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Foster of Thames Bank, Norman Robert, The Lord

(b. 1935) Baron Foster of Thames Bank, English architect


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(1935– ).

English architect, one of the most distinguished practitioners of the High Tech style. With his first wife (d. 1989) and Richard Rogers he formed Team 4 (1963–7), and designed the Reliance Controls Factory, Swindon, Wilts. (1965–7), with an exposed steel frame and light industrial cladding. When Team 4 split up, Foster established his own reputation with the Willis Faber Offices, Ipswich, Suffolk (1975), and the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts, University of East Anglia, Norwich (1974–7), both uncompromisingly Modernist buildings. His largest commission was the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, Hong Kong (1979–86—planned with a Feng Shui consultant), an assured and finely detailed tower with the structure clearly expressed. His Renault Distribution Centre, Swindon (1981–3), Passenger Terminal, Stansted Airport, Essex (1981–91), Sackler Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts, London (1985–92), the Carré d'Art Gallery, Nîmes, France, beside the 16 bc Roman temple (1985–93), the Torre de Collserola, Barcelona (1988–92), and remodelling of Wallot's Reichstag (Parliament Building), Berlin (1992–9), have consolidated his position as a leading late-C20 architect. Among other projects by Foster & Partners (as his firm is known) are the American Air Museum, Duxford, Cambs. (1987–97), offices at 1 London Wall, City of London (1988–2002), Canary Wharf Station for the Jubilee Line Underground extension, London (1991–9), Hong Kong International Airport and Ground Transportation Centre (1992–8), London School of Economics Library (1993–2001), Headquarters for ARAG 2000, Düsseldorf, Germany (1993–2001), the Great Court, British Museum Redevelopment, London (1994–2000), the Multimedia Centre, Hamburg, Germany (1995–9), Center for Clinical Sciences Research, Stanford University, USA (1995–2000), Citigroup Centre, Canary Wharf, London (1996–2000), Gresham Street offices, City of London (1996–2003), the Millennium Bridge, London (1996–2000), City Hall, Greater London Authority Headquarters, London (1998–2002), Headquarters for HSBC, Canary Wharf, London (1998–2002), Headquarters for Scottish Gas, Edinburgh (2001–3), Swiss Re offices, St Mary Axe, City of London (2000–4—known as the ‘Gherkin’, but it more accurately resembles a fir-cone), and the Sage Music Centre, Gateshead (2001–4—which some have found disappointing in relation to its site).

Benedetti (ed.) (1988);Kalman (1994);F&P (1997);D. Jenkins (ed.) (2002);Jodidio (1997b, 2001);Lambot (ed.) (1989–91, 1996);Pawley (1999);Quantrill (1999);Sudjic (1986);Treiber (1995);van Vynckt (ed.) (1993)

Subjects: Architecture.


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