partners

This short article, written by the author and critic Jonathan Glancey, coincides with the launch of the inaugural Architecture Drawing Prize – a competition curated by the World Architecture Festival, the Sir John Soane's Museum, and Make. The deadline for the award has been extended to September 25, 2017, and successful entries will be exhibited in both London and Berlin.

For architects, says Narinder Sagoo, Head of Design Communications at Foster + Partners, drawings are about story telling. They are also a highly effective way of raising questions about design projects. Although the history of architecture—certainly since the Italian Renaissance—has been mapped by compelling drawings asserting the primacy, and reflecting the glory, of fully resolved buildings, there is another strain of visualisation that has allowed architects to think through projects free of preconceptions.

© Foster + Partners © Foster + Partners © Foster + Partners © Foster + Partners + 8

Apple's Steve Jobs Theater Set to Take Center Stage Ahead of New Product Launch

12:00 - 8 September, 2017

Ahead of the official launch of the Steve Jobs Theater, a 1000-capacity auditorium at the heart of the new Apple Campus in Cupertino, California, new details about its design and construction have been revealed. According to Bloomberg, the entrance to the venue stands beneath “a silver disc,” whose supporting—and structural—glazed panels lend it the appearance of floating 20 feet above ground.

Norman Foster Is 82 And He Instagrams Better Than You Do

08:00 - 23 August, 2017

Looking at the Hearst tower made out of Lego

A post shared by Norman Robert Foster (@officialnormanfoster) on

Norman Foster only began to casually upload photos to Instagram earlier this year. But don’t be fooled by his short tenure on the seven-year-old social media platform. At the ripe old age of 82, the British architect has demonstrated that his talents go far beyond designing buildings.

What makes Norman Foster’s Instagram feed more charming than Bjarke Ingels’, or more impressive that Richard Branson’s, is a complex mix of je ne sais quoi, athletic prowess, and a taste of the “he’s just like us!” Architects love that the photos provide behind-the-scenes insight into the life of one of the most prolific and revered professionals of our time. Behind the accolades and behind the Barony, we discover a man swimming, biking, rowing, and helicoptering his way into his eighth decade. It’s reassuring to see that an architect who has always sought to stand at the vanguard of the innovative and the bold doesn’t show signs of letting up anytime soon.

Lord Foster’s Instagram posts show us positive, human endeavors that we should respect as a profession: spending time with family, taking a vacation, and, most importantly, enjoying his work as an architect – a creative passion, or way of living, that permeates everything we do. If we are indeed moving beyond the age of “cults of personality” cultivated by the media, it’s fascinating to see that Norman Foster is taking full advantage of the one-to-one relationship between public figure and the public by openly showing us what he enjoys, treasures, and strives to achieve.

The Unexpected First Jobs of Seven Famous Architects

09:30 - 31 July, 2017
The Unexpected First Jobs of Seven Famous Architects

Seniority is infamously important in the field of architecture. Despite occasionally being on the butt end of wage jokes, the field can actually pay relatively well—assuming that you’ve been working for a couple of decades. Even Bjarke Ingels, the tech-savvy, video-producing, Netflix-documentary-starring provocateur and founder of the ultra-contemporary BIG isn’t a millennial; at 42 the Dane is a full nine years older than Mark Zuckerberg.

As a result of this, it's common to lead a rich and complex life before finding architectural fame, and many of the world’s most successful architects started their careers off in an entirely different field. If you haven't landed your dream job yet, you may find the following list of famous architects' first gigs reassuring.

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

12:00 - 25 July, 2017

"It's quite evident that you're prepared to abandon traditional ways of sitting," Bernard Keeffe exclaims as he collapses into a bright yellow beanbag in Norman Foster's home. "For years," he continues, "people have thought that if they sat down they would have to sit on a chair, but now you have demonstrated that this is not necessary!" In this lengthy 1971 interview with Lord Foster, drawn from the archives of Thames TV, Keeffe questions the practice's early hi-tech approach to architecture in the context of a landscape in which buildings were becoming "ever more complicated."

7 Established Architects' Advice For Young Professionals and Students

08:00 - 13 July, 2017

In all but the most optimistic architect's career, there will be moments you come across doubts and insecurities about our profession. It is in these moments where the wisdom of the greats who have come before us can help provoke the inspiration needed to face the challenges proposed by architecture and urbanism. 

Needing an architectural pick-me-up? Check out some advice from Alejandro AravenaÁlvaro SizaCésar PelliFrancis KéreJeanne GangNorman Foster and Paulo Mendes da Rocha after the break.

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

16:00 - 8 July, 2017

Architecture, as both a profession and the built environment, currently finds itself at a crossroads in trying to adapt to a world in constant flux. Cities and its people face continuous socio-economic, political and environmental change on a daily basis, prompting a necessary rethink in the evolution of sustainable urbanization. With a focus on housing, society and cultural heritage, RIBA’s International Conference, Change in the City, aims to offer insight into the “New Urban Agenda” and how architects can play an interdisciplinary role in future urban development.

Speaking in an interview ahead of the conference, Norman Foster is a strong advocate for a careful consideration of what aspects of urban life need to be prioritized when designing cities of the future. For an increasingly global society, Foster stresses the need for architecture to surpass buildings and tackle its greatest obstacle – global warming, honing in on its roots and factors involved to create viable urban solutions.

New Drone Footage Captures Finishing Touches Being Applied to Apple's "Steve Jobs Theater"

04:00 - 29 June, 2017

New footage from drone videographer Duncan Sinfield reveals that finishing touches are being applied to one of the Apple Campus's more important outward-facing buildings, and perhaps its most 'public' – the "Steve Jobs Theater". Designed and constructed using similar elements to the nearby office 'ring'—including large convex glazed panels and precise, rounded cladding panels—the theater's main function will be to host the company's world-renowned keynote addresses, in which they present new products.

The Norman Foster Foundation's Wing-Shaped Pavilion Provides a Home for Le Corbusier's Car

07:00 - 21 June, 2017
The Norman Foster Foundation's Wing-Shaped Pavilion Provides a Home for Le Corbusier's Car, © Guillermo Rodríguez
© Guillermo Rodríguez

Earlier this month, the Norman Foster Foundation opened its doors in central Madrid. Inhabiting in an old residential palace, and having undergone extensive renovation works since, the Foundation have also constructed their own contemporary courtyard pavilion. Housing a treasure trove of artefacts from Lord Foster's personal collection, the structure—which is shaped like the wing of an aircraft—also exhibits a newly restored 1927 Avions Voisin C7 originally owned by Le Corbusier.

© Guillermo Rodríguez © Guillermo Rodríguez © Guillermo Rodríguez © Guillermo Rodríguez + 13

Stood in Splendid Isolation, Questions Are Raised About Apple's Cupertino Campus

10:15 - 12 June, 2017
Stood in Splendid Isolation, Questions Are Raised About Apple's Cupertino Campus, © Apple
© Apple

The "Spaceship" has landed and the dust, it appears, is starting to settle. In an article by Adam Rogers, which follows Wired's exclusive breakdown of the new Apple Campus in Cupertino, Californiaa convincing case is put forward against its design and wider masterplan. "You can’t understand a building without looking at what’s around it," Rogers argues – and most, including its architects, Foster+Partners, would surely be inclined to agree.

Whether you call it the Ring (too JRR Tolkien), the Death Star (too George Lucas), or the Spaceship (too Buckminster Fuller), something has alighted in Cupertino. And no one could possibly question the elegance of its design and architecture. This building is $5 billion and 2.8 million square feet of Steve Jobsian-Jony Ivesian-Norman Fosterian genius.

Heatherwick Studio and Foster+Partners' Bund Finance Centre in Shanghai Photographed by Laurian Ghinitoiu

04:00 - 8 June, 2017

Located in central Shanghai, this multifunctional arts and culture complex is part of the Bund Finance Centre – a joint project between London-based practices Heatherwick Studio and Foster+Partners. Sitting between the old town and the new financial district, this new space combines exhibition and events spaces with a performance venue inspired, according to the architects, "by the open stages of traditional Chinese theatres." Of most visual interest is the building's mechanical "moving veil," captured here by photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 37

Norman Foster Foundation Includes Aravena, Ive and Other Leading Names in Their 2017 "Future is Now" Conference

14:15 - 6 June, 2017
© Norman Foster Foundation
© Norman Foster Foundation

Last month the Norman Foster Foundation, created to promote "interdisciplinary thinking and research to help up-and-coming architects, designers and urbanists to anticipate the future," coincided the opening of its new Madrid-based headquarters with an international conference. Future is Now pulled together a broad collection of professionals—including Sir Jonathan Ive, Marc Newson, Olafur Eliasson, Maya Lin, Alejandro Aravena, and Luis Fernández-Galian—who addressed an audience of 1,800 (including 1,100 students) in the Spanish capital's Royal Theater.

Watch the conference in its entirety, or read a summary, after the break.