Norman Foster was born in Manchester. After graduating from Manchester University School of Architecture and City Planning in 1961 he won a Henry Fellowship to Yale University, where he was a fellow of Jonathan Edwards College and gained a Master’s Degree in Architecture.
In 1963 he co-founded Team 4 and in 1967 he established Foster Associates, now known as Foster + Partners. Founded in London, it is now a worldwide practice, with project offices in more than twenty countries. Over the past four decades the company has been responsible for a strikingly wide range of work, from urban masterplans, public infrastructure, airports, civic and cultural buildings, offices and workplaces to private houses and product design. Since its inception, the practice has received 685 awards and citations for excellence and has won more than 140 international and national competitions.
Norman Foster was awarded the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture in 1983, the Gold Medal for the French Academy of Architecture in 1991 and the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 1994. Also in 1994, he was appointed Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by the Ministry of Culture inFrance. In 1999 he became the twenty-first Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate; and in 2002 he was elected to the German Orden Pour le Mérite für Wissenschaften und Künste and awarded the Praemium Imperiale. He was granted a Knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, 1990, and appointed by the Queen to the Order of Merit in 1997. In 1999 he was honoured with a life peerage in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, taking the title Lord Foster of Thames Bank.