Norman Foster: Biography highlights
Sir Norman Foster, winner of the 1999 Pritzker Prize, is perhaps the leading urban stylist of our age. His elegant, efficient buildings grace cities around the globe.
Full biography of Norman Foster
Norman Foster’s background
Norman is the Baron Foster of Thames Bank and a British architect whose company maintains an international design practice, Foster + Partners.
Foster was raised in Manchester in a working-class family and was intrigued by design and engineering from a young age. His years observing Mancunian architecture subsequently influenced his works and was inspired to pursue a career in architecture after a treasurer clerk noticed his sketches and interest in Manchester’s buildings while he worked at Manchester Town Hall.
He gained an internship at a local architect’s office before submitting a portfolio and winning a place at the University of Manchester School of Architecture. He subsequently won a scholarship to study at the Yale School of Architecture in the United States of America.
Foster returned to the United Kingdom in 1963 and set up a practice, Team 4 which became Foster + Partners. His breakthrough building was arguably the Willis Building in Ipswich in 1975 and he has since designed landmark structures such as Wembley Stadium and 30 St Mary Axe. He is one of Britain’s most prolific architects of his generation.
- The Prince of Asturias Award in the Arts category, 2009
- The Pritzker Architecture Prize, 1999 – often referred to as the Nobel Prize of architecture
- The AIA Gold Medal, 1994
Watch Norman in action
Norman's speaking topics
My green agenda for architecture
Architect Norman Foster discusses his own work to show how computers can help architects design buildings that are green, beautiful and 'basically pollution-free.'