Norman Foster Quotes

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Foster of Thames Bank
OM
Born Norman Robert Foster
(1935-06-01) 1 June 1935 (age 81)
Stockport, Cheshire, England
Nationality British
Occupation Architect
Awards

Stirling Prize
Pritzker Architecture Prize
Minerva Medal
Prince of Asturias Award
HonFREng
Mérite européen Gold Medal
AIA Gold Medal[1]

Website www.fosterandpartners.com
Practice Foster + Partners
Buildings

30 St Mary Axe, London
Willis Faber and Dumas Headquarters, Ipswich
Wembley Stadium

Projects American Air Museum at the Imperial War Museum Duxford

There's a snobbery at work in architecture. The subject is too often treated as a fine art, delicately wrapped in mumbo-jumbo. In reality, it's an all-embracing discipline taking in science, art, maths, engineering, climate, nature, politics, economics.
Norman Foster
I describe the design process as like the tip of the iceberg. What you don't see is the long haul: all the endless auditing and things like that.
Norman Foster
Joseph Bazalgette created a sewer system which he originally sized for London's needs of the time – he then doubled it to anticipate the future beyond. These are the qualities that I admire.
Norman Foster
Surveys often show people would prefer a detached house with a lawn and driveway to an apartment. I understand this. It's not my place to presume to tell people where they can live. But perhaps that dream will simply not be possible in the future.
Norman Foster
Google has already tested robot cars in San Francisco. If they can navigate San Francisco, they can probably manage just about anywhere.
Norman Foster
Every time I've flown an aircraft, or visited a steelworks, or watched a panel-beater at work, I've learned something new that can be applied to buildings.
Norman Foster
As an architect, you design for the present, with an awareness of the past, for a future which is essentially unknown.
Norman Foster
Manhattan, one of the most moneyed spots on the planet, also has one of the greatest concentrations of people in its skyscrapers. It's also, of course, the place where every architect wants to build his tower.
Norman Foster
Anything that reduces fuel consumption and cuts down on greenhouse gasses is good news.
Norman Foster
You can find, occasionally, some absolutely fantastic things in hunting shops. I've got one jacket that I just happened across which is a kind of unwashed leather – completely anonymous but absolutely special.
Norman Foster
I hope that any expansion of London will learn from the planning examples of some of its most desirable areas such as Chelsea, Notting Hill, Belgravia and Mayfair. All are characterised by high density and a generosity of green spaces.
Norman Foster
Control is the wrong word. The practice is very much about sharing, and, in any creative practice, some individuals, whether partners or directors, are much closer to certain projects than I could ever be.
Norman Foster
I hope that any expansion of London will learn from the planning examples of some of its most desirable areas such as Chelsea, Notting Hill, Belgravia and Mayfair. All are characterised by high density and a generosity of green spaces. They are all pedestrian-friendly with shops, entertainment, restaurants and pubs within easy walking distance.
Norman Foster
I was born in 1935, and as far back as I can remember, I was sketching designs. My first subject was an aircraft, which I imagined myself piloting.
Norman Foster
I love flying; I love aircraft, and you could say I've had a love affair with flight since I was a child. I travel a huge amount. I use airports, and as a pilot, I've flown in and out of airports thousands of times, so really, I have a fairly broad perspective.
Norman Foster
I travel continuously, and I see many cities, but there is nowhere like London.
Norman Foster
I would never wear anything with a logo. That I really find difficult. It's a frustration that I'll find a nice shirt or something and it's got 50 prints of the logo on it – why do they do this?
Norman Foster
Since Stonehenge, architects have always been at the cutting edge of technology. And you can't separate technology from the humanistic and spiritual content of a building.
Norman Foster
Everything we design is a response to the specific climate and culture of a particular place.
Norman Foster
There are those airports which make you feel better, and there are those airports that, when you go there, your heart sinks: you can't wait to get out of there. They both function as airports, but it's the things that you can't measure that make them different.
Norman Foster
A life-threatening illness or two certainly gives you an awareness of your own mortality. It heightens your sense of gratitude for things that previously, if you've not taken them for granted, you perhaps never appreciated how precious they were. That's almost a platitude, but one has to state the obvious.
Norman Foster
When the Great Fire of London destroyed most of the medieval city in 1666, Christopher Wren was invited to design a new one. Within days, he had drawn up an elegant grid of broad boulevards leading to majestic squares, but it came to nothing – the existing landowners wanted things as they had been.
Norman Foster
I'm not a creature of habit. I like to find things from unexpected sources.
Norman Foster
The only honourable work my parents knew was blue-collar. But while my father Robert ran a pawnbroker's shop, and my mother was a waitress, I moved into a middle-class world with a level of security they never knew.
Norman Foster
I think you never stop learning.
You cannot separate the buildings out from the infrastructure of cites and the mobility of transit.
Norman Foster
We now think it hilarious that medieval streets were used as open sewers. Equally, our descendants will say: 'You won't believe this, but people were once allowed to hurl a couple of tons of dangerous metal around smashing into each other.'
Norman Foster
In Britain, the idea one could go from blue-collar beginnings to the university was so far out, it was quite unthinkable. I took a variety of jobs to pay for tuition – from ice-cream salesman to night-club bouncer. Whatever earned the most money in the least time.
Norman Foster
The most amazing lesson in aerodynamics I ever had was the day I climbed a thermal in a glider at the same time as an eagle. I witnessed, close up, effortlessness and lightness combined with strength, precision and determination.
Norman Foster
I think cars encapsulate the history of innovation and style – it's the other side of the coin of the car being public enemy No.1.
Norman Foster
The Italians have long known what makes a livable town or city.
I tend to move between turtlenecks and shirts and ties. I don't really have a uniform in the sense that some people might.
Norman Foster