Carl Abbott

In the tenth episode of the 'Inside the Archive' series, architect Carl Abbott provides an inside look into the formative two-year period he and Norman Foster spent at Yale, their creation of TEAM 4 with two other classmates soon after and Norman Foster's unique outlook that makes him more of a futurist than an architect.

Abbott begins by thinking back to the master’s course he undertook with Norman Foster and Su and Richard Rogers at Yale. He particularly focuses on the long-lasting impact their professor, Paul Rudolph, had on their understanding of architecture in practice as well as on the formative trip he took with his classmates to visit architectural landmarks in the northern United States.
Then, he moves to reflect on how he came to form TEAM 4 with his former classmates, Norman Foster and Su and Richard Rodgers. Speaking about their first two projects, Creek Vean and the Cockpit, Abbott emphasizes Foster’s constant striving for perfection in even the smallest details, the value TEAM 4 placed on continuously consulting experts from varied backgrounds and the importance of aeroplane design in Foster’s earliest constructions.
Finally, he considers how Foster can be considered to be more of a futurist than an architect. Speaking about how Foster’s lifelong concern has been with making the world better and long-lasting, a concern he shares with his mentor Buckminster Fuller, Abbott considers how Foster has been able to achieve these goals through his unique and innovative projects.