Date of birth:
Place of birth:
- Manchester, UK
Membership in the Academy:
- corresponding member – Department of Fine Arts (5/12/2016 – …)
Norman Robert Foster, a British architect, was born on June 1, 1935, near Manchester. He graduated in 1961 from Manchester University School of Architecture and City Planning and trained at the Yale School of Architecture. In London in 1963, with Richard Rogers founded the office Team 4. With his wife founded his own office Foster Associates in 1967, which was later renamed Foster and Partners. He worked with Buckminster Fuller from 1968 until his death in 1983.
Foster has an incredibly wide range of works – from stadiums, business facilities, skyscrapers, airports to urban plans and futuristic proposals. The uncompromising application of the most modern design paradigms, and the use of science and technology as geoecological development guidelines are the main components of his work and his trademark. It was his commitment to new technological possibilities that positioned him as one of the key figures in the high-tech movement, which has now somehow disappeared under that initial name, but is present in many new directions in architecture.
Pushing the boundaries of architecture has been part of Foster’s presence since the very beginnings of international affirmation, when he built Europe’s tallest tower in Frankfurt in the 1990s, or in China achieved the world’s largest airport terminal. For Foster, airports are one of the key elements of his work, he has designed them all over the world, from China and Hong Kong, all the way to the project for a new airport in Mexico City. He was ahead of his time when he built The Willis Faber and Dumas Headquarters building which is an example of what is today called ‘green building’. The masterpiece of the high-rise building Hearst Tower was erected in 2006 on a historic building that is completely preserved at the foot of the building and represents a kind of base of the whole complex. World examples of respectable interpolation of the new into the old are also the covering and arrangement of the inner Great Lobby of the existing British Museum in London (1994-2000) and the dome of the Berlin Reichstag (1992-1999). Foster left a special mark in London where some of his capital works were performed: Terminal Building, Stansted Airport (1981-1991), Millennium Bridge (1996-2000), Swiss Re London headquarters, 30 St Mary Axe (1997-2004), City Hall (1999-2002), Wembley Stadium (2002-2007), Canary Wharf Crossrail (2008-2015).
With all the world’s professional commitment, Norman Foster in 2008 kindly responded to an invitation from Croatia to participate in the international competition for the New Passenger Terminal of Zagreb Airport with award-winning work that attracted the exceptional attention of the professional public in Croatia.
With numerous awards such as the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture (1983), the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture / Mies van der Rohe Award (1990), the Gold Medal for the French Academy of Architecture (1991), the AIA Gold Medal (1994), the Stirling Prize (1998, 2004), the Japan Art Association’s Praemium Imperiale prize for architecture (2002), the Aga Khan Award (2007) or The Prince of Asturias Award (2009), however, the greatest honor is the Pritzker Architecture Prize he deservedly won in 1999.
In 1999, Foster was awarded the title Lord Foster of Thames Bank for his own country, one of the UK’s highest honours.
He was elected as a correspondent member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2016.