[ Louisiana Museum of Modren Art ]


 Norman Foster
The Architect's Studio

The Architect's Studio:
8 September ­ 9 December 2001

The Architect's Studio series of exhibitions at Louisiana, realized with support
from The Margot and Thorvald Dreyer's Foundation, focuses on some of the
most innovative architects of our time. These shows have been conceived as
a series of studio exhibitions, offering insight into each architect's work
processes, methods, and sources of inspiration. The presentation of the
distinguished British architect Norman Foster is the third in this series, so far
including Frank O. Gehry and Henning Larsen.

Foster and Partners is an international architecture and design practice - one
of the largest in Europe ­ with project offices worldwide. Its main design studio
is located on the Thames riverside in London, and this is where each new
project is begun. As a workplace, it is open 24 hours a day, seven days a
week. Even by international standards, the studio is huge, with more than 550
architects working on something like 100 projects all over the globe.
Professionally, it is a self-sufficient world with its own model workshop, graphics
department and photographic studio.

Most of the staff work at long desks in the main design studio with its tall
panorama windows overlooking the Thames. No employee has a private
office, including Foster and his partners. Consultations with clients are held in
an area along the large panorama window, in the midst of ongoing
experiments with models and mock-ups. The long tables that dominate the
work space are filled with computers, sketches, drawings, models and samples
of materials.

The story of this unique studio ­ designed by Foster himself, of course ­ and
the very special way it works, is the theme of this exhibition: the working
process, the path from idea to realization, the dialogue between architects,
engineers, model makers, computer operators and contractors.

To illustrate as clearly as possible the wide range of Foster's work and the
challenges it presents at all levels, the exhibition concentrates on three
projects, each on a different scale: the new headquarters of Swiss Re, the
world's largest reinsurance company, in the heart of the city of London; the
Chesa Futura apartments in St. Moritz in the Swiss Alps and the Nomos table
and desk system for the firm Tecno. The two building projects are still under
A pivotal point in all projects recently realized by Foster and Partners is the
imaginative coupling of technological and ecological concerns. To achieve its
goals, the firm makes use of the very newest technologies.

Norman Foster, who in 1999 was awarded the prestigious Pritzker Architecture
Prize ­ considered the Nobel Prize of architecture ­ is one of our most prolific
contemporary architects. His remarkable buildings and urban projects have
transformed cityscapes, renewed transportation systems and restored city
centres all over the world. Among his latest commissions are some of the most
remarkable architectural projects of recent years, including the reconstruction
of the Reichstag in Berlin, the design of the Great Court at the British Museum
in London, the Millennium Bridge (the first new Thames crossing for more than
100 years), and the new Hong Kong International Airport - the world's largest
airport terminal. Many of these aesthetically and technologically
groundbreaking projects are based on ecology-conscious concepts, setting
new standards for the interaction of buildings with their environment.

For several years the Foster studio has collaborated with the Danish artist Per
Arnoldi who has been the colour and graphics consultant on projects such as
the 52-story Commerzbank Headquarters in Frankfurt ­ the tallest building in
Europe ­ and the Reichstag in Berlin. Arnoldi has designed the graphics and
the poster for the Foster exhibition at Louisiana.

Exhibition Catalogue
A catalogue, the third in The Architect's Studio series, will be published,
featuring an article on the Swiss Re project, "The Coming of the Cosmic
Skyscraper", by the distinguished architecture critic and author Charles
Jencks, and an article on Norman Foster's studio, "The Politics of
Architecture", by Jonathan Glansey, the architecture and design editor of
The Guardian.

Lecture by Per Arnoldi
Wednesday, 7 November, at 19.30: Lecture (in Danish) by Per Arnoldi,
entitled "Working with Norman Foster".