Top 10 Architects: Zaha Hadid, Santiago Calatrava, Tadao Ando, Cesar Pelli and more

Lord Norman Foster
Text by Ayesha Khan


Perhaps the most celebrated name in British architecture, Lord Norman Foster commands a monster design firm, valued at more than 500 million pounds. Based in London, the design house has imparted groundbreaking technologies in building design. He and his firm have always been ahead of the curve with “green” design, which, in Foster’s own words is, “not about fashion, it’s about survival.” Foster + Partners has created such pioneering buildings as Hong Kong’s HSBC headquarters, which is mostly lit by natural daylight, and London’s 30 St Mary Axe which employs a series of energy-saving elements that allow it to use only half the energy expected from a tower of its size. Lord Foster was knighted in 1990 and created a life peer as Baron Foster of Thames Bank, Reddish. Most recently, the world took note when his massive Beijing Airport project was unveiled in time for the Olympics. “It’s so big that in certain lights you can’t see one end of building from the other,” says Foster. His firm is also developing Tower 2 of the World Trade Center site, which, when completed, will be the second tallest building in New York City after Freedom Tower. “As an architect you design for the present, with an awareness of the past, for a future which is essentially unknown,” asserts Foster. However uncertain the future may be, Foster’s name is sure to be a key part of the architecture world’s future for years to come.