Norman Foster

Norman Robert Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank, OM, Kt. (born June 1, 1935 in Manchester) is a British architect.

Norman Foster @ 798 Beijing in 2008
Norman Foster @ 798 Beijing in 2008


Norman Foster was born in Reddish, Stockport, England to a working-class family. He became enthusiastic about architecture at an early age and showed talents in this field.

After completing his military service with the Royal Air Force, he first studied at Manchester University and, after graduating in 1961, was awarded a scholarship to the Yale School of Art and Architecture. Foster worked for and with the visionary Richard Buckminster Fuller from 1968 to 1983. In 1965, he founded the architectural firm Team 4 with his wife Wendy, and the couple Sue and Richard Rogers, which became Foster Associates (now Foster + Partners) in 1967. In 1989, Wendy Foster died of cancer, leaving him with four children.

In 1991, he married Sabiha Ruani Malik, an Indian-born architect and designer. Foster's third marriage is to Spanish medical doctor and publisher Elena Ochoa.

Originally, his designs were characterized by a high-tech style influenced by machines. Later, he developed a far more accessible style of sharp-edged modernity. Foster exerted a decisive influence on the British architectural scene parallel to Richard Rogers, in that important successors to high-tech architecture there sprang from his circle of collaborators. In addition to a large number of international projects, his broad presence with built objects in Germany is conspicuous. The reason for this are the affinities he explicitly mentioned with personalities of German architecture and design history, such as the Berlin architect Ludwig Leo and the German communication designer Otl Aicher, who was the most important for the intellectual and social development after the war and with whom he had a personal friendship. A stylistic influence from this direction can be assumed, especially since Foster obviously used elements of Aicher's graphic and design rules in his plan representations.

Honors and awards

In 1983 he received the Royal Gold Medal. In 1990, Foster was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. In 1992 he became an honorary member of the Association of German Architects (BDA). In 1995 he received the Order of Merit of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. This was followed in 1997 by his induction into the Order of Merit (OM). In April 1999 he was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany with Star for his services to the conversion of the Berlin Reichstag into a modern parliament building. He was also honored with the Pritzker Prize in 1999.

Also in 1999, Sir Norman additionally received the dignity of Life Peer as Baron Foster of Thames Bank, of Reddish in the County of Greater Manchester, and with it a seat in the House of Lords; he relinquished this in 2010, as he would otherwise have had to declare a domicile in the United Kingdom and become liable to tax there; he is nevertheless allowed to retain his title.

Foster is a member of the German Order Pour le mérite for Sciences and Arts. He is a member of the Academy of Arts (since 1994), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (since 1996), and the American Academy of Arts and Letters (since 2005). In 2005 he received the M100 Media Award from the international media conference M100 Sanssouci Colloquium in Potsdam, in 2009 the Prince of Asturias Award in the category of art, and in 2012 the Honorary Award of the German Sustainability Award as a pioneer of sustainable architecture and building.

Building projects

During his career, Norman Foster worked on a large number of projects with his partners and collaborators. For example, he built the Carré d'Art cultural center in Nimes from 1985 to 1993 and The Gherkin in London in 2003. The glass dome of the Reichstag was designed by him, also the Millennium Bridge built in London on the occasion of the turn of the millennium, as well as the Apple Park in Cupertino, California, and the HSBC high-rise Hong Kong.


  • 1974: Willis Faber and Dumas Head Office, Ipswich (UK flag) (listed building)
  • 1978: Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (en), Norwich (Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom)


  • 1982: Renault Central Depot, Swindon (Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom)
  • 1985: BBC Radio Centre London (Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom)
  • 1985: HSBC Main Building (Flag of Hong Kong Hong Kong)


  • 1990: ITN Headquarters, London (Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom)
  • 1991: Century tower, Tokyo (Flag of Japan Japan)
  • 1991: London Stansted airport, Essex (Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom)
  • 1992: Torre de Collserola, Barcelona (Flag of Spain Spain)
  • 1993: Carré d'art, Nîmes (Flag of France France)
  • 1993: Lycée Albert-Camus de Fréjus - (Flag of France France)
  • 1995: NTT Broadcasting Centre, Nagano (Flag of Japan Japan)
  • 1995: Law School, Cambridge (Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom)
  • Air Museum, Imperial War Museum, Duxford, Cambridgeshire (Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom)
  • 1997: Design Center of North Rhine-Westphalia, Essen (Flag of Germany Germany)
  • 1997: Commerzbank Headquarters, Frankfurt am Main (Flag of Germany Germany)
  • 1998: Samsung Motors Office and Showroom (Flag of South Korea South Korea)
  • 1998: Hong Kong International Airport, Chek Lap Kok (Flag of Hong Kong Hong Kong)
  • 1999: The new German Parliament, Reichstag Palace, Berlin (Flag of Germany Germany)


  • 2000: The Great Court at the British Museum (roof over the inner court of the museum), London, (Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom)
  • 2000: Al Faisaliah Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • 2000: Val (La Poterie) metro station and viaduct in Rennes (Flag of France France)
  • 2001: Millennium Bridge, London (Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom)
  • 2001: Museum of Prehistory of the Gorges du Verdon, (Flag of France France)
  • 2002: London City Hall, London United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom
  • 2002: Her Majesty's Treasury Redevelopment, Whitehall, London (Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom)
  • 2002: Music Centre, Gateshead United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom
  • 2002: 8 Canada Square (HSBC headquarters), London (Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom)
  • 2003: Chesa Futura, St. Moritz (Flag of Switzerland Switzerland)
  • 2003: Metropolitan Office Building, Warsaw (Poland)
  • 2004: Mclaren Technology Center, Woking (Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom)
  • 2004: New Supreme Court, Singapore (Singapore flag)
  • 2004: 30 St Mary Axe or giant pickle, London (Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom), received the Emporis Skyscraper Award 2003
  • 2004: Millau Viaduct, Midi-Pyrénées (Flag of France France)
  • 2005: The Repulse Bay Hotel, Hong Kong, China
  • 2005: Library of the Free University of Berlin, Berlin (Flag of Germany Germany)
  • 2005: Deutsche Bank Place, Sydney (Flag of Australia Australia)
  • 2006: Hearst Tower, New York (Flag of the United States United States), received the Emporis Skyscraper Award 2006
  • 2006: Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, Astana (Flag of Kazakhstan Kazakhstan)
  • 2006: New Supreme Court Building (Flag of Singapore Singapore)
  • 2007: Zenith of Saint-Etienne, Saint-Etienne (France flag)
  • 2007: Willis Building (London), London, (United Kingdom flag United Kingdom)
  • 2007: Lumiere at Regent Place, Sydney, (Flag of Australia Australia)
  • 2008: Caja Madrid Tower, Madrid (Spain flag Spain)
  • 2008: Dolder Grand Hotel, Zurich (Switzerland flag Switzerland)
  • 2008: The Elephant House, Copenhagen Zoo (Denmark flag Denmark)


  • 2010: Khan Shatyr, Astana (Flag of Kazakhstan Kazakhstan)
  • 2010: Shangri-la Hotel, New York (United States flag United States)
  • 2010: AnfaPlace living resort, Casablanca (Flag of Morocco Morocco)
  • 2010: The Index, Dubai, (United Arab Emirates flag United Arab Emirates)
  • 2011: McLaren Production Centre, Woking (United Kingdom flag United Kingdom)
  • 2011: Camp Nou Renovation and Expansion Project, Barcelona (Flag of Spain Spain)
  • 2011: Jameson House, Vancouver (Flag of Canada Canada)
  • 2011: Russia Tower, Moscow (Flag of Russia Russia)
  • 2012: The Bow, Calgary (Flag of Canada Canada)
  • 2012: AnfaPlace Mall, Casablanca (Flag of Morocco Morocco)
  • 2012: Office building, La Garenne-Colombes (Flag of France France)
  • 2013: Redevelopment and reorganization of the Vieux-Port, Marseille (Flag of France France)
  • 2014: "La Porte Romaine" residential building, Nîmes (Flag of France France)
  • 2014: World Trade Center Abu Dhabi - The Residences, Abu Dhabi, (Flag of United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates)
  • 2015: Saqqara Residences, San Pedro Garza Garcia, (Flag of Mexico Mexico)
  • 2015: Ilham Tower, Kuala Lumpur, (Malaysia flag Malaysia)
  • 2015: Château Margaux3 expansion, Margaux, France (France flag)
  • 2017: Apple Park, Cupertino (Flag of the United States United States)
  • 2018: Comcast Technology Center, Philadelphia, (Flag of the United States United States)
  • 2021: Regional Museum of Ancient Narbonne (Narbo Via), Narbonne (Flag of France France)


  • Norman Foster: Works 1. Prestel Verlag, Munich 2003. ISBN 3-7913-2534-5
  • Norman Foster: Works 2. Prestel Verlag, Munich 2005. ISBN 3-7913-3017-9
  • Norman Foster: Works 3. Prestel Verlag, Munich 2006. ISBN 3-7913-3257-0
  • Norman Foster: Works 4. Prestel Verlag, Munich 2003. ISBN 3-7913-2852-2
  • Norman Foster: Reflections. Prestel Verlag, Munich 2005. ISBN 3-7913-3425-5
  • Norman Foster: Catalogue. Prestel Publishing House, Munich 2005. ISBN 3-7913-3298-8


  • In 2010, Foster presented a replica of Richard Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion car in Madrid.


In 2009, Foster closed his Berlin office with about 70 employees due to the global financial crisis. The Istanbul office is also scheduled to close.


  • David Jenkins (ed.): On Foster - Foster On. Prestel Verlag, Munich 2000. ISBN 3-7913-2405-5
  • Christoph Gunßer (ed.): Energiesparsiedlungen. Concepts - Techniques - Realized Examples. Georg D.W. Callwey Munich 2000, p. 159
  • David Jenkins (ed.): The Reichstag Graffiti, Jovis Verlag Berlin 2003, ISBN 978-3-931321-05-5.
  • Deyan Sudjic: Norman Foster: a life in architecture, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2010, ISBN 978-0-297-85868-3
  • Philip Jodidio: Sir Norman Forster. Taschen, Cologne 1997, ISBN 3-8228-8071-X
  • Nicolette Baumeister: Baukulturführer 73 - Lenbachhaus, Munich. Koch, Schmidt u. Wilhelm 2013.
  • Giovanni Leoni (trad. Christine Piot), Norman Foster, Actes Sud, 2008, 120 p. (ISBN 978-2-7427-7662-7)


  • Mirjam von Arx: "Building the Gherkin," documentary film Switzerland, 2006, 89 min.
  • Mark Kidel: Norman Foster, documentary 53 min, Arthaus Musik GmbH 2009 (BBC 1995), ISBN 978-3-939873-38-9.
  • Norberto López Amado, Carlos Carcas: "How much does your Building weigh, Mr. Foster?", documentary Spain 2009, 72 min.


Visit our media section for a complete overview.


High-Tech Architecture
Norman Foster
Norman Robert Foster
Richard Rogers
Structural Expressionism


DeepDove: Style Network (2021-09-21). Structural Expressionism | Norman Foster. Retrieved , from




This page was last changed on 2021-09-21.