Building the Future

Gilbert C. Maurer

For this episode of our ‘Building the Future’ series, we join Gilbert C. Maurer, Director and Former Chief Operating Officer of Hearst Corporation. Tasked with overseeing the design and construction of the company’s new headquarters, Maurer restricted possible candidates to Pritzker Prize winners. Among them was Norman Foster, whose achievements drew Maurer’s attention, and whose Hongkong and Shanghai Bank was for Maurer “the epitome of cool”.

Brian L. Roberts

For this episode of our ‘Building the Future’ series, Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast Corporation, shares his personal experience of working with Norman Foster on the Comcast Technology Center, Philadelphia. Looking back on the process, in Roberts’ own words, it was 'one of the most joyful and stimulating experiences I’ve ever been involved with'.

Patricia Urquiola

For this episode of the ‘Building the Future’ series, we are joined by award-winning architect and co-founder of Studio Urquiola, Patricia Urquiola. Recalling her time as a student in Madrid, she was already 'really interested' in Norman Foster’s work. When first flying into Stansted airport, Urquiola was immediately impressed by the building’s lightness and spatial qualities, stating 'this is what an airport should be'.

George Sexton

For this episode of our ‘Building the Future’ series, George Sexton, Principal of George Sexton Associates, recounts his first collaboration with Norman Foster on the seminal Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. It was early 1974 when Sexton travelled to London for a meeting with Sir Robert and Lady Sainsbury, the project’s clients, and the team behind the project, which included Norman and Wendy Foster.

David Levinson

In this episode our ‘Building the Future’ series, David Levinson, Chairman and CEO of L&L Holding Company, discusses working with Norman Foster on 425 Park Avenue, New York. Focusing on modern interventions into historical buildings, the renovated Berlin Reichstag first drew Levinson’s attention to Norman Foster. While watching the construction of Hearst Tower, Levinson promised himself that: 'One day, I’m going to do a project with Norman Foster'.

Estrella de Diego

For the twenty-second episode of our 'Building the Future' series, award-winning art and architecture writer, researcher and academic, Estrella de Diego shares her experiences of Norman Foster’s architecture, the significance of his archive and the continuing importance of manual drawing.

Richard Cashin

For the twenty-first episode of our 'Building the Future' series, we join Richard Cashin, President of One Equity Partners, and former member of the U.S. Olympic rowing team, who discusses his first meeting with Norman Foster, and collaborating with him on a philanthropic project in New York City. Their shared passion for cycling and outdoor sports brought the two men together almost fifteen years ago.

Frank A. Bennack

In the twentieth episode of the 'Building the Future' series, Frank A. Bennack Jr., Executive Vice Chairman and former C.E.O. of Hearst, shares his experience of overseeing the construction of Hearst Tower. The company wanted “the very best”, and Bennack travelled to London to discuss the project with Norman Foster. Aware of his reputation, Bennack decided that Foster “was the right person for us”.

Kenneth Frampton

For the nineteenth episode of our 'Building the Future' series, we join Kenneth Frampton, Ware Professor of Architecture at Columbia University, New York, and a leading writer on twentieth-century Modernism. He recounts first meeting Norman Foster during the early 1960s and, for Frampton, the designs of Norman Foster’s studio exemplify a 'rational objectivity', comparable to the works of Mies van der Rohe.

Peter Eisenman

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.

Lord Jacob Rothschild

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”.

Farshid Moussavi

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.

Sara Fox

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.

Lord Peter Palumbo

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.

Peter Murray

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.

Robert A.M. Stern

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”.

Paul Goldberger

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.

Deborah Berke

For the tenth episode of our ‘Building the Future’ series, we join Professor Deborah Berke, Dean of the Yale School of Architecture, who has known of Norman Foster’s work throughout her professional career and first met him as a junior faculty member at Yale.

Jonathan Glancey

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.

Belinda Tato

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”.

Thomas T.K. Zung

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.

Peter Cook

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.

Daniel Hillis

In the fifth episode of our ‘Building the Future’ series, American inventor, entrepreneur and scientist, Daniel Hillis, details his interest in rebuilding cities and processes for imagining the cities of the future.

Cristina Iglesias

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.

Fiona Shackleton

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.

Terence Conran

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.

Stuart Lipton

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.