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Sir Norman Foster and High-Tech Architecture

b. 1935


British architect Norman Foster, 2010, in San Sebastian, Spain

British architect Norman Foster in 2010

Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images, ©2010 Getty Images
Torpedo-shaped skyscraper by Norman Foster in London, UK

30 St. Mary Axe, the Gherkin, London

Photo by Andrew Holt, Photographer's Choice, Getty Images, ©Andrew Holt
Sir Norman Foster, architect, at the headquarters of Foster + Partners in Battersea, London

Architect Norman Foster in 2005, at the headquarters of Foster + Partners in Battersea, London

Photo by Martin Godwin/Hulton Archive/Getty Images ©2011 Martin Godwin

Pritzker Prize-winning British architect Norman Foster is famous for "High Tech" design that explores technological shapes and ideas. In addition to winning the world's most prestigious awards for architecture, he has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

Born: June 1, 1935 in Manchester, England

Early Life:

Born in a working class family, Norman Foster did not seem likely to become a famous architect. Although he was a good student in high school and showed an early interest in architecture, he did not enroll in college until he was 21 years old. Foster won numerous scholarships during his years at Manchester University, including one to attend Yale University in the United States.


  • 1961: Manchester University School of Architecture
  • Master's Degree, Yale University, Henry Fellowship


In 1963 Foster co-founded the successful "Team 4" architectural firm with his wife, Wendy Foster, and the husband and wife team of Richard Rogers and Sue Rogers. His own firm, Foster Associates (Foster + Partners), was founded in London in 1967.

Buildings by Sir Norman Foster:

Under Construction:

  • 2 World Trade Center. A sagging real estate market has stalled construction on Norman Foster's proposed skyscraper for Ground Zero in New York City.

Awards and Honors:

Sir Norman Foster has won numerous awards and honers, including

  • 1983: RIBA Royal Gold Medal
  • 1990: RIBA Trustees Medal for the Willis Faber Dumas building
  • 1990: Knighthood from the Queen of England
  • 1994: American Institute of Architects Gold Medal
  • 1997: Appointed by the Queen to the Order of Merit
  • 1999: Pritzker Architecture Prize
  • 1999: Honored by the Queen as Lord Foster of Thames Bank

Related People:

More About Sir Norman Foster:

Foster Associates became known for "High Tech" design that explored technological shapes and ideas. In his work, Sir Norman Foster often uses off-site manufactured parts and the repetition of modular elements. The firm frequently designs special components for these high-tech modernist buildings.

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