Foster and Partner isa British international studio for integrated design and architecture, with itsheadquarter being in London. The practice which is led by its chairman andfounder, Norman Foster, has constructed many famous buildings all over theworld with glass-and-steel being its key material. The practice was establishedin 1967 by Norman Foster as Foster Associates shortly after he left Team 4. Thefirm was renamed again in 19922 as Sir Norman Foster and Partner Ltd and thenshortened to Foster and Partner Ltd in 1999, to reflect more accurately theinfluences of other new architects that joined the company.
A private equitycompany called 3i took a stake in practice in the year 2007, which was boughtback by the firm in June 2014 to become completely owned by the 140 partners atthe firm. Norman Foster born inManchester in 1935 graduated from the Manchester University School ofArchitecture and City Planning. In the year 1961 joined Yale University bywinning the Henry Fellowship from where he achieved his master’s Degree inArchitecture. (BlogSpot, 2008). Whilststudying at Yale University Foster met Richard Rogers and the both became apart of the architecture world’s elite. Team 4 was created after graduatingfrom Yale university together with Richard and Su Rogers, Wendy Cheesman (hisfuture wife) and her sister Georgina Wolton.
In 1967 Norman Foster broke off onhis own to form his own firm called Foster Associates which later became Fosterand Partner. (Norman Foster, Biography.com, 2016).
Fosters career as anarchitect really escalated after he opened his own firm where he worked withother professional architects. 1970 was the year when Foster had his big breakwhere he designed the Willis Faber & Dumas headquarter located in Ipswich.It was a low-rise building which had a nature-oriented interior, together withthe use of escalators and contoured facades and idyllic making it an innovativedesign. In 70s till mid 80s Foster and his team was working on headquarter forthe Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation which was a modern three-toweredifice, whilst in 90s the architect and his firm was seen working on theReichstag in Berlin where they were rebuilding the glass dome after the Eastand West Germanys unification. Foster also contributed to the iconic skyline ofNew York with his design of Hearst Tower which is a 44-story high skyscraperwith a triangulated façade.
(Norman Foster, Biography.com, 2016). Another seniorarchitect that worked on The Sage project was Spencer de Grey. He was the headarchitect for the design.
Spencer de Grey graduated from Cambridge university,studied under Sir Leslie Martin who was a leading purveyor of the InternationalStyle which defined the early to mid 20th centuries architecturestyle. De Grey has been involved in many projects in the education sector andhas earned a lot of respect in the field. Projects in his early careerinvolves working for the London Borough of Merton, where he was responsible tobuild one of the first middle schools in England.
Even after joining the teamFoster Associates in 1973 he continued his work in education sector and workedon the Palmerston Special school in Liverpool. (Cambridge University,Biography). Currently de Grey has been responsible for many projects inthe US which includes the new Winspear Opera House in Dallas, the new BostonMuseum of Arts and the National Portrait Gallery courtyard at the Smithsonianin Washington, DC which is also a competition winning scheme. He is also theChairman of the Building Centre Trust, the architecture advisor for the RoyalBotanical Gardens in Kew and the Chairman of the School of ArchitectureAdvisory Board at Cambridge University. In 1997 in Queen’s Birthday Honours hewas made a CBE and also was elected as a Royal Academician in December 2008.
(Cambridge University, Biography). Through the designs of the projects the practice has hadtill now, you can tell that a parallel example of modernity and traditional canbe harmonized in architecture is shown by Norman Foster and his team. NormanFoster insists that the way he uses the modern technology and the facilities isno different to what innovating architects have been using throughout thearchitecture history. Fosters oft repeated and explicit references tohistorical examples shows that he is as ready to adapt and learn the pastprojects as he is to build for the future. (Architecture and Identity, 2000).