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Norman Foster

Norman Foster

*  1935 Manchester

Norman Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank, is a superstar of contemporary architecture.Born in Manchester in 1935, Norman Foster studied architecture and urban planning at Manchester University until 1961 before going to Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, to continue his studies in architecture. In 1963 Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, Georgie Wolton, and Wendy Cheesman, later Norman Foster's wife, opend a joint practice in London: Team 4, which existed until 1966. The next Foster practice was called Foster Associates but the name was later changed to Foster and Partners. With architect Richard Buckminster Fuller, Norman Foster worked on several joint projects between 1968 and 1983. Norman Foster's breakthrough came in 1977, when he designed the Willis Faber & Dumas insurance company office building of black glass. Norman Foster's most important large-scale projects across the world include the Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank headquarters (1981-1986), Stansted Airport (1991), and Hong Kong International Airport Chek Lap Kok (1992-1998). Other important Foster projects are the Commerzbank Tower in Frankfurt am Main (1993-1997) and the glass dome of the Reichstag building in Berlin (1994-1999). In London Norman Foster has produced (2001-2003) the extraordinarily shaped "30 St Mary Axe" building (Swiss Re headquarters). Norman Foster's buildings are sophisticated and high-tech in the extreme. Norman Foster has also earned an international reputation as a designer, as exemplified by his 1988 "Nomos" table for Tecno. For Thonet, Norman Foster designed seat furniture between 1997 and 1999. For Erco and Artemide, Norman Foster has designed lighting and for Kundalini (2005) the signature "Gherkin lamp", whose pointed oval shape is a witty reference to the "30 St Mary Axe" building, univerally dubbed "the Gherkin".