awards: 1994 AIA, 1999 Pritzker Prize, AIA, Pritzker Prize
Norman Robert Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank, OM Kt. (born 1 June 1935) is a British architect whose company maintains an international design practice, Foster & Partners.
Foster was raised in Manchester in a working-class family and was intrigued by design and engineering from a young age. His years observing Mancunian architecture subsequently influenced his works, and was inspired to pursue a career in architecture after a treasurer clerk noticed his sketches and interest in Manchester’s buildings while he worked at Manchester Town Hall.
Foster gained an internship at a local architect’s office before submitting a portfolio and winning a place at the University of Manchester School of Architecture. He subsequently won a scholarship to study at the Yale School of Architecture in the United States of America.
Foster returned to the United Kingdom in 1963 and set up a practice, Team 4 which became Foster + Partners. His breakthrough building was arguably the Willis Building in Ipswich in 1975 and he has since designed landmark structures such as Wembley Stadium and 30 St Mary Axe. He is one of Britain’s most prolific architects of his generation. In 1999 he was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, often referred to as the Nobel Prize of architecture. In 2009 Foster was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award in the Arts category.
Sir Norman Foster’s list of favorite/significant buildings (post 1980):
- Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain by Frank Gehry
- Menil Collection, Houston, Texas, USA by Renzo Piano
- Lloyd’s Building, London, UK by Richard Rogers
- Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban / National Assembly Building, Dhaka, Bangladesh by Louis Kahn
- Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Cesar Pelli
- Saint-Pierre, Firminy, France by Le Corbusier