The master builder

He has been responsible for some of the most recognisable buildings and structures around the world. And as his firm turns 50, Lord Norman Foster tells EG that, even in his 80s, he is still embracing change

What would the world look like if, as an architect, you could tell people what to do?

“I’d like to think it would be a better place,” says Lord Norman Foster. “Because design – and I mean enlightened design – can make a difference for good.”

It is a comment on the profession so simple, so pared back and so innocuous that from almost any other architect it would sound tediously predictable. Even a little trite. But Foster is not any other architect.

One of the most prolific designers in the world, the 81-year-old has a reputation that stretches beyond the boundaries of the industry’s often impermeable inner sanctum. Respected and revered by many outside the design community as well as those within it, he has reach and kudos that mean people listen when he speaks. And that, he concedes, is a huge responsibility.

“There are important messages to get out there,” he says. “So I feel a responsibility to use powers of communication. And in different ways: through my work as a designer, through leading other designers, by creating teams, by giving talks. I want to get certain messages out to younger generations, too. In…

Other News

Greater London’s planning application hotspots

EG has picked out the top eight London postcodes that have seen increases in planning applications. The hotspots, located mainly across outer London, averaged just three… Read more »

E Europe

Blockade means uncertainty for future of Qatari investment

There can be absolutely no doubt about the extent of Qatar’s heavy investment abroad in recent years. Since 2004 the gas-rich Gulf state has invested… Read more »

E Europe

UK owners still dominate London office ownership

Cash from around the world has poured into the capital’s business districts in recent years, but domestic owners still rule the roost. Looking at office… Read more »

E Europe