How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?

Found on  by Dogwoof Documentary

The film traces the rise of one of the world’s premier architects, Norman Foster and his unending quest to improve the quality of life through design.

Portrayed are Foster’s origins and how his dreams and influences inspired the design of emblematic projects such as the largest building in the world Beijing Airport, the Reichstag, the Hearst Building in New York and works such as the tallest bridge ever in Millau France. In the very near future, the majority of mankind will abandon the countryside and live entirely in cities. Foster offers some striking solutions to the problems that this historic event will create.

Norman Fosters Masdar development for Abu Dhabi, a scale model of which features in the Sustainable Futures exhibition

Lord Norman Robert Foster

biography from designboom

norman foster was born in manchester,
england in 1935.
his father was a shop manager in a poor area
of manchester, later a sucurity guard and a
manual worker in a factory. his parents sent him
to a private school and grammar school.
there was a strong work ethic and pressure to
leave school early and be a wage earner and
foster worked for two years in the city treasurer’s
office, studied commercial law, before leaving
for national service in the royal air force.
at this time he was developing a growing interest
in architecture. when he came out of the air force
he worked in a bakery, sold furniture, worked in a
factory… after graduating from manchester
university school of architecture and city planning
in 1961, which he entered at age 21, he won a
fellowship to yale university wherehe gained a
masters degree in architecture and where he got
to know richard rogers. they became very close
friends and in 1963 he worked with him and sue
rogers, gorgie wolton and his wife, wendy foster,
as a member of ‘team 4’ until foster associates was
found in 1967 (now known as foster and partners).since its inception the practice has received
more than 190 awards and citations for excellence
and has won over 50 national and international
1968 – 1983 cooperation with buckminster fuller
on a number of projects.
foster was awarded the RIBA royal gold medal in
1983, and in 1990 the RIBA trustees medal was
made for the willis faber dumas building.
he was knighted in 1990, and recieved the gold
medal of the AIA in 1994.
he was appointed officer of the order of the arts
and letters by the ministry of culture in france
in 1994.
it was announced in the queen’s birthday honours
list on 12 June 1999 that sir norman foster has
been honoured with a life peerage, taking the title
lord foster of thames bank.
and in the same year he was awarded the
prestigious 21st pritzker architecture prize laureate
– considered the nobel prize of architecture.his remarkable buildings and urban projects
have transformed cityscapes, renewed transportation
systems and restored city centres all over the world.
many of these aesthetically and technologically
groundbreaking projects are based on ecology –
conscious concepts, setting new standards for the
interaction of buildings with their environment.
among his recent projects are some of the most
remarkable architectural projects of the last years,
including the reconstruction of the reichstag in berlin,
the design of the great court at the british museum
in london, the millennium bridge (the first new thames
crossing for more than 100 years), and the new
hong kong international airport – the world’s largest
airport terminal.

1964 – 1966 creek vean house
1965 – 1966 skybreak house
1965 – 1966 reliance controls electronics factory
1969 – 1970 air-supported offices
1970 – 1971 IBM pilot head office
1970 – 1974 willis faber and dumas head office
1970 – 1972 special care unit
1968 – 1970 fred olsen amenity centre
1969 – 1970 fred olsen passenger terminal
1972 – 1973 factory for SAPA
1972 orange hand shop
1973 – 1976 palmerston special school
1974 housing and offices for fred olsen ltd
1974 – 1977 sainsbury centre for visual arts
1975 gomera regional planning studies
1975 – 1980 IBM technical park
1978 shop for joseph
1979 – 1986 hongkong and shanghai bank
1980 – 1982 renault distribution centre
1980 – 1991 london’s third airport, stansted
1981 athletics stadium frankfurt
1982 BBC radio headquarters
1985 – 1991 sackler galleries
1986 – 1990 riverside apartments and studio
1986 – 1987 shop for katharine hamnett
1986 televisa headquarters
1987 – 1991 century tower
1987 – 1997 american air museum
1987 king’s cross masterplan
1987 – 1989 stockley park offices
1988 city of london heliport
1988 shop for esprit
1988 – 1991 crescent wing, sainsbury centre for visual arts
1988 – 1995 bilbao metro
1988 – 1992 telecommunications tower
1988 – 1990 ITN headquarters
1988 – 1993 business promotion centre
1988 – 1993 telematic centre
1988 – 1996 microelectronic centre
1989 millennium tower tokyo
1989 – 1992 cranfield university library
1990 shinagawa
1990 – 1995 faculty of law, university of cambridge
1991 sagrera masterplan
1991 – inner harbour masterplan
1991 – 1992 shops and franchises for cacharel
1991 – 1993 lycée albert camus
1991 – 1993 offices for obunsha
1991 – 1996 agiplan headquarters
1991 – 1997 commerzbank headquarters
1991 – 1999 canary wharf station
1992 musée de la prehistoire
1992 tower place
1992 – 1993 marine simulator centre
1992 – 1994 joslyn art museum
1992 – 1994 solar electric vehicle
1992 – 1996 offices for electricité de france
1992 – 1997 design centre, london
1992 – 1997 kowloon canton railway terminal
1992 – 1998 HACTL superterminal and express centre
1992 – 1998 hong kong international airport
1992 – 1999 new german parliament (reichstag, berlin)
1993 – 1995 forth valley community village
1993 – 1998 valencia congress centre
1993 al faisaliah complex
1993 holborn place
1993 millau viaduct
1994 grande stade olympic stadium
1994 – 1998 sir alexander fleming building, imperial college
1994 great court, british museum
1994 – 1995 sealife centre
1994 – 1998 faculty of management
1995 arsta bridge
1995 daewoo electronics headquarters
1995 – 1997 SECC sonference centre
1995 LIFFE headquarters
1995 – 2000 national botanic garden of wales
1995 – 1998 ASPIRE national training centre
1995 world port centre, rotterdam
1995 medical research laboratory stanford university
1995 – 1998 greenwich transport interchange
1996 london millennium tower
1996 prado museum extension
1996 wembley stadium masterplan
1996 – 2000 london millennium bridge
1996 – 2000 citibank headquarters
1996 world squares for all
1996 oxford university library
1998 the music centre, gateshead
1999 kingswood, ascot
1999 greater london authority
1999 swiss re headquarters

norman foster has lectured throughout the world and has
taught architecture in the united kingdom and the usa.
he has recently accepted a post-graduate visiting professorship
at university college, bartlett school in london.

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