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One Moment of Truth

Ahead of accepting the inaugural Isamu Noguchi Award, architect Norman Foster reflects on the beginning of his passion

Tonight at the Noguchi Museum’s Annual Spring Benefit, architect Lord Norman Foster, whose high-tech, ultra-modern designs include New York’s Hearst Tower and Berlin’s Reichstag dome, will receive the inaugural Isamu Noguchi Award (artist Hiroshi Sugimoto is also a recipient)—an honor that recognizes a career-long commitment to innovation and global consciousness, the principles of which define the legacy of Japanese-American artist Noguchi. Below, Lord Foster tells DuJour about the earliest memories of his design life.


I have always been passionate about architecture, even before I knew I was going to be an architect. Working in Manchester when I was younger, I spent every spare minute wandering around buildings in the city. I wasn’t consciously thinking, “One day I am going to be an architect, therefore I should be doing this.”

I was just drawn to buildings for the aesthetic experience. Some buildings and parts of that city—Barton Arcade, for instance, or the Daily Express building—seemed to be more beautiful than others, and so I gravitated to those. Travel—and the lessons from studying buildings and cities—is still as important to me now as it was when I was at architecture school. In that sense I am still a student.

See a few works designed by Lord Foster and his firm, Foster + Partnersbelow.

Inside the Hearst Tower; photo by Chuck Choi


The elevator banks inside the Hearst Tower; photo by Chuck Choi


A drawing of the Hearst Tower; courtesy of Foster + Partners


Reichstag, New German Parliament in Berlin; photo by Rudi Meisel




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