For the eighteenth episode of our ‘Building the Future’ series, Peter Eisenman, founder and principal of Eisenman Architects, recalls first encountering Norman Foster, and shares his thoughts on current and future challenges facing architecture, and how these can be overcome successfully.
For the seventeeth episode of our ‘Building the Future’ series, we join an eminent acquaintance of Norman Foster, Lord Jacob Rothschild. Their first encounter was more than forty years ago and, with a longstanding interest in architecture, Lord Rothschild draws attention to the consistent high quality, the responsiveness to technology and the understanding of urbanism, which combine to make Norman Foster’s output “a miracle of an achievement”.
For the sixteenth episode of our ‘Building the Future’ series, British Architect Farshid Moussavi, founder of Farshid Moussavi Architecture, narrates how she came to encounter Norman Foster through his work and his renown as the studio had just completed the Renault Factory.
In this episode of ‘Building the Future’, Sara Fox, Principal at Fox&Co Consulting, recounts her collaboration with Norman Foster for 30 St Mary Axe, London. As New Buildings Director for Swiss Re, Fox was drawn to Foster’s “uncanny ability” to notice the smallest detail which needed revision, and a team she was “exceeding lucky” to work with in realising the client’s requirements.
In this episode of the ‘Building the Future’ series, we meet property developer and art collector, Lord Peter Palumbo. A former Chairman of the Arts Council of Great Britain, he speaks of his admiration for Norman Foster whose most famous early buildings came as ‘a revelation’ in a country which frequently takes a long time to acknowledge its own artists.
For the thirteenth episode of the ‘Building the Future’ series, distinguished architectural writer Peter Murray recalls first meeting Norman Foster in 1969. At that time, work was underway on commissions from Fred Olsen for Millwall Docks, London. Murray notes that when published, two aspects of these projects stood out; Norman Foster’s ability to encapsulate an entire project with a sketch and the innovative social dimension within the design.
In the twelfth episode of the ‘Building the Future’ series, we join architect, academic and author, Robert A.M. Stern, Founding Partner of Robert A.M. Stern Architects, who remembers his period as a student at Yale University. At a time when the university did not have a sizable international intake, Stern recalls that Norman Foster arrived with a sudden influx of English students; “the British invasion before The Beatles”.
For the eleventh episode of the ‘Building the Future’ series, leading American architectural critic Paul Goldberger, recounts how Norman Foster seems “always to have been a presence” in the global architectural scene, and how in recent years his presence has been increasingly felt in the United States.
For the ninth episode of our ‘Building the Future’ series, we join leading architectural writer and critic, Jonathan Glancey. With a youthful enthusiasm for architecture, Glancey remembers first seeing Norman Foster’s work in the Architectural Review, long before ever meeting him. This opportunity came when, as an assistant editor for the same magazine, he visited Foster’s studio at Great Portland Street, London.
In the eighth episode of the ‘Building the Future’ series, leading Spanish architect and co-founder of Ecosistema Urbano, Belinda Tato, expresses her longstanding admiration for Norman Foster. Recalling her time as a student, his work became a reference point for sustainable and innovative architectural projects which reshaped the urban environment. At a time when Tato was imagining future architectures, she notes that Foster “was building them”.
In the seventh episode of our ‘Building the Future’ series, Thomas T.K. Zung, President of Buckminster Fuller, Sadao and Zung Architects, recalls meeting Norman Foster following the latter’s first encounter with Buckminster Fuller. Zung gives a poignant first-hand testimony of the close relationship he witnessed develop between the two minds.
For the sixth episode of our ‘Building the Future’ series, we are joined by Sir Peter Cook, Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and a founder of Archigram. He opens by passionately advocating for the versatility and importance of hand drawing as a tool to influence the viewer’s thought processes.
In this episode of the ‘Building the Future’ series, acclaimed Spanish artist and sculptor, Cristina Iglesias, shares her initial responses to Norman Foster’s work around the world, before she met the man himself during their collaboration on Bloomberg’s European Headquarters in London. Iglesias considers the close relationship between art and architecture with reference to her site-specific The Ionosphere (A Place of Silent Storms); an intricate canopy for the Norman Foster Foundation, Madrid.
In the third episode of our ‘Building the Future’ series, eminent family solicitor Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia exclusively shares her personal reflections on Norman Foster and his work. On their first meeting the two “instantly connected”, with Fiona being “bowled over” that despite a busy professional life, Foster could still find the time and self-discipline to compile family photo albums.
For our second episode of the ‘Building the Future’ series, celebrated designer Sir Terence Conran recalls meeting Norman Foster on numerous social occasions. From these repeated encounters a lasting friendship would grow and develop, founded upon Conran’s admiration of Foster’s clear abilities. These were typified by a drawing of rooftops, overlooked from a house in France, which conveyed Foster’s “huge attention to detail”, and for Conran stood comparison to the work of David Hockney.
In the first episode of our ‘Building the Future’ series, leading property developer Sir Stuart Lipton looks back over forty years to recall his first encounter with Norman Foster. The location was Great Portland Street, London, where Lipton’s first impression was of an individual “in love with architecture”; a pencil and sketchbook always to hand. This meeting was to provide the basis for many productive collaborations between the two men.