A difficult path, a great reward...

Created On:

March 28, 2016

One of the stories that I like the most is the story of one of the most influential architects in contemporary architecture, Norman Foster.

This Englishman from a humble family always knew that his dreams were in the other continent, he dreamed of a successful life in America. But it is only at the age of 22 that he became interested in the world of architecture and decided to apply to the School of Architecture in the city of Manchester. After this, he applied for a scholarship to continue his studies at Yale, USA.

Together with Wendy, his first wife and also an architect, they founded Foster & Associates in 1967 in an apartment that was transformed into a studio during the day and a home at night. It is at this moment that Norman finds a niche in industrial architecture by winning the competition to design the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, the masterpiece that gave them the initial emphasis on their career.

Hong Kong and Shanghái Bank, Norman Foster — Wendy Cheesman, 1958

With many great works around the world, characterized by the influence of High-tech, and multiple awards Foster & Partners has become a world-renowned studio.

It is currently a studio with more than 1,400 employees, with offices in London, Madrid, Hong Kong and New York. The projects stand out for their vision of the future and utopias. The main pillars of its architecture are sustainability and technology.

The Norman Foster Foundation in Madrid has the mission to disseminate contemporary architecture, where ideas wander between gigantic skyscrapers, hypersonic transport or cities on the moon. This technological future is not possible if this progress is not made considering the environment and sustainability.

“As an architect, you design for the present, with some knowledge of the past, for a future that is essentially unknown.”

In 2019 they wrote the Sustainability Manifesto where they describe their own methodology for evaluating carbon emissions. Its method for measuring emissions is based on applying BIM processes to a defined project, considering the design, materials and processes, to quantify the embodied energy. Then they evaluate the emissions of each project according to the 7 established categories.

Image taken from the Foster & Partners sustainability manifesto

At BAM we support this theory and we believe that we cannot turn our backs on this issue. Sustainability is a problem strongly related to architecture and we believe that, with everyone’s commitment and contributing our grain of sand, we can improve the quality of life on the planet earth.


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