Norman Foster: ‘One’s always chasing the end of the rainbow’

Jackie Daly   /  Source:  Financial Times

The British architect on his plans for building the cleaner, greener cities of the future.

Lord Foster has conceived some of the world’s most iconic buildings – The Gherkin in London, Berlin’s The Reichstag, Cupertino’s Apple Park and the headquarters of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. But asked what future he’d create with unlimited resources, his ideal is not a Blade Runner-like skyline of kinetic skyscrapers and flying cars, but something simpler and more sustainable, which builds on the idea of community. “I’d build a neighbourhood that functions autonomously,” he says from his home in the States. Now 86, tanned and decked out casually all in white, he looks as sharp as his razor-sharp mind.

“One’s always chasing the end of the rainbow. Design is that endless quest for perfection, so it would be a place where you would have a synergy between living and waste, which would not go to landfill but would be processed to generate energy, or to create another product like fertiliser,” he continues with the steady, measured tone of a well-versed orator. “It would generate power in a clean way instead of linking it to past ideas of the big power station and transmission lines. Much like the field of communications where the ageing infrastructure of telephone poles, cables and exchanges have been designed out, this neighbourhood would not only be doing its job more elegantly, it would be doing more with less.”...

Financial Times. Norman Foster: ‘One’s always chasing the end of the rainbow’

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